Now’s the time to buy one of these £5k bargains, because their prices will only go up in future

If you're looking to invest in a car to turn a profit, then buying at the right time is crucial. These bargain motors are all worthy of your money, but crucially, they're also cheap to buy right now.

1 - Honda S200 (2000-2009)

Honda’s grown-up version of the Mazda MX-5 produced 237bhp from its normally aspirated 2.0-litre VTEC engine, at a giddy 8300rpm. It also had all–round double wishbone suspension, a low centre of gravity and 50/50 weight distribution.

It was quick, too; 0-60mph took 6.2sec and it topped out at 150mph. Some found its on-the-limit handling twitchy; others thought its electrically assisted steering lacked feedback, but a vintage S2000 will still put a smile on your face.

Add in Honda’s legendary build quality and for £5k it’s a steal. Hurry, though; good ones are beginning to command a lot more.

2 - Jaguar XJS (1975-1996)

Jaguar’s successor to the E-Type was a remarkably refined grand tourer, rather than an out-and-out sports car.

With its silky 5.3-litre V12, later XJSs could waft up to 155mph, and its ride was always magnificent. In 1983 it was joined by a 3.6-litre in-line six (later enlarged to 4.0 litres) that was almost as quick but much easier on the wallet.

The earlier V12s could be troublesome, however, and are probably best avoided. Rust is a known problem, so check the floor, sills and front wings. The engines are generally reliable, but avoid high mileages, check the oil pressure and watch out for dark smoke.

Find a good XJS and you’ll have an appreciating classic. Old Jags are in demand, and you’ll pay at least 10 times as much as this for an E-Type.

3 - Porsche Boxster (1996-present)

Fancy a mid-engined, open-top Porsche capable of 150mph for under £5k? With its push-me pull-you looks, the original Boxster polarised opinion, but the car was a gem from the off, with a sweet 2.5-litre flat six and eager performance.

Later models grew in engine displacement and power, but all retained the deft handling and wind-in-the-hair fun of the original low-slung hipster.

Your £5k buys one of the earlier cars, though, and that means careful shopping. Although Porsches are well made, Boxsters will have been used with enthusiasm, so check the car’s history carefully and look out for worn suspension bushes, accident damage and corrosion.

4 - Citroen C6 (2005-2012)

It took courage to overlook depreciation issues and buy a C6 brand new. In the end, fewer than a thousand people in the UK did — which at least made it exclusive.Big Citroëns have a reputation for being complex and unreliable, too, but C6 owners have only good things to say. The diesel V6 is refined (there was a petrol V6, too, but you’ll be lucky to find one) with a reputation for reliability.

There’s a wonderfully supple ride, and the cosseting cabin is well isolated; push it hard and there’s plenty of roll, a reminder that its forte was touring, not blasting around the Nürburgring.

Prices for the earlier cars have now sunk below the £5k mark, and with interest in the DS, CX and XM on the up, this would seem to be a good time to buy into the C6’s highly individual style.

5 - Renault Alpine GTA (1986-1991)

There aren’t that many GTAs out there, but if you’re lucky enough to find one, you’ll have a rare and distinctive sports car with real pedigree on your hands.

Its rear-mounted 2.5-litre V6 was good for 200bhp, 152mph and 0-60mph in 6.3sec in its more compelling turbocharged form. It had bags of roadholding, strong traction, eager handling, great steering and a neat short-throw gearshift. It still looks great today, with its low-drag, 2+2 glassfibre body purposefully squatting on its deliciously wide tyres.

You’ll pay a lot more than £5k for the Renault Alpines that came both before and after this model, so if you can find a good GTA, snap it up right away.

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Our Verdict

Porsche Boxster

Does bigger mean better for Porsche’s third-generation Boxster?

Join the debate

Comments
5

30 March 2015
But I'd expect that Citroen c6 to drop in value further.

30 March 2015
But do bear in mind that many / most cars on offer will be basket cases more likely to consume money than earn it. I'd suggest that from a pure investment point of view cars offer a poor return compared with property for example. Buy these cars to enjoy, and accept any monitory appreciation as a bonus.

30 March 2015
I was going to buy a used (£7k-or-so) S2000 a year or two ago, but was put off by hilarious insurance quotes. 47-year-old, max NCB, garaged, SDP only, around £800 per year. One broker said 'They get crashed a lot, sir'.

Bought a Citroen CX instead...

30 March 2015
...but excellent choice, sir.

Can't believe an XJS is now £5k. Didn't seem that long ago that you'd see them littering peoples gardens...

30 March 2015
Passed a C6 on the motorway 3 days ago. French cars mmmmm....... generally not a fan, I like the older ones but i like all older cars 205, BX, 405......I adore the C6 though in Sarkosy black. I was transfixed by the wheel movements over the bumps for a few miles, the cars body floating, seemingly ignorant of the road surface passing beneath it. Just a stunning thing.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK