People often refer to cars as “bad” investments, and for the most part, they are absolutely right. But there are a handful of vehicles out there that have appreciating values in today’s vehicle market.
Typically, once you drive a brand new car off of the lot, the vehicle’s value instantly drops. After several years, vehicles will hit a “bottom” and then begin to either appreciate or depreciate into a worthless pile of metal.
Vehicle values will depreciate for a variety of reasons such as economy, vehicle condition, type of vehicle, model history/reliability, and the number produced, to name a few.
On the flip side, there are cars out there that have hit their “bottom” and are now rising in resale-value.
Today we’ll cover some of those gems worth picking up and hanging onto.
BMW E46 M3 (2000-2006)
The BMW E46 M3 is the third generation of the 3-series saga. It was released in both coupe and convertible form. The German sports car was known for its impressive 3.2-liter in-line six engine. The S54 engine under the hood produces a whopping 333 horsepower. Pairing the power with the rear-wheel-drive made the German coupe an absolute blast to drive. The E46 M3 came in a variety of colors and options, most of which were loved by all BMW enthusiasts alike.
An E46 M3 can be found in places like eBay or craigslist for just over $10,000. Price can depend on items like condition, mileage, model options, coupe or convertible, and transmission (6 speed or SMG). Naturally, the 6-speed manual M3 coupes are worth the most (the SMGs have been known to have a hiccup or two). Following the trend of the past BMW M3’s, seeing the E46 M3 price skyrocket soon would not be a surprise to anyone.
Porsche 911 / 996 Turbo (1998 – 2006)
Porsche released the (996) 911 Turbo with a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter flat-6 engine. The engine was derived from the 911 GT1 Le Mans car, which brought home first place in 1998. Producing 414 horsepower, the Porsche 996 Turbo is described as an all-weather sports car as it comes all-wheel-drive. The 996 Turbo came with a 6-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic.
In today’s market, you can find yourself a 996 Turbo in fair condition for around $40,000. Right now this model is in that awkward “middle” stage when compared to past and current Porsche 911 turbo models, as they are both more expensive than the 996 generation.
If you’d like to find one of these extremely undervalued sports cars, you can find them everywhere from Craigslist to a local dealership, as they will often get traded in for something new.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, “typically” when you drive off of the lot, your car loses value. But this car is anything but “typical”, it is the first of its kind. The C8 Corvette is the first-ever Corvette to have a mid-engine. This created a global buzz surrounding its release and therefore driving the secondary market values up before the dealers even received the cars.
You can purchase a base model C8 Corvette for $59,999 new from Chevrolet. But when looking at the secondary markets, you will see that some of these cars are listed over MSRP. This is due to the extremely high demand for a mid-engined Corvette.
The C8 is a car that will continue to hold its value and even rise due to the facts mentioned above, let alone it’s amazing performance specifications. The C8 puts down an impressive 490 horsepower with its 6.2-liter V8 engine. It’s now among the supercar class with its new design and 8-speed dual-clutch transmission.
R35 Nissan GT-R (2007-Present)
The R35 GTR was released in 2007 making its debut in the US. The R35 came stocked with a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 capable of 479 horsepower, though it has increased every year since 2010.
When released, the GTR sold for a hair under $70,000, making it the world’s cheapest supercar. But those prices have steadily increased upon each year’s release. A 2021 GTR will now set you back $130,000 for a base model. This tells us that Nissan also realized they underestimated the true value of their relaunched supercar. This gives you the perfect opportunity to pick up a rather inexpensive supercar that will surely hold its value.
But there is still hope, you can find yourself an early R35 GTR for somewhere between $40,000 and $70,000. These underrated monsters can be found anywhere from classic car auctions to Craigslist. Ensure you are checking vehicle history along with the other standard items when purchasing any used vehicle.