Cheap Drift Car

Cheap Drift Cars: How to Build Your Own on a Budget

Are you looking to get into the exciting world of drifting but don’t want to break the bank? Fortunately, there are plenty of cheap drift cars available that can provide an excellent entry point into the sport. With some research and a little bit of work, you can find a car that will allow you to slide around corners without spending a fortune.

Understanding Drift Cars

Cheap Drift Cars
Image Credit: Unsplash.


Drifting is a driving technique that involves intentionally oversteering the car, causing the rear wheels to lose traction and slide sideways through a turn. Drift cars are specially designed vehicles that are built for this purpose and are used in drifting competitions around the world. In this section, we will discuss the anatomy and dynamics of drift cars.

Drift Car Anatomy

Drift cars are typically rear-wheel drive (RWD) vehicles that have been modified for drifting. The modifications include changes to the suspension, steering, brakes, and tires. The suspension is usually lowered and stiffened to improve handling and reduce body roll during turns. The steering is also modified to provide more precise control during drifts. The brakes are upgraded to provide better stopping power and prevent brake fade during long drifts. Finally, the tires are replaced with special drift tires that have less grip than regular tires, allowing the car to slide more easily.

Popular Models for Cheap Drifting


If you’re looking to get into drifting, you don’t need to break the bank on an expensive sports car. There are plenty of affordable options out there that are perfect for beginners and experienced drifters alike. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular models for cheap drifting, grouped by their country of origin.

Japanese Icons

When it comes to drifting, Japanese cars are some of the most popular choices. They’re lightweight, nimble, and have plenty of aftermarket support. Here are a few of the most popular Japanese models for cheap drifting:

Model Price Range
Mazda Miata $2,000 – $10,000
Nissan 240SX $2,000 – $10,000
Toyota Corolla AE86 $5,000 – $15,000
Subaru Impreza WRX $5,000 – $15,000

The Mazda Miata is a particularly popular choice for beginners, thanks to its low cost and forgiving handling. The Nissan 240SX is also a great option, with its rear-wheel drive layout and strong aftermarket support.

European Options

European cars may not be as popular for drifting as their Japanese counterparts, but they still have plenty to offer. Here are a few of the most popular European models for cheap drifting:

Model Price Range
BMW E36 3 Series $2,000 – $10,000
Volkswagen Golf GTI $2,000 – $10,000
Audi A4 $5,000 – $15,000
BMW E46 3 Series $5,000 – $15,000

The BMW E36 3 Series is a particularly popular choice, thanks to its rear-wheel drive layout and strong aftermarket support. The Volkswagen Golf GTI is also a great option, with its nimble handling and affordable price tag.

American Muscle

If you’re looking for something a bit different, American muscle cars can also be great for drifting. They may not be as nimble as their Japanese and European counterparts, but they make up for it with raw power. Here are a few of the most popular American models for cheap drifting:

Model Price Range
Ford Mustang $2,000 – $10,000
Chevrolet Camaro $2,000 – $10,000
Pontiac Firebird $5,000 – $15,000
Chevrolet Corvette $5,000 – $15,000

The Ford Mustang is a particularly popular choice, thanks to its powerful V8 engine and affordable price tag. The Chevrolet Camaro is also a great option, with its rear-wheel drive layout and strong aftermarket support.

Modifications for Drifting

If you want to get into drifting, you’ll need to modify your car. Drifting requires a car that can handle high speeds, tight turns, and quick changes in direction. Here are some modifications you can make to your car to get it ready for drifting.

Performance Upgrades


A good suspension setup is key to drifting. You’ll want to lower your car and stiffen the suspension to reduce body roll. Coilovers are a popular choice for drifting because they allow you to adjust the ride height and damping settings.


A limited-slip differential will help you maintain traction while drifting. It will also help you initiate and maintain drifts. A welded differential is a cheap alternative to a limited-slip differential, but it’s not recommended for street use.


You don’t need a lot of horsepower to drift, but a little extra power can help. A cold air intake and a cat-back exhaust can help improve your car’s performance. You can also add a turbocharger or supercharger to increase horsepower.

Safety Modifications

Roll Cage

A roll cage is essential for safety while drifting. It will protect you in the event of a rollover or collision. A four-point roll bar is the minimum requirement for most drift events, but a full roll cage is recommended for maximum protection.

Bucket Seats and Harnesses

Bucket seats and harnesses will keep you securely in place while drifting. They will also help you maintain proper driving position and control of the car. Make sure to choose seats and harnesses that are designed for racing and drifting.

Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is a must-have safety item for any car. It can help you put out a fire quickly and prevent it from spreading. Make sure to mount your fire extinguisher in a location that is easily accessible in case of an emergency.

By making these modifications, you can transform your car into a capable drift machine. Just remember to always prioritize safety and follow proper drifting techniques.

Budgeting for Your Drift Car

When it comes to purchasing a drift car, setting a budget is crucial. Not only do you need to consider the initial purchase price, but also the ongoing maintenance and upgrade expenses. Here are some tips on how to budget for your drift car.

Initial Purchase

The initial purchase price of a drift car can vary greatly depending on the make and model. However, there are many affordable options available for beginners. For example, the Mazda Miata, Nissan 240SX, and BMW E36 are all popular choices that can be found for under $5,000.

When setting your budget, it’s important to factor in additional costs such as taxes, registration fees, and insurance. It’s also a good idea to have some extra cash set aside for any unexpected repairs or upgrades that may be needed.

Maintenance Costs

Once you have purchased your drift car, you will need to budget for ongoing maintenance costs. This includes regular oil changes, tire rotations, and brake replacements. It’s important to keep up with routine maintenance to ensure the longevity of your car and prevent any major issues from arising.

To save money on maintenance costs, consider learning how to do some of the work yourself. There are many resources available online, such as forums and YouTube tutorials, that can help you learn how to perform basic maintenance tasks.

Upgrade Expenses

As you become more experienced with drifting, you may want to upgrade your car to improve its performance. Upgrades can include things like suspension modifications, engine upgrades, and aftermarket exhaust systems.

When budgeting for upgrades, it’s important to prioritize your spending based on your goals and budget. It’s easy to get carried away with upgrades, but it’s important to stay within your means and focus on the upgrades that will have the biggest impact on your drifting experience.

Overall, setting a budget for your drift car is an important step in the purchasing process. By considering all of the costs involved, you can ensure that you are able to enjoy your drift car without breaking the bank.

Finding Cheap Drift Cars

If you’re looking for a cheap drift car, there are several ways to find one that fits your budget. In this section, we’ll cover the three main ways to find cheap drift cars.

Online Marketplaces

One of the easiest ways to find a cheap drift car is to search online marketplaces such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay. These websites allow you to search for cars in your area or even nationwide. You can filter your search results by price, make, model, and location to find the perfect car for your needs. When browsing online marketplaces, be sure to read the descriptions carefully and ask the seller any questions you may have before making an offer.

Local Motorsport Communities

Another way to find a cheap drift car is to join local motorsport communities. These communities often have members who are looking to sell their cars or know someone who is. You can find these communities on social media platforms such as Facebook or through local car clubs. By joining these communities, you can also learn more about the local drifting scene and find events to attend.

Auctions and Salvage Yards

Finally, you can find cheap drift cars at auctions and salvage yards. These places often have cars that need some work, but with a little time and effort, you can turn them into a great drift car. Be sure to inspect the car thoroughly before making a bid or purchase, as there may be hidden damage that could be costly to repair.

By using these methods, you can find a cheap drift car that fits your budget and needs. Whether you choose to search online marketplaces, join local motorsport communities, or check out auctions and salvage yards, be sure to do your research and make an informed decision.

Madison Cates is a journalist located in the great state of Texas. She began writing over eight years ago. Her first major research piece was published by the Journal of Business and Economics in 2018. After growing up in a household of eight brothers and a dad who was always restoring old Camaros, she naturally pivoted her freelance career into the automotive industry. There, she found her passion. Her experience paved the way for her to work with multiple large corporations in automotive news and trending topics. Now, she now finds her home at Wealth of Geeks where she proudly serves as Managing Editor of Autos. Madison is always down to geek out over the latest beautiful cars on the market, and she enjoys providing her readers with tips to make car ownership easier and more enjoyable.

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