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2005 Saffron Yellow Lotus Elise; 2008 Porsche Cayman S Porsche Design Edition 1: 2011 Audi S4 Manual
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Now that the earlier S2s can be imported, has anyone tried importing an Elise/Exige from the UK or has thoughts of doing so?
I recently imported a 2005 Elise from NY to BC and the process wasn't too challenging. 2006 model year Elises with build dates from prior to July 2006 can now be imported from the US to Canada, so wouldn't this be a lot simpler? Additionally, you would get a LHD instead of a RHD car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I recently imported a 2005 Elise from NY to BC and the process wasn't too challenging. 2006 model year Elises with build dates from prior to July 2006 can now be imported from the US to Canada, so wouldn't this be a lot simpler? Additionally, you would get a LHD instead of a RHD car.
Could you describe the process and the cost associated with that? Was it more cost-effective than sourcing local in the end? I presume the car must be bone stock to pass the BC out-of-province inspection?
 

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2005 Saffron Yellow Lotus Elise; 2008 Porsche Cayman S Porsche Design Edition 1: 2011 Audi S4 Manual
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Could you describe the process and the cost associated with that? Was it more cost-effective than sourcing local in the end? I presume the car must be bone stock to pass the BC out-of-province inspection?
Hi ft86. Yes, it was more cost effective for me, even when considering the shipping and duties. I'm not sure where you are located in Canada, but there aren't that many that come up for sale in BC, and when they do, they are quite pricey. The car I bought was stock (other than a Larini exhaust), so I can't really comment on what is permitted (other than knowing an imported car cannot have a branded title -- i.e. salvage/rebuilt). I had the provincial inspection and just needed the daytime running lights to be wired up.

Anyway, here's a long description of my purchase and import process that I posted on another thread a few weeks back to give you some additional details:

Like you, I know the challenges of finding that desired Lotus in Canada when so few were sold new here, and there was no exemption from the 15-year import rule for both the Elise and Evora despite the US models being identical to the Canadian models (pretty much other than daytime running lights)! Because of this, models that come up for sale in Canada are usually priced a fair bit higher than comparable models in the US, and I also have found that most were coming up for sale in ON/QC while I live in BC. I had been searching for an Elise in Canada for over a year before I actually gave up on the Lotus dream at that time and bought a Cayman S in 2019.

I was fortunate enough to be able to start looking for an Elise again (and thankfully keep the Cayman that I also love), and I expanded my search for an Elise to the US in the second half of 2020. I started looking at both Bring a Trailer and AutoTempest, which is kind of like a search aggregator for vehicles that are for sale. See the link below that I kept for myself:

Lotus Elise - AutoTempest.com
AutoTempest used car search engine results for Lotus Elise
www.autotempest.com
www.autotempest.com

I found my Elise in a listing that had been posted and showed up on AutoTempest the afternoon that it had been posted by the selling dealer in NY, and I called them that day. Thankfully I did as there was big interest in the car but I was first in line. I never would have found this car if not for AutoTempest.

Anyway, to answer your questions about whether there were difficulties or not, the difficulties that arose weren't from what you would expect in buying remotely.

THE GOOD:
  • The listing dealer had over 100 high resolution photos of all aspects of the car (including from underneath while the car was on a lift);
  • There was a cold start video and walk-around video;
  • There was an internal inspection report (almost like a mini PPI that they did showing the car's state of affairs like brake life remaining, status of brake fluid, etc., and that they did prior to getting the car ready for sale).
  • Discussions with the dealer and all of the above items (plus the Carfax, etc.) made me very comfortable in buying my Elise remotely.
  • The import and brokerage was handled for me, and the car showed up at my doorstep in an enclosed trailer. That was a massively exciting moment, and sort of like Christmas for a car nut. 😉👍
THE BAD:
  • As my car was in NY, there was a form (i.e. Abstract of Title Record, or something like that) that needed to be processed by the NY DMV that was needed before the car could be sold out of state. Due to COVID, it took the DMV over 2.5 freaking months to process that single piece of paper. That was aggravating since the car was paid for on Feb 2nd and would have been ready to ship about a week later following the installation of new tires.
  • TFX was the shipping company and broker that I used. While their service generally was good, they weren't the most organized with respect to the actual pickup of the car. They kept asking me over and over whether I still wanted their services during the period I was waiting on the NY DMV, and then when they were told that the form arrived, it took them almost 3 weeks to actually pick up the car from the dealer.
  • This is an obvious point, but having to pay the 6.1% import duty and the shipping costs kinda sucks, although I still paid a fair bit less all-in than if my car had come up for sale locally (or let's say within BC).
To sum up, I definitely would recommend that you expand your search to include cars in the US, and check AutoTempest regularly as it found me my car! The actual purchase and import process was pretty straightforward, and the only aggravatations really related to the NY DMV and the shipper being a bit slower than I hoped. If you are buying remotely, you obviously just need to get enough info about the car to make yourself comfortable to actually buy it, but you know that already. 😊

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Hopefully that answers your questions! Feel free to let me know if you want any more details or have any other questions. I am happy to help.👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi ft86. Yes, it was more cost effective for me, even when considering the shipping and duties. I'm not sure where you are located in Canada, but there aren't that many that come up for sale in BC, and when they do, they are quite pricey. The car I bought was stock (other than a Larini exhaust), so I can't really comment on what is permitted (other than knowing an imported car cannot have a branded title -- i.e. salvage/rebuilt). I had the provincial inspection and just needed the daytime running lights to be wired up.

Anyway, here's a long description of my purchase and import process that I posted on another thread a few weeks back to give you some additional details:

Like you, I know the challenges of finding that desired Lotus in Canada when so few were sold new here, and there was no exemption from the 15-year import rule for both the Elise and Evora despite the US models being identical to the Canadian models (pretty much other than daytime running lights)! Because of this, models that come up for sale in Canada are usually priced a fair bit higher than comparable models in the US, and I also have found that most were coming up for sale in ON/QC while I live in BC. I had been searching for an Elise in Canada for over a year before I actually gave up on the Lotus dream at that time and bought a Cayman S in 2019.

I was fortunate enough to be able to start looking for an Elise again (and thankfully keep the Cayman that I also love), and I expanded my search for an Elise to the US in the second half of 2020. I started looking at both Bring a Trailer and AutoTempest, which is kind of like a search aggregator for vehicles that are for sale. See the link below that I kept for myself:

Lotus Elise - AutoTempest.com
AutoTempest used car search engine results for Lotus Elise
www.autotempest.com
www.autotempest.com

I found my Elise in a listing that had been posted and showed up on AutoTempest the afternoon that it had been posted by the selling dealer in NY, and I called them that day. Thankfully I did as there was big interest in the car but I was first in line. I never would have found this car if not for AutoTempest.

Anyway, to answer your questions about whether there were difficulties or not, the difficulties that arose weren't from what you would expect in buying remotely.

THE GOOD:
  • The listing dealer had over 100 high resolution photos of all aspects of the car (including from underneath while the car was on a lift);
  • There was a cold start video and walk-around video;
  • There was an internal inspection report (almost like a mini PPI that they did showing the car's state of affairs like brake life remaining, status of brake fluid, etc., and that they did prior to getting the car ready for sale).
  • Discussions with the dealer and all of the above items (plus the Carfax, etc.) made me very comfortable in buying my Elise remotely.
  • The import and brokerage was handled for me, and the car showed up at my doorstep in an enclosed trailer. That was a massively exciting moment, and sort of like Christmas for a car nut. 😉👍
THE BAD:
  • As my car was in NY, there was a form (i.e. Abstract of Title Record, or something like that) that needed to be processed by the NY DMV that was needed before the car could be sold out of state. Due to COVID, it took the DMV over 2.5 freaking months to process that single piece of paper. That was aggravating since the car was paid for on Feb 2nd and would have been ready to ship about a week later following the installation of new tires.
  • TFX was the shipping company and broker that I used. While their service generally was good, they weren't the most organized with respect to the actual pickup of the car. They kept asking me over and over whether I still wanted their services during the period I was waiting on the NY DMV, and then when they were told that the form arrived, it took them almost 3 weeks to actually pick up the car from the dealer.
  • This is an obvious point, but having to pay the 6.1% import duty and the shipping costs kinda sucks, although I still paid a fair bit less all-in than if my car had come up for sale locally (or let's say within BC).
To sum up, I definitely would recommend that you expand your search to include cars in the US, and check AutoTempest regularly as it found me my car! The actual purchase and import process was pretty straightforward, and the only aggravatations really related to the NY DMV and the shipper being a bit slower than I hoped. If you are buying remotely, you obviously just need to get enough info about the car to make yourself comfortable to actually buy it, but you know that already. 😊

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Hopefully that answers your questions! Feel free to let me know if you want any more details or have any other questions. I am happy to help.👍
Thanks for the info. I'm in BC. We can meet up when I find one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi ft86. Yes, it was more cost effective for me, even when considering the shipping and duties. I'm not sure where you are located in Canada, but there aren't that many that come up for sale in BC, and when they do, they are quite pricey. The car I bought was stock (other than a Larini exhaust), so I can't really comment on what is permitted (other than knowing an imported car cannot have a branded title -- i.e. salvage/rebuilt). I had the provincial inspection and just needed the daytime running lights to be wired up.

Anyway, here's a long description of my purchase and import process that I posted on another thread a few weeks back to give you some additional details:

Like you, I know the challenges of finding that desired Lotus in Canada when so few were sold new here, and there was no exemption from the 15-year import rule for both the Elise and Evora despite the US models being identical to the Canadian models (pretty much other than daytime running lights)! Because of this, models that come up for sale in Canada are usually priced a fair bit higher than comparable models in the US, and I also have found that most were coming up for sale in ON/QC while I live in BC. I had been searching for an Elise in Canada for over a year before I actually gave up on the Lotus dream at that time and bought a Cayman S in 2019.

I was fortunate enough to be able to start looking for an Elise again (and thankfully keep the Cayman that I also love), and I expanded my search for an Elise to the US in the second half of 2020. I started looking at both Bring a Trailer and AutoTempest, which is kind of like a search aggregator for vehicles that are for sale. See the link below that I kept for myself:

Lotus Elise - AutoTempest.com
AutoTempest used car search engine results for Lotus Elise
www.autotempest.com
www.autotempest.com

I found my Elise in a listing that had been posted and showed up on AutoTempest the afternoon that it had been posted by the selling dealer in NY, and I called them that day. Thankfully I did as there was big interest in the car but I was first in line. I never would have found this car if not for AutoTempest.

Anyway, to answer your questions about whether there were difficulties or not, the difficulties that arose weren't from what you would expect in buying remotely.

THE GOOD:
  • The listing dealer had over 100 high resolution photos of all aspects of the car (including from underneath while the car was on a lift);
  • There was a cold start video and walk-around video;
  • There was an internal inspection report (almost like a mini PPI that they did showing the car's state of affairs like brake life remaining, status of brake fluid, etc., and that they did prior to getting the car ready for sale).
  • Discussions with the dealer and all of the above items (plus the Carfax, etc.) made me very comfortable in buying my Elise remotely.
  • The import and brokerage was handled for me, and the car showed up at my doorstep in an enclosed trailer. That was a massively exciting moment, and sort of like Christmas for a car nut. 😉👍
THE BAD:
  • As my car was in NY, there was a form (i.e. Abstract of Title Record, or something like that) that needed to be processed by the NY DMV that was needed before the car could be sold out of state. Due to COVID, it took the DMV over 2.5 freaking months to process that single piece of paper. That was aggravating since the car was paid for on Feb 2nd and would have been ready to ship about a week later following the installation of new tires.
  • TFX was the shipping company and broker that I used. While their service generally was good, they weren't the most organized with respect to the actual pickup of the car. They kept asking me over and over whether I still wanted their services during the period I was waiting on the NY DMV, and then when they were told that the form arrived, it took them almost 3 weeks to actually pick up the car from the dealer.
  • This is an obvious point, but having to pay the 6.1% import duty and the shipping costs kinda sucks, although I still paid a fair bit less all-in than if my car had come up for sale locally (or let's say within BC).
To sum up, I definitely would recommend that you expand your search to include cars in the US, and check AutoTempest regularly as it found me my car! The actual purchase and import process was pretty straightforward, and the only aggravatations really related to the NY DMV and the shipper being a bit slower than I hoped. If you are buying remotely, you obviously just need to get enough info about the car to make yourself comfortable to actually buy it, but you know that already. 😊

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Hopefully that answers your questions! Feel free to let me know if you want any more details or have any other questions. I am happy to help.👍
Looks like you are in Richmond? I am too. Can I come to check out yours in the coming days?
 

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Hi ft86. Yes, it was more cost effective for me, even when considering the shipping and duties. I'm not sure where you are located in Canada, but there aren't that many that come up for sale in BC, and when they do, they are quite pricey. The car I bought was stock (other than a Larini exhaust), so I can't really comment on what is permitted (other than knowing an imported car cannot have a branded title -- i.e. salvage/rebuilt). I had the provincial inspection and just needed the daytime running lights to be wired up.

Anyway, here's a long description of my purchase and import process that I posted on another thread a few weeks back to give you some additional details:

Like you, I know the challenges of finding that desired Lotus in Canada when so few were sold new here, and there was no exemption from the 15-year import rule for both the Elise and Evora despite the US models being identical to the Canadian models (pretty much other than daytime running lights)! Because of this, models that come up for sale in Canada are usually priced a fair bit higher than comparable models in the US, and I also have found that most were coming up for sale in ON/QC while I live in BC. I had been searching for an Elise in Canada for over a year before I actually gave up on the Lotus dream at that time and bought a Cayman S in 2019.

I was fortunate enough to be able to start looking for an Elise again (and thankfully keep the Cayman that I also love), and I expanded my search for an Elise to the US in the second half of 2020. I started looking at both Bring a Trailer and AutoTempest, which is kind of like a search aggregator for vehicles that are for sale. See the link below that I kept for myself:

Lotus Elise - AutoTempest.com
AutoTempest used car search engine results for Lotus Elise
www.autotempest.com
www.autotempest.com

I found my Elise in a listing that had been posted and showed up on AutoTempest the afternoon that it had been posted by the selling dealer in NY, and I called them that day. Thankfully I did as there was big interest in the car but I was first in line. I never would have found this car if not for AutoTempest.

Anyway, to answer your questions about whether there were difficulties or not, the difficulties that arose weren't from what you would expect in buying remotely.

THE GOOD:
  • The listing dealer had over 100 high resolution photos of all aspects of the car (including from underneath while the car was on a lift);
  • There was a cold start video and walk-around video;
  • There was an internal inspection report (almost like a mini PPI that they did showing the car's state of affairs like brake life remaining, status of brake fluid, etc., and that they did prior to getting the car ready for sale).
  • Discussions with the dealer and all of the above items (plus the Carfax, etc.) made me very comfortable in buying my Elise remotely.
  • The import and brokerage was handled for me, and the car showed up at my doorstep in an enclosed trailer. That was a massively exciting moment, and sort of like Christmas for a car nut. 😉👍
THE BAD:
  • As my car was in NY, there was a form (i.e. Abstract of Title Record, or something like that) that needed to be processed by the NY DMV that was needed before the car could be sold out of state. Due to COVID, it took the DMV over 2.5 freaking months to process that single piece of paper. That was aggravating since the car was paid for on Feb 2nd and would have been ready to ship about a week later following the installation of new tires.
  • TFX was the shipping company and broker that I used. While their service generally was good, they weren't the most organized with respect to the actual pickup of the car. They kept asking me over and over whether I still wanted their services during the period I was waiting on the NY DMV, and then when they were told that the form arrived, it took them almost 3 weeks to actually pick up the car from the dealer.
  • This is an obvious point, but having to pay the 6.1% import duty and the shipping costs kinda sucks, although I still paid a fair bit less all-in than if my car had come up for sale locally (or let's say within BC).
To sum up, I definitely would recommend that you expand your search to include cars in the US, and check AutoTempest regularly as it found me my car! The actual purchase and import process was pretty straightforward, and the only aggravatations really related to the NY DMV and the shipper being a bit slower than I hoped. If you are buying remotely, you obviously just need to get enough info about the car to make yourself comfortable to actually buy it, but you know that already. 😊

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Hopefully that answers your questions! Feel free to let me know if you want any more details or have any other questions. I am happy to help.👍
Awesome info, definitely helps, thanks!
 

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2005 Saffron Yellow Lotus Elise; 2008 Porsche Cayman S Porsche Design Edition 1: 2011 Audi S4 Manual
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Future lotus crew!
A buddy (@blevin) just told me about the BC Lotus Club. Apparently it is only $25 a year to join, and they have meets/drives periodically. I haven't joined yet but am definitely considering it.

I was actually driving back from breakfast in Squamish two weekends ago and I saw the Lotus Club driving in a huge group going northbound. There were probably about 12 to 15 Elises/Exiges, 3 Elans and one Caterham/Lotus 7. It was a pretty awesome sight! 👍💯
 

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well, to be specific i mean an s1/s2 elise or exige.
i did some searching, and it appears to be fairly easy, as long as you can get a letter from lotus stating it meets the requirements of the EPA/govt emissions standards
 

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2005 Saffron Yellow Lotus Elise; 2008 Porsche Cayman S Porsche Design Edition 1: 2011 Audi S4 Manual
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well, to be specific i mean an s1/s2 elise or exige.
i did some searching, and it appears to be fairly easy, as long as you can get a letter from lotus stating it meets the requirements of the EPA/govt emissions standards
Gotcha. Being in Canada I am less familiar with the US import rules, but I believe that the S1 cannot be imported until it is 25 years old.

As for the S2, there were a lot fewer cars sold up here, so I have found they are generally more expensive than ones sold in the US (hence why I imported one from NY to BC). From comments I have seen on various BaT auctions (of various brands), it sounds like some duties would have to be paid if that specific car wasn't originally sold in the US (whereas my Elise is a US-market Elise, so it could be re-imported to the US without duties).

Anyway, I did a quick Google search and this might put you on the right track.👍

 

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well, to be specific i mean an s1/s2 elise or exige.
i did some searching, and it appears to be fairly easy, as long as you can get a letter from lotus stating it meets the requirements of the EPA/govt emissions standards
Unless someone at Lotus has changed their mind, they will not provide that letter. Even though the cars are identical
(where it matters), they will not state that for importing a car. You will have to wait for the 25-year rule to apply to any car you want to import to the US.
 
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