Key Takeaways

  • Kit car costs differ due to a variety of factors.
  • Some models of kit cars can go as low as $3,500.
  • Some kits come with the complete car while other kits suggest a donor car.
  • There are many kit car resources online.
  • Watch out for hidden costs when building your kit car.

Kit cars have always been a fascinating and affordable alternative for car enthusiasts who prefer to build their dream vehicle from scratch.

So, how much do kit cars cost? Kit car prices can range from as low as $3,500 for a basic Locost kit, to over $20,000 for luxury replicas like the Aristocat. The answer varies depending on the make, model and complexity of the kit.

Throughout this article, we'll explore the world of kit cars and provide accurate pricing information derived from reliable sources, such as Motor and Wheels and SlashGear, to help you make an informed decision on your kit car building journey. With extensive research and hands-on experience, you can trust the information presented in this article to guide you through the process of assembling a one-of-a-kind vehicle.

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Table of Contents

Factors Affecting Kit Car Costs

When it comes to assembling a complete kit car, the overall cost can vary significantly based on several factors.

These include the base kit price, the donor car, and any additional parts. Understanding these elements can help you make informed decisions when building your own car.

Base Kit Price

The initial factor affecting the cost of a kit car is the base kit price, which usually starts in the $30,000 to $40,000 range. This price varies depending on the kit's complexity, design, or brand reputation. Upgrading to a more advanced kit with higher-quality materials or components can lead to a higher overall cost.

Donor Car

A donor car is a vehicle that provides essential parts for the kit car build, such as the engine, transmission, or suspension components. Most kit cars need a donor car. The donor car's cost will undoubtedly affect your overall budget.

A suitable donor car with a sophisticated powertrain can increase the cost compared to choosing an older, more affordable model. Additionally, the availability and accessibility of donor cars may affect the final price.

Additional Parts

Apart from the base kit and donor car, kit car builders often require additional parts,such as a fiberglass body, to complete their project.

These parts can range from basic items like nuts and bolts to more specialized components such as a custom welded steel chassis or upgraded brakes.

As well, truck conversion kits come with many additional parts to assemble the kit.

The cost of these parts depends on their quality, brand, and availability. The more unique or high-quality a part is, the higher the cost may be.

Ultimately, the total cost of building a kit car depends on a variety of factors, each contributing to a personalized and unique final product.

Careful consideration of the base kit, donor car, and additional parts can help you manage your budget while creating the perfect ride.

Popular Kit Car Models and Prices

Caterham Seven

The Caterham Seven is a lightweight performance kit car that offers impressive handling and an exhilarating driving experience.

Inspired by the classic Lotus Seven, Caterham has produced various versions with starting prices at around $38,000.

The available Seven models feature engines from various manufacturers, and you can also find both road legal and track-focused versions.

With its minimalist design, the Caterham Seven is for those seeking pure driving enjoyment.

Factory Five Racing GTM

Factory Five Racing is renowned for its high-quality kit cars, including the GTM.

This supercar-inspired model features a sleek design and powerful performance without breaking the bank.

The GTM's base price starts around $11,000 for the kit, with the donor car and other additional components needed.

With the GTM, you get the look and excitement of an exotic vehicle at a much lower cost.

Enthusiasts looking to turn heads and experience the thrill of building their own supercar should consider the Factory Five Racing GTM.

The Factory Five GTM is a fine first kit car.

Ultima RS

If you're searching for world-beating performance in a kit car, the Ultima RS is an exceptional choice.

Considered a high ranking kit car among specialist cars, this British-built model boasts outstanding track capabilities, with acceleration and handling rivaling top-tier production supercars.

The base price for an Ultima RS kit starts around $63,000, excluding the engine and gearbox.

Despite its relatively high price compared to other kit cars, the Ultima RS offers unmatched performance and exclusivity.

It comes with all the necessary running gear and out performs other kit cars across the board.

Building an Ultima RS is a remarkable experience for those with a passion for speed and engineering excellence.

Owning one would make you the bell of the ball among your rare car network.

Budgeting for a Kit Car Build

Planning

Before diving into your kit car project, it is essential to establish your budget.

As a starting point, consider the average cost of a kit car, which is around $12,000.

However, depending on your desired features, this can range from $6,000 to over $50,000.

Hidden Costs

When budgeting for a kit car, it's important to account for all costs, including the hidden ones.

For example, you may need additional tools and equipment, such as a donor car or motorcycle engine, like in the case of the Spectre kit car.

Another aspect to consider is the time and effort involved in the build. Labor costs can add up, especially if you hire professional help during the process.

Lastly, don't forget about taxes, registration fees, and insurance costs, which can vary depending on your location and the specifications of your kit car.

Reducing Kit Car Expenses

Building a kit car can be an exciting and rewarding project, but it can also be costly. There are ways to reduce expenses and still enjoy the process of building and owning a kit car.

DIY Assembly

One way to cut costs is by assembling the kit car yourself.

Most kits are designed for DIY assembly, allowing you to save on labor costs by investing your own time and effort.

This hands-on approach not only saves money but also provides a sense of accomplishment and a deeper connection with your car.

Many kit car manufacturers provide detailed instructions and support, making the assembly process manageable even for those with limited automotive experience.

Learning new skills along the way can also make the project more enjoyable and rewarding.

Some online forums and communities, like the PistonHeads forum, offer invaluable advice and support to help you through the assembly process.

Buying Used

Another way to save on kit car costs is by purchasing a used kit car or donor vehicle.

A donor vehicle can provide essential components such as the engine, transmission, and suspension at a fraction of the cost of purchasing new parts.

Additionally, a previously-owned kit car can save you the time and effort of building it from scratch, while still allowing you to enjoy the unique driving experience that kit cars provide.

When buying a used kit car, thorough research and careful inspection of the vehicle are essential to ensure you are getting good value for your money.

Pulling The Trigger

Remember to always consult relevant sources and verify claims before making any purchase decisions to ensure that you are well-informed and reduce the likelihood of unexpected expenses in your kit car project.

It's important to research and compare options before committing to a kit car. Some models are praised for their quality and ease of assembly, while others might not be worth the investment, as highlighted by SlashGear.

Financing for kit cars can be tricky, so make sure to explore your options and find the right lender that caters to your specific needs. LendingTree offers a guide on how to finance a kit car, which can be helpful.

Before starting your kit car project, it's crucial to have a plan, set a budget, and be realistic about the time and effort it will take to build your dream car. Consult resources and connect with fellow enthusiasts to learn from their experiences.

How Much Do Kit Cars Cost?

About The Author

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks has been servicing vehicles since 2012. After completing the automotive studies program at Camden County College, he was awarded an Associates's Degree in Applied Science. His first job was a lube-tech at Jiffy Lube, and is currently an independent B-Technician servicing vehicles for the United States Postal Service. Christopher is ASE certified and loves rebuilding engines.

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