If you are in the market for a second-hand sports car then there are a few things which you need to think about before you start handing over the cash. Used sports cars come with a few potential issues which you need to be aware of and look out for, to ensure you don’t end up driving away with a dud car.
But with our useful checklist about what you should know, you are in good hands and hopefully will walk away with a great used sports car and no nasty surprises.
1. When working out your budget, include potential part replacements
When buying a used sports car in particular, the chances are it may have been a toy for a boy racer and not very well maintained potentially, so when planning a budget, you need to be prepared for potential replacement costs as well. Things like the tyres, brake pads, and potentially the clutch, might not necessarily be in the best of health and might need replacing. Bear this in mind when budgeting.
2. Always get a mechanic to look at the car first
Largely because of the above point, it’s always good to have a mechanic friend, or pay a local mechanic to give the car the once over. With sports cars in particular, they may have been used and abused by the previous owner so you don’t want any nasty surprises. A mechanic can advise you of any potential major issues before you buy. Some sellers will try to palm off a used car just before it needs a major repair so make sure you are not one of those buyers. The last thing you want is to have to fork out for a major problems just weeks after buying your new ride.
3. Assume that all of the fluids need changing
You can’t really know for sure so it’s best to assume that the fluids in the car haven’t been changed recently, or ever, so make sure you have budgeted for a fluid refresh when you buy the car. If the car has high mileage this is particularly important for its long term maintenance. You will need to consider the costs of changing the oil, coolant, transmission, brake and power steering fluids. Make sure all of these are changed as soon as possible after you take the car home.
It may be that your used sports car has been well looked after but unless there are service receipts and records to prove it, it’s best to err on the side of caution and assume fluids haven’t been changed.
4. Check for signs the car has been driven hard
With a used sports car, the chances are that it will have been driven hard and fast by previous owners so make sure to check for signs like damage to the body, suspension damage, damage to the bottoms of the bumpers to see if parking wasn’t carried out carefully. It’s always best to get a professional inspection carried out so that you can check if the car has ever been in a high speed crash as well. Make sure you check the car thoroughly for any signs of damage, before signing on the dotted line.
5. Check the warranty details
Even if the car has some warranty time left on it, check out the details because any modifications to the car, or missed services, will have voided the warranty and left you without one potentially, so make sure to check all of the paperwork. Never just assume the warranty is fine, particularly on a sports car, as the chances are it’s now void. You can always buy your own new one for added peace of mind if you want to.
6. Check the car’s background
If you are buying from a private seller, or potentially a dealer as well, it’s a good idea to check the car’s background and you can do this through car organisations. Make sure there is no outstanding finance unpaid on the car, or worse, that it’s actually a stolen car! Make sure it has all the right paperwork and check that it hasn’t been written off previously as this could cause you insurance problems when you get to that stage.
We spoke to Darren from bigmotoringworld.co.uk who told us, “We always provide HPI checks with our cars. They check for things like outstanding finance, whether the car has been stolen, or if it has been involved in an accident.”
Buying a used sports car can be incredibly exciting, after all, you are getting a whole new set of wheels, particularly if you have never owned a sporty car before. However, there can be pitfalls, particularly if you don’t know the car’s history and previous ownership.
So to avoid nasty surprises, and escalating repair bills, make sure you carry out these six checks before you part with any cash on the car of your dreams.