Do I rent or buy a rally car?
Much depends on your aspirations, skills and finances. Rally cars vary in price considerably - at the time of writing there are cars ranging from £1,000 to £250,000 on MotorsportAds.
Generally renting a car comes with a team who prepare and run the car for you, usually called 'arrive and drive'. This is quite a quite sensible option, particularly for your first season, especially if you're not sure exactly what to do. 'Arrive and drive' is offered by a number of teams who provide their own rally cars. Sometimes you can pay to compete in their car, with their service support, for just one or a few events to try it out.
Opportunities to rent a rally car, then run it yourself, exist but are much more limited. This is understandable because the owner is potentially exposing his or her asset to a fair degree of unmanaged risk.
Buying a car involves a lot more work and time commitment, but at the end of the day it's yours and you can do what you want to it (subject of course to your championship's regulations!), and you can sell it after you've finished with it.
If you're buying a car, check it out carefully and thoroughly. Rally cars are put through significant stress in many areas, so you want to make sure the car has been well maintained and looked after. They also are involved in more and bigger 'shunts' than most road cars, and whilst they can usually be repaired to be 'as good as new', this is an area that needs to be investigated properly. Looking at results achieved in the car is useful, although you've got to bear in mind that the driver is usually at least as important as the car, so poor results doesn't necessarily mean a poor car, and possibly vice versa.
It might also be worth exploring opportunities to lease a car. It's not unheard in the sport, and can help with capital expenditure, if nothing else.
· How do I get my rally licence?
· What equipment do I need?
· Which championship is right for me?
· What type of rally car?
· Do I rent or buy a rally car?
· Do I run it myself or go to a team?
· How do I improve my skills?
· How do I get sponsorship?
· What about the co-driver/navigator?
· What can I put back into the sport?
· Where can I find out more?