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Chevrolet Corvette

Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Used Chevrolet Corvette

This year, Motortrend named Chevy’s new C8 Corvette model the “most premium-feeling Corvette that Chevrolet has ever made.”

It’s easy to fantasize about the beauty of these cars, but the best Corvette doesn’t have to be a brand new one.

Discover everything you need to know about buying a used Chevrolet Corvette right here.

1. Look for an Authorized Seller

There are lots of places to look for a used Corvette, but one of the best places to find one is at a professional used car dealership. 

Seller fraud, overpriced payment, and purchasing at low value are among the dangers you could otherwise avoid by consulting a used car dealership. 

Also, if you can’t find the model you’re looking for, a good dealership will help you locate the model even if they don’t carry it themselves.   

Professional dealerships that specialize in used cars, such as House of Cars, are designed to help you in your process.  They can handle everything from comparing car models to financing your Corvette.  

If you’re skeptical of the dealership options in your area, make sure you check the customer service ratings and company reputation. 

Legitimate sellers should always be open to meeting with you in person and giving you their information.  This is also true for sellers at venues besides dealerships, like auctions. 

If you’re purchasing a used Corvette at an auction, make sure to have the car professionally inspected by someone familiar with Corvette makes.

2. Know Your Price Range and Finance Your Corvette

Remember, you don’t always have to purchase the Corvette at the straight sales price, especially if you find them at a dealership.

Financing allows you to tailor car payments to your personal budget.  After you apply for financing and provide the necessary information for your budget, you’ll be able to see what you can spend per month or year. 

The good news is that many decent dealerships won’t turn you away due to budget. Some dealerships allow you to get financially pre-approved for a car loan. 

This means that the dealership will review your credit report and potentially qualify you for a car loan in addition to helping you finance your car.  

Overall, car dealerships have the expertise to guide you through the entire process of purchasing your Corvette.  

3. Know Your Model History

Like any car, Corvette models vary in price due to their age and depreciation rate.  If you decide on an older model like a C4 from 1996, know that they may require more maintenance.    

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The C8 is the most recent model of the Corvette series.  Making its debut in last July of 2019, it’s been considered to be of the most powerful Corvettes in Chevrolet’s lineup of cars. 

It is a mid-engine vehicle which indicates that the engine is located in the center of the car. 

This means that you’ll have increased braking capabilities and handling, especially with rapid change of direction.

The new 2020 mid-engine model marks the end of the C7 mid-engine series, whose last model sold on June 28th of 2019.  

Before the C7’s introduction in 2014, the C6 was considered to be the most powerful engine.  It has the Corvette’s iconic modern aesthetic with the sharper body lines and bare headlights. 

The C6 also marks the first time Infotainment was implemented as a Corvette model feature. 

If you’re interested in technical features such as OnStar System, Voice Recognition, phone, and navigation capabilities, you’ll want to choose a used a Corvette that’s at least as modern as the C7 generation. 

4. The Best Corvette

There’s a wealth of Corvette models out there but the truth is that there isn’t necessarily a “best Corvette.” The only thing that comes close to the best Corvette is the one that suits you the best.  It all depends on what you want.  

Lower Range Corvettes

Generally, cars that are 10-20 years old can sell at the lowest prices because they’ll potentially become classics in the future.  

For Corvettes, this means you may want to consider a C4 or C3 model in the lower budget range, which will take you back to the 1990s and 80s.

It’s not uncommon to find these models for $20,000 or lower.  Although the C3 engine may be lacking, you can refit them with an engine that has increased horsepower. 

If you have a soft spot for the classic makes, the C3 will give you the aesthetic you’re looking for.     

However, if you’d rather have a Corvette that you don’t have to refit with parts, consider the C4 generation.  This model has increased horsepower compared to the C3 and more modern interior parts, like the suspension. 

Also, note that Corvettes lose 50% of their value after spending 5 years on the road.  This means they should be considerably cheaper.   

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Best Corvette for the Money and for Regular Use

If you want to drive your Corvette regularly, then there are specific models to suit your needs. 

The 2020 C8 base coupe or convertible are some of your best options for regular use.  These are also the most recent models which have more improved technology than previous Corvettes.

Chevy advertises this new breed of Corvettes at the $50,000-$60,000 range, however, auctions can sell these within the million-dollar range.      

Both the C8 base coupe and convertible Corvette models can drive 15 miles per gallon (MPG) in the city and 27 on the highway.  The coupe’s base suspension provides nice handling and an overall comfortable drive. 

Meanwhile, the convertible carries a retractable hardtop that adds only 77 pounds to the rest of the car.  Although this is extra weight, retracting the top doesn’t hinder the vehicle’s overall performance. 

For drivers who love the tracks, the Chevrolet hardtop is suited for the tracks more than any other convertible in history.  A Competition Sport seat is also available with the convertible and offers powerful bolsters for track driving.    

Use This Checklist to Find the Best Used Corvette

Finally, here are a few things to look for or avoid when buying your used corvette:

  • Test drive opportunity: Each Corvette has a different feel, so you need to see what you like.  Mechanical noises like rattling or squeaking can be red flags indicating poor condition.
  • Inspection certificates: Look for one from Bloomington Gold and another from the National Corvette Restorer’s Society.
  • Customer ratings/seller reputation: Make sure you’re dealing with an established authorized seller with ratings to prove their service quality.
  • Interior parts: These parts define the way your Corvette drives so check with the seller to make sure you’re purchasing the features you want.  Note that some Corvettes are restored with non-Corvette parts.
  • “Salvage” or “Reconstructed” Labels: This indicates car depreciation which means that the price should be lower.
  • Age and Mileage: This will indicate how much use the Corvette has had.    

Remember, the best Corvette is simply the one that suits you the best.  It’s up to you to make your dream Corvette a reality so make sure you continue your research find what you like.  

For more guides on the cars you love, check out some of our other articles!