If you are going to be an active landlord then having the right vehicle is something you should give some serious thought to. However the level of involvement you have planned and the amount of work your investment property needs, will have a direct impact on what type of vehicle would be the best fit for you as a landlord. Of course, you ultimately could make anything happen with any car. But it’s just easier when your vehicle is accommodating to your lifestyle. Let’s take a look at our top 5 vehicles for landlords below.
|PROS||Versatile For All Uses||Able to Haul a Lot||Roomy & Economical||Economical & Stylish||In-Vehicle Storage|
|CONS||Limited Hauling||Not Economical||Not Stylish||Limited Hauling||Not Stylish Beyond Work Use|
Sport Utility Vehicles (aka SUV) are extremely versatile vehicles for everyday life. The beauty of these types of vehicles is that they don’t have to compromise your lifestyle as a landlord. Modern SUVs are adaptable enough to use the same vehicle out for a nice dinner with your significant other on a Friday night, and then drop the back seat and load up the cargo area with 5-Gallon buckets of paint to prepare for a unit-turnover on Saturday morning. These SUVs can be as standard as a Honda CRV or as fancy as a Mercedes G-Wagon. As long as it has a rear-cargo area, it can get the job done. True Story: I once witnessed a young man load the entire back of a brand new Mercedes G-Wagon with maybe 6 to 9, 5-Gallon buckets of epoxy at a local supply warehouse. I love people that are not afraid to use their fancy cars when needed.
The use of a pickup truck can vary greatly depending on where you live, weather conditions, rental property size, and frequency of remodels. A midsize pickup like a Toyota Tacoma could get by just fine for an urban landlord who only handles regular repairs with the occasional remodel. A larger pickup truck like an F250 would probably better accommodate a landlord further out of the urban scene, who prefers to get hands on with remodels and frequently buys heavy-load materials. Either way, you can’t go wrong with any type of pickup as long as it has a bed and keep a couple tie-down straps handy. I personally have a Toyota Tacoma and personally know several other successful landlords who also drive them.
Chances are if you are a millennial landlord, there is no chance convincing you to buy this one, but minivans are some of the most underrated, spacious and practical cars for construction work. Once you remove the back seats, the whole rear section of the van essentially becomes a little room with a flat floor and doors that open up on the sides and rear. Aside from the abundant space and great gas mileage, you don’t have to worry about locking anything up since its safely housed inside. Lastly, used minivans are extremely affordable and reliable, meaning that this could even be a 2nd or 3rd vehicle that you only use when working on your rental property and want to maintain a low-key image around tenants.
Electric or Hybrid
This vehicle type is for landlords who are probably not planning to do much hands on remodeling or repairs themselves, but still need to frequently visit their properties which may require a distant drive. If you plan to frequent a commute to your rental property to either meet with vendors, contractors, tenants, or just perform routine inspections, then this economical and eco friendly vehicle choice is probably for you. Electric vehicles can range from a simple plug-in Toyota Prius, up to a fancy Tesla Model S. Yes, you won’t be able to carry a sheet of drywall inside, but that’s not everyone’s desire to do so. Maybe once electric trucks like the Ford F150 Lightning or Rivian R1T become more ubiquitous and reasonably priced, electric trucks can be a great option for those who want to go electric and still utilize the benefits of a truck.
A utility van is specifically designed for working construction tradesmen, as it will likely have interior shelving for tools/materials, and rooftop racks for ladders etc. This type of vehicle can be the equivalent to a piece of gold if you are a true professional landlord and oversee many rental properties of virtually any type. Keeping tools and inventory of extra replacement parts inside can save countless hours on trips to the local hardware store. The roof racks they’re commonly equipped with are perfect for ladders, long pieces of lumber and even drywall or plywood. If your rental portfolio is large enough to employ a full time maintenance technician, one of these vans can be a great addition to the company.
* Bonus – Trailer *
If you have the space to store it – consider also a (small) trailer. A trailer might seem insignificant at first, but can truly be a landlord’s best friend in a time of need. Consider if you need to get an appliance into a multifamily rental unit ASAP but the store can’t ship it for a while? No problem. Pick it up with your trailer. Need to pickup new trees to plant? No problem. Virtually any large and bulky item could be reasonably transported with a small trailer, which can be hook and un-hooked to your vehicle as needed.
About the Author
I’m an investor, developer, and property manager with experience in all types of real estate from single family homes, up to hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial real estate. RentalRealEstate.com is my mission to help anyone break into the world of rental real estate investing.