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The Alfa Romeo 4C Is Slowly Becoming a Used Car Bargain

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.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I still feel this has quite a bit of money to lose.  Where as you could get a Lotus Elise, which is essentially the same experience for $30k and not lose any money.

  2. If I had the money to buy something crazy, this is a good choice. It looks very exotic and for as new as you can get one, it may even be under warranty. Pretty impressive. 

  3. With a car like this, I don’t think it really matters if its horribly unreliable, because it’ll rarely be driven. As long as you can take it to a track without it overheating, its good enough.

    • Counterpoint: many, MANY cars get worse the less you drive them (citing, for example, Hoovie’s recent post on his V12 SL).  Now I’m not saying anyone should make a 4C a commuter vehicle, but it’s probably one that should be driven regularly.

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