Whether you think cryptocurrency is just a fad or the future of finance, it’s a fascinating technology. You probably made your last car purchase with boring old dollars, but maybe the next one will be with digital currency.
If you’re wondering if you can buy a car with cryptocurrency, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s see how it works and if it’s a good idea. As with all money matters, it’s best to consult your financial advisor before making any investments.
What is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a decentralized digital asset. Created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency. It is still the largest in terms of market capitalization and has inspired thousands of “altcoins”. Popular alternatives are Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Solana, etc. The purpose of some cryptocurrencies is to be a store of value like “digital gold”. Others intend to be a medium of exchange like cash to buy and sell goods and services.
Another type of cryptocurrency is stablecoins. Stablecoins like USD Coin and Tether are tied to government-issued currencies like the US Dollar and Euro. For example, one USDC is worth $1. Stablecoins serve as digital placeholders for real-world global currencies.
America’s largest cryptocurrency exchange is a website called Coinbase. You can buy, sell, and manage hundreds of different cryptocurrencies on Coinbase. Merchants can use it as a payment processor for crypto, similar to PayPal.
How to buy a car with cryptocurrency
There are several ways to buy a car with cryptocurrency. Some online car marketplaces such as Car for Coin and BitCars allow you to exchange crypto – primarily Bitcoin – for a vehicle.
There’s a simple way to use cryptocurrency as payment anywhere debit cards are accepted. Crypto debit cards like the BitPay Mastercard and Coinbase Visa card work like regular debit cards, but they pull funds from your crypto wallet rather than a bank account.
Some of BitPay’s trusted partners include RM Sotheby’s, Vegas Auto Gallery, and Mecum Auctions, but you can use a BitPay card anywhere Mastercard is accepted. You can use a crypto debit card for down payment, monthly payments, and insurance payments, but you might have trouble finding a dealership that lets you buy a car directly with a debit card.
BitPay supports many major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, stablecoins like USD Coin and Binance USD, and even some memecoins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.
A few other crypto debit card options include the CryptoWallet Mastercard and the Crypto.com Visa card.
A list of cars you can buy with Crypto
Some car dealerships across the country accept cryptocurrency as payment, but no manufacturer accepts crypto across their entire dealership network.
Here are some dealerships that accept crypto through payment processors like BitPay and Coinbase:
- Jeff Wyler Automotive Family in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana
- Carriage Auto Group in Georgia and Alabama
- Bob Moore Auto Group in Oklahoma
- Edmark Toyota in Nampa, Idaho
- Lamborghini Newport Beach in Irvine, California.
- Reed Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ram in Merriam, Kansas
- Porsche Towson in Towson, Maryland
- Rockville BMW in Rockville, Maryland
- Atlanta Motor Cars in Atlanta, Georgia
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has accepted Bitcoin as payment at Tesla stores, but at the time of this writing, this system is not in place. However, if you want to buy a Tesla or other electric car with cryptocurrency, you might find it for sale on crypto exchanges or at the car dealerships mentioned above.
Should I buy a car with Crypto?
Anyone who has spent time with digital currency knows that anything involving crypto carries a lot of risk. Cryptocurrency values are extremely volatile.
For example, Bitcoin hit an all-time high of nearly $68,000 in November 2021. You could have bought a new Porsche 718 Cayman with one Bitcoin. However, at the time of this writing, the value of Bitcoin is around $19,000. That same bitcoin that could have bought a Porsche less than a year ago will now give you a basic Subaru Impreza.
Since car values do not fluctuate as much as cryptocurrency values, stablecoins would be a good way to pay for a car with digital currency. For example, placing USDC in a BitPay wallet and using it to make car payments is a safer way to pay for your car without worrying about the value of your crypto tanking.
If you are a true cryptocurrency supporter, buying a car directly with crypto like Bitcoin could be a great way to use this innovative technology. Also, it might be fun to tell your friends that you bought your car with Bitcoin.