6 vehicles capable of earning their keep

Learn how to bring any battery back to life again

Most cars are expenses, not investments. You typically pay tens of thousands of dollars for a reliable vehicle that depreciates every day, even when it’s parked. What if a vehicle could earn you money instead? KSL Cars has hundreds of vehicle listings (besides the obvious work trucks and limousines) capable of making money.

Here’s a list of cars on KSL Cars that you can use to generate some extra income—or at least break even.

Volkswagen Bus

Two recent ads on VW group pages were targeting bus owners. One was seeking a bus to rent for a photo shoot, while another was needed for a prop at a vintage market. Bus owners can make some money by taking the vehicle to various events where people take photos and admire your wheels. Nice-looking microbuses (pre-1968 models) rent for $240 a day on Turo, the site that lets you rent out your car like an Airbnb. More on that later. Right now, check out the Volkswagen Transporter on KSL Cars. It’s photogenic inside and out!

Ferrari California T

A man in Los Angeles offers half-hour tours of Hollywood in a Ferrari. He drives clients in a California T, an open-top four-seater. Why not try the same thing in Utah? Ferraris with back seats are rare, but the Ferrari GTC4Lusso is listed now on KSL Cars. It has a back seat and a solid roof. If you financed the $138,950 asking price over five years, you’d only have to give 23 rides a month at $100 a pop to make the payments.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Utah is known more for off-road vehicles than Italian sports cars. Take the Ferrari tour idea and adapt it with a Wrangler Unlimited. What says “Utah” more than an open-top Jeep that can hold a decent-sized family or a collection of credit card-wielding tourists? Take the doors off and watch your tips take off. Here are Sport S models to get you started.

1950 Studebaker Antique
1950 Studebaker Antique (Photo: KSL Cars)

Period cars

Many moviemakers open a film with an establishing shot of place and time, often using cars to quickly communicate the period. Vintage vehicles without modern customization can earn you some money from film projects.

Studebaker Champion: This basic commuter car looks as if swing is still king of the dance floor.

Chevrolet 210: It’s hard to find one that hasn’t been turned into a hot rod. This looks period-correct, as long as the director doesn’t want any close-ups of the steering wheel.

Ford Model A: Rumble-seat roadsters like this one were around for years, and could star in movies set from 1929 to the 1950s. With an open top it could do parade duty, too.

Panel vans

The food truck trend was gobbling all these up for a while, but COVID-19 put the brakes on sales last year. Now that masks are coming off, build a kitchen in a van and sell entrées people never knew they wanted in a parking lot. This blank slate 1978 Chevrolet is ready to go.

Any make or model

Turo is like Airbnb for cars. Just as houses come in all sizes and budgets, so do vehicles. Sign up your 2012 Toyota Corolla to rent for fifty bucks a day, or pick up something more exotic and quadruple your fee. The most popular rentals out of Salt Lake City were mostly Teslas, but the most rented on the site was a 2008 Nissan Xterra with a manual transmission that brings its owner $45 every day it goes out. In honor of that Xterra, here are models with a manual transmission.

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Learn how to bring any battery back to life again

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