For ten grand you can buy a brand new Skoda Citigo, Dacia Sandero or MG3. But that would be very boring. For ten grand you can also buy a supercar. Here's how.
First things first, the above cars will come with warranties, servicing will be cheap and they'll generally be economical and reliable. If you buy a supercar parts will be expensive, they'll drink fuel and your insurance payments will rocket. But who cares if you've got a car in your drive that transports your soul to a better place as well as your shopping back from the supermarket.
Let's start with something Italian and exotic. You can buy an early 2000s Maserati 3200 with 100k on the clock, a full service history and in good condition for a shade under £10k. History is crucial and even then if it goes wrong it'll cost a fortune to put right and your local garage won't touch it. But with 370bhp, four luxuriously appointed leather seats, a shape to die for and the fact it is a Maserati you just would wouldn't you.
Built as BMW's flagship car the 8-series was a super sexy supercar for the 80s. You can pick up a top notch 840 Ci for about £7k. Go for the later 4.4 litre V8 from the late 90s and it'll be one of the most reliable and useable cars on this list. If you're feeling a bit mad you can pick up a super smooth V12 850 Ci for similar money. Check out this review of an 840Ci by Scrof.
Chevrolet Corvette C4
Ford Mustangs are muscle cars, Chevrolet Corvettes are supercars. Suggest otherwise to any American car enthusiast and you'll be told you don't know your Citroen C4 from your Corvette C4. For under £10k you can buy a late 80s C4, one of the best looking Corvettes. It might be an 80s car but it doesn't look it. There'll be a full fat 5.7 litre V8 stuffed under the bonnet and plastic body panels which won't rust. Full service history is a must and if it's lived most of its life in the US chassis rust shouldn't be a problem. It'll also be left hand drive.
Nissan Skyline R34
From American to Japanese, the Skyline is the connoisseurs Japanese supercar - for sensible money. Ten grand buys an R34 from the late 90s. This model is the first modern looking Skyline (or GT-R as they're known now) which still looks good today. Most have been tuned or modded but as long as previous owners have looked after them reliability should be fine. If the shape doesn't do it for you then the performance will - a lightly modified Skyline will be faster, and probably more reliable, than anything else in this list.
Mercedes SL 55 AMG
When Jeremy Clarkson sold his Ferrari 355 he bought a Mercedes SL 55 AMG because it was more relaxing than the Ferrari and could "monster" it in performance terms. Ten grand buys an early 2000s, 500bhp, 5.4 litre, V8 chunk of AMG's finest with full service history. Mercedes reckoned that the SL 55 AMG could reach 208mph if it wasn't restricted to 155mph. It looks pretty special too.
No list of supercars on a budget would be complete without a Porsche 911. For £10k there's only one model - the 996. Derided by some as it was the first of the water-cooled 911s the 996 is also a modern, relatively reliable performance car that's universally recognised. It also has bags of character. For the budget it is best to buy as new as possible, and with full Porsche dealer and specialist service history. You'll get a 320bhp, 3.4 litre flat-6 engine and bags of kudos.
The last of our budget super cars is a British bruiser from Blackpool's finest - TVR. The Chimaera existed from 1992 to 2003 and you really need to buy on condition and how well it's been cared for as much as anything else. Engines range from 4 to 5 litres and all are V8s. The Chimaera is light as its body is formed from fibreglass panels, but don't let that fool you if you're looking at one. TVR chassis' can rust even though the car looks fine so take a look underneath even if the car looks in great condition.
By Matt Hubbard