Best cheap supercars

We've all trawled the internet looking at cheap supercars at some point, to save you the trouble here are some performance bargains

Brand new supercars and top-end sports cars are out of most people’s price range, however, if you’re prepared to shop around on the used car market you might just be able to make that performance car dream a reality.

A cheap supercar from the second hand car market is a cost-efficient way of accessing the kind of thrills and style that only these types of vehicles can offer. With the right model you’ll be doing so for quite a bit less than a manufacturer would charge for something factory fresh. And that should only add to the adrenaline.

What’s more, high-end cars don’t tend to do anything like the annual mileage that might be achieved by, say, a saloon used for commuting to work, or a hatchback used running errands around town. That means the list of potential faults could well be smaller, giving you more peace of mind should you decide to part with your hard-earned cash.

A word of caution though: supercars are also types of vehicle that owners like to drive hard and when things do go wrong, they tend to be expensive to put right. It all means it’s essential to see evidence of careful maintenance before you agree to a deal. It’s always a good idea to review a vehicle’s service history to ensure there are no catastrophic issues lurking under the bonnet, and we would always advise asking a professional mechanic for their opinion too.

If everything checks out then you’ll the envy of everyone you know before you can say ‘cheap supercar’. As is the case with most vehicles, everybody’s tastes are different, but we’ve come up with a list of supercars that should act as a good starting point without costing the earth below...

Aston Martin DB9

  • We found: DB9 auto (2007/07, 35k miles)
  • Price new: £112,354
  • Price used: £31,250
  • Engine: 6.0-litre V12, 470bhp  
  • Economy: 17.1mpg  
  • CO2: 394g/km  
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

With its DBX SUV and a range of electrified models in the pipeline, Aston Martin is on a roll. Yet its current success can be traced back to the DB9, which catapulted the British brand into the big time when it was launched in 2003.  

Even now, nearly 20 years on, the gorgeous grand tourer looks great, while its cosseting interior mixes hand-crafted luxury with effortless style. At its heart is a creamy-smooth V12 engine that delivers a knockout punch and helps the Aston feel as comfortable crossing continents as it is tackling twisting back roads. Of course, it’s not cheap to run, but at prices like these you can afford to put some cash aside for fuel and servicing.

BMW i8

  • We found: Coupé (2015/15, 54k miles)
  • Price new: £96,385
  • Price used: £37,000
  • Engine: 1.5-litre 3cyl turbo petrol/electric, 357bhp  
  • Economy: 134.5mpg 
  • CO2: 49g/km  
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

The stunning i8 arguably predicted the current demand for eco-friendly high-performance machines. But the buying public wasn’t quite ready for it in 2014, and hefty depreciation now makes it a cracking used buy.

Under the composite bodywork is a 228bhp 1.5-litre turbo three-cylinder engine and electric starter generator that drives the rear wheels, plus a 129bhp motor up front. Performance is electrifying, with 0-62mph taking 4.5 seconds, yet the i8 can also travel up to 23 miles in electric mode. 

Balanced mid-engined handling means it’s great to drive, while a classy cabin and loads of kit make it easy to live with. BMW is pulling the plug on the i8 this year, so buy now since it’s likely to gain instant classic status.

Lamborghini Gallardo

  • We found: Spyder E-Gear (2008/08, 25k miles)
  • Price new: £139,305
  • Price used: £67,450
  • Engine: 5.0-litre V10, 520bhp  
  • Economy: 16.6mpg  
  • CO2: 400g/km  
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

Few cars scream ‘supercar’ like a Gallardo. With its classic profile, howling V10 and blistering pace, the Gallardo serves-up high-octane excitement by the bucketload. 

Better still, the Spyder’s folding roof gets you closer to that motor, while four-wheel drive means the Lambo is surprisingly user-friendly. Running costs are eye-watering and a full service history is essential, but this car is more robust than most Italian exotics.

Nissan GT-R

  • We found: GT-R (2009/59, 73k miles)
  • Price new: £56,395
  • Price used: £26,990
  • Engine: 3.7-litre twin-turbo V6, 478bhp 
  • Economy: 22.8mpg  
  • CO2: 298g/km  
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

You don’t get much more bang for your buck than with a GT-R. It has been humbling far more expensive rivals since 2007, and is one of the quickest ways to get from A to B. 

There are plenty of models to choose from, but be wary of tuned cars, and make sure any potential purchase has never missed out on maintenance. Choose carefully, though, and you’ll have one of the biggest performance car bargains of the last two decades.

Audi R8

  • We found: 4.2 FSI V8 Coupé (2008/58, 54k miles)
  • Price new: £76,825
  • Price used: £30,000
  • Engine: 4.4-litre V8, 414bhp  
  • Economy: 20.3mpg  
  • CO2: 349g/km  
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

Is there really such a thing as a sensible supercar? In the case of the Audi R8 the answer has to be a resounding ‘yes’. Thrilling to drive, yet as easy to live with as an A3 hatchback, this all-aluminum masterpiece makes a cracking used choice. 

The growling V8 offers thundering performance, while standard quattro four-wheel drive provides agile and entertaining handling. The interior is spacious, well equipped and easy to see out of, while the top-notch build quality you’d expect in an Audi means problems are few and far between. Unlike its more exotic rivals, the R8 is a car you can buy with your heart and your head.

Mercedes-AMG GT

  • We found: GT S (2015/15, 45k miles)
  • Price new: £110,500
  • Price used: £53,495
  • Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, 503bhp 
  • Economy: 30.1mpg
  • CO2: 219g/km 
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

More old-school muscle car than highly strung thoroughbred, the Mercedes-AMG GT is bursting with character. With head-turning looks, thumping V8 power and playful rear-wheel-drive handling, this low-slung two-seater manages to stimulate the senses on every journey.

The S is the most desirable version, with a jump in power to 503bhp, plus extra driver modes, adaptive dampers and a sports exhaust that helps the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre motor deliver a bellowing soundtrack.

As you’d expect, performance is sensational, with 0-62mph taking just 3.8 seconds. Point the long nose into a series of corners and you’ll discover quick steering, cast-iron body control and limpet-like grip, but with the sense of fun we know and love from AMG.

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

McLaren MP4-12C

  • We found: 3.8 Auto (2011/61, 34k miles, £65,999)
  • Price new: £168,500
  • Price used: £65,999
  • Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8, 592bhp 
  • Economy: 24.2mpg  
  • CO2: 279g/km  
  • Euro NCAP: N/A

Designed to beat Ferrari, the 12C established McLaren as a supercar force. With a carbon-fibre chassis, high-revving V8 and a rapid-fire twin-clutch gearbox, the mid-engined Macca is a technological tour de force. 

However, the electronically controlled suspension is the star, giving race-car poise and executive-car comfort. Few cars offer as much excitement for the money, but make sure a potential buy has updated software.

Now read our list of the best track day cars on sale....

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