Hobbies are as widely varied as the people who enjoy them. Some people golf, others hunt, and still others fish, but for those willing to try it there are surprisingly affordable ways of getting into motorsports too. With a discerning eye, and a willingness to do some of the work yourself, getting into an amateur racing group, like rally racing, can end up being less expensive than golf.
Start With Something Basic
One of the benefits of rally racing is the diversity of the cars used. While there are normally some safety requirements, a variety of different classes allow for many different shapes, styles and sizes make it possible for most cars to be suitably modified for use in amateur races. As a result, all a novice driver needs is an inexpensive car to get started with.
Look for vehicles in good mechanical shape (from oulets such as Ralli Candi), regardless of what they look like on the outside. Avoid cars which rely on a lot of electronics or with excessive driver's aides, like stability control or variable suspensions. Rally driving isn't known for being gentle on cars, and electronics tend to be some of the first components on a car to fail.
Don't Scrimp on Safety
Once you have your bargain basement vehicle, feel free to do any repairs or cosmetic work on your own, but don't try to install any essential safety equipment on your own. With the rugged nature of rally driving, it's best to put your faith in the expertise of professionals. Most rally clubs require interior roll cages, professional grade racing harnesses, and a few even require a fire extinguisher mounted inside the cab of the vehicle. Check with your rally club to be sure you're not overlooking anything.
Prioritize the work you're doing on your car. If that means you spend less on your initial vehicle so that you can have higher quality safety measures, do so. It's not unusual for a rally race to turn into a full contact event between cars, and without a solid frame around you that can end up in a dangerous situation. When that happens, you'll be glad to have professionally installed steel around you, rather than your own handy work.
Rather than spending a day milling about a manicured lawn, consider the opportunity presented by your local rally club. Take the time to give them a call, and visit an event. You might not win every race you enter, but you'll have more fun than you would smacking a ball with a stick.