What is an Autocycle?
A Polaris Slingshot is an autocycle; it’s not quite a car and not quite a motorcycle. It looks like something you would see in a Batman movie — it has a very sleek design and two wheels in the front and just one in the back (which is why some people call it a reverse trike). Its a very unique vehicle that captures your attention if you’ve never seen one on the road before.
From a rental standpoint, it has the novelty factor of an exotic, expensive car like a Tesla or a Porsche, but costs much less at about $20,000 to $30,000. Polaris Slingshots are often listed on websites like Turo at prices of $100 to $200 per day.
Doing the math, with no other expenses accounted for (which you will have a few including rental commissions if you use a carsharing site), you could break even after just 100 rental days. That sounds like a great money maker compared to something like a Maserati that sells new for over $100,000 and might rent for a similar price.
Most People Don’t Have a Motorcycle License
The potential pool of renters for autocycles has been very constrained, because most states require you to have a motorcycle endorsement or license. Because less than 5% of the population has this, the renter pool is quite small.
The market just got much bigger (20x) in certain states like Arizona that no longer require a motorcycle license for autocycles. Autocycles are treated like cars. Someone visiting Phoenix for a few days or a local wanting to try one out can just rent a Polaris without the hassle of taking a 3 day, $300+ motorcycle license course, then going through the process of getting the endorsement added to their license.
While there are not very many currently available for rent on car sharing sites, it would not be surprising to see more of these pop up soon. Most people don’t use their Polaris Slingshot for everyday commuting, thus it makes a perfect car to rent out on a car sharing service. Any type of income that a “toy” like this can generate will be seen as a huge positive for current owners and potential buyers.
It’s Like Buying a Starter Home and Renting it at Mansion Prices
In summary, you can buy a Slingshot for around $30,000 and rent it at the same rate (up to $200 per day) that a luxury car would rent for. The best analogy would be buying a low cost starter home as a vacation rental. Then listing it on AirBnB or VRBO at prices only a more luxurious home would rent for. Then getting that price!
Whether you use your Slingshot as a fun weekender type of vehicle then rent it on your off days, or if you don’t ever use it yourself and strictly buy for investment purposes, it is a viable investment option depending on the market you live in. Just remember, don’t even think about trying this if you state requires operators to have a motorcycle license to drive a Slingshot.