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Discussion Starter #1
I got myself a used 05 Elise last week and thought I should post my experience in case it helps out other prospective buyers.

Pics:
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f3/got-my-elise-newport-eurpoean-rocks-58507/

Specs: 05 Ardent Red, 5200 miles, touring, sport, hardtop, starshield, lojack

Tips:
- Patience: If you have specific options and colors in mind, give yourself some time (~3 months). I had specific color, options and mileage in mind (AR or Chrome Orange, Hardtop, touring, starshield) and mileage (<10K). When I started looking, I had set myself an upper ceiling of $33k. I was primarily focused on private sellers in the beginning.

- Research/Talking to people: I knew a couple of Elise owners and they were fantastic in helping out with my research (Rahul, if you are reading this, thank you again.) Also got some tips from Rob at Dietsch Werks (South Bay - specialises in Lotus cars) on what to look for. Of course, this forum was invaluable - great people and lots of great info.

- Search: I Kept a regular eye on 'For Sale' forums, Autotrader, Yahoo listings & Ebay. Pinged a couple of private sellers from the 'For Sale' section of this forum. Some were really helpful and responsive, others not so much. Came across a few people out there who seem to be feeling the market without a strong commitment to sell and ended up wasting my time. Ebay was helpful in getting a guage of selling prices and the general market for Elises. To be honest, prices were a little all over the place. Some Autotrader listings were a little on the high side.

- Honing in: Found some cars that I liked: 3 from out of state (private sellers), 1 in-state (listed in autotrader, dealer). Came to the realization that when you add up the shipping costs (about $1700 -$2000 coast to coast), flying in to check out the car (or sending a local mechanic), the hassles of registration & smog checks in California (particularly with modified exhausts), the best option was getting an in-state/local vehicle.

Honed in on the dealer listed vehicle on Autotrader. It was listed for $37k, a good few grand above my upper ceiling. But Newport European were great to work with and we ended up on a mutually acceptable price (Suffice to say that it was little bit higher than my original limit, but not by much).

Considering that Newport has a pretty high bar in terms of the cars they sell, new tires and a few more months of warranty remaining, it was the right thing to do. Drove down to LA and picked up the car. The car was in even better shape in person than I had imagined. Except for the drive to LA, it was a completely painless & hassle free experience. Kevin & co at Newport were great.

So, there you have it. If you are considering a used Elise, I would urge to look at local cars and not to overlook your in state dealers. For me, the relatively small premium you pay going via a dealership was absolutely worth it. No chasing up sellers and their whims, no 'title' issues, no 'commitment to sell' or 'timing' issues, and, little paperwork.

Anyway, Hope this helps.

BTW, absolutely love the car.

Jay
 

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congrats!!! ride em long and ride em hard...thats what i always say!!!
 

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I don't suppose you'd be willing to sell me the hard top? lol...
I just picked up my 2nd lotus thursday, ardent red and looking good :D

Hope you come out to some of the GGLC events or car meets, would be nice to meet a new face, congrats on the car!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks!

I am planning to attend the GGLC and LotusTalk meetups. Will see you there!

Jay
 

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JayG, sorry I didn't see this post sooner. Welcome to the Bay Area Lotus scene. :D Hope to see you and your new Elise around at some events soon. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
JayG, sorry I didn't see this post sooner. Welcome to the Bay Area Lotus scene. :D Hope to see you and your new Elise around at some events soon. :)
Thanks! Slowly getting to know the lotus scene. Had a fun event at Lemans Karting 2 weeks ago (arranged by Larry). Met some great fellow Lotus drivers.

Looking forward to my first AutoX on Sept 6!

Jay
 

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Thanks! Slowly getting to know the lotus scene. Had a fun event at Lemans Karting 2 weeks ago (arranged by LarryB). Met some great fellow Lotus drivers.

Looking forward to my first AutoX on Sept 6!

Jay
I was there as well!!! rotfl
 

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Great post JayG. I just posted the other side of this transaction "Best way to sell a Lotus". Enjoy the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great post JayG. I just posted the other side of this transaction "Best way to sell a Lotus". Enjoy the car.
Thats a great thread.

The car is doing great. All the attention you get on the road takes a bit of getting used to!
 

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Ha! Small world! Are you planning to attend the AutoX on the 6th?
Probably not...dunno if I'm into AutoX. Besides...its a long haul for me to get there. :(

JayG said:
The car is doing great. All the attention you get on the road takes a bit of getting used to!
Ya, you either eat it up and enjoy it...or do like I do and drive with my windows up anytime I'm driving slow.
 
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