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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I have been trying to find an 06 Canyon Red elise to buy. So far I am having a hard time finding one. I did find one in Chicago though:

Cars For Sale: Car Details - AutoTrader.com

Another board member carfaxed it for me and it turns out to be a rental. So my questions for you guys are:

how bad of an idea is it to buy a used rental car?

If I were to buy it, what things should I check before picking it up?
 

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You will get a lot of KEEP AWAY comments from that questions (search for threads on the rental subject!). HOWEVER - it does mean that you may get a bargain! A thorough PPI by a Lotus specialist focussing on the chassis (there is a test for trueness), suspension components - particularly attachment points to the chassis, and bodywork for signs of repair. Finally you will need to have an ECU dump to find out how the engine (and car has been treated).

An Elise can be written off due to chassis damage and bodywork is expensive to repair properly - if you cover these areas (and get a VERY good deal) an ex-rental can work!

Good luck! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response. Fox Valley isn't far away from the car, how much would this type of inspection usually cost?
 

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We purchased our 2006 Ardent Red Elise from a Ford dealer in Chicago a couple of months ago. Carfax indicated that it was origianaly titled as a rental in Nebraska. We had the car thouroughly checked out by Lotus and a number of (very expensive) issues were cheerfully repaired or replaced under warranty. There was no front end clam damage, and the paint, body and suspension were in excellent shape. There was a little more wear in the interior than one would expect from a single owner (i.e. we replaced the floor mats, there are a few blemishes).

We got a very good deal and are thrilled with the car. :clap:

Obviously, as expressed earlier, buyer beware.
 

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I bought a rental thru Fox Valley in Chicago 4 months ago (06 canyon red as well) and had them thoroughly check it out before taking possession. It's been fine so far.

The car was owned by Huntington Ridge in the Northeast until Fox Valley shipped it in. You'll probably have to get one out of town, but be sure to go thru a reputable dealer who will check and cover everything for you until warranty is up (which on most of these is still a long way off).
 

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Before I settled on a rental, I'd seriously look around. There's LOTS of Elises available.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have been keeping my eyes pealed. I won't go with the rental unless its a great deal and everything checks out good with a dealer.
 

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Do you live IN Chicago?
That 'dealer' is on the south side of Chicago ---somewhere between Marquette Park (not a great, but improving, neighborhood) and Englewood (not for the faint of heart even if you're packing). FVMC is 40 miles away, but as far as area is concerned --another Universe (which is to say a nice, safe, clean, uncrowded location). Best of luck,
john m
 

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I would skip it... if you were talking about a domestic car, that would be one thing, but many people rent a Lotus and put it though hell, just to see what the car can do.
 

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Just about every photo of that car from the link is poorly focused or too far away to show any details so there is no way to tell the wear and tear on the car from the photos. Considering the history you have on it, I wouldn't consider this car unless the price was below $30,000 and then only if you can get it inspected. It could be a great deal or just a disaster waiting for the right sucker to buy it. Beware!!
 

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Be very careful, I was talking to an autobody shop down here in florida and she said enterprise(or some rental company) had bought a ton of them and they were all getting beat up. Make sure you can get an honest accident history on a rental, most people dont know how to drive such a light car.
 

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