What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone says ‘Aston Martin† Is it a sleek looking luxury supercar? Or is it a well-known British secret service agent named James Bond?
If James Bond is the first thing that comes to mind, we have to be brutally honest and tell you that joining MI6 and getting double-oh-seven is out of the question. But owning one of the top-end supercars he enjoys driving may not be. It’s an intriguing thought.
We wanted to see if it is possible to buy an Aston Martin for the price of a three-year-old family sedan. So we scoured the classifieds to see what’s for sale for $30,000. And in addition to our findings, we’ve also received helpful advice on what to look for and whether now is a good time to buy a reasonably priced pre-owned Aston.
What $30,000 Will Buy You?
As Astons tend to be more popular in British we went to the UK’s largest online car sales website (AutoTrader), and enter ‘Aston Martin’ on the To make field. Then we sorted the hundreds of results by ‘Lowest Price’, and the first model to appear was the DB7.
The DB7 is a success story for Aston Martin. They introduced it in 1994 as an entry-level model, under the V8 Virage. During the global economic downturn in the 1990s, the DB7 was Aston’s rescue car, when the company struggled, it was this attractively affordable car that kept them afloat.
If you’re interested in a DB7, it comes in a number of flavors. All models are front-engined 2-door coupes or rear-wheel drive convertibles. Aston picked them up a 3.2-liter six-cylinder with supercharger and a larger 5.9-liter V12. No prizes for guessing which is the fastest. Both variants can reach 100 km/h in less than 6 seconds. The six-cylinder car has a top speed of 265 mph, versus the V12’s 184 mph.
In our search we found many used DB7’s. Prices start at about $25,000. For $30,000 we mainly found models from 1999 to 2002 (3.2s and 5.9s). And, even more surprisingly, it’s possible to pick one up with less than 65,000 miles on it.
The great looking DB9 replaced the DB7 in 2004. Aston kept the 5.9 liter V12, but this model accelerates from 0 to 60 in under 5 seconds and has a top speed of 185 mph. It offers more cabin space than the DB7, both the coupé and convertible versions are 2+2s. Top Gear rated the DB9 as too cool for their ‘Cool Wall’, which featured the famous image of the car placed inside a mini fridge.
We found two DB9s within our $30,000 budget. Both cars had approximately 70,000 miles on them, one was a 2005 model, the other a 2006.
The other Aston that appeared in our search results was the V8 Vantage, Aston’s most successful model. These coupes and roadsters were initially powered by a 4.3-litre V8, but from 2008 Aston installed 4.7-litre V8 blocks. With a top speed of about 180 mph and a zero to sixty seconds under five seconds, the V8 Vantage is also a fast car. In 2005, Jeremy Clarkson called it the “Best sounding car of the year‘ and ‘The coolest car of the year‘, even though the actual winner was the Porsche 911.
We found quite a few affordable V8 Vantages in the database, mostly 2006 and 2007 models with about 80,000 miles on the odometer.
Back on home ground, however, a quick search on Autotempest unveiled a 2003 DB7 Vantage Volante for sale. Reportedly over 66,000 miles on the odometer, the California owner is willing to let it go for $24,750. Although the DB7 was well run in 2007, it is for sale in Illinois for less than $20,000.
So we can confirm that it is possible to get our hands on a decent looking Aston Martin for $30,000. The next question is; How can we make sure it’s a good one.
What to Look for When Buying a Used Aston Martin
All three of these cars are luxury grand tourers. Each offers an individual driving experience. The DB7 might be a little snug, the V8 is a good all-rounder and the sporty looking DB9, well, that car has it all in our opinion. But each model has its own fan base, and choosing a model is largely a personal choice.
Ultra-high mile Astons that are not maintained regularly can be a major headache. But a low odometer that has been sitting for years can also be problematic. Don’t be afraid of high mileage cars if they are well maintained. It is important to familiarize yourself with the background of the car before buying it. A complete maintenance history is the holy grail, preferably from a main dealer.
Rust on older cars is usually not a big problem, they are fairly well protected, but check all the usual places. Previous cars may lack the latest gadgets that we now take for granted, so you may need to use Google Maps on your phone if you’re buying an old one.
Follow the old saying ‘Try Before You Buy’. If you are unfamiliar with the model, don’t just try one, ride a lot before committing. And bring a mechanic, someone with hands-on experience with these cars. Even if you have to pay for their time, they can save you a lot of money in the long run. Small problems can lead to high bills on these cars.
Is it the right time to buy?
People have been saying for years that the DB7 is a future classic and its values will skyrocket quickly, but it isn’t. Lately, however, we’ve been seeing signs that the market for all these cars is picking up and that means prices will also rise.
There really isn’t a good time to buy one, but if it’s for you, we wish you the best of luck in your search. And we hope this has been helpful. Oh, and one last thing, if you really want to apply to MI6, please don’t be put off (smile).
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