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  • Dean Hempel

Two kinds of car owners



Motorsports covers a very broad range of interests. Basically anything with a motor would be or could be considered something involved with a ‘sport’. But this short post was inspired by a visit I recently made to a ‘Carlotz’ dealer in Merritt Island, Florida. We were talking about how the used car business has changed with the pandemic; online buying, instant financing, Carfax, and technology in general. During the conversation, he had to show me some of the extremely ‘low mileage’ cars that they get for resale.

Typically, a car today will average 15,000 miles per year for personal use. The value of the car is decreased by about 25-35 cents for every mile above that average. Likewise, the car value is increased by about 25-35 cents for every mile below that average. BUT, there’s always a but, there are many other factors that determine the real value of a used car. The biggest thing is ‘what’ someone is willing to pay for the vehicle and how badly the seller wants to move the car. Low interest rates have assisted bigger inventories for floor planned car lots, but moving the inventory is the most important factor in a successful business model.

Car folks know that there are different types of car owners. Some don’t take good care of their cars and abuse them to the max. Then there are those who drive their cars hard and take excellent care of them. People who take good care of their cars can usually be a ‘driver’ or a ‘waxer’. Older cars with very low miles are what every buyer wants for starters. Looking for an owner who is a ‘waxer’ would be a dream come true. This person has taken great care of a car, kept it looking like new, and rarely drove the car.

Our discussion was around this 2002 Camaro Z-28, now at the age of 20 years. It looked new, inside and out. The mileage: 2,500 original miles. It certainly wasn’t a good investment for the original buyer with an asking price of $31,000. And at that asking price, it might not be a quick sale. Every seller needs a buyer, putting the two together is the challenge.

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