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Discussion Starter #1
Which would bias your decision more?

For example, you are faced with the choice to buy 1 of 2 Elises, both '05's. One has very low miles (say, 2K), but is pretty basic. The other has higher miles (12K in this example) but is heavily optioned with the touring pack, sport pack, hard top, etc. Prices are the same and in line with the local market. They are the same color.

Assume both are in good condition for their mileage. That is, the higher mileage car shows more wear and tear, but no obvious evidence of abuse.

Which would you buy, and why?
 

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#2

Both cars are near or past warranty expiration. At 12K miles, the 2nd choice is "burned in" and if something was going to fail due to manufacture or parts defects, it probably has and has been fixed.

However, the phrase "shows more wear and tear" has me a bit concerned. With only 12K miles, there shouldn't be very much visible "wear and tear". Make sure it has been properly maintained ... oil changes, brake fluid flush, brake pad and rotor wear, tire condition, etc. At 12K miles and the sport pack, the rear tires probably have been replaced and possibly the front tires, too.
 

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It's always been amazing how 10K, 12K, or even 25K Elise's have been considered high mileage cars.

A 2000 mile 05 Elise is a garage queen that has not been run enough to keep things lubricated.

I recently bought an 05 with 6200 miles and was a little concerned that it has sat for too much of its life.
 

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I'd go with the higher miles one since 12k is still low mileage...and I'd rather have nice options
2k mileage you might run into issues...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Assuming that the low-mileage car drives well and appears to be properly maintained, what kind of issues would you be concerned about? I can think of the following:

- Dead Battery
- Flat-spotted and/or dry-rotted tires, depending on storage conditions
- Fluids

Anything else?

Would the higher mileage car likely need replacement of wear items such as tires, brake pads and rotors by this time?
 

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Personally, I would buy the car with fewer miles. Then it is 'mostly' all yours. You wont spend much time thinking about the previous owner, and if they did anything bad.
 

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the 12k one... its nice to have the extras. If you do them to the 2k one later, its going to cost you big money.
 

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Personally, I would buy the car with fewer miles. Then it is 'mostly' all yours. You wont spend much time thinking about the previous owner, and if they did anything bad.
This makes no sense. A car that has "sat" most of its life is more likely to have issues or "surprises" than one that is well worn in. And by the way, 12k miles on a 3 year old car with a Toyota powertrain is hardly a lot of miles.


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I would (and did) get the higher mileage, more options version. If its options you want, 12k miles REALLY isn't that much of a difference but having to go through and buy/install those options on a car without them is going to be a PIA and cost a lot of $$$.

I've been nothing but happy with my purchase.
 

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If you are not going to put many miles on it, get the low miles one. if you are, get the one with 12k.
 

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You might want to consider if the low mileage one had it's oil changed regularly. Oil breaks down over time whether it has been run or not. My experience has been that crank bearings don't like to just sit. Absolutely no question in my mind that the car with 12,000 miles on it with all the options is a MUCH better and safer decision that will save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
 

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Cars aren't meant to sit. Many people assume that low mileage is always better, but it isn't always true. Some have already mentioned tires, oil and the battery. How about gaskets, bushings and rubber hoses that might need use in order to stay flexible, sealed or whatever?

Not that 2k over 3 years isn't enough. If the owner was careful with the car, no big deal. If he drove it 2k miles in 2 months and then parked it, I'd avoid it.
 

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Get a honorable mechanic to check out the car, leak down test, sample of running gear oil to see if it's been changed, test drive, check for general maintenance. if maintenance or repair are needed, take note of this figure.

Add up all mods and divide retail price + install labor and divide this by two. or what ever the going rate is for 2nd hand parts in your area.

Add the above 2 figures together. Then add on discount for the trouble time and risk. and compare this sum of parts to the 12k.

toyota engines are cheap, so the risk is relatively low versus if one was looking at a porshce or ferrari...
 

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For me the question isn't how many miles the car has on it rather how much hard use and lack of maintenance has the car had (the old ridden hard and put away wet syndrome). I wouldn't pass on a 2,000 mile car just because it hasn't been used much as long as the owner can show it has had all the maintenance items done (fluids, hoses, belts etc.) in a timely manner. Yes, letting a car sit can be hard on it, but driving the wheels off a car and not taking care of it doesn't give you a better car. Don't worry about the miles (unless they are excessive and 12k is not), it all comes down to how well the prior owner took care of the car.
 

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This makes no sense. A car that has "sat" most of its life is more likely to have issues or "surprises" than one that is well worn in. And by the way, 12k miles on a 3 year old car with a Toyota powertrain is hardly a lot of miles.
+1

I wouldn't even consider a 3+ year old car that has only 2K miles, regardless if the oil was changed every 3 months, etc. As several have suggested, make sure the 12,000-mile car has substantiated service history and no evidence of abuse, crash repairs, etc. If good, get it and enjoy all the plusses. :up:
 
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