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Guide : Buying Your First Sports Car

Guides  /   /  By Shannon McIntosh

So you’ve always wanted to buy a “sports car” and you’ve finally decided to go for it, but you don’t even know where to start? Buying a sports car can be overwhelming for many reasons. Many buyers can’t decide and end up buying on impulse after they are won over by a good salesman. It’s important to know exactly what you want before you start shopping.

The process of buying a vehicle almost always starts out by looking at your budget. Your options would be limitless if you didn’t have one, so with that in mind – you should create a relative range and keep that in consideration as you see the categories below that help a car buyer narrow his or her options and enable him/her to make their best purchase.

Lexus LFA

Type of Sports Car
Today, sports cars fit into many categories so it is important to decide if you’d like a sedan or a coupe. Although sedans are not often thought of as sports cars, there are many sporty (and fast) sedans that allow you to get the sports car experience you are looking for, but also, not compromise your need for space. If this new purchase will not be your daily driver, your options may be more flexible. However, you may have clients or family that you would like to take in your “fun ride” every now and then, so don’t outweigh a sedan which will provide (in most cases) a bigger back seat and more trunk space.

A two-seater coupe is particularly great for those who plan to only utilize their sports car occasionally and not on an every day basis, but this doesn’t mean it couldn’t be your daily driver. Use your best judgment.

Porsche Carrera GT

After you have an idea of what ‘type’ of sports car you want, you should select a few makes (or brands) that you want to look into. All brands typically have their own look and feel that make up their style – from the way the car looks to the way the car handles. Some people have an affinity for certain makes of vehicles based on where they’re manufactured because of the style they possess as created by their engineers.

A few of the most popular brands categorized by country:

American: Chrysler, Ford, and GM (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet)
British: Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lotus, McLaren, MINI, Rolls-Royce
German: Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volkswagen
Italian: Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Ferrari, Fiat, Lamborghini, Maserati
Japan: Honda/Acura), Toyota/Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan/Infiniti, Subaru
South Korea: Hyundai and Kia

Original Mini

Once you’ve decided the manufacturers that you’d like to look at and identified each brand’s sports car(s), you can take a look at mechanics and make your comparisons. If you’re decidedly set on massive power and sporty feel, the bigger the engine and the higher the horsepower will be the way to go. If you are balancing a tight budget, your range in choices for high horsepower vehicles will narrow, making your selection just a little easier.

If you want a sporty car but are unsure of the options you’d like, take a look at a few things:


Most vehicles will have the option of automatic or manual. Many manual cars today can switch between automatic and manual, which is typically paddle shifters on the steering wheel. If the manual shifting is not located on the steering wheel or shift lever, the vehicle will most likely be a 5 or 6 speed in which you will need to shift every time you drive it. So take into consideration the type of driving you’ll be doing and if you’re in stop and go traffic often, you may check into the automatic options. For a true sports car feel, many will recommend a true manually shifting vehicle.

Editor’s note: with the pressure to improve fuel economy, many new modern cars now have 7 and 8-speed automatics. The new Corvette Stingray has a 7-speed manual.

Chevrolet Camaro SS

Many vehicles on the road are front wheel drive, but in the sports car sector, options open up in this category a bit. For a true race car feel, try out some rear wheel drive (RWD) and all wheel drive (AWD) vehicles such as the BMW M3 (RWD), Nissan GT-R (AWD), Subaru BRZ (RWD) or Subaru WRX (AWD). These cars handle very differently than the standard front wheel drive vehicle.

When buying your first sports car, the handling category should be decided based on what you like when you test drive your choices. Some cars may feel a bit rigid because they are built for speed and agility whereas others may feel as though they “hug” the road differently. Depending on how you plan to drive daily, you should assess this based on your preference. Will you be taking your sports car on a race track? Are you buying more for appearance and still concerned about comfort? Don’t over think it.

Before You Buy
Do your research. There are many resources to visit that will help you make your choice based on expert reviews on particular cars and even videos to liven up the process.

Aside from knowing categories to pay attention to and choices to make before you begin your quest, you’ll need to make sure you are aware of how to purchase a vehicle on eBay Motors.

To do this, you should visit our Vehicle Buyer Services page which has pre-purchase and post-purchase guides to assist with  online buying experience with eBay. Make sure you take the steps necessary not only to vet your seller, but to make sure your car is safe and has a clean history.

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  1. Eric January 7, 2014 at 4:29 pm Reply

    In my experience, before you even think of pulling the trigger on buying a sports car, think about the following. If it is a recent model, a dependable driver, make sure that it is the kind of car you will want to drive every day. Most sports cars are very low, so, they bump the curbs, they scrape the speed bumps, they are hard to get into and out of, and the view of the road is lousy. Also, sports cars are almost always small. Little if any backseat passenger room. Little if any truck/storage space. If you have a home and go to the local home depot often, you are going to need to have a 2nd car, or borrow/rent one. Now, if the car is not newer, if it is vintage, i.e., breaks down a lot, has to be serviced often, is in need of renovation/painting/new engine, tranny etc etc etc. You will need a second car. Bottom line is this. Only buy a sports car, if you are willing to drive it every single day, be constantly borrowing or renting other cars, don’t have any friends or groceries to speak or, don’t mind being without a car for a while, or you have a second car. A garage is nice too. Oh, and a lot of extra money.

  2. Tradeyourwreck July 27, 2017 at 8:30 am Reply

    These cars looks great, but when you are buying a new one the most important thing to do is set a budget and then go forward.

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