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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I have been looking into owning a lotus elise ever since 2001 when i played Gran Tourismo 3 and experienced the cornering power of the Elise, I liked it so much that i only stopped racing with it when i got either the viper or the suzuki formula 1 car (escudo pikes peak)!!! .... I was 10 years old then...

Now, I am 21, a recent college grad working as an engineer for 8 months in IL. My monthly salary is $5200 and i usually take home about $3700 after my 401k contribution and taxes. In those 8 months, i have saved up $21k. I have 0 responsibilities (no loans, children etc). Single (and not looking to change that)... also, i have never owned a sports car, nor driven one, nor driven a manual, currently driving a honda accord with no power locks or cruise control (even if it did have it, i probably will not use it)!!!

With that said, from your experience with the car, would i be able to pay for the yearly upkeep or this car, without breaking the bank? Would you all think it is a good idea to get it now, or wait? And how do you see the price of the elise changing in the next year?

THanks
 

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Wow, there are soooo many threads about this already. Search for them, by a good used car with a manual transmission to learn on, keep a "daily driver" until you are proficient enough to heel-and-toe a car well --even after you buy a Lotus, go to two driving/performance schools - one after you drive your manual trani beater a few thousand miles and another real performance school about a year later, read these forums as consistently.
Relatively inexpensive to own if you don't continually change a lot.
 

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Haha, I had similar experience getting obsessed with the car since GT2/3.
The car is pretty low maintenance, especially if you have a daily driver.
I do around 7000miles a year and 6 autocrosses, and in my experience the upkeep was something like this:

Tires: ~$1200 for Yoko A048 R-compound (lasted me appx. 5000 miles, but switched recently to R888 with some geometry changes and 'should' last me longer than 8000 miles. Street tires should last longer.)
Oil Change ~$200 or $50 if you do it yourself.
Brake fluid ~$160 or $30 if you do it yourself.
Gas: average of 20~30mpg per tank depending on my level of... spirited-ness...

Assuming nothing breaks:)huh:), it's pretty easy on the wallet.

I'd say buy a house first, but maybe that saying is no longer true these days.
But then again, never postpone JOY. :shift:
 

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Car is fantastic get one but keep the accord. All good engineers are car enthusiests

Sent from my DROID RAZR using AutoGuide.Com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thank you all so much, seems like with my salary, i can still maintain this car (someone had me thinking maintenance was similar to a ferrari). Insurance for me is $2k, now all that is left is to find a nice yellow elise under $30k and 30kmiles
 

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You've taken differential equations and you need help calculating your personal finances? ;)

I would go for it. You've saved up plenty which shows that you have a large amount of disposable income for your lifestyle. I drove some nice cars in my early 20s and I don't regret it. It seems to be less fun the older you get.
 

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With that said, from your experience with the car, would i be able to pay for the yearly upkeep or this car, without breaking the bank? Would you all think it is a good idea to get it now, or wait? And how do you see the price of the elise changing in the next year?

THanks
The same car will sell for $xx,xxx in feb/march and cost 1-2k more 2 months later. i would recommend looking for the perfect one, it will cause you to be more thorough in the search, take more time, and in doing so save you money when said and done.

When I was starting to get serious about buying an Elise, i was about 1 month too late. I found one EXACTLY how I wanted it, mods and all. It went for a killer price, but I did not have the cash in time.

The only thing else left to say is that these cars are very special, and deserve to be treated as such both on and off the road.
 

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Hi all,

I have been looking into owning a lotus elise ever since 2001 when i played Gran Tourismo 3 and experienced the cornering power of the Elise, I liked it so much that i only stopped racing with it when i got either the viper or the suzuki formula 1 car (escudo pikes peak)!!! .... I was 10 years old then...

Now, I am 21, a recent college grad working as an engineer for 8 months in IL. My monthly salary is $5200 and i usually take home about $3700 after my 401k contribution and taxes. In those 8 months, i have saved up $21k. I have 0 responsibilities (no loans, children etc). Single (and not looking to change that)... also, i have never owned a sports car, nor driven one, nor driven a manual, currently driving a honda accord with no power locks or cruise control (even if it did have it, i probably will not use it)!!!

With that said, from your experience with the car, would i be able to pay for the yearly upkeep or this car, without breaking the bank? Would you all think it is a good idea to get it now, or wait? And how do you see the price of the elise changing in the next year?

THanks
Wow nice dude, I'm a 21 year old also looking at getting a Lotus Elise. I've never actually driven a manual either but I do drive a sports car. To be honest in my opinion you should start out with, even if only for a few months, a different manual car. If you're still working you can also use this time to save up more as well. Many times new stick shift drivers will stall their manual cars for the first few weeks because they don't have the timing down and that would be embarrassing and potentially dangerous to stall out at lights in a Lotus Elise. Right now I'm driving a 1998 automatic Honda Prelude but sometime in the next month or two I'm selling it to get a 3000gt SL in a stick shift format to practice with. I'm putting away about $1200 a month average towards my Elise and sadly it's going to be a good 6-8 months before I actually get my Elise. I'm going to put 10-15k down and get a loan for the rest. But if you do get a manual car for the time being and can get used to it then you will feel much more comfortable and confident in your new Lotus Elise. That's what I'm doing anyways haha it's totally up to you though obviously. Also what do you mean it's 2k for your insurance, do you mean for 6 months?
-Edit Also another thing is you should wait to find the car that is perfect for you and definitely do not settle. I heard that the Lotus Elise drops and falls in value based on season, you might be able to save a few K's by waiting until fall or winter if that's of any importance to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow nice dude, I'm a 21 year old also looking at getting a Lotus Elise. I've never actually driven a manual either but I do drive a sports car. To be honest in my opinion you should start out with, even if only for a few months, a different manual car. If you're still working you can also use this time to save up more as well. Many times new stick shift drivers will stall their manual cars for the first few weeks because they don't have the timing down and that would be embarrassing and potentially dangerous to stall out at lights in a Lotus Elise. Right now I'm driving a 1998 automatic Honda Prelude but sometime in the next month or two I'm selling it to get a 3000gt SL in a stick shift format to practice with. I'm putting away about $1200 a month average towards my Elise and sadly it's going to be a good 6-8 months before I actually get my Elise. I'm going to put 10-15k down and get a loan for the rest. But if you do get a manual car for the time being and can get used to it then you will feel much more comfortable and confident in your new Lotus Elise. That's what I'm doing anyways haha it's totally up to you though obviously. Also what do you mean it's 2k for your insurance, do you mean for 6 months?
-Edit Also another thing is you should wait to find the car that is perfect for you and definitely do not settle. I heard that the Lotus Elise drops and falls in value based on season, you might be able to save a few K's by waiting until fall or winter if that's of any importance to you.
wow, thanks, never knew that... more incentive to wait (and let all that money sit dormant :(). but yea, it is 2k a year, full coverage from USAA, which includes everything and a $500 deductible... and gonna test drive a mustang gt this weekend (manual)
 

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Salvage car in the making? ;P take care of that car man, its not for beginners ;)
 

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Hi all,

I have been looking into owning a lotus elise ever since 2001 when i played Gran Tourismo 3 and experienced the cornering power of the Elise, I liked it so much that i only stopped racing with it when i got either the viper or the suzuki formula 1 car (escudo pikes peak)!!! .... I was 10 years old then...

Now, I am 21, a recent college grad working as an engineer for 8 months in IL. My monthly salary is $5200 and i usually take home about $3700 after my 401k contribution and taxes. In those 8 months, i have saved up $21k. I have 0 responsibilities (no loans, children etc). Single (and not looking to change that)... also, i have never owned a sports car, nor driven one, nor driven a manual, currently driving a honda accord with no power locks or cruise control (even if it did have it, i probably will not use it)!!!

With that said, from your experience with the car, would i be able to pay for the yearly upkeep or this car, without breaking the bank? Would you all think it is a good idea to get it now, or wait? And how do you see the price of the elise changing in the next year?

THanks
I would definitely get an Elise (I just got mine this last Easter Sunday) after the following:

1. Learn to drive a stick. Do you have any friends who own a car with a manual shifter? If so, ask them to teach you how to drive it - offer them pizza and beer. If you don't have any friends with a manual car, find a driving school that does (it doesn't have to be a performance driving school).

2. Find a local shop you trust that can service the car. Although the car is mechanically simple and you can do quite a bit of maintenance yourself.

3. Find a place to store it for the winter if you are not going to drive it when it snows out.

4. Save up all of the money for the car and pay cash when you buy it. Then you are still debt free!

I know you want the car ASAP - that comes with being 21. It's an awesome car and I highly recommend buying one. As others have said, wait for the car that's right for you - there are a lot of yellow ones out there.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
so i decided to pull the trigger and my search has begun (financing already approved, just waiting on the one now).
secondly, while i am no pro, i was able to get up to 5th gear, and shift into 1st while on a hill with a truck behind me at a stoplight :D.

thanks for the advice guys
 

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Hah I just graduated college too and I work as an engineer in MO and I, too, would like to buy an Elise. It might be a long time before I can though. You make wayyy more than I do. Lucky! :p
 

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Discussion Starter #16
lol, this feels like an eternity ago. I guess at least one of these threads actually produced results :)
 

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hahaha, nice, I would definitely get a lot of practice with manual transmission before buying the car, (while you wait for the perfect match) or wait till the next cold season to save a few grand on the price.

I can't imagine the elise being an easy first car to learn manual on. I've been daily driving a turbodiesel VW for two years now and driving stick is second nature to me, controlling a lotus and shifting my elise requires me to actually think and be alert all the time.
 
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