Did you ever dream of being James Bond driving the Aston Martin DBS in Casino Royale? Perhaps you were thrilled as Daniel Craig's Bond chased down Vesper Lynd's abductors on a dimly lit Montenegro mountain road, when she suddenly appears lying bound in the middle of the road. Bond swerves to avoid her, flipping the DBS a record seven times before crashing onto the grass.
Often movies like this create an emotional affect and might drive the desire to get behind the wheel of a used sports car. However people wanting to recreate an exciting driving experience need to be fair warned of some of the pitfalls of owning one of these sports machines.
Pricey performance parts
Sports cars are put on this earth to be driven with enthusiasm. This means performance parts are introduced for increased demand and stress such as brakes, tyres and clutches to name a few.
It’s unlikely the owner is intentionally trying to pass on their problems to you, but remember they have had their fun, so it pays to check vigilantly for wear.
Used sports cars have likely passed through a few hands before you become the proud new owner, with each previous owner adding their own personal touch to make it ‘special’. Finding a used sports car that hasn’t received a few modifications along the way is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Modifying a vehicle can cause issues with reliability of your car’s engine or its electronics, not to mention if a modification isn’t stated in your insurance policy it can void any future claims.
Key modifications to look out for are:
- Software re-flash to turn up the boost for more power.
- Removing limits which are designed to safeguard your vehicles engine.
- Racing exhaust upgrades, look out for adjustable features that may fail a WoF.
- Lowered / adjustable suspension
Carefree driving and careless maintenance
A sports car is designed to be pushed to the limits and requires a bit more attention than your standard daily driver. Be sure that the current owner has kept up with a regular maintenance schedule. Don’t rely on hearsay - the answer is always unknown until proven with evidence such as receipts.
Do some homework on the particular model you are interested in to ensure you asking the right questions.
- Are the ‘hard to access’ spark plugs overdue for a change?
- Are the transmission and differential fluids due and do they cost their weight in gold?
- Is the timing belt due for replacement?
- Can you afford the ongoing maintenance bills?
If you're buying a used sports car, proceed with caution. Sports cars are often owned by car enthusiasts who are fond of a making a few modifications and drive them hard. Follow our tips, and you should have no trouble buying an excellent used sports car that won't give you too many troubles down the line.