In Japan where Drifting is king, Turbo Nissans dominate the local Grass roots drift days. They are cheap to buy and repair. But here in the UK the same car is likely to cost you £3k+ which for the newbie drifter is far too much money. Import duty and taxes put the JDM cars out of reach for those who want to learn the art of throwing a car sideways on a budget.
But fear not!! Europe has its own bargain basement drift cars, and the E36 BMW is one of the most popular. With 50/50 weight balance from the factory its a perfect starter car for any wannabe skidder. The E36 is one of BMW's most popular cars with a great variety of body shapes and engine sizes, The coupe with a 6 pot being the most popular choice for drifters. But the saloon, compact and estate are also impressive weapons.
You can still pick up a 6 pot E36 for under £1000 if you hunt long and hard enough bit expect it to already have been drifted and certainly don't expect mint bodywork. Its always handy to buy a car with drift upgrades already attached. Hydro, welded diff and coilovers are essential for most people. Extra rims and tyres, bucket seats and a deep dish steering wheel are also a bonus. But none of this stuff costs much if you have to add it afterwards.
Grass roots drifting in the UK is becoming ever more popular and you can currently go and drift for a whole day for around £60 entry to an event, resulting in one of the cheapest forms of Motorsport in the UK. However as it becomes more popular its much harder to get in on the few drift days available and the demand is very quickly out weighing supply. The UK's strict council rules on noise pollution from tracks and airfields means drifters are currently limited to a few locations and more and more people are hitting the streets at night to drift.
Of course if the E36 doest float your boat there are a whole host of RWD cars available from BMW, as long as its manual and you can weld the diff happy days. And don't forget other bargain RWD cars from the likes of Volvo and Mercedes for bargain drift machines.