How to Buy a C5 Corvette

by J. Johnson

The C5 Corvette was first made in 1997 and its production ran through the year 2004, when it was replaced with the C6 model. Therefore, anyone interested in buying a C5 Corvette is going to have to buy it used. This means that while you may be able to save some money, you're also going to need to know a little bit more about where to look and what to look for in the car.

Set a budget for how much you are willing to spend on your C5 Corvette. Since the car was produced over a number of years, and since sports cars like the Corvette often include a number of special features, the price may start at around $20,000 and climb very high if you are looking for a rare model, such as the 1998 Indy Pace Car.

Make a list of features that are important to you. This might include the color of the car, the year it was made, the mileage and transmission type--or something as simple as the seat fabric or the number of cup holders inside. Rank the list in order of importance to you, since it is possible that the cars you are looking at won't offer everything you want.

Search for used C5 Corvettes online. Limit the search to nearby areas, so you can see the car. It would be a risky decision to buy a used car that hadn't been test driven and checked out by a mechanic ahead of time. Write down the offers that interest you, including the price and the features.

Visit local car dealerships. Dealerships that specialize in the Chevrolet brand may have the most selection, but other dealerships are still worth checking out. Bring the information you have found online. Use it to compare prices and features, but also as a haggling tool so the dealer there knows you are well informed.

Test drive the cars you are interested in. If there are multiple cars that you are considering, make a list of the pros and cons of each car.

Have the C5 Corvette you are going to buy inspected by an unbiased mechanic before you commit to purchasing it.


  • check Ask for an inspection report if available.


  • close Do not buy a car without test driving it first.
  • close Do not let the appearance of the car distract you from the amount of mileage on it and how it runs.

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About the Author

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.