Depreciation is a terrible thing if you buy new cars, but it can be an amazing thing if you’re like me and love shopping used, because you can get some of the sickest cars on Earth for less than 40% of their original price if you’re just willing to be a little patient.
Today, we’re going to run through some amazing sports cars that you can pick up for less than half their original asking price.
BMW M5 – 66% Off
To start off this list, let’s talk about a twin-turbo 560-horsepower 4.4-liter V8 that just happens to be attached to a luxury car: the 2015 BMW M5. When it first hit the market, the BMW M5 was one of the most talked about cars around the auto journal world, with its face-peeling 0-to-60 time of 4.2 seconds and ultra-plush German interior.
But, you all know what happens as soon as a BMW leaves the lot. That’s right, it gets hit with the depreciation stick, and the M5 got hit really hard. It lost 66% of its value in just 6 short years. That’s like 11% a year. If the trend continues, it’ll be free in 2025. Math works like that, right?
We found one for $38,000 and it could be sitting in your garage right now, making everyone believe you’re a serious high-roller.
Now, I know nothing costs more than a used BMW, and $40,000 isn’t exactly cheap, which is why we have the next car on our list that costs $90,000 less now than it did new.
Maserati GranTurismo – 79% Off
Now, Maserati’s claim to fame is that the engine is built by Ferrari, and the music they play driving down the street is worth the price alone. The problem is that, well, the GranTurismo is about as reliable as your buddy that always says he’ll meet you at the bar, but when he shows up he “forgot his wallet” and will “definitely pay you back next time.” We all have that friend. Don’t be that friend.
The good news is that because they’re so unreliable, their price drops faster than the 1930s stock market, which means you can buy one for a fifth their original cost. We found a 2008 model with under 50,000 miles. To put it into perspective, this V8 Italian sports car lost $2 of value for every mile it travelled. If your Camry was the same way, you’d have to pay people to take it by the time the warranty was up.
But, what if you want something a bit more reliable and a bit less Italian? Well, what’s one of the best-handling, best-sounding cars to come out of Deutschland? The Porsche 987 Fastback, also known as the Cayman.
Porsche Cayman – 67% Off
This baby 911 is named after the small, ferocious cousin of the alligator, which is fitting because the Cayman is smaller than its Carrera counterpart. But don’t let that fool you, the Cayman is regularly called one of the best driver’s cars you can get. In fact, rumor has it that with some upgrades, the Cayman can run the ring faster than its big brother. But, Porsche wants to protect the purity of the 911 lineage.
Regardless of the rumor, this mid-engine, rear-wheel drive go-kart is an absolute blast to drive, and you can pick one up for cheap. While they definitely didn’t depreciate as much as other cars on our list, you’re still looking at nearly 70% off MSRP for the first generation. Just act fast, because they’re starting to go up in value, which honestly makes them one of the most ideal deals on this list. You might be able to buy one now, drive the pants off it, and sell it for more than you bought it for.
If that sounds like a great plan, you should know that we found one for $20,000. Just be careful with that IMS bearing.
Alright, I hear you, you want something that’s got more power, but you don’t want to leave the land of beer and pretzels. Worry not, Mercedes-Benz has you covered with the SL550.
Mercedes-Benz SL550 – 84% Off
You can’t have a list of depreciated cars that are awesome without at least one visit to Mercedes Benz. This time, it’s all about the SL550, which is what happens when you cross their big S-Class with a Miata, except Miatas could only dream of making the near-400 horsepower that this beast of a car can make from its 5.5-liter engine. I mean, to be fair, that’s like 3 Miata motors bolted together, so I would hope it makes more power.
But, power alone won’t get you on this list. This list requires some mad depreciation, like maybe 84% off the original price. A 2007 model costs an entire C8 Corvette less than it did while it was new, which is good for you because you can get your butt into a sweet German sports car for about $18,000.
If you live in the snow, though, you might prefer something that’s more all-terrain capable, which is where our next car really shines: the Quattro-powered Audi S5.
Audi S5 – 68% Off
The Audi S5 is the third V8 German car on our list, but if I’m honest, it’s the one I’d buy. The BMW has too much BMW for my liking, plus it’s still pretty expensive. The Mercedes, well, I think I’m just not old enough to appreciate the classic styling yet. But the Audi hits that sweet spot between great looks, awesome power, and all-wheel drive confidence.
Now, the Audi is one of the cheapest cars on our list if you were to buy it new, but that didn’t stop the value from plummeting like it was dropped from an airplane. I don’t know where that’s headed, just know that they’re really cheap now, like less than the price of a used Toyota 86.
We found one for $18,000. You could be driving an all-wheel drive, 4.2-liter Audi sports coupe, or an underpowered hardtop Miata. And that’s not even the best part! See, Audi has this really bad reliability problem. It’s nearly on par with Maserati. But, somehow, their V8s missed the memo and are fairly reliable. This $18,000 Audi might actually be a practical and fun weekend car.
But, it won’t turn heads like the next car on our list. So, if that’s a concern to you, put on a tuxedo, order your martinis shaken, not stirred, and take a look at the Aston Martin DB9.
Aston Martin DB9 – 78% Off
I think this is the best-looking car on our list. Disagree? Let me know in the comments. It’s not the fastest thing you can buy for $40,000, but it’s the one that the valet will take extra note of when you pull up to the hotel.
The DB9 also has the honor of being the biggest loss of value on our list. As a percentage, it rivals the Maserati. But as a dollar amount? Well, let’s put it this way: the difference between the DB9 new and the DB9 used could buy you a house in a lot of parts of the United States.
We found a DB9 for $37,000. That’s $129,000 less than it cost new. You could buy a lot of martinis with the money you’d save. Swirl the vermouth around the glass, then dump it out, top it off with chilled gin and a single olive, and don’t mess with a shaker. That’s a free lesson.
You might be saying, “Wait! I don’t have $40,000!” Neither do I, so how about an honorable mention? Something that you could buy a whole lot cheaper. In no time at all, you could have some American iron in your garage.
Honorable Mention: C5 Corvette – 80% Off
The C5 Corvette, with its 5.7-liter American V8, can go 0 to 60 in under 5 seconds, which is still really damn fast. And get this: no one wants them. But, if you want my honest opinion, the C5 Corvette is probably the absolute highest amount of performance you can get for the money.
And, make no mistake, these things are cheap. I’m talking under $10,000 cheap. Sure, they’re a little old now, but that doesn’t make them any less fun to drive. They might even be more fun to own just because they are bulletproof, and there’s no tech to catch fire.
We found one for $9,000. You’ll have to rip off the crappy plastic, but that’s seriously cheap. Just get one fast, because after 20 years, they’re actually trending up in price.
Alright, last car. What do you think of when you think of Jaguar? Big, broken V12s? Well, yeah, that’s them, but they also make a sports car, one that you can pick up for a fraction of the original price. I’m talking about the F-Type.
Jaguar F-Type – 58% Off
The F-Type is here to finish off our list, not because it’s depreciated really hard, but because it’s mid-depreciation. So, you can keep an eye on it and get it when the metal is glowing hot. See, most of the cars on our list are near their floor, and some, like the Cayman, are starting to creep back up. But the F-Type is in freefall right now, meaning the deals are only going to get sweeter.
Why would you want one? Well, critics used to complain about the F-Type because it drove too much like a racecar. Yeah, seriously, they went in expecting a Jaguar XK, which is basically a marshmallow soaked in scotch, and what they got was an air-gulping monster that runs 0 to 60 in the 4-second area. One report even tried to insult it by calling it an “unrefined Porsche 911,” but honestly, that makes me kind of want it more.
Here’s one for just shy of $30,000, but as I said, keep an eye on it. You might see them as low as $25,000 in a few years, and then you could pick one up for the same price as Prius.