Are Hot Wheels Errors Worth Money? (Is There A Set Value?)

Toy car lovers and collectors absolutely adore Hot Wheels cars. You can grab your dream car, admire its beauty, and fantasize about what your life would be like if only that car in your hands was a real one, and it was parked in your driveway.

They have also been used by children and adults alike to play with for decades! 

But wait, what if it looks like something is off with your brand nes Hot Wheels car? Maybe one of the wheels is different from the rest. Maybe it has a totally different color and paint scheme than the rest of the same Hot Wheel models do.

You might think that your toy car is worthless and you need to go out and buy a new one, but hold on for just a second. 

Errors on your Hot Wheels car may actually be worth quite a bit of money.

If you find a Hot Wheels car that has the wrong paint job, mismatched tires, or some other form of error you may just have stumbled onto something pretty valuable. Any type of collectible that have errors like that will be more valuable (and often by a large margin) than items that were produced correctly. 

Now these error Hot Wheels might not have value immediately but there are many collectors that live to purchase error collectibles whether that’s Hot Wheels, baseball cards, coins, or anything else. 

If you find yourself with a Hot Wheels car that has a manufacturing error it will likely be worth a good chunk of change either now or in the future. 

Error Hot Wheel Cars, What Are They?

There is actually an entire niche dedicated to Hot Wheels cars that suffer from manufacturing errors. People have taken to calling these Hot Wheels that feature a type of error as “Error Cars”. 

You would think that a car that suffers from a defect would drop in value, but it actually seems that the complete opposite is the case!

Collectors actively seek out and buy up genuine Hot Wheels that feature some sort of error in their manufacturing. 

Because it is quite rare to find a Hot Wheels car that has some sort of defect, people are almost always looking to snap these items up, often at a significant premium. 

These errors may be something as simple as a bad paint job, some misspelled words or lettering on the surface of the car, or even just some mismatched or damaged tires and wheels. 

No matter what the error is, there is most likely someone looking to buy the car because of it.

Are Hot Wheel Error Cars Worth Money?

Although not every error car is worth a huge amount of money, it is a pretty good bet that an error car will fetch more than the price that you purchased it for. 

For example, an error car that suffers from a simple card error probably will not be worth as much as an error car that is missing all of its wheels, has extra pieces, is a different color, etc. 

It all depends on whether or not someone is looking for error cars. 

There are error car collectors out there who may surprise you with how much they are willing to pay to get a hold of an error car that nobody else has.

If you ever find yourself in possession of an error car make sure to do some proper research and check around before deciding on a price that you are willing to sell at. You may be surprised with how much the error car costs, since even a simple error may not have any other counterpart on the market which will drive up its value. 

What Types Of Error Cars Are There?

Mattel churns out millions of Hot Wheels cars every single year, and it is actually quite astounding how few error cars actually make it through to retail shelves.

Some errors are quite simple and unimpressive, while others make you wonder, “How did that ever make it past inspection?”. Truly, the types of errors and mistakes that you can find on Hot Wheels cars are fascinating.

One such simple error comes in the form of a car having the wrong packaging card. This one is easy enough to explain away, since there are so many cars in production it is understandable if one gets the wrong car name and picture on its card.

Other packaging errors come in the form of a faulty or mismatched blister bubble (the part of plastic that the car is encased in), or a car that is packaged in the wrong orientation (either upside down or facing the left rather than the right).

Cars that feature misaligned graphics and lettering are also something to look out for. These are hard to spot on some models, but they can prove to be worth a good amount of money if on the right car.

Sometimes errors are quite a bit more serious, though, and these are the types of errors that tend to be worth far more money. 

One of the most common errors comes in the form of mismatched or incorrect wheels.

There are tons of cases on the internet where you can see Hot Wheels cars that have one wheel that just does not fit in at all with the other three. But there are still more errors that are a bit more serious (and worth more) that I will mention. 

Hot Wheels cars that are missing entire parts are very rare and tend to be worth quite a bit if on a valuable car (and if still sealed). This is a rare occurrence, and most cars will not make it to store shelves without their wheels. Count yourself lucky if you find one, and snap it up right away!

But it does not stop there. 

There are not just Hot Wheels that have missing parts, you can even find some that have extra parts if you are lucky enough. While quite rare, this is more common in cars that have multiple parts that have been attached together.

Finally, we also have the cars that have such crazy errors that you really wonder how they could have gotten there. One such very odd error comes in the form of a Datsun 620 Pickup which features a transparent plastic roof on an otherwise fully metal car!


Now we know that Hot Wheels that suffer from errors are indeed worth some money, and sometimes a pretty decent amount of money, at that.

So, if you ever find yourself staring at a Hot Wheels car in the store that is missing some pieces, or find one that is misprinted or has mismatched tires, it may just be pretty wise to pick it up. 

You never know, down the line it may fetch quite a pretty penny.

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