At the moment, you can get an R50 MINI Cooper for shockingly cheap, in the US. A few grand on the used market will find you a decent R50 with a manual transmission. You might not be able to get a Cooper S for that money and mileage may vary but, whichever model you get, you can still get an R50 for pretty cheap. Which is why Hagerty UK thinks they’re good cars to get into right now.

Admittedly, the R50 MINI Cooper isn’t likely to massively appreciate but it’s probably going to go up a bit over the next few years, which means right now is the cheapest you’ll be able to get one. The R50 is a bookend for the current MINI brand, as it was the first of its kind, when it debuted back in 2000.

It’s also a hilariously fun car to drive. With a compact footprint, buzzy engines, a manual transmission, and go-kart-like handling, the R50 MINI Cooper is almost impossible to not love. It’s also a relatively practical hatchback, with decent trunk space.

R50 MINI Cooper 2 of 4 830x528

Sure, R50 MINI Coopers were never considered reliable, so an older example with high mileage might need some work but parts are fairly easy to find and aren’t too expensive. Considering the low cost of the car itself, reliability doesn’t seem to be a major concern. If you get an R50 MINI, and put in the time and money to make it nice again, it could appreciate a bit in value over the next few years (again, though, not too much) and become a bit of a classic later on down the line.

No one is going to make a killing on the R50 MINI Cooper but it’s cheaper now than it’s ever going to be again and it’s a really fun little car to drive. If you want one, now’s the time to buy.