Since his 2016 presidential bid, the US Senator’s transit choices have been a talking point as he has one of the lowest incomes within Congress. After amassing almost $2 million in royalties from his books, he hasn’t been known to flaunt his cars.
To date, Bernie has owned around six cars since his campaign for mayor in the early 1980s. In his more recent years, he’s been seen with a red Chevrolet Aveo and a green 2015-2018 model Subaru Forester. However, the exact number of cars he owns is yet to be confirmed.
If his net worth has skyrocketed since his early middle-class beginnings, how has Bernie come to afford these modern eco-friendly cars? Read on to find out more about his wealth and surprising history with vehicles.
Sanders’ Early Days
Born into a working-class family, Sanders showed interest in politics from a young age. An old friend of his, Sandy Baird, has said that “he was always poor”, while a professor from the University of Vermont tells that he was “virtually unemployed” amid one of his political ventures in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
It was at this time that he didn’t have enough money to pay for gas for his Volkswagen Beetle. Later, he switched to a 1967 Volkswagen Dasher, which he reportedly parked in the mayor’s spot in the early ‘80s, receiving a ticket in the process.
After running for mayor in 1980 and winning by 10 votes, Bernie treated himself and bought a silver Honda Civic.
He later came to regret that decision as he was involved in a few collisions. Previous city councilor Tom Smith stated that Bernie “didn’t care about his car” back in the day.
Books, Buildings & Questions
Upon his 2016 presidential bid, the Vermont Senator’s wealth soared into the millions.
His net worth could stand around $2 million, but much like his precise number of cars, a definitive answer for his fortune is unknown.
Book sales have been a large source of income for Sanders.
His first bestseller, Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In came out in November of 2016, earning him just over $800,000 in revenue. He then released Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution in 2017, boosting his income above $1 million.
He now has three houses, consisting of a lakeside holiday house within the Champlain Islands of Vermont, a $489,000 row house in Washington’s capital, and a property in Burlington.
Despite his previous disdain for the flashy tendencies of millionaires, he isn’t afraid to admit his earnings from his top-selling hits. “I plead guilty to have written a book which was an international best seller” adding, “and when you write a book that makes it to the top of the New York Times bestseller list you make money. And I made money.”
Back in 2016 at the time of his presidential campaign, a photo circulated on the internet of a similar-looking man driving a luxury car worth over $170,000. This was later confirmed to be false.
Electric Vehicle Advocate
Bernie has never been shy about his stance on climate change. In 2019 he declared his support for the Green New Deal climate plan, following his announcement that he “introduced the most comprehensive climate change legislation in history of the United States Senate.”
He was spotted in a Lincoln Town Car SUV in 2015, although it’s no surprise that the self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist he’s been seen driving several fuel efficient cars.
Probably his most well-known ecological car is his red 2010 Chevrolet Aveo, although it looks like he’s upgraded to a 2011 version.
In March of 2020, Sanders was sighted with his Subaru Forester, accidentally locking his wife out after voting on Super Tuesday.
He seems to be a fan of bumper stickers, too. His 2010 Chevy Aveo had one that said “Re-elect Bernie for US Senate 2012”, while many noticed that his Subaru has a new “Bernie 2020” to promote his late campaign.