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Best used sports cars under 50k in 2024

Take a look at our favourite options for the best used sports car under 50k

a silver porsche 718 boxster driving on a british road

What's the best used sports car under 50k?

Some people like to take up golf to wind down after work or at the weekend, but others find a good country drive in a sports car much more enjoyable.

With a budget of up to £50,000, you can pick up some excellent motors from convertibles to fast coupés.

Here are some of the best used sports cars for 50k and below:

Best used convertible under 50k - Audi TT

A red Audi TT convertible

Kicking off this list is the German pocket rocket that is the Audi TT. This little sports car may not be the first model that comes to mind, but it’s a seriously strong contender.

Not only is it on the more affordable end, but this used Audi is also a great driver’s car (especially with a manual gearbox) and it offers superb interior quality and the latest tech.

Sitting at the top of the range are the TTS and TT RS models that offer the greatest performance and characteristics. They produce 306hp and 400hp respectively from their engines – a four-cylinder in the former and a five-cylinder in the latter.

Most iconic sports car under 50k - Porsche Boxster

a silver porsche boxster driving on a road

Very few cars handle as well as a Porsche sports car. That’s a fact. So, what better way to enjoy it than with a topless driving experience (no, not that kind)?

The Boxster, which is based on the Cayman, is the brand’s smallest convertible sports car and is one of the most popular choices for those wanting some fun weekend blasts up and down a country road.

Available in plenty of different guises, the Boxster is a truly magnificent driver’s car and is fun with either a manual or automatic gearbox.

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Best used electric sports car under 50k - BMW i8

a blue bmw i8 driving on a road

While it may be powered by the engine from a Mini, a used BMW i8 is a mighty thing and is one of the most underrated sports cars of its generation.

It came out at a time where carmakers were discovering the future of motoring and what could be done with electric cars. What this plug-in hybrid represents is a step in the right direction, by combining electricity and petrol.

The i8 may not be quite as agile as a Porsche 911 because of its heavy batteries, but this doesn’t mean it won’t handle a country road with ease.

Best rear wheel drive sports car under 50k - Toyota GT86

a baby blue toyota gt86 driving on a windy road

Twinned with the Subaru BRZ, the Toyota GT86 is a proper budget driver’s car. It proves you don’t need to spend tonnes of cash to get a capable and willing sports car.

Other car manufacturers chase Nürburgring lap times and fast cornering speeds, but Toyota doesn’t think this is the way forward – it believes 200hp is all you need to have fun.

Because it weighs just 1,215kg, it’s easy to chuck around corners too, and the lack of horsepower isn’t as noticeable in this instance.

Best used luxury sports car under 50k - Jaguar F-Type

a dark blue jaguar f-type parked next to a snow mountain at sunset

What makes the Jaguar F-Type so versatile is its wide range of engines on offer. You can have it with either a four-cylinder, V6 or a monstrous 5.0-litre V8.

In terms of pricing when new, the F-Type was cleverly positioned in between the Porsche Cayman and Porsche 911, making it an attractive proposition for someone wanting a mid-range sports car.

And if you’re feeling brave, Jaguar makes the F-Type with either AWD or RWD, but let this be a warning – the latter is very tail-happy.

Best small sports car under 50k - Mazda MX-5

a dark blue mazda mx-5 driving on a country road

Like the GT86, this little used Mazda follows the mantra of low weight + low power = fun.

There are a few different engines on offer, with the most popular being the more powerful 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 181hp and increased efficiency.

You can have it with a responsive automatic gearbox, but we’d always recommend the manual gearbox in an MX-5 because it increases driver involvement and is just more fun to use.

Fast sports cars under 50k - BMW M2

a purple bmw m2 parked on a runway facing the camera

If you think a Volkswagen Golf GTI is a bit too predictable, then the BMW M2 might be right up your street.

Without having to spend 911 money, you can get a splendid little sports car that’s a hoot to drive and wouldn’t be afraid to stick its tail out.

Because it shares much of its DNA with the larger M3 and M4, the little sporty 2 Series is a very power-thirsty sports car that isn’t afraid to put up a fight.

What makes a good used sports car

A good used sports car isn't just about speed and style - there are plenty of things that go towards making an iconic model.

Beyond quick pace and off-the-line times, agile handling and a comfortable cruise are important. When looking at horsepower and 0-60mph times, you might also want to consider how the car feels on the roads and whether it's front, rear or all-wheel drive.

What's inside is just as important and a quality interior adds to the sports car charm. You might also want a flashy infotainment system, or at least the ability to add one in the future.

A good sports car will also stand the test of time. You want something reliable, so take a look at reviews to see how they perform long-term.

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