You’ve probably heard about the historically hot seller’s market out there and thought, “is it time to sell my car?” With various market forces driving car prices to some never-before-seen highs, there’s almost never been a better time to divest of that used model you have sitting in storage. Naturally, this doesn’t extend to all used models, with some vehicles being more in demand than others owing to concerns around reliability, rarity, fuel economy, and the like. Trucks will generally do better than cars on the resale market, and nimble crossover SUVs are increasingly popular as of late, but for those looking for a surefire return on investment, there are few categories more likely to retain their value than high-performance sports cars.
In some ways, classic sports cars exist in a slightly different world than your run-of-the-mill sedan. That’s because these really aren’t just vehicles; they’re collector’s items. Like any collector’s item, the demand and price you can set depend on a lot more than current market conditions and larger industry trends. Add to this the fact that sports cars typically depreciate more slowly than other types of vehicles, and you’ve got a recipe for turning an easy profit. Below we’ve included our picks for some of the most valuable sports cars on today’s resale market, so take a look, and if you’ve got any of the models squirreled away somewhere, your payday could be a short classifieds post away.
Ferrari F430 (2004-2009)
Current Resale Value: $185,841
Even in a historically bullish resale market, Ferrari is a standout. The Italian brand has made a name for itself with some of the most stylish, sought-after high-performance cars on the market and is a force to be reckoned with in the resale market. Ferraris usually aren’t too much of a bargain, to begin with, and certain classic models have even been known to set records when they go up for auction. For example, in 2018 a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO in pristine condition sold for a jaw-dropping $70.2 million at auction. This value was due in part to the particular model’s heritage, with the 250 GTO having won the 1964 Tour de France, but a 1963 250 GTO model with no such pedigree did command an equally astounding $52 million in 2013.
In fact, Ferrari’s vehicles do so well on the resale market that the automaker actually has rules in place to actively discourage drivers from selling their vehicle within the first year of ownership, and that’s if you can even land one in the first place. Ferrari often screens applicants extensively before handing over the keys. It’s widely rumored that certain factors like income, age, and fame play a role in Ferrari giving the nod to certain buyers in a move that makes the brand something like the Birkin bag of the automotive world.
Given Ferrari’s reputation and current market conditions, it’s hard to go wrong when choosing a model with the best resale value. That said, the Ferrari F430 is our top pick when it comes to resale value. Produced between 2004 and 2009, the F430 was the successor to the Ferrari 360 that included a number of performance and exterior upgrades over its forerunner. Available in coupe or convertible Spider configurations, the F430 also saw a few variants like the F430 Scuderia and limited-run F430 Scuderia 16M. According to Classic.com, the F430 has sold for an average of $175,407 over the last five years and $185,841 over the last 12 months. This average has been bumped up by some marquee sales, like a $652,845 transaction for a 2006 Ferrari F430 GTC.
So what makes the F430 such a standout? In many ways, it’s simply because the car was produced at the right time. After a decades-long reputation as a brand that provided an exciting way to travel back and forth to the repair shop, Ferrari began to hit its stride in terms of reliability thanks to new engineering techniques and new components like electronic stability control. This gave drivers increased confidence when it came to investing in a Ferrari, making this era of vehicles particularly popular on the resale market.
The decade also saw 0-60 times in the high-end sports car market begin to trend below four seconds, which stabilized the market as drivers were less likely to ditch their current ride for a newer model with drastically improved acceleration. Regardless of what factors contributed most, the proof is in the pudding: older Ferrari models like the F355 and 360 lost around ten percent of their value ten years after their debut, while the F430 actually rose in price by two percent over its original MSRP.
Porsche 911 (1964 – 2022)
Current Resale Value: $115,698
While some cars bring a higher resale value due to their relative rarity, the Porsche 911 bucks that particular trend. The 911 has been dethroned in recent years by popular new crossovers models like the Macan and all-electric Taycan but with a lineage stretching back to 1964, but there’s no doubt that the 911 is one of the most common Porsche models you’ll find on the road today.
With a strong cult following, practical features, an iconic look, and multiple variations, the 911 is one of the most depreciation-resistant vehicles on the market today. With an average five-year depreciation of 12.8 percent, the 911 typically loses less value in half a decade than most vehicles do in their first year. It’s hard to argue against a vehicle that still retains 85 percent of its value in the first five years, so we won’t. The critics seem to agree with everyone from Kelley Blue Book and iSeeCars, recognizing the coupe as having the lowest depreciation in the sports car segment.
This strong resale value is due, at least in part, to the fact that the 911 is not your average sports car. The popular model is a practical enough choice to serve as a trusty daily driver with seating for four and two trunks giving owners ample space for both passengers and cargo and going a long way in upping its usability.
Of course, at least a part of the 911’s appeal can be credited to its unique appearance. Porsche hasn’t tinkered with the design of the popular model all that much since it was first introduced in 1963, giving drivers a classic silhouette that has become synonymous with performance and fun. Multiple trim options and configurations mean there’s a 911 to fit every driver’s unique demands, allowing Porsche to cast a wider net when it comes to attracting new customers. As newer models continue to rise in price, the used market has kept pace, with the value of used 911s going up year-over-year. Air-cooled models produced before 1998 are particularly in-demand over the water-cooled models that followed, as well as 911s in the Carrera, Turbo, or RS trims.
The 911’s practicality as a daily driver has resulted in something of a double-edged sword when it comes to the resale market. While the coupe is a perennially popular choice, its practicality means that 911s are often well-loved by the time they hit the resale market with higher-than-average mileage when compared to many other sports cars. This abnormally high level of usage means that while there are lots of 911s on the road today, they’ve often been put through their paces and typically don’t arrive on the used market in pristine condition. That said, a well-maintained, low-mileage 911 can command a hefty sum at resale. The 911 has brought an average of $101,148 over the past five years and, like most models, the figure is even better when looking at more recent sales with a 12-month average of $115,698. High points include a super-limited 2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS ‘Sally Special,’ which sold for $3.6 million in August 2022. Certain models like the 996 and 964 perform particularly well with a five to ten-fold increase in value.
Cadillac CTS-V (2003 – 2019)
Current Resale Value: $74,395 (third-generation)
Luxury vehicles tend to fare quite well on the resale market, and few brands are more synonymous with the concept of luxury than Cadillac. While high-end features, thoughtful amenities, and a refined, comfortable ride were once enough to sate the appetite of luxury buyers, performance has played a larger role in recent decades as European brands began to dominate the luxury space. In 2003 Cadillac responded in kind with the debut of the CTS-V, a high-performance luxury variant of the CTS sedan featuring an upgraded V8 engine and sport-tuned suspension. The CTS-V made an immediate impact upon its debut and was nominated for the 2002 North American Car of the Year award. That success continued throughout the following generations, with the second-gen model winning the 2008 Motor Trend Car of the Year award and MotorWeek’s Driver’s Choice Awards for Best Sport Sedan in both 2008 and 2009, as well as multiple “10Best” awards from Car and Driver.
While all generations of the CTS-V carry solid resale value, it’s the final, third-generation run that typically commands the best price on the market. Produced between 2016 and 2019, the third generation was to be the CTS-V’s victory lap as it was replaced with the CT5–V Blackwing in 2019. With a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine, the CTS-V can produce a thrilling 640 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque making the model the most powerful Cadillac produced up until that point. To put it into context, this is the same engine used on the Corvette C7 Z06, albeit one with ten less horsepower than its sports car cousin.
When paired with the 8-speed automatic transmission, the CTS-V can speed from zero to 60 in just 3.5 seconds, which should be more than enough to get any driver’s hair standing on end. Drivers seeking more control could also opt for the Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual, and once you factor in the MagneRide suspension, you’ve got a powerful-yet-comfortable sedan that hits the sweet spot between luxury and performance. The interior includes all the expected luxury highlights like a premium Bose audio system, suede-trimmed seats, navigation, cutting-edge infotainment system, and more.
The CTS-V was offered in three distinct body styles: sedan, coupe, and wagon. The latter, a rear-wheel drive muscle wagon with the sort of horsepower that would make some muscle cars blush, is something of a novelty in today’s market with a correspondingly high resale price to match. Only 514 manual versions of the CTS-V Wagon were built, making the unique model a rare find on the resale market and commanding an average of $75,000. This sort of high resale value isn’t limited to the Wagon, with the Sedan and Coupe both faring well in terms of depreciation and resale value. In fact, the third-generation CTS-V has hardly been dented by depreciation even before the recent market bubble and can now routinely bring in offers in the $60,000 to $80,000 range.
The third-gen CTS-V has sold for an average of $71,997 over the last five years and even better over the last 12 months with an average price of $74,395. The recent resale king would have to be a 2016 Cadillac CTS-V Custom Sedan with just under 18,000 miles that sold for $106,700 in early 2022, but in this historically hot market, there’s just no telling what the next sale could bring. Those are great figures for a Cadillac, and they allow the CTS-V to stack up particularly well against some of the CTS-V’s European competitors. The American-made Cadillac is also typically cheaper to own than many European luxury cars, with lower repair and maintenance fees across the board.
Get Big Bucks for Your Sports Car
While the Porsche 911, Ferrari F430, and Cadillac CTS-V might differ in terms of power, performance, and style, they all have one thing in common: they’re all drawing considerable interest from buyers as of late. Well-kept versions of any of these three models can garner some impressive offers from collectors, who have been snatching up classic sports cars at a historic rate in the last few years. The models we’ve covered here might be some of the current top performers on the resale market, but it’s far from being a complete least. There are plenty of resources available for drivers looking to gauge the value of their own collection, from old standbys like Kelley Blue Book to newer, more exhaustive options like Hagerty and Classic.com. Drivers can easily input their specific make and model and uncover exhaustive data about recent sales, market trends, and other information that’ll ensure you get the best possible price when you decide to move on from your beloved ride.