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Top tips for buying a sports carBack

PorscheBoxsterIf you’re considering buying a sports car, you may have money to burn, but don’t get too carried away. The more expensive a car, the more likely it is that you could get ripped off if you enter the showroom unprepared.

For those on a budget, your dreams of owning a sports car can still be recognised thanks to an increasing number of affordable sports cars now available that are fun and easy to drive. Our personal favourites include the latest Mazda MX-5 Miata and the fast and furious Porsche Boxster.

Follow Trusted Dealers’ top tips below to help you decide which model of sports car is best suited to your needs.

Which type?

Most sports cars come in two body styles, a closed roof coupe or an open top convertible. It boils down to personal taste which one you decide to go for, but if you do opt for a convertible be aware that you’ll have less security and wind and road noise will obviously be more prevalent on journeys. Choosing a convertible with a retractable solid metal roof is a good option, but you may lose luggage space in the boot as this is where the folding hard top will sit when in convertible mode.

Will it suit my lifestyle?

If a sports car is the only car you’ll own, you may struggle to fit the weekly shop in the boot or luggage for a weekend away, and if there are more than two of you to consider, you’ll be restricted to what you can buy to seat children. There are four seater coupes and four seater convertible cars available, but the amount of rear legroom, headroom and boot space is much less than a conventional hatchback.

How practical is it?

Even if the sports car will be your second or third household  car, it is still well worth exploring the practicalities of the car. How easy it is to get in and out? What is the interior space like? Is the driving position and seat comfortable? What is the boot space like? These are all questions worth considering before you buy.

Can I afford it?

Sports cars are expensive. Not only do they cost a lot to purchase, they are costly to run due to fuel consumption, tax, servicing and parts. Insurance on a sports car will also be considerably higher, particularly if you fit into the 17-25 year old age bracket, where premiums could become astronomical. Depreciation is one of the areas where you might be able to cash in at resale. Second-hand sports cars are popular and if you choose the right model with plenty of equipment, you could be quids in.

Choosing the performance

Buying a sports car will usually guarantee you a certain level of performance. If you’re looking for the ultimate in power and handling, look for sports cars with five star reviews in these areas. It goes without saying that some of the best renowned sports cars will offer excellent performance such as the Audi R8, the Porsche 911 and the BMW 6 Series. Some of the more accessible cars such as the Audi TT, Mazda MX-5 and the Nissan GT-R all offer great performance too.

What spec shall I buy?

Choose the spec of your sports car carefully as there are some makes and models that will be highly favoured at resale. Paying a little extra for a certain model may guarantee less depreciation of the car, so make sure you look at the depreciation figures for the model you are considering before you buy. Additional elements that could effect the sale price are colour, alloy wheels and a leather trim – most purchasers will expect decent alloys and a leather trim on premium sports cars.

Buying on a budget

Not all sports cars are expensive. Cars such as the Mazda MX-5 start at £18,500 new and have highly successful sales rates thanks to the lower price tag which doesn’t compromise the car’s fun factor or its performance. Other cheaper sports cars include the Mini Coupe, VW Scirocco and Subaru BRZ which all come in under £25,000.

Practice makes perfect

If you’re not used to the style of driving a sports car commands, it is well worth brushing up on your driving skills. Some manufacturers even offer training courses as part of the purchase package using their own cars. Many cars are rear-wheel drive to achieve the sharpest handling and steering, and therefore require more skill to manoeuvre than a car with front-wheel drive. Be careful to avoid oversteer and be more cautious if driving in slippery and snowy weather where rear-wheel drive becomes trickier.

Posted by Leana Kell on 25/03/2016