James Ruppert: how to make money from your motor

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Collins told me that there are owners in the US earning up to $50,000 a year renting out their Porsche 911 Cabriolets. They do have the Pacific Coast Highway as a playground, but that income is more than enough to cover any payments and it makes me think that I could buy a 2007 911 Carrera 4 with a modest sub-40,000 mileage at £35,990 and the rental money will pay for the Porsche. That’s car enthusiasts’ maths, of course, and potentially hiring it out a few times a month should raise around £500. 

According to Collins, a lot of the hires are people test driving. In the UK, there is a spike in drivers looking for Land Rover Defenders to find out what all the fuss is about. In the US, the most popular borrows are Teslas. 

Before you ask, there is insurance and all sorts of other technicalities, plus you might be better dropping the car off. I’d use it to hire a less boring car, but I’m not sure I’d trust anyone with one of mine, would you?

What we almost bought this week

Audi Coupé: ‘Part-ex to clear’: one phrase guaranteed to whet our appetite – and what a feast. This Audi Coupé, a 1990-reg 20-valve quattro, has a bulging workshop file and is used daily. That explains its 181,000 miles but don’t let that bother you since these old Audis can take their punishment, as its unmarked velour seats attest. It’s £4995. 

Tales from Ruppert’s garage

Volkswagen Golf 1.4 Bluemotion, mileage – 44,279: One of the hazards of commuting where my family lives is the number of pheasants unfamiliar with the Highway Code. They might well have right of way, but no matter how careful you are, contact is inevitable. 

My daughter’s Golf did the unavoidable the other day and smashed the bracket that holds the radar in place. She taped it temporarily in place and then deconstructed the front end. That meant we could pull out some bent lower grille plastic. Days later, a new bracket arrived and she clipped the radar in place. Not sure if the pheasant survived but it owes us £11. 

Reader’s ride

Skoda Superb Estate: Tony Porter read my story about travelling long distances to buy a car and told us this tale: “I saw a 2016 Skoda Superb 190 TDI SE-L 4×4 Estate at under £20,000 and only 17,000 miles. But it was in Inverness and I live near Nottingham. 

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