Buying a sports car brand new and driving it off the lot is certainly an experience, but with new cars losing up to 9% of their purchase price as soon as you climb in the driver's seat, there's a lot to be said about buying used.

Of course, if you're thinking about getting a used sports car, considering certain aspects — like how to find the parts to handle maintenance and repairs and the availability of service in your area — should factor into your decision. In this guide, we'll explain how to find a high quality used sports car and make a purchase that you won't regret.

Choosing The Right Used Sports Car

Before you commit to purchasing a used sports car, you should consider several factors that could impact the longevity of the vehicle and your financial situation.

  • Do your research: Buying a used sports car certainly has its advantages. For instance, it gives you the opportunity to look at reports regarding the specific model and year and how much maintenance it has required from other owners. You can also look into vehicle recalls and any reported issues with the car.
  • Look at Values: A car that's a few years old is likely to bottom out, meaning its value will either continuing depreciating year-over-year or — in some cases — hold steady at a certain point for a few years to come. Older classics, on the other hand, may see appreciation as time goes on. Knowing what to expect as far as the historical price point of the car you're buying will help you make an informed decision.
  • Consider Your Goals: Are you buying a sports car as an investment hoping it will hold its value or even increase in value? Or, are you just looking to save money off the cost of a new sports car and get a used one that you can enjoy? Think about your goals and motivations and make sure they align with the specific make, model, and year you're considering.

Ultimately, a used sports car can save you thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars off the purchase price of a new vehicle, but you need to consider how much you're putting into the car alongside things like its condition, repair needs, and so on. Fully understanding your financial obligations and the car's expected useful life is important.

Considerations When Buying a Used Sports Car

Cars and trucks of all makes and models need repair at some point, but certain sports cars can be higher maintenance than a typical commuter vehicle. You probably already know that, but if you haven't factored in the need for a quality parts source, spend a few minutes looking around your area.

If you need parts for restoration, repair, or future needs, you can always check salvage yards. They generally have cars and trucks of all kinds, though a rare sports car will be more difficult to track down, so think about that aspect before purchasing. Another option is to find new old stock parts or a source of new reproduction parts.

In addition to auto parts themselves, you'll also need someone to install those car parts and offer the specialty service that a sports car needs. Remember to factor in the cost of maintenance and service over time, and research how often you can expect to be in the shop for the car based on its model and the year of manufacture. It pays to connect with car owners and enthusiasts to receive their expert opinion on the subject.

How to Find Used Sports Cars for Sale

Upon looking over your options and you've decided on a used sports car you're interested in, there comes the next question: Where can I find a great deal? The good news is that you have several options to begin your search.

Dealerships

Buying a used sports car at a dealership gives you the opportunity to browse multiple used cars at once and test drive them on the spot. However, extensive detailing can be deceptive and lead you to believe that a car is in much better condition than it actually is. Dealerships also substantially mark up fees, which reduces the appeal of a transaction.

Local Individuals

Depending on where you live, there may be a small selection of used sports cars for sale within your local area. That means driving around and looking for "for sale" signs in windows or asking local auto shops may be enough to lead you in the right direction. However, for most people, the local market limits their selection, where they turn to online resources to broaden their options.

PrivateAuto

If you're considering a used sports car, you can find it on PrivateAuto. Whether it's in your local area or across the country, we provide secure communication, electronic signatures, state eDocuments, and more, making it a breeze to buy your dream car. PrivateAuto offers the tips and tools buyers and sellers need to ensure a smooth deal.

Interested in learning more? Ready to start your search? Simply visit PrivateAuto and start looking for your new-to-you sports car today.