The Ideal Price Range for Buying a Cool Car

Categories Random Musings, Torque Affair

After searching for hours on end (and by hours I mean several a minutes a few days), I’ve found the ideal price range you need to buy the car of your dreams.  This is important because now you know exactly much you need put away each month, how many cups of coffee from Starbucks you need to give up and whether or not you should cancel your cable subscription.

Now, when I was looking for these cars, keep in mind, that I considered being able to obtain a warranty in addition to buying the car itself because I was obviously considering high performance cars that cost to close to $100K new if not more.  Parts and maintenance on these cars are very pricey.

I also looked for cars that had depreciated enough to where selling the car after a year or two of ownership would not be as big of a hit as you might think.  I wanted to look for that sweet spot which would allow you or me to keep buying and selling cars to be able to go through a nice variety of them.

It’s boring to drive the same thing for too long.

To explain to you how I came up with the ideal price range, let me first go through the cars that I think you’ll find appealing.

Let’s start off with E92 M3s.  If you look at CarMax, you’ll start to find M3s that are almost in the high 20K range.  With a CarMax warranty you’d be hard-pressed to find a better car for cheaper.


Don’t like the M3?  Get an M5 instead!  Remember – buy the warranty.


You could go with a CPO Porsche from the Porsche dealers but they’re not as cheap as what you might find at CarMax.  911s are about 5K more expensive as a CPO than one from CarMax with a warranty.  I say if you can’t pay the extra cash, go with a Cayman, because chances are you’ll love it.

You can get a 996 from Carmax in the low $30s, but then the 997s jump up by quite a bit.  Or you could get an Audi S4 in that same price range – from CarMax of course.  The CPO Audi S4s are start in the mid $40K range.

If that’s too much money, don’t worry.  You can drive a CL55 AMG home for less than $25K from CarMax.  With AMGs and a CL55 in particular, be sure to get the warranty because any minor repair will cost you lots.

I have realized that some of the best machines on wheels created on our planet can be obtained from somewhere between $30K and $40K.  Sure, you could get cars for less or more, but this is the sweet spot where you can get some really amazing autos with a warranty.

So this is what you can do.  For the next year, save all your pennies, dimes, nickel – anything that you can find – and then go rob a bank.  Then take that cash and go buy the car of your dreams!






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