Buying a wrecked exotic car or supercar can be a fun challenge — it can also be a way to turn a profit if you know what you’re doing, but for the purposes of this article, we are just focusing on finding your dream car for a great price. YouTube channels like Tavarish have a way of making it look easy to find and purchase wrecked exotics for incredible prices, but if you’ve ever spent time looking into it, chances are you’ve noticed that there are many nuances to the task than there seem. While there are plenty of ways I can warn you about getting into buying wrecked exotics, the first step is finding a wrecked supercar to buy in the first place — we can focus on the logistics later.
Why does having a dealer’s license matter?
Many auction houses, even for wrecked, repossessed, or otherwise concerning vehicles, require a dealer’s license to participate in the bidding and buying process of vehicles as it isn’t meant to be open to just everyone. In some cases, private buyers can hire the help of a broker who does have a dealer’s license to purchase a car for them through the auction house, but this typically tacks on additional fees and costs on top of what you pay for the car, as well as auction fees. Auctions like Copart are the most obvious place to check for wrecked vehicles, ranging from more average consumer cars to supercars, but it isn’t the only place you should look if you’re in the market.
Buying supercars privately online
If you follow a lot of popular automotive YouTubers like CarTrek and VINWiki, chances are you’ve heard of Search Tempest, which is pretty much just a service that allows you to search multiple websites at one time. These websites usually include older, less popular methods of buying and selling used cars, like Craigslist, which, before the FaceBook marketplace existed, was the go-to place for many enthusiasts. When you buy any car from a private seller, there are a few precautions you should take, even when you’re looking at a wrecked exotic car. Taking a car to a specialized mechanic to check out the extent of the damage and ensure you know what you’re getting into. Sometimes buying a car privately means getting a cool, abandoned barn-find car, but it can also lead to a complete nightmare.
Car dealers that sell wrecked supercars
In some major cities, you can find dealers who work somewhat exclusively with wrecked exotic cars. We found a wrecked BMW i8 at a used car dealership in the outskirts of downtown Miami that sold almost exclusively wrecked and repossessed exotic cars. Most of the dealerships operate by buying these cars at auction — which are unavailable to the public who doesn’t have a dealer’s license — putting in a minimal amount of time and energy to get them in a somewhat slightly more presentable manner, and then selling them. This is a good option if you don’t want to pay for a broker or go directly through a private sale as there is some security in having a dealership you can consistently locate and contact, but these are always exclusively sold as “as is” vehicles with no promises or warranties.
Keep in mind that, like most things in life, if what you’re looking at seems too good to be true, chances are, that’s because it is. Wrecked supercars and exotics can be a total dream if you’re cautious and prepared for the worst, but it’s easy to get caught up in the moment of finding your dream car for an affordable price and not taking the time to analyze how much time and money is going to be required to getting it up, running, and legally on the road again. If you’re buying a car with a branded title, it may be important to look into the depreciation value of the branded title, as well as the reason the car has a branded title.