Mike Brewer and Edd China are the kings of fixing and flipping cars. Their mutually beneficial “arrangement” represents the ideal situation which one could ever hope for when it comes to fixing cars. Mike scours the classifieds in search for a bargain, travels to inspect the vehicles and then haggles the price down before delivering the car back to the workshop – charging nought for his time. Edd then offers his workshop, tools, skills and time all free of charge to help get the cars back in tip top shape, before passing them back to Mike to sell.
But lets inject a bit of reality into the equation here – could Wheeler Dealers really operate as a real business? Firstly, lets assume that Edd already owned the workshop and every single tool he ever needed or used on the programme, including that lovely two-post hoist. Let’s also assume that the electricity came free from the sun, the local Council forgot to charge rates, and Mike had one of those government travel allowances to fuel his car as he sourced vehicles and parts from across the UK.
In their first year, Mike and Edd purchased and fixed up a total of 6 cars, spending a total of £6,232 in the process. They then managed to sell all 6 cars on to receive a total of £7,750. That’s an overall profit of just £1,518, and things didn’t get much better from there.
In their second year, Mike and Edd flipped an additional 6 vehicles – only the overall profit dropped to £956.50. The third year, after completing their 18th car in total, they made just £203. If they were attempting to run Wheeler Dealers as a business of any form, the writing would have well and truly been on the wall at this point.
Luckily, in the fourth year things improved, and the pair took home £4,524, then £7,730 in the fifth year – but that could only be described as chump change once it was divvied up between them. All of that time, all of that effort. In fact, after 12 years in the business and after flipping a total of 121 different vehicles across multiple countries, Mike and Edd made a total of £246,418 – or an average of £2,036 per vehicle. Divide their profit up and they made an average of just £10,267 each, per year.
The profit margins are depressing and they show that Wheeler Dealers could never be a profitable business in the real world. But you know what? Mike and Edd have shown us that you can indeed make money from flipping cars, providing you have the knowledge to choose the right vehicle and then have the skills needed to repair it. You just won’t make enough money to make a living – so don’t quit your day job just yet!
Luckily, Wheeler Dealers is such a good show that I’m willing to dismiss reality and watch the masters at work.