How Cheap Is It To Buy A Used Nissan GT-R? And Is It Worth Buying One?


Prices have plummeted, but is now the right time to scoop one up?

Nissan took the sports car market by storm in 2008 with the R35 GT-R. Back then, there were very few sports cars that could beat the GT-R in a drag race or around a track. The GT-R was even more impressive when you factored in its $70,000 or so base price. Even cars that cost twice as much had trouble matching the GT-R's performance. Fast forward eight years to 2016 and the R35 hasn't changed much. Nissan has added various updates, a recent refresh and special models, but the basic underpinnings are still basically the same.

What has changed is the GT-R's price tag. A new 2017 model will set you back $109,990. The 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 now makes 565 horsepower compared to the 2008's 485 horsepower. Now that the GT-R costs over $100,000, it isn't the budget option that is was back in 2008. This made us wonder: Would you be better off buying a used early model instead of a new one? In the US, for example, you can find an R35 GT-R for just under $50,000. These are 2009 and 2010 models, most of which have over 50,000 miles. These examples will all be out of warranty, so is it too big of a risk to purchase one? Just because this car wears a Nissan badge doesn't mean that maintenance will be cheap.

The transmission in the GT-R was a problem for early models. Nissan was actually hit with a class-action lawsuit after owners suffered transmission failures. Owners would need to replace the transmission to the tune of $20,000 after using the launch control. If you do buy a used GT-R, you need to be able to budget for possible expensive repairs.

When Edmunds had a 2009 GT-R as a long-term test car, they experienced numerous trips back to the dealership. Aside from having to replace the GT-R's expensive tires, Edmunds had plenty of issues with their car that ended up costing a lot of money. There were numerous check engine lights and a service for the transmission oil that cost over $2,000. The time that Edmunds spent with the GT-R really was illuminating and we highly suggest that you read about their experience if you intend to buy a used GT-R. Although you can pick up a second-hand GT-R for less than half the price of a new one, we still think that the cars can get much cheaper.

Sooner or later, most cars that are expensive to maintain plummet in value. The GT-R is an odd case because prices haven't really gone down too much. Although the 2009 and 2010 GT-Rs that we found do cost half as much as a new one, they haven't lost that much value compared to when they were new, losing only around $25,000 of value in over six years. Because Nissan has continued to increase the price of the newest GT-R, we think that used prices are artificially high. When the R35 starts to drop below the $40,000 mark, we might be tempted to pull the trigger.

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