For car enthusiasts, having multiple vehicles to work on and modify is the ultimate pastime. If you’re looking to add another car to your garage, check out this list of great cars to modify for under $10,000.
First up is the highly popular Honda Civic. Older generations of this car are commonly used as a base for aesthetic modifications, but they can take on a lot in terms of performance and handling upgrades as well.
While the latest Civic will set you back at least $20K, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding fifth- and sixth-generation models for under $10K. Honda vehicles are often praised for their reliability, so despite these particular models being from the 90s, if you treat them well, they should last you quite a while.
Acura RSX Type-S
The Honda/Acura RSX Type-S was made from 2002 to 2006. Acura calls this vehicle an “everyday sports car” that adds a stylish flair to your regular routine. It offers a highly agile driving experience and vast modification potential. With FWD, 200 horsepower, and 240 lb.-ft. of torque, a little can go a long way in terms of upgrades for this vehicle.
You may be able to find a used Acura RSX Type-S for as little as $4,000, though prices can reach $10K and up depending on availability.
BMW 3 Series
The seven generations of vehicles from the BMW 3 Series are all known for easy handling and quick acceleration. If you want something to perform modifications on, pay close attention to the 323, 325, and 328 models. They can be a bit difficult to find, but it’s well worth the hunt to find one of these cars under $10K.
All the vehicles from the BMW 3 Series are great compact luxury cars, so you can’t go wrong if you come across a listing for a different one below $10K.
You won’t get a ton of speed from a Mazda Miata, but this car is still extremely popular for its iconic look and extensive modification potential. With a few upgrades and little elbow grease, you can really level up this little roadster.
Both the NA (1989–1997) and NB (1999–2005) Miata models are often listed below or close to $10K, but not many are being sold lately. You’ll have more luck finding an MX-5, though you may have to raise your budget slightly.
If you’re looking to add a sports coupe to your car lineup, add the Nissan 350Z to your watch list. It’s available in both five-speed automatic and six-speed manual transmission and offers a great base for modifications.
Built between 2003 and 2008, this car can typically be found for just under to slightly more than $10K. If you’re interested in going roofless, check out the 2004 roadster model.
Finding a Car Under $10K
Since most of these car models are quite old, you may have to spend time searching through listings and placing bids to find the exact one you want. Keep in mind that many may have been modified already. To get price estimates for other vehicles, check out
Also, be prepared with the right tools so that you’re able to maintain your car and keep it in good shape. Anytime you buy a used car, go through a reputable source and be wary of private sellers disguised as curbsiders.
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