If you want to get into car racing, you will obviously need to find yourself a suitable car for the track. This can be difficult to do if you don’t know where to look, and it can get very expensive very quickly. So, we’ve put together some negotiation tips for buying a track car for cheap.
Our 3 negotiation tips for buying a track car for cheap are:
- Look for leverage
- Use cash when you can
- Always remain patient
There are a lot of things to consider when buying a track car, whether it’s your first one or your fifth. Bearing each of these things in mind, along with some of our general tips for buying a track car, should help you save some money when you go to make your purchase.
What To Think About When Buying A Track Car
What Do You Want?
Before you go and try and find a track car on the cheap, you need to think about what kind of vehicle you are looking for. This usually just involves a lot of personal preference, but you have to bear in mind that you will most likely be going for a used car and not a brand new one.
You also have to think about your own experience level when it comes to driving. If you are a casual driver with no racing experience, then you probably don’t want to go for something too powerful. If it’s your first track car, then you also probably want to go for a lower end model, as you will likely be using it to get used to driving on the track, rather than using the track to get used to the specific car.
In other words, start small, as this will make it easier to learn the intricacies of track driving without too much power under your right foot.
Think About Your Own Experience Level
However, if you are a more experienced racer, you also want to consider your driving style. If you like to take corners aggressively then you will obviously want to look for a car with strong handling, while if speed is your number one concern then the power output of the engine might be your deciding factor. You need to go for a car that works well with your driving style.
Aside from your driving style, you might even want to consider the style of the car. You may be looking for a car from a specific brand for example, and although this will limit your search, it might be an important thing to consider in terms of reliability and performance. If you want this track car to not only be cheap but also have a long lifespan, brand may be an important factor indeed.
Outline A Clear Budget
Finally, you obviously want to consider your budget. Although this is the premise of this article – i.e. keeping things cheap – you will still want to define what you are willing to pay for a track car. The definition of cheap will vary from person to person, so having a solid outline of your absolute maximum will make it much easier to make decisions when you are talking with sellers.
Now that you have an outline of what things to consider before you buy a track car, you need to think about where you will be able to get your hands on one. There are countless ways of obtaining a track car, but some are much easier – and more reliable – than others. We will suggest some specific buying tips below, but first let’s outline some good places to look.
Where To Find Used Track Cars For Sale?
Research Is Key
The first thing you will need to do is research. You never want to buy the first car that you come across, and you always want to make sure that you really are getting the best deal possible. Having more options to compare will give you a chance to find out whether the person you are buying from is actually giving you a good deal or not.
Check Out Nearby Dealerships & Tracks
In terms of locations to find race cars on a budget, this will usually depend on your own location. If there are a lot of dealerships near you then it could be worth spending some time talking to the owners and finding out what they have to offer. Even if they don’t stock any cheap or used race cars themselves, they may have a network of contacts they can point you in the direction of.
Aside from dealerships, you can also ask people down at the track you are looking to race on, as they will most likely know some places to pick up cars on the cheap. Other good places to ask around are garages and repair shops, as they will often have sellers come in to ask them if they want to take cars off their hands as well.
Aside from physical locations, you might also want to look online for cheap track cars. There are plenty of online forums where people advertise cars they are selling or discuss the best places to go and buy them. There are also specific online dealerships, such as Autotrader and Racecars Direct, where you can search for specific brands and types of cars.
However, if you are looking for a specific model, you may find yourself searching for quite a long time. The selection on these websites tends to be quite varied, and it will be tough to find exactly what you are looking for. Plus, you will definitely want to make sure that you can go and see the car in person before you buy it, as sight unseen purchasing of a car is often very risky.
KEY POINTS• You need to consider what you want and your experience level when buying a track car
• You can find track cars at dealerships, but it’s worth asking around at your local track as well
• We always recommend seeing the car in person (and getting a test drive if possible) before buying
3 Negotiation Tips For Buying A Track Car For Cheap
1. Look For Leverage
If you are checking out a car at a dealership or from a private owner, look for things that could help you to bring the price down. Key things to consider are areas of the car where repairs need to be made, or possible components that might need upgrading. You can use these to barter the price down, by convincing the seller that you are going to have to spend even more money fixing these issues.
2. Use Cash When You Can
Another useful tip is to try and buy using cash when you can. Having a decent lump sum saved up will allow for much faster payments, and you will often find that sellers are willing to reduce the price quite substantially in favor of accepting an instantaneous cash payment over a check or bank transfer, or via some form of financing. This is easier with a private seller than with a company.
If you are dealing with a company, it is often a good idea to say that you are looking at other options of buying the car at other dealerships or from other owners, and always quote other prices if you can get it cheaper elsewhere. They know that a lower sale price that convinces you to buy is better for them than a higher sale price that causes you to walk away.
3. Always Remain Patient
Another key tip for dealing with sellers is to remain patient. Car salespeople are experts at their job. If you come across as rushed, they won’t be in a hurry themselves to bring the price down. You have to work with them and try your best to get a win-win result out of the situation. This is another reason that it’s often simply better and easier to deal with private sellers when you can.
4 Tips For Buying A Track Car
1. Always Go For Used Cars
You should probably start by looking for used cars, usually ones that have a lot of miles on the clock and are a fair bit older. These will naturally be cheaper to buy, but they will often also be easier and cheaper to fix should something go wrong (as long as the model isn’t too old). Spare parts for newer cars tend to be very expensive, but the same can be true for classic models.
2. Never Take Out A Loan
You also never want to take out a loan to purchase your track car. This is because it is a well-known truth that cars lose a lot of their value very quickly, and so it is not like buying property where the value appreciates over time. Buying a track car is not an investment, and so taking a loan out that comes with a large interest bill will mean you are losing even more money on the purchase in the long run.
3. Try To Buy From Private Owners
As we have already mentioned in the previous section, you also want to buy privately if you can. This is mainly because private sellers tend to be less patient than companies, and they will often favor selling the car faster over selling for a higher price. You can use this to your advantage, and paying with cash will greatly increase your chances of getting a discount.
4. Focus On The Car, Not The Badge
Finally, you should also bear in mind that whatever option you choose, and no matter how cheap it is, it will lose its value over time. This is especially important when you consider brand loyalty, as you are not buying the badge, but instead you are buying the car in whatever state it is in. You might find a cheap Porsche, but it may be a few laps away from falling apart!
If you bear each of these buying tips in mind you will not only find it easier to make purchasing decisions, but you will also find it much easier to get the car that you want for a cheaper price.
Buying a track car is an exciting experience. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first track car or if you have owned several in the past, as you still have to consider the same things and employ the same buying tips and techniques to ensure you get the best deal possible. Knowing what you want is essential, but knowing where to look is key as well.
Not only do you need to know where to look, but you also need to know how to bring the price down once you find what you want. This could involve some basic bartering techniques, or it could be as simple as waiting for the price to inevitably drop on its own. It’s always best to pay in cash and buy privately when you can, as these are two surefire ways to get a better deal on your next track car.
I created and have been writing on this site since 2019, collaborating with drivers, coaches, engineers and manufacturers to provide you with the most reliable information about motorsport. Find out more about me here.