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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys! My names Mike. I'm new here. At the moment I'm driving a 2008 Smart Car. Haha I know I know. But it's a great car and has been good to me. I only have a little over a year to have it payed off THEN I'm hoping to find a Lotus. If I can find one local I might even have to make an early trade in haha. Anyways why are the prices on Lotus Elise' so up and down. I've seen some with the same miles & year have very diff. Prices. I've noticed that a lot.
 

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My prediction for this thread? Fun.
 

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av8or21
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When I bought mine 2 months ago, I took the price variations as a sign that I could shop around and really find myself the car that I wanted.
 

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Let's get some additional info.

Don't take this the wrong way, but based on the nature of the grammar, I'm guessing you are a very young guy. So:

- If you want an Elise be prepared to spend $30K. Yes, prices vary, but that's pretty much what they cost.

- As a young guy (if I'm assuming correctly), you're insurance will be high. Can you swallow that?

- Can you afford $30K - again, don't take this the wrong way, but a 2008 Smart appears to be worth $7K. Also you say 'payed' off - so, since it's a 2008 car and it's 2013, I'm thinking it was a 60 month loan for a $14K car?

-'Local' - hit up Abe at Newport Beach Lotus. He'll find you something. I'd bet your Smart isn't worth much in trade. I'd probably sell it on the street if you'll own it outright.

Again, not to be negative, but just to let you see reality.
 

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He's on fire!
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And also, if you're planning on this being your only car, I hope biking to work is an option.

If you get into an accident and the bodywork needs to be replaced, prepare to be waiting awhile- from reports on here it sounds like it takes months just to get a new clam.
 

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Have to +1 what swinglo has to say because I just turned 25, and bought picked up my elise this past year.

Insurance can be very difficult depending on your location and availability

I had a hell of a time getting insurance during my purchase and most companies will not insure outright to anyone under 25, so if you are <25 years old, you may want to make a lot of phone calls and quotes before even shopping around for the car.

agreed with the affordability of the cars.

The first thing I did was look up the value of a new smartcar and based on the 08 year also assumed a 60 month payment which is less than 40% of what I am paying monthly for my Elise. That is not including the insurance, but for example, my jetta is about half the cost insurance wise as my elise and i drive it less than 1/3 of the mileage of my daily driver.

Granted, I am just guessing and assuming a lot of about your finances, but I am not trying to judge you or insult you. I actually thought owning a lotus would be an impossibility to own at such a young age, but really, you just need to get a better idea of what you can manage.

If you need financing for your vehicle, you may also need to check with your financial institution to see if they will finance a lotus, as my bank would not and I needed to join a credit union.

if you have any other questions, please ask!

-edit also agree on the price.
Unless you are specifically buying a lotus for offroad use (track only) 30k is the price point average you are going to find for an elise.

and also since you seem to be trading in your smart car? It will be a difficult to own as a daily driver. There are users here that do, but I personally could not (winter weather, limited storage capacity, can only have 1 passenger)
 

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He's on fire!
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I didn't finance so I'm probably not the best source, but isn't there also a limitation to how old of a car most places are going to finance anyway? 7 years-ish? If that turns out to be true and you have to look at an 07+ - unlikely you'll find one of those @ $30k.
 

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Most large banks are 5 years as previously stated..
Trade in part.. I mean no offense but I've always wondered why they called them smart cars? I always figured they shoulda been called dumb cars. I mean the specs are crap, the price is crap. For 14 k couldn't you buy a much nicer car? I mean they do 0-60 in like ... Forever? Gotta suck on the highway... Maybe they are good for living in inner city Cali?

Well regardless, these cars will have very different prices, but for a clean title you can expect 30k as stated give or take. So heres what you do, push your smart car off a cliff so that its one less in the world, then use your insurance money on a Elise.
 

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US Bank. They do 7 year old loans for really good rates, but unless you have amazing credit prepare to put at least 40-50% down to get the super rates.
 

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Most large banks are 5 years as previously stated..
Trade in part.. I mean no offense but I've always wondered why they called them smart cars? I always figured they shoulda been called dumb cars.
SMART = Swatch Mercedes ART car

It was a joint design between Swatch and Mercedes. The concept car looked like a 90's Swatch watch with multi-colored, quick change panels.
 

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Ok, I'll say what a lot of us are thinking:

When reading the original post, we are all thinking 'dude is like 16' - amiright?!?

But just out of curiosity, when would ANY young person buy a SMART? There's a Merc/SMART dealer right down from me house, so I see them in the area. It's always some grizzled war protester professor type. Yes, they turn heads - sort of the way a guy with a mullet does.

The performance is horrid, safety is scary and the mileage is actually paltry for what it is. A smaller 'commuter' like a Yaris would be so much more practical and get BETTER mileage.

So, again, help me understand the whole SMART thing. I recall and episode of West Coast Customs, yo!, where they did a coffin like Escalade for the lead singer of Biohazard. He had a custom pink SMART done for his girlfried - 'too pretty for porn' chick Tara Patrick. I thought it looked silly because her big fake cans didn't even fit in the car.
 

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I worked at a car dealership for a while and we had 1 or 2 smart cars come through... with my experience they were a pile of **** to drive, and I drove them around a little (you know, dealership lunch runs, etc.). The transmission was miserable... probably my least favorite part!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Haha sorry about the grammar. I was typing on my phone and was multitasking. I'm 28. Insurance should be ok. I have a clean history no accidents. The smart car is great for Cali for those wondering. Tranny sucks. But other then that it's good. Cost $28 with premium to fill it up. Personally it last me awhile. Anyways I was looking at the blue book on a 2005 lotus and they're well under 30k? How do people get away with selling them for $30k plus. Just wondering. Ps. Thanks for all the info & responses!
 

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You found a bluebook value on an Elise? Lol! There are not enough sold each year to get a bluebook estimate. When I was looking I could not find anything consistent for an estimate short of watching asking prices for several months. As for the Smart car... Have you noticed the only A segment cars in the US are named to imply intelligence? That is because they are such a bad idea. Probably should have test drove something else first...
 

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The NADA "Classic Cars" book lists "Average Retail" for an Elise at $33,300, which is a tiny bit high based on the classifieds section but not far off. "Low Retail" for a classic car is considered all the way down to "amateur restorations" and is at $25.8k in the Classic Cars book, again probably a bit high for a true "amateur restoration" but overall about the cheapest you'll see even a roughed up Elise these days.

Anyway people get away with charging $30k+ because it's what the market will pay - that's how selling cars works. A few years ago you'd be able to find a deal (just like on any luxury good) but since the market for "nice things" has improved lately, best of luck. There are "deals" to be had just like in any other market but keep in mind these aren't really the car someone finds in great-grandpa's estate without knowing what they have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You found a bluebook value on an Elise? Lol! There are not enough sold each year to get a bluebook estimate. When I was looking I could not find anything consistent for an estimate short of watching asking prices for several months. As for the Smart car... Have you noticed the only A segment cars in the US are named to imply intelligence? That is because they are such a bad idea. Probably should have test drove something else first...
Uh I don't think a smart car is a bad idea. In fact I see more and more company's going in that direction. Remember smart cars are nothing new, they've been around for a long time and have been successful
 

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German Reimport
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But just out of curiosity, when would ANY young person buy a SMART? There's a Merc/SMART dealer right down from me house, so I see them in the area. It's always some grizzled war protester professor type. Yes, they turn heads - sort of the way a guy with a mullet does.

The performance is horrid, safety is scary and the mileage is actually paltry for what it is. A smaller 'commuter' like a Yaris would be so much more practical and get BETTER mileage.

So, again, help me understand the whole SMART thing.
Ok, this is a little off topic, but I can see why Americans don't get the whole idea behind the smart (or any other micro car) because their Cities have been designed for RAMs, F350s and Escalades not very long ago.

But if you ever make it out of the country and visit Europe it will become more clear that cities here have been built for pedestrians and maybe horse carriages hundrets of years ago.
So parking and even just simply getting thru the narrow streets is a challenge even with "regular" size cars.

And that is where the Smart comes into play.

It is even speciffically marketed as such:

 

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Don't concern yourself with blue book. Make it easy. If you want an Elise, be prepared to spend $30k. If you can swing that, go for it.

As for the Smart, the reason Americans don't get them is because we live in - wait for it - America. A huge country with every microclimate. Yes, cities are cities but most things are just spread out. A Smart simply doesn't sense
for most locations here. I might make sense in central London.

Also , take weather. It's 15 degrees and
snow covered in Chicago. Smart doesn't work there

I grew up and lived in downtown Chicago. Insanely congested. I had a CRX that was great. Very small and easy to maneuver and park with great MPG. But still a real car and fun.

That's the point. I get the idea of a city car and think Gordon Murray's idea is very cool, but for the US, there are cars that are only slightly larger (CRZ, Veloster. Yaris, Fit) that can offer so much more and provide BETTER gas mileage.
 
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