Should I Buy a Sports Car?

There are both pros and cons to owning a sports car. They tend to hold their value and are fun to drive, but they aren’t always the most practical choice.
Written by Michelle Ballestrasse
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
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While a sports car can be a hugely appealing purchase, there are pros and cons to owning one, such as their performance versus their practicality. Before you take the plunge, make sure you understand the downsides as well as the upsides to owning a sports car.
There are fewer cars on the market as romanticized and coveted than sports cars. But they’re never lauded as being a practical or responsible choice for a vehicle, often because of their reputation, their higher prices, and their more complex parts.
But sports cars can also hold their value, offer a fun commute, and they just look plain good!
So if you decide to bite the bullet, but you’re wary of the inevitable higher cost of
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Sports cars have a lot of good qualities—they hold their value, perform well, are customizable, and, well, they look amazing!
No one is going to pretend that a sports car is a purely practical choice, but that doesn’t mean sports cars are entirely bereft of good qualities that make them worth a purchase, or at least worthy of your consideration.

They hold their value

Almost all worthwhile classic cars are sports cars. This is because they’re high quality, good-looking, and desirable. Well-known examples of classic sports cars with great value are the Porsche 911, Ford Mustang, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and the Dodge Challenger.
This means that sports cars depreciate at a significantly lower rate than their contemporaries. If you’re expecting to sell the car later on, you’ll recoup a higher percentage of the car’s original purchase value than you would for reselling a used standard sedan. They can also be used as collateral for future loans.

They perform well

Believe it or not, there’s a second practical reason that sports cars are a good choice—they make driving less of a chore!
Sports cars are designed for performance, and to that end, they beat out even the best sedans in terms of controllability, speed, and handling.
Sports cars often have more than the 200-300 horsepower of standard sedans, but even when they don’t, they’re lighter, are much quicker to accelerate, and have a sport-tuned suspension designed to handle sharp turns while firmly gripping the road.
These are the kinds of features that make driving an experience rather than a task because you’re more in tune with the car’s handling and how it feels on the road—an experience that can’t be matched by a standard sedan.
Key Takeaway Sports cars can make driving fun, and if you have to drive a lot, that can be a big plus.

They’re almost fully customizable

While day-to-day cars like sedans and minivans come in a range of white, silver, and black, sports cars can be customized to their owner’s personal tastes.
Customizations can include, but are not limited to, bright colors, luxurious trims, and unique details. A sports car can truly become your own, whether that means you want to opt for Ferrari’s trademark "rosso corsa," a metal flake purple, or anything in between.

They just look good

Sports cars are not only designed for performance, but they’re designed for beauty, both inside and out.
Sports cars are among the best looking and most painstakingly styled cars on the market, which is why almost all of the legends of the automotive world—Corvettes, Ferraris, and Jaguars—are beautifully styled sports cars.


There are, of course, some downsides to sports cars, including their lack of fuel economy, high costs of ownership, safety issues, and overall impracticality.
Like everything in life, there are downsides to sports cars. But the cons of these cars tend to be what people who think of cars as practical purchases tend to point out when trying to dissuade people from buying one.
A car is a major purchase, and therefore every downside should be considered, even if it’s a lot less fun.

Lack of fuel economy

Even if you’re not taking your sports car to the limit, they’re not designed to be fuel-efficient. Sports cars are still miles behind compact sedans and hybrids when it comes to gas mileage.
The best hybrid cars can deliver 54 mpg, while non-hybrids can range between 30-40 combined mpg, while the most efficient sports cars max out at 30.
In addition, sports cars, more often than not, require premium fuel rather than regular, which costs more money at the pump. With more frequent need for fill-ups, and with more expensive gas, it typically costs several hundred dollars more per year to keep a sports car filled up.
So while a Toyota Camry will cost you about $154 per month on average to fill up, a Ford Mustang from the same year will cost about $220.
If frequent fill-ups don’t tickle your fancy, or aren’t feasible, that may be a good reason to say no.
Key Takeaway Sports cars can’t compete when it comes to mileage per gallon, so be prepared for more fuel stops.

High cost of ownership

The cost of sports cars doesn’t end at the purchase price—insuring them is typically more expensive.
In addition, their parts are often specialized, and therefore quite expensive. This drives up the cost of repairs and maintenance, so be prepared for more costly trips to the mechanic.
For example, a Porsche 911’s carbon-ceramic brake pads could cost $8,500 to replace, as compared to the $100 to $300 you’d spend on a standard set.

More dangerous to drive

Having 600 horsepower under your foot can be quite a temptation, but using them all can be dangerous for inexperienced sports car drivers.
There’s an urban legend that highway patrol seems to zero in on sports cars to pull over, but this is more likely due to the fact that their drivers have a tendency to go past the speed limit.
If you’re not used to the quick acceleration that a sports car offers, you’ll likely be flying past the speed limit before you’ve had a chance to notice. In addition, drivers who feel a little bolder tend to drive faster, on the off-chance that a highway patrol officer isn’t lurking nearby.
Sports cars tend to have fewer safety features as standard, which is why they’re more dangerous to crash in than a well-equipped sedan. Recent data shows that occupant fatalities occur almost twice as often in sports car crashes than in standard cars.

Impractical for day-to-day use

If you have a family or expect to move anything larger than a carry-on, a sports car is not great for space. They rarely have more than two doors, or back seats, so they’re not really meant for more than one passenger.
They also suffer from minimal cargo space, so while they’re not entirely without room for a suitcase, they’re not the car you’d want to use if you had to move.
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The worst sports cars to buy

Now that you’ve weighed the pros and cons of buying a sports car, and have decided to go for it, it’s time to shop for the perfect sports car.
But if you’re buying a used sports car, keep in mind that even the sports car greats, like the Mustang, the Jaguar, and the Corvette, have had their fair share of lemons during their lengthy histories. Here are some of the worst offenders.

1994 Ford Mustang

The ‘94 Ford Mustang is a prime example of a well-established car having a black mark in its long history. Although it was as anticipated as its predecessors, the ‘94 quickly soured its fans thanks to its miserable engine, which is considered one of the worst of all time.

1982 Ferrari Mondial

Ferrari has a longstanding reputation for stylish design, cutting-edge engineering, and impeccable build quality. So imagine the automotive world’s collective surprise when the ‘82 Mondial turned out to have none of these things.
Ugly, slow, and shoddily built, this iteration of the Mondial is now regarded as one of the worst sports cars ever made.

1992 Chevy Camaro

Another prime example of a black sheep in a family of greats is the 92 Camaro.
While Chevy’s signature sports and muscle car line is one of the most iconic and enduring in the automotive world, the 92’s sluggish engine, which fell apart every time it accelerated, is an entry that Chevy, and its fans, would much rather forget.

1981 Delorean DMC-12

If you’re hoping to buy a Delorean for nostalgia’s sake, do yourself a favor and never drive it—just put it on a plinth or in an exhibit.
Despite its pop-culture status as one of the most recognizable cars in history, there’s a reason this child of the 80s was only produced for three years—because it was a mechanical disaster.

2006 Chevy Cobalt SS

The Super Sport version of the compact Chevy Cobalt had oodles of potential, but huge market pressure meant that the car wasn’t properly inspected before it was rushed into production.
As a result, this iteration of the Cobalt was a near catastrophic failure (mechanically and financially) that took some time to redeem.

2002 Ford Thunderbird

Nostalgia is a great marketing tool, but it doesn’t always work so well for cars. Thunderbirds were especially popular in the mid-twentieth century (Marilyn Monroe had one!) with a heyday in the 70s, evoking the romance and rebelliousness of the decade.
The 2002 version tried to capitalize on that image, but instead ended up with a bland, poorly built plastic brick that ended up sinking the series a few years later.

1980 Chevy California Corvette

Despite being named for the state, it was actually California’s laws that contributed to this car’s epic failure. Corvettes are known for their sleek, muscle car bodies and powerful engines, but while the 1980 had the looks, California’s car laws meant the namesake car got a weak, underperforming engine.
In addition, the car had a plethora of other issues that made it easily the worst entry in the otherwise stellar Corvette line.

1990 Mazda Miata

Also known as the MX-5, the Miata is considered today to be one of the best sports cars on the market, but it had an extremely rocky start. Likely due to the fact that Mazda had never before made a sports car in the British roadster style that inspired the Miata, the car ended up having an extremely weak engine that made it unacceptably slow.
But the series overcame this mistake, and the 1990 Miata can be considered a frog who became a prince.

Drive with Jerry

No matter what car you end up with, treat it like the valuable investment that it is with the right car insurance. And make sure you’ve got roadside assistance on your side should something happen, because every car fails at some point, even sports cars.
In either case, if you’ve got
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"As a young person who owns a sports car and a high-end sedan, I couldn’t find quotes below a certain threshold. By using
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Are sports cars a waste of money?

That’s a matter of personal opinion. If you prefer practicality to performance, then a sports car would be a waste of money because it’s not designed to be practical.
But if your preference is for good looks and killer performance, then look no further than a sports car! Sports cars are stylish, fast, great fun, and may serve a practical purpose.
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