Can You Find Supercars in the Bargain Bucket?

We’ve all been there, spending hours upon hours trawling the internet looking for supercars at a price we can afford. Well, now you don’t have to because we’ve done it for you.

Unless you’re part of the 1% highest earners, buying a new top-end supercar is out of your price range, unless, of course, you’re willing to shop around on the used car market, where finding your dream performance car can become a reality.

Shopping in the used car market is a cost-efficient way of getting your hands on the crème de la crème of cars or motorsport vehicles and experiencing the thrills and style that only these types of cars can offer. Add to the fact that you’re achieving these emotions for a price that can be substantially less than a manufacturer would charge for a factory fresh car only adds to the adrenaline and buzz of the chase and purchase.

The annual mileage on high-end cars also (most of the time) tends to be much lower than a hatchback/ SUV or everyday car for running errands around town, or a saloon used for commuting to work. This means the likelihood of potential faults will be smaller, allowing you more peace of mind spending your hard-earned cash.

A word of warning though: if things do go wrong with a supercar they tend to be expensive to put right, but not as expensive as you may think. It’s wise to do some research on this, so you do not buy the car only to then find out you cannot afford to run and repair it. When looking to buy a car, do make sure you that you see evidence of careful maintenance, before going ahead with a purchase. Be sure to review a vehicle’s service history, first to ensure there are no skeletons lurking under the bonnet. The safest bet would be to ask a professional mechanic for their opinion too.

If all checks out positively then you’ll be the envy of everyone, especially if it’s one of these supercars we’ve found…

Aston Martin DB9

Aston Martin DB9
  • We found: DB9 auto (2007, 28k miles)
  • Price new: £112,354
  • Price used: £39,995
  • Engine: 6.0-litre V12, 470bhp  
  • Economy: 17.1mpg  
  • CO2: 394g/km  
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

With their DBX SUV and a host of electrified models in the pipeline, Aston Martin is on a roll. If you were to wonder where its current success can be traced back to, the answer would be the DB9, which catapulted the British brand into the stratosphere when it was launched in 2003. 

Even now, nearly 20 years later, the luscious grand tourer looks stunning, while its cosseting interior oozes hand-crafted luxury with effortless style. It’s powered by a creamy-smooth V12 engine that delivers a knockout punch and ensures the Aston feels as comfortable over long-haul drives as it does taking on twisting and turning back roads. Of course, it’s not cheap to run, but at cost prices like these you can afford to put aside some cash for fuel and servicing.

I have to say I often think to myself this is a great car for the money, who knows maybe I will look at owning one soon.

Audi R8

Audi R8
  • We found: 4.2 FSI V8 Coupé (2008, 61.5k miles)
  • Price new: £111,640
  • Price used: £35,995
  • Engine: 4.4-litre V8, 414bhp  
  • Economy: 20.3mpg  
  • CO2: 349g/km  
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

If there’s such a thing as a sensible supercar then the Audi R8 has to be it. A total thrill to drive and as easy to live with as an A3 hatchback, this all-aluminum triumph makes a magnificent used choice. 

The howling V8 offers a thumping performance, while standard Quattro four-wheel drive delivers deft and delightful handling. The interior is roomy, well-equipped, and offers a clear view, while the exceptional build quality you’d expect from an Audi means problems are limited to non-existent. Unlike its more extravagant rivals, the R8 is a car you can happily buy with your heart and your head.

BMW i8

BMW i8
  • We found: Coupé (2015, 69k miles)
  • Price new: £124,735
  • Price used: £39,995
  • Engine: 1.5-litre 3cyl turbo petrol/electric, 228bhp  
  • Economy: 134.5mpg 
  • CO2: 49g/km  
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

The glorious i8 may have predicted the current demand for eco-friendly high-performance vehicles. However, the buying public wasn’t quite ready for it in 2014, and some serious depreciation now makes it a fantastic used buy.

Under the hood is a 228bhp 1.5-litre turbo three-cylinder engine, along with an electric starter-generator that powers the rear wheels and a 129bhp motor upfront. Its performance is electrifying, taking 4.5 seconds to get to 62mph, with the ability to travel up to 23 miles in electric mode. 

Balanced mid-engined handling means it’s a joy to drive, while a classy cabin full of all the kit you need makes it easy to live with. Bonus Tip: As BMW is pulling the plug on the i8 this year, if you buy it now it’s likely to gain instant classic status.

Ferrari 360 Spider

Ferrari 360 Spider
  • We found: Spider (2002, 62k miles)
  • Price new: £110,453
  • Price used: £56,995
  • Engine: 3.6-litre V8, 394bhp  
  • Economy: 29.5mpg  
  • CO2: 257.3g/km  
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

This version of the Ferrari 360 was the first mid-engined convertible model from the Italian carmaker. It features a fabric hood that folds down in 20 seconds and is hidden under a rear deck with twin ‘speed humps’, which also conceal the roll-over hoops. Its cockpit has more space in comparison to previous soft-top Ferraris, making the Spider feel like a genuine convertible, rather than a Ferrari with a large sunroof.

Its similarities to the coupe 360M are found in the aluminum frame and composite bodywork, with extra bracing to maintain rigidity. It has undeniably attention-grabbing looks, sensational style and performance, driving as well as the coupe version, and has blistering pace. It still commands high prices, predominantly because it makes up a third of all 360s built, so this used model is the best price currently available.

Lamborghini Gallardo

Lamborghini Gallardo
  • We found: Spyder E-Gear (2008, 23.5k miles)
  • Price new: £139,484
  • Price used: £64,994
  • Engine: 5.0-litre V10, 520bhp  
  • Economy: 16.6mpg  
  • CO2: 400g/km  
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

Not many cars scream ‘supercar’ like a Lamborghini. The Gallardo, with its exemplary profile, roaring V10, and savage pace, serves up high-octane exhilaration by the bucketload. 

On top of this, the Spyder’s folding roof gets that motor closer to you, while four-wheel drive makes the Lambo remarkably user-friendly. A word of warning; the running costs are eye-watering, so a full-service history is essential. Saying that, this car is more robust than many Italian luxury cars.

Maserati GranTurismo

Maserati Granturismo
  • We found: GranTurismo (2008, 20k miles)
  • Price new: £89,900
  • Price used: £27,500
  • Engine: 4.2-litre V8, 400bhp 
  • Economy: 19.8mpg  
  • CO2: 330g/km  
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

The GranTurismo is renowned for the comfort and convenience it delivers for all on board. Its compact and lightweight 4.7-litre purrs like leopard, develops 460hp, 520Nm of torque, and revs to an impressive 7,500 RPMs. The V8 focuses on safety, with an electric opening assist for the boot lid and doors, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control with two rear outlets, automatic headlight activation, and a good deal more. To top it off, it delivers the legendary sound that could only come from a naturally aspirated, all-Italian V8.

Another car I regularly look out for when scouring the interweb for cars/ car prices/ that next purchase. Beautiful.

Mercedes-AMG GT

Mercedes-AMG GT
  • We found: GT S (2015, 44.8k miles)
  • Price new: £97,195
  • Price used: £65,777
  • Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, 503bhp 
  • Economy: 30.1mpg
  • CO2: 219g/km 
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

One could describe the characterful Mercedes-AMG GT as more of an old-school muscle car than a highly strung thoroughbred. With head-turning looks, thundering V8 power, and joyful rear-wheel-drive handling, this low-slung two-seater stimulates the senses on every journey.

The S version is the most desirable, with a leap in power to 503bhp, with extra driver modes, adaptive dampers, and a sports exhaust that makes the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre motor perform a booming soundtrack.

Performance is sensational, as you’d expect, with 0-62mph taking an incredible 3.8 seconds. Take the Merc into a collection of corners and you’ll experience quick steering, cast-iron body control, and astounding grip, but with the sense of pleasure we know and love from AMG.

The cabin is slightly cramped and the ride is hard, but the car won’t cost as much to run as you’d think.

McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren MP4-12C
  • We found: 3.8 Auto (2012, 34k miles)
  • Price new: £168,500
  • Price used: £68,950
  • Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8, 612bhp 
  • Economy: 24.2mpg  
  • CO2: 279g/km  
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

Built to beat Ferrari, the 12C established McLaren as a supercar force to be reckoned with. With its carbon-fibre chassis, high-revving V8, and a quick-fire twin-clutch gearbox, the mid-engined Macca is a technological wonder. 

Despite all of these astounding specs, it’s the MP4’s electronically controlled suspension that blows everything else out of the water, giving it race-car control and executive-car comfort. Not many cars offer as much excitement for the money, but make sure a prospective buy has updated software.

Another car that I monitor prices of regularly. A McLaren for £60-70k, wow, has to be a consideration.

Nissan GT-R

Nissan GT-R
  • We found: GT-R (2009, 73k miles)
  • Price new: £88,365
  • Price used: £26,990
  • Engine: 3.7-litre twin-turbo V6, 478bhp 
  • Economy: 22.8mpg  
  • CO2: 298g/km  
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

The GT-R gives you more bang for your buck than with most other cars in its range. It has been outperforming far more expensive rivals since 2007 and is one of the fastest ways to get from A to B. 

You have a plethora of models to choose from, though be wary of tuned cars, and remember to check any potential purchase hasn’t missed out on maintenance. If you choose carefully you’ll have one of the best performance-car bargains of the last 20 years.

Porsche 911

Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

We found: Carrera Cabriolet (2004, 45k miles)
Price new: £97,000
Price used: £22,000
Engine: 3.6-litre, twin-turbo flat 6, tiptronic S, 320bhp 
Economy: 25mpg
CO2: 274g/km
Euro NCAP: N/A

Arguably the most commercially successful supercar of all time, the Porsche 911 is a desirable car for most petrolheads.

This two-door, 4 seater, high-performance, rear-engined sports car has been around since the 60s, with enhancements made up until today.  The Carrera Cabriolet’s shape is unmistakable due to its iconic flyline and elegant roof lines. 

Fitted with the 3.6-litre engine that produces 320bhp and can cover the 0-62mph sprint in 5.2 seconds. Despite weighing more than the coupé and having no roof, the cabriolet handles deftly and with composure on most roads. Despite lacking the same level of driver engagement as the closed-topped version, it makes up for it in spades with its assault on the senses when you’ve got the roof down. 

This rear-engined, soft-top 911 gives it all when it comes to driver engagement, thrills, and rewards.

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