Thirteen years ago, cryptocurrency and Bitcoin would have earned you a few raised eyebrows, but there’s no way you’d have exchanged your Satoshis for a cool set of wheels. These days, with YouTube influencers making millions from digital art (NFTs) and America’s Federal Reserve planning to create their own digital currency, that future has finally arrived. You can now buy a car with cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrencies are a digital form of cash that began with the creation of Bitcoin in 2009. Bitcoin was created in response to the financial crash of 2008 as a peer-to-peer payment method. That means it doesn’t involve a third party like banks or governments. Because of this, initially, it was viewed as a way to carry out illegal activities on the dark web.

Today, cryptocurrencies are losing their bad reputation. There are over 10,000 different types of crypto coins. Some of them are more reliable than others. Bitcoin, being the first digital currency to be developed, generally has more credibility and acceptance than most others. Each crypto coin holds a varying value and some are recognised as an acceptable payment by Amazon, Lush, some car dealers and even private sellers.

Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin are the best-known coins. Each of them can be broken down into smaller parts, much like dollars and cents. The smallest unit of a bitcoin is known as a Satoshi – named after the elusive creator of the currency. If you want to buy a car with cryptocurrency, chances are you’ll be paying in Bitcoin. There are three main ways you can buy a car with cryptocurrency.

Buy a car with cryptocurrency direct from a dealer

Not all dealerships accept cryptocurrencies and you may still earn yourself a few raised eyebrows if you try negotiating in Litecoin or Eth. In most cases, dealers will only accept Bitcoin as payment. Those that do usually work with an intermediary payment provider to enable crypto transactions.

The process for buying a car with cryptocurrency from a dealer isn’t too far different from paying with any other method. You’ll still browse the cars on offer, find one you like and then negotiate the price. Once the price is settled, you’ll need to send your Bitcoin to the intermediary, likely Auto Coin Cars or BitPay who will then forward the payment to the dealership.

Prestige Cars in Kent are one UK dealer accepting Bitcoin as full or part payment for their cars. They made their first cryptocurrency car sale in lockdown, accepting Bitcoin as the payment. The deal was completed as a Click and Collect transaction, making it simple for the buyer to safely drive away without fear of infection.

BMW dealerships in the UK are also preparing to accept Bitcoin, so you will soon be able to buy the latest BMW with cryptocurrency too.

Buy a classic car with cryptocurrency online

Bitcars is an online platform selling supercars, classic and luxury vehicles, motorhomes and yachts. They’re devoted to luxury items and state on their website that they ‘live cryptocurrencies’ too. They accept a number of different crypto coins, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Dodge, but not traditional payments.

Bitcars was founded after the successful establishment of BitDials, a business supplying high-end jewellery and watches for cryptocurrency. Bitcars specialises in expensive, hard to find or unique vehicles and have been doing so since 2016.

The process of buying a car with cryptocurrency is a little different from your usual car marketplace. With this kind of buying, you reach out letting the team know exactly what you want and where you are. They’ll get to work finding those classic wheels and get back to you with an offer.

Once your dream car has been located, it gets registered on their web shop and you can make your purchase with the crypto payment processor. All the paperwork, registration, shipping and other details are handled for you as part of the transaction.

Buying from a private seller with Bitcoin

If the above two options are a little rich for your blood, don’t despair. It is now possible to buy a car with cryptocurrency from a private seller – if they’re willing to accept it as payment. In fact, the hardest part of buying a car privately with bitcoin or any other digital currency will be finding a willing seller.

If you are successful, you’ll need to use a crypto service such as BitPay to enable a fast and secure transaction. BitPay and other crypto-wallets like them work a little like online banks. You simply download their app, top up your digital wallet from your cryptocurrency account and then pay for items with your card. The only real difference is that the person you’re paying will receive cryptocurrency instead of cash. To do that, they’ll need a crypto-wallet of some sort too.

Although it is possible to buy a car with cryptocurrency, it may not be the wisest way to use your digital wealth. Thanks to the wildly fluctuating value of these digital currencies, it is entirely possible that you could drastically over (or under) pay for your wheels within a few days of making the purchase.

It seems Tesla is in agreement too, their terms and conditions for Bitcoin payments repeatedly note the volatility of the currency. Because of this, they reserve the right to refund Bitcoin payments for their cars in US dollars. If you were to buy a Tesla with Bitcoin, only to need to return it and request a refund, you could, quite literally, lose a small fortune in the process.

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