What is a Flipper Car? Understanding the Basics and Risks

When it comes to buying used cars, some people are looking for a bargain. However, there is a growing trend in the used car market known as “flipper cars”. Flipper cars are vehicles that have been purchased cheaply, usually from an auction or private seller, and then quickly resold for a higher price. This practice has become more popular in recent years, but it can come with risks for both buyers and sellers. In this article, we will explore what a flipper car is, how it works, and what the risks are.

What is a Flipper Car

What is a Flipper Car?

A flipper car is a vehicle that has been purchased at a low price and quickly resold for a profit. This practice is also known as “flipping” or “curb stoning”. Flippers may purchase cars from auctions, private sellers, or even salvage yards. They typically look for cars that need minor repairs, have low mileage, or are in high demand.

How to do Flipper Cars Work?

Flipper cars work by buying a car at a low price and then reselling it quickly for a higher price. Flippers typically make minor repairs, such as fixing a broken taillight or replacing a missing mirror, and then sell the car for a profit. In some cases, flippers may even clean the car and make it look new before selling it.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Flipper Car

Buying a flipper car can be beneficial for some people, as it can offer a lower price than buying from a dealership. However, there are also risks involved. Pros of buying a flipper car include:

  • Lower price compared to buying from a dealership
  • Potential to find a rare or unique vehicle
  • No sales tax or dealership fees

Cons of buying a flipper car include:

  • No warranties or guarantees
  • Unclear vehicle history
  • Possible hidden repairs or issues
  • No financing options

Risks of Buying a Flipper Car

Buying a flipper car can be risky, as there is no guarantee that the car is in good condition or has not been in an accident. Some risks of buying a flipper car include:

  • Hidden repairs or issues that may not be immediately apparent
  • Unclear vehicle history, including possible flood or salvage damage
  • Lack of warranty or guarantees
  • Possible fraud or scams
  • No financing options

Tips for Buying a Flipper Car

If you are considering buying a flipper car, there are several things you can do to minimize your risks. Some tips for buying a flipper car include:

  • Research the seller and their reputation
  • Get a vehicle history report
  • Have the car inspected by a mechanic
  • Test drive the car
  • Check for signs of damage or repairs
  • Ask for maintenance records

Risks of flipping a car

Flipping a car can be a lucrative business, but it also comes with risks. Some risks of flipping a car include:

  • Getting stuck with a car that won’t sell
  • Overpaying for a car and not making a profit

Legal Considerations of flipping cars

When it comes to flipping cars, there are also legal considerations to keep in mind. In some states, flipping cars may be considered illegal if the person is not a licensed dealer. Additionally, if the car has any undisclosed issues, the seller may be liable for any accidents or damages that occur as a result. It’s important to research the laws in your state before attempting to flip a car.

How to avoid scams when buying a Flipper Car

Unfortunately, there are many scams associated with buying flipper cars. Some common scams include title washing, odometer fraud, and VIN cloning. To avoid scams, it’s important to research the seller and the car thoroughly and to use a reputable escrow service or payment method.

Understanding the Condition of a Flipper Car

When buying a flipper car, it’s important to understand the condition of the vehicle. This includes checking for any hidden repairs or issues, as well as determining the car’s overall value. A professional inspection can help you get a better idea of the car’s condition and potential issues.

Related: What is a Dracula Car? 


What is title washing?

Title washing is a scam in which the title of a car is altered to hide its histories, such as flood or salvage damage.

What is VIN cloning?

VIN cloning is a scam in which a stolen car’s VIN is copied onto a different car, making it appear to be a legitimate vehicle.

Can you finance a flipper car?

Generally, no. Most flipper cars are sold as-is, with no financing options.

Should I buy a flipper car?

It depends on your individual situation and risk tolerance. If you are comfortable taking on the risks associated with a flipper car, it may be a good option for you.

Is flipping cars legal?

Flipping cars can be legal, but there are legal considerations to keep in mind, such as licensing requirements and disclosure laws.


While flipper cars can offer a lower price than buying from a dealership, they also come with risks. Buyers should be cautious when purchasing a flipper car and should take steps to protect themselves from scams and undisclosed issues. Flipping a car can also be a lucrative business, but it requires knowledge of the market and legal considerations.

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