5 Tips for Buying a Used Sports Car

Buying a used sports car is great if you’re looking for cheap driving thrills. However, it’s important to remember that people treat sports cars differently than regular commuter cars. As such, whether you plan to spend $5,000 or $50,000 on a used sports car, there are a few things to know before doing so. Here are five tips to follow before buying a used sports car.

1. Some important wear-and-tear parts most likely need to be replaced

A customer checks out a used Corvette at a dealership.
A customer checks out a used Corvette at a dealership. | Getty Images

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When shopping around for a used sports car, make sure to take a good look at its tires and get a feel for its brakes and clutch. Sports car owners typically drive their cars harder than other cars, so those parts wear out quickly. A long test drive will tell you a lot about the car, so spend at least 20 to 30 minutes driving it before buying it.

2. The fluids will probably need to be changed

If you’re buying a sports car, then it’s safe to assume that the fluids need to be changed once the title changes hands. Unless the current owner can show you service records that can prove otherwise, you should budget to change the fluids, reports Autoguide. Don’t just change the oil and coolant either. Remember to change the transmission, power steering, brake, and differential fluid as well since sports cars tend to be hard on those components.

3. Assume that the sports car you’re buying has been used and abused

A customer goes on a test drive in a used Chevrolet Corvette.
A customer goes on a test drive in a used Chevrolet Corvette. | Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Let’s face it, car owners are much harder on sports cars due to their athletic nature. That means you can assume that the engine has been taken to redline as much as possible, and the suspension has seen better days. In that case, it’s important to take a close look to check for any body damage, scratched body panels, and suspension issues when checking out a used sports car.

4. Check if the car still has a warranty

The price tag belonging to a Dodge Challenger is pictured at a CarMax.
The price tag belonging to a Dodge Challenger is pictured at a CarMax. | Getty Images

Did you know that you can check if a used car still has a warranty? You can take note of the car’s VIN and then take it to the dealership where the car has been serviced. The service advisor should be able to tell you some of the car’s service history and let you know if there’s still a warranty on the car. Also, remember to get a Carfax or Autocheck report to look into the car’s history.

5. Know that you may need to do some repairs after buying it

When buying a used car, especially a used sports car, it’s safe to assume that you’ll likely need to have some repair work done after you buy it. It’s a bummer, but luckily, a good pre-purchase inspection should tell you what the car needs. Before purchasing the car, take it to a qualified mechanic and have an inspection done so that you know what you’re getting into. Depending on the shop, the inspection should only cost around $75 to $150, which could save you thousands in the long run.

Buying a used sports car

Used Chevrolet Camaros and Ford Mustangs are displayed for sale at a CarMax.
Used Chevrolet Camaros and Ford Mustangs are displayed for sale at CarMax. | Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Purchasing a used sports car is not too unlike purchasing any other used car. The main difference is that you’ll need to take extra precautions when it comes to the car’s maintenance and service needs since sports cars are driven harder than other cars. At the very least, get a pre-purchase inspection done; you’ll be glad you did.

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