Aussies accelerate earnings with project car profits

New research from eBay Australia reveals Aussie motoring enthusiasts are not just motivated by their passion for building project cars – but by the extra cash the hobby can generate. It’s what they do with the money that’s most interesting.

Locals report an estimated combined average profit of more than $60,000, with one in six claiming in excess of $100,000 on their cars. The biggest motivation for building, fixing, and reselling these vehicles is ironically, to help fund future car projects.

Some 43 per cent of respondents highlighted this, proving Australian car enthusiasts love the cycle of building cars. This was followed by using the profits to provide relief from cost-of-living pressures (34 per cent) and helping with the mortgage (32 per cent).

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Those surveyed explained that building project cars allows them to tailor their own investments, with some seeing it as a side hustle with hefty financial returns. No surprise then that 4-in-10 car enthusiasts are mid-build.

Nearly all those who took part in the survey (92 per cent) said they were interested in future car builds, restorations, and modifications. Data showed Aussie car builders have sold an average of three project cars, with Toyota the most popular brand.

That was followed by Ford, Holden and BMW. Interestingly, 42 per cent of project car builders are millennials, and 21 per cent are Gen Z, suggesting the younger generations are the most savvy when it comes to making money from their hobby.

While millennials tend to invest more, they also see the highest profit on average, at $35,000 per build (that’s more than Gen X too, who averaged $19,000). The research suggests it’s not just for the financial gains either.

Enthusiasts are also driven by the sheer passion they have for cars, with over half (56 per cent) revealing that working on their car is in their top five favourite activities, and they would rather spend time in the garage than go out for dinner or to a bar.

Baby Boomers are most likely to build and restore for the satisfaction they experience in carrying out repair work, while Millennials are driven to do it as a form of investment.

“Australians have an unrivalled love of cars. On eBay, we see ‘collector car’ searched every minute, the iconic ‘Torana’ is searched five times every hour, while ‘Valiant’ and ‘EH Holden’ are both searched four times every hour,” eBay Australia CMO Rebecca Newton said.

“eBay data also shows Aussies are cashing in on their prized auto possessions with some of the most expensive cars sold in the last five years [being] a Black Porsche 911 Super Carerra, a 1977 Holden Torana LX and a Ford Mustang 1967 Fastback.”

The auction platform’s data correlates with the Australian Motor Heritage Foundation’s recent report regarding the fact $9 billion a year is injected into the economy by motoring enthusiasts as they spend up big on cars, parts and accessories for restoration projects.

In terms of the best states to sell project cars, NSW leads the way, with average profits of $79,000, with Queenslanders averaging $41,000. The research also suggests that our love for cars goes beyond building and has a positive effect on mental well-being.

Respondents stated that a purring car engine was in their top relaxing sounds, followed by the bass from subwoofers, and humming tyres on pavement. All of them rated higher than crickets chirping, kookaburras laughing or the relaxing melodies of Tibetan bowl music.

News Desk
News Desk
The News Desk is the hub of Exhaust Notes Australia. It's from here that our team of writers journalists and photographers bring you the latest happenings from the world of motoring.

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