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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.

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Buying a used car - your complete guide

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.

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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...

Best cheap supercars and sports cars

Audi R8

 

We found: 4.2 FSI V8 Coupé 2dr manual (2009/09-reg, 54k miles)Price new: £79,420Now: £34,995Engine: 4.2-litre V8, 414bhpEconomy: 20.3mpgCO2: 332g/kmEuro NCAP: N/A

Amazingly, you can currently buy a bespoke, V8-engined supercar with an open-gated manual gearshift for similar money to a new high-spec family model. You won’t only have one or two examples to choose from, either, as there are plenty of R8s on the second-hand market with sensible-mileage low prices. If you’re looking for a great-value supercar, this is absolutely it.

Used Audi R8 review

The current Audi R8 is V10 powered and automatic only, so enthusiasts might prefer the added connection offered by this original manual model. Also, the 4.2-litre V8 is a fantastic unit, delivering low-down punch and high-rev power in equal measure, accompanied by a beautiful bellow.

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The chassis is also a delight, with its clever four-wheel-drive system that maximises traction yet boosts fun, too. Then there are the looks; the R8 is ageing gracefully, and mixes the dramatic design of a supercar with the classier brand image that Audi has cultivated. It’s also easy to use every day, as the seats are comfortable and the controls simple to navigate. Beware of high running costs, however.

Honda NSX

We found: 3.0 Auto (1991/J-reg, 46k miles)Price new: £68,885Now: £44,950Engine: 3.0-litre V6, 270bhpEconomy: N/ACO2: N/AEuro NCAP: N/A

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Far from being a troubled initial attempt, Honda’s first supercar launched as one of the world’s best drivers’ cars. It played high-end auto makers such as Ferrari at their own game and gave them a real run for their money thanks to a sublime chassis and screaming mid-mounted V6.

Values are appreciating as enthusiasts flock to slightly older models that provide more feel and feedback than some modern cars. And while it’s not technically half of its new price, if you adjust for inflation, the £68,885 launch value is equivalent to over £153,000 in today’s money.

Ferrari F430

We found: 4.3 F1 (2005/54-reg, 10k miles)Price new: £124,502Now: £55,995Engine: 4.3-litre V8, 476bhpEconomy: 15.4mpgCO2: 420g/kmEuro NCAP: N/A

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If you’re going to buy a supercar, it’s likely you’ve at least considered a mid-engined Ferrari at some point – and the F430 could well be the one for you. With its powerful 4.3-litre V8 and dramatic styling, this model can’t be mistaken for anything other than a thoroughbred.

Best supercars 2019

The F430 was significantly revised over the old 360 to boost stiffness, improve handling and modernise the styling. It sold out in its first year, as wealthy new buyers flocked to get hold of the latest Ferrari – and yet now, you can pick one up for less than half the price.

Porsche 911 Turbo

We found: 997 Turbo (2007/56-reg, 74k miles)Price new: £97,895Now: £42,950Engine: 3.6-litre flat-six, 473bhpEconomy: 22.1mpgCO2: 307g/kmEuro NCAP: N/A

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No collection of supercars would be complete without a Porsche 911 Turbo. We found a 997-generation model for just under half of its new price – but you’ll have to be quick, because 911s are rapidly appreciating in value.

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With a top speed of 193mph and 0-62mph in only 3.9 seconds, the Porsche leaves most other cars on the road trailing, yet it’s not all about straight-line muscle. The 911 is also sublime to drive, with great steering, wonderful balance and superb damping. It’s a rare combination of driving pleasure and everyday usability.

Aston Martin DBS

We found: 6.0 V12 Touchtronic (2008/58-reg, 63k)Price new: £166,442Now: £64,950Engine: 6.0-litre V12, 510bhpEconomy: 18.2mpgCO2: 367g/kmEuro NCAP: N/A

It’s all about how you feel behind the wheel in a supercar, and if you want to feel like a superstar then a DBS is a brilliant option. Aston Martin’s V12 beauty was driven (and famously barrel-rolled) by James Bond in Casino Royale, so it has great movie kudos as well.

Whether or not you’re a 007 fan, the DBS is a brilliant choice with its adaptive suspension, aluminium chassis and powerful brakes, not to mention that 510bhp V12 engine. And while it has only two seats – unlike the DB9 on which it was based – that won’t deter supercar lovers. 

Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder

We found: Spyder (2007/07-reg, 53k miles)Price new: £133,055Now: £65,990Engine: 5.0-litre V10, 513bhpEconomy: 16.6mpgCO2: 400g/kmEuro NCAP: N/A

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The Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder is a supercar through and through, with bold looks and a stunning soundtrack. The noise comes courtesy of a 5.0-litre V10 mounted behind the cabin, which also delivers the kind of performance the striking exterior would lead you to expect.

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Blistering acceleration and four-wheel drive make the most of the 513bhp, and while the steering isn’t the greatest, there’s balance, theatre and just enough involvement. The cabin is a pleasing blend of quality thanks to Lambo’s Audi ownership and Italian style.

Nissan GT-R

We found: GT-R (2009/09-reg, 65k miles)Price new: £54,495Now: £26,995Engine: 3.8-litre V6, 478bhpEconomy: 22.7mpgCO2: 298g/kmEuro NCAP: N/A

If you’re going to buy a supercar, it’s likely you’ve at least considered a mid-engined Ferrari at some point – and the F430 could well be the one for you. With its powerful 4.3-litre V8 and dramatic styling, this model can’t be mistaken for anything other than a thoroughbred.

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The F430 was significantly revised over the old 360 to boost stiffness, improve handling and modernise the styling. It sold out in its first year, as wealthy new buyers flocked to get hold of the latest Ferrari – and yet now, you can pick one up for less than half the price.

McLaren 12C

We found: 3.8 S-Auto (2013/13-reg, 35k miles)Price new: £168,500Now: £74,990Engine: 3.8-litre V8, 616bhpEconomy: 24.2mpgCO2: 279g/kmEuro NCAP: N/A

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McLaren’s first model after the legendary F1 was an instant hit, and the MP4/12C demolished the Ferrari 458 in terms of handling, braking and accelaration. With striking looks and stunning performance, it has everything you want from a supercar.

Body roll is non-existent, power delivery ferocious and handling razor sharp. The seven-speed gearbox is rapid but also silky smooth, offering up the next gear without any hesitation. Grip and steering precision are race car like, yet the surprisingly supple ride, great visibility and good practicality make it a supercar you can live with. At way under half the original price, the 12C makes a for very tempting buy. 

BMW i8

We found: BMW i8 (2014/64-reg, 78k miles)Price new: £111,190Now: £42,990Engine: 1.5-litre 3cyl plus electric motor, 362bhpEconomy: 134.5mpgCO2: 49g/kmEuro NCAP: N/A

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Who says an exotic sports car has to cost a lot to run? Despite its futuristic looks, the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid could be cheaper than an eco supermini. Its carbon-fibre chassis and electric motors make it one of the most hi- tech cars on the road, while its 1.5-litre engine boosts power to 362bhp to provide strong performance, too.

The lightweight body makes it really agile and fun to drive, yet the BMW is also comfortable enough for daily use. Plug in at home or at work, and you could even use it on electric power only for 15 miles or so.

Jaguar XKR-S

We found: 5.0 V8 (2011/61-reg, 51k miles)Price new: £96,345Now: £36,950Engine: 5.0-litre V8, 542bhpEconomy: 23.0mpgCO2: 292g/kmEuro NCAP: N/A

Before the F-Type was launched, Jaguar decided to add a special high-performance model to its ageing XK sports car range. That swansong was the XKR-S.

A 542bhp 5.0-litre supercharged V8 gave a 4.2-second 0-62mph time, while sending all that power to the rear wheels made for lively handling. Yet even when simply cruising there’s plenty of enjoyment to be had. We found a 50,000-miler for around £37,000 – £15,000 less than a four-cylinder, entry-level F-Type. 

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