It has recently come to my attention that the Alfa Romeo 4C isn’t particularly pricey anymore. It isn’t cheap, but it’s not monstrously expensive, and it’s slowly becoming something of a used-car bargain as it ages — and it isn’t very old.
Here’s what I mean: If you go on Autotrader and cap your search at $50,000 for a 4C, you’ll find nearly 30 examples listed on the site. Most are used, and most have very low miles. There’s one 2015 “Launch Edition” model listed for $48,995 with just 97 miles, for instance, and most others are around 10,000 to 20,000 miles, if that. As of yet, there aren’t any 4C models listed for under $40,000.
Now, I admit that 28 examples in the $40,000 to $50,000 range doesn’t exactly make this car a “bargain,” but it’s coming down quickly in price. The 4C starts at $57,000 for a coupe, and $67,000 for a convertible. With options, most prices are closer to $62,000 for a coupe and $72,000 for a convertible. As a result, it’s a pretty good deal to find a 2- or 3-year-old example for $45,000 with minimal miles. After all, that’s $20,000 in depreciation you don’t have to lose, while still getting roughly the same car you’d get from new.
And there’s another benefit to getting a used 4C in this price range: I’ve never really felt that the 4C was worth its asking price, largely because it’s such a compromised car. It’s fun, yes, but the interior is so cramped, and the ride is so harsh, you can’t realistically drive it very often. It’s a good “third” car, unlike a Porsche 911, which would be a good “second” car, since you can use it a lot. And now it’s coming down into “third car” pricing territory, as $45,000 with most of the initial depreciation removed starts to make it look like a pretty good deal.
Of course, there are concerns with the 4C — like reliability, longevity and the clunky transmission. But it’s also a fast, fun, exciting sports car that gives you a thrill most modern cars can’t match — and it’s even more thrilling if you know you’re getting a great deal on it.