To some, the idea of owning an exotic car seems like a far-off fantasy. I hear all the reasons now, ranging from your partner hating it to running costs, but what puts most people off is the car’s MSRP. Now, that’s fair. Exotic cars are exotic for a reason, they’re fast, ridiculous, and often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. That being said, they don’t always. If you buy a used exotic car, you can get all that performance and those beautiful looks for a fraction of the original cost. In this article, we’re going to give you the knowledge you need to find your dream used car.
We’re not talking about sending you to a trade school here, but having some basic knowledge of the car you want to buy is essential. Look at how much it usually sells for. Are there any years or series that had particularly bad problems? What are the most common issues on this model?
Set A Budget
It’s easy to go into the marketplace with no expectations. You’ve got some cash in your account, let’s see what you can get for it. That’s the wrong attitude. Set yourself a budget and stick to it. If need be, lower your budget to a range that will allow you to buy a car with some issues.
It might be tempting to just head down to a dealership, but you’d be missing out on a lot of other avenues to supercar glory. Scour the small ads of your local paper, and look at online listings sites, such as this very one.
Time Your Purchase
This is only useful if you’re buying from a dealer rather than a private seller. Dealers don’t like having cars sitting around taking up floor space. They want to sell them quickly. If you can wait, then sitting pretty until the dealer has had the car for 90 days or so is a sure-fire way to negotiate a good price.
Set Dealers Against Each Other
If you’re buying from a dealer, and the car you want isn’t particularly rare, try to find another reasonably local dealer selling the same car. If they’re selling it for a better price, get in touch with the other dealership and let them know. They may well drop their own price. Just be honest. If no one is selling the car at a better price, don’t try and rob them blind by lying.
Take It For A Test Drive
It doesn’t get any more important than this. Take the car for a damn test drive. Make notes of the car’s interior, and any dings. See how it drives. How does it shift gears? How’s the power curve? If all goes well, this will be the car you drive away in, so make sure it’s in good shape.
Check The Vehicle’s History
Good lord this is so important. I think most people are well aware of just how important this is, but it does bear repeating. Check the service history. It doesn’t matter what the person selling it says, if the work hasn’t been documented, it didn’t happen. Other useful info you should get include CarFax reports and ownership history.
Look For Signs Of Track Usage
Are the tires showing a lot of wear? Is the suspension more worn than it really should be given the car’s age? Has it had a tow hook mounted to it? If any of these are true, this car has probably seen heavy usage on the race track, and should be discounted accordingly.
Check For Overspray
Can you see any areas where the paintwork looks particularly haphazard? If so, this is overspray, and it’s a bad sign. Not only does this indicate that the car hasn’t been well looked after, it’s also a sign that the car could have been in a wreck.
Get The Car Inspected
Even if you’ve taken a good look at the car yourself, this still applies. While you may have to purchase a car with a few knocks or blemishes, there shouldn’t be anything terribly wrong. Even if the car looks fine and dandy on the surface, it’s no guarantee that there’s not a nasty surprise lurking under the hood. Get an expert in. Preferably this would be a mechanic at a performance shop.
Checklist When Buying Exotic Cars
Tips on Buying Your First Supercar
10 Tips For Selling Classic Cars