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How to Buy (and Keep) a Super Car Even On a Budget

You don’t have to be a millionaire or wait until you are past retirement age to buy a supercar. For example, you can get the Dodge Viper SRT10, which is a back-to-basics American muscle car with an 8.3-liter V10 engine and 500 horsepower for less than $30,000. If your life-long dream is to be the owner and driver of a supercar, don’t write it off as unrealistic. 

Shop within your budget

Avoid falling in love with a car that you can’t afford by understanding your budget. You may be able to find a supercar in good condition in the $20,000 range, but it will take time. $30,000 – $50,000 is a more realistic price for a decent supercar with lower miles. You’re likely to find a Porsche 911, a Viper, or maybe even a Ferrari 348 or 355 from the 90s in that price range. Lamborghinis from the early to mid-2000s or the Ferrari 360 may bump the budget up to the $50,000 – $100,000 range. 

When you figure out your supercar budget, remember to add insurance costs. Hopefully, your driving record is clean. This will help you get lower rates. Car insurance is another area where shopping around can save you money. When you’ve narrowed down your selection and you have the VIN number of a car you are interested in purchasing, call several companies to get quotes. Talk with an insurance agent that works with multiple companies, too. They can do the legwork for you. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it doesn’t cost much more to insure a 20-year-old supercar than it does a new SUV. 

Loan vs cash

Financial experts may say you should never buy “toys” with a loan. However, if your credit is in good shape you could get a low-interest loan and keep your cash somewhere with better returns. 

If it makes financial sense to get a loan for your supercar and stash your cash elsewhere, go for it. 

Be sure to talk with the folks at local banks and credit unions in your community about financing your supercar, as well. They often have unadvertised deals on car loans. You may also get more flexible terms with a local lender. Don’t ever take the first financing deal offered at a dealership. They aren’t competitive and may sell you on convenience. Paying inflated interest rates could cost you thousands over the life of the loan. 

Required maintenance vs suggested maintenance

People may think that driving a supercar means you have piles of cash to spend on the long list of the manufacturer (and mechanic) suggested maintenance items. 

If you have a mechanic you trust who understands that your love for your car is much larger than your budget, they can help you figure out what must be done and what can wait. 

Regardless of whether you regularly spend money on maintenance and repairs, you should set aside about $2,000 per year as a budget. Even if you don’t spend that much, keep adding to the repair and maintenance fund so a surprise repair doesn’t threaten the rest of your finances or cause you to have to park your supercar indefinitely. 

Join a supercar community online

Forums are a great place to connect with supercar enthusiasts, especially if your taste leans toward a particular vehicle. You may be able to learn about supercars that current owners want to sell as they upgrade. These unadvertised deals let you learn a car’s history, too. You’ll have access to the current owner and their knowledge of the vehicle.  

You’ll also get a good idea of what it really costs to own and maintain a specific type of car by reading forums. So, if your dream car is a Ferrari but potential maintenance costs are a concern, ask around inside Ferrari forums so you can get the truth from actual owners. 

When you find the car you want, ask around to find out if anyone knows about it. Community members may be able to offer unique insights into the car’s quirks specific to that model and year. They may even be acquainted with that particular vehicle. The supercar world is tight-knit, and rare cars may already have a reputation. 

Move quickly when you find the right car

If you’ve done the right amount of research ahead of time, when you find your supercar, put down a deposit. You should have the cash on hand (or loan approval) to make it happen. 

Don’t worry about the number of previous owners. A supercar is a trophy that’s not usually a daily driver. So, a car may have less than 20,000 miles on it and nine previous owners. 

It’s common for supercar owners to find their ideal vehicle out of state or even overseas. Be sure to pay for an inspection before you close the deal. If you can’t see the car in-person, arrange for a video chat with the owner or salesperson so you can get a feel for the car’s overall condition. 

When it comes to buying a supercar on a budget, timing is everything. Understanding what you really want in a car will help you narrow down your choices. You may have to wait to find a car that really speaks to you with a price that falls within your budget. So, if you know you want a 2008-2009 Aston Martin V8 Vantage and you find one in good condition for less than $30,000, it’s time to ask questions and get focused. Your patience will pay off. 

Learn as much as you can about the make, model, and year-range of your dream supercar and watch forums closely for opportunities to bring home the ride of your dreams.