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If you're looking for an Elise, there's a really nice one on BaT right now. Elise's tend to go for well under market value on BaT, so it could be a pretty good deal (for the buyer). Pretty rare color combo - Arctic Sliver with blue interior.

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/2005-lotus-elise-42/
Beautiful looking car, but I struggle with understanding how people can buy something like this without a test drive, without a pre-purchase inspection, etc. Isn't this a massive gamble?
 

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Beautiful looking car, but I struggle with understanding how people can buy something like this without a test drive, without a pre-purchase inspection, etc. Isn't this a massive gamble?
let me give you a perspective from someone who did that (autotrader) & why...

so, initially not many owners/sellers of a sports/exotics want to hand out test drives for obvious reasons (that alone is as big of a gamble as not driving one prior to purchase). same goes for dealers often times as well. So the opportunity doesn't often exist unless there is some up front $ or a solid trusted relationship between parties. Also, these kind of cars tend to breed a certain owner who is a little more willing to learn/research what they are getting themselves into (I did for over 18 months before I started actively looking)

when I bought my Elise sight unseen from another state with intentions of having it shipped to me I very much asked specific questions to the seller about the car... established a car specific dialog & if that dialog had any red flags i wouldn't have moved forward with the purchase. Luckily, for the most part, the owners of these cars are often aware of what they are about so when posed with specific questions about them it makes it much easier to establish a comfortable healthy dialog & base a potential purchase off that.

PPI is something that many people do & most sellers are willing to allow (at least on this forum that seems to be a common understanding)... I did not, but i was also pretty confident based on my dialog with the seller at the time that my car was represented well & truthfully.

is it a gamble to purchase a car this way? absolutely! But in the world of niche cars there is sort of a brotherhood thats often established & a healthy conversation with a seller/owner can go a long ways into this kind of purchase avenue. Obviously its not for everyone & in an ideal environment you can easily check a car out in person & drive it. then pay for it & be done... but this path doesn't always exist or isn't always convenient for both parties.

there is certainly a level of trust that has to be established... & a great dialog can ease that.

i'm obvious one of many success stories of doing this so I may be a little bias. But it all starts with developing good communication... & dont be fooled by BaT listings, there is absolutely a conversation happening behind the scenes with sellers/potential buyers that obviously doesn't display in the comment section
 
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I too purchased my Elise sight unseen late last year----and on BAT! I concur with what driftwood states, but understand that it is indeed daunting to do so.

Given that my car was clearly very good and well represented, and after much of that "behind the scenes" dialogue with the BAT seller, only then did I feel confident to start the bidding process.


That said, my wife agrees that we tend to buy cars "unconventionally," as 6 of them that we have owned (all Brit classics) have been purchased sight unseen (well, at least not in the flesh)…...2 being purchased overseas and shipped over from the UK!!

But, it does create quite a bit of excitement and increases the wow factor when all goes to plan!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Some people are more comfortable with buying on the internet than others. I sold my Superlite SL-C last fall on Instagram. I never even spoke with the buyer. :eek::scratchhead:
 

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2008 Lotus Elise SC and 2018 Alfa Romeo 4C
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let me give you a perspective from someone who did that (autotrader) & why...

so, initially not many owners/sellers of a sports/exotics want to hand out test drives for obvious reasons (that alone is as big of a gamble as not driving one prior to purchase). same goes for dealers often times as well. So the opportunity doesn't often exist unless there is some up front $ or a solid trusted relationship between parties. Also, these kind of cars tend to breed a certain owner who is a little more willing to learn/research what they are getting themselves into (I did for over 18 months before I started actively looking)

when I bought my Elise sight unseen from another state with intentions of having it shipped to me I very much asked specific questions to the seller about the car... established a car specific dialog & if that dialog had any red flags i wouldn't have moved forward with the purchase. Luckily, for the most part, the owners of these cars are often aware of what they are about so when posed with specific questions about them it makes it much easier to establish a comfortable healthy dialog & base a potential purchase off that.

PPI is something that many people do & most sellers are willing to allow (at least on this forum that seems to be a common understanding)... I did not, but i was also pretty confident based on my dialog with the seller at the time that my car was represented well & truthfully.

is it a gamble to purchase a car this way? absolutely! But in the world of niche cars there is sort of a brotherhood thats often established & a healthy conversation with a seller/owner can go a long ways into this kind of purchase avenue. Obviously its not for everyone & in an ideal environment you can easily check a car out in person & drive it. then pay for it & be done... but this path doesn't always exist or isn't always convenient for both parties.

there is certainly a level of trust that has to be established... & a great dialog can ease that.

i'm obvious one of many success stories of doing this so I may be a little bias. But it all starts with developing good communication... & dont be fooled by BaT listings, there is absolutely a conversation happening behind the scenes with sellers/potential buyers that obviously doesn't display in the comment section
Agree. I did the same thing and had no issues.
 

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If I could get that 9000 mile car for 25k (current bid), I'd be inclined to buy it even though I already have one and have no idea what to do with another one.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If I could get that 9000 mile car for 25k (current bid), I'd be inclined to buy it even though I already have one and have no idea what to do with another one.
I'm really hoping it'll get above $30k, because if it doesn't I'm going to have a really difficult time explaining to my wife why we now own TWO Arctic Silver Elises with blue interiors. :surprise::grin2:
 

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I'm really hoping it'll get above $30k, because if it doesn't I'm going to have a really difficult time explaining to my wife why we now own TWO Arctic Silver Elises with blue interiors. :surprise::grin2:
25k with 5 days left... yeah its going up lol

probably 34-36ish? hopefully higher for our sake (but BaT can tend to throw curveballs too & hasnt really been kind to lotus values)
 

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Having inspected and bought many used Lotus, I recommend a PPI before purchase. This car is really clean but if that chassis is damaged in the wrong place - it is a bad buy. Cam inspection is smart as I've seen too many that are wiped. We bought one car that drove perfectly but the cams were showing signs of scoring. Changing the cams is not hard but it is 4 figure repair and a Buyer should be aware. Even a HVAC blower that is no longer working can turn into a somewhat expensive repair. Very few things render these cars unrepairable - its all about how much are you willing to spend to get her working to your expectations. Better to have a PPI done...

I'm bullish about the values of our cars. Clean cars that have not been heavily modified will keep bringing ever increasing prices. :up:
 

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let me give you a perspective from someone who did that (autotrader) & why...

so, initially not many owners/sellers of a sports/exotics want to hand out test drives for obvious reasons (that alone is as big of a gamble as not driving one prior to purchase). same goes for dealers often times as well. So the opportunity doesn't often exist unless there is some up front $ or a solid trusted relationship between parties. Also, these kind of cars tend to breed a certain owner who is a little more willing to learn/research what they are getting themselves into (I did for over 18 months before I started actively looking)

when I bought my Elise sight unseen from another state with intentions of having it shipped to me I very much asked specific questions to the seller about the car... established a car specific dialog & if that dialog had any red flags i wouldn't have moved forward with the purchase. Luckily, for the most part, the owners of these cars are often aware of what they are about so when posed with specific questions about them it makes it much easier to establish a comfortable healthy dialog & base a potential purchase off that.

PPI is something that many people do & most sellers are willing to allow (at least on this forum that seems to be a common understanding)... I did not, but i was also pretty confident based on my dialog with the seller at the time that my car was represented well & truthfully.

is it a gamble to purchase a car this way? absolutely! But in the world of niche cars there is sort of a brotherhood thats often established & a healthy conversation with a seller/owner can go a long ways into this kind of purchase avenue. Obviously its not for everyone & in an ideal environment you can easily check a car out in person & drive it. then pay for it & be done... but this path doesn't always exist or isn't always convenient for both parties.

there is certainly a level of trust that has to be established... & a great dialog can ease that.

i'm obvious one of many success stories of doing this so I may be a little bias. But it all starts with developing good communication... & dont be fooled by BaT listings, there is absolutely a conversation happening behind the scenes with sellers/potential buyers that obviously doesn't display in the comment section
Funny, I read this and thought I wrote it. LOL. Driftwood said it perfectly. I did the exact same thing. You can tell a lot about someone through multiple conversations. Also, if the seller is agreeable to answer questions, provide photos, etc. that’s a good sign.

I bought a beautiful 2006 Elise, sight unseen in San Diego. I live south of Atlanta and, while I can travel for free (I fly for Delta), I didn’t have the time to go to the west coast and back, so I spent a fair bit of time talking to the seller and eventually got him to send me a video walk around of the car as well as do a FaceTime call. As Driftwood stated, there is indeed a “brotherhood” amongst car enthusiasts and if you don’t “feel it” or there seems to be any red flags in your gut, that’s a good thing to pay attention to. The seller of my car was a Navy pilot so, being two pilots, we hit it off. No PPI, just good feelings, which can be a bit scary, but I’ve done it before and it’s always worked out.....

The car showed up and, other than the transport company cracking the windshield by their (very obese) driver stuffing himself into and out of the car, then denying it....all went well.
 

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OK here is a long BAT story.

A friend of mine had been looking for a silver, low mileage, one owner Elise for years and one finally came up on BAT.
I sent her the link, she signed up to bid on BAT and a week later she owned it and was VERY EXCITED.
The car was in LA and we are in the SF Bay Area. She invited me to fly down and help her drive it home up thru Big Sur.
Well how could I turn down a road trip in a sports car with a beautiful woman inches away the whole way!!!!

At the time I was in the market for a fun car. It had to be a manual, convertible, hold its value and be FUN FUN FUN.
My short list was.
Honda 2000
Porsche Boxster
Mid Year Vette
Porsche 911 (996)

She and I flew to LA and finalized her deal with the seller and picked up her dream car. It was kind of scary driving the tiny little thing thru afternoon LA traffic. I would look out the passenger window directly at the hub of the pickup next to us!!!
Once out of LA we relaxed a bit and stopped in Santa Barbara for a nice lunch. Then just out of SLO she let me drive it up the coast.
She let me continue to drive up thru Big Sur and you should have seen the stupid grin on my face as the car stuck to the road like Ive never felt before.

I had such a great time driving her Elise that a week later I owned the next Elise that came up on BAT. I got mine for exactly $1 more than she paid and it was a fair price.

Mine was in AZ so I flew out to pick it up. I had multiple conversations with the original owner who could not be nicer or more honest. Had the oil line recall done before I picked it up and had the mechanic give it a once over. Only issue was it needed tires as they were the original tires from new. I flew my daughter out from San Diego where she is attending SDSU (Go Aztecs) to help me drive it home and to surprise my Mom by spending a couple days before driving back to SDSU to drop Gabi back off at school. Then it was back up thru Big Sur for the second time in a month in an Elise!!!!

Long story short. It was a great transaction thru BAT and both my friend and I had great experiences buying our cars. My boss has bought four cars off of BAT and still has them. If you are a regular on BAT you know there are rarely any negative transactions. I can't think of any on-line car market place where you can feel more comfortable about buying a used car. And how often are you going to find a local Elise or Exige for sale?

I couldn't be happier with the transaction, the car and the BAT community that helped me feel comfortable enough to bid over $30k on basically a toy to play with on weekends.
 

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OK here is a long BAT story.

A friend of mine had been looking for a silver, low mileage, one owner Elise for years and one finally came up on BAT.
I sent her the link, she signed up to bid on BAT and a week later she owned it and was VERY EXCITED.
The car was in LA and we are in the SF Bay Area. She invited me to fly down and help her drive it home up thru Big Sur.
Well how could I turn down a road trip in a sports car with a beautiful woman inches away the whole way!!!!

At the time I was in the market for a fun car. It had to be a manual, convertible, hold its value and be FUN FUN FUN.
My short list was.
Honda 2000
Porsche Boxster
Mid Year Vette
Porsche 911 (996)

She and I flew to LA and finalized her deal with the seller and picked up her dream car. It was kind of scary driving the tiny little thing thru afternoon LA traffic. I would look out the passenger window directly at the hub of the pickup next to us!!!
Once out of LA we relaxed a bit and stopped in Santa Barbara for a nice lunch. Then just out of SLO she let me drive it up the coast.
She let me continue to drive up thru Big Sur and you should have seen the stupid grin on my face as the car stuck to the road like Ive never felt before.

I had such a great time driving her Elise that a week later I owned the next Elise that came up on BAT. I got mine for exactly $1 more than she paid and it was a fair price.

Mine was in AZ so I flew out to pick it up. I had multiple conversations with the original owner who could not be nicer or more honest. Had the oil line recall done before I picked it up and had the mechanic give it a once over. Only issue was it needed tires as they were the original tires from new. I flew my daughter out from San Diego where she is attending SDSU (Go Aztecs) to help me drive it home and to surprise my Mom by spending a couple days before driving back to SDSU to drop Gabi back off at school. Then it was back up thru Big Sur for the second time in a month in an Elise!!!!

Long story short. It was a great transaction thru BAT and both my friend and I had great experiences buying our cars. My boss has bought four cars off of BAT and still has them. If you are a regular on BAT you know there are rarely any negative transactions. I can't think of any on-line car market place where you can feel more comfortable about buying a used car. And how often are you going to find a local Elise or Exige for sale?

I couldn't be happier with the transaction, the car and the BAT community that helped me feel comfortable enough to bid over $30k on basically a toy to play with on weekends.
 

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Do you literally have to "bring a trailer" to sale like this or can you legally drive it home? Assuming you dont have plates and live out of state.
 

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Do you literally have to "bring a trailer" to sale like this or can you legally drive it home? Assuming you dont have plates and live out of state.
Not sure how others states do this but, as a Virginia resident...and buying a car...Virginia has the option for you to buy "Prospective Purchaser's Trip Permit". It costs like $5.00. It's a temporary tag/registration that you stick in the back window, and it's valid for 3 days (from the date of the Bill of Sale).

The Trip Permit and a valid Bill of Sale make it a legal registration.
 

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Not sure how others states do this but, as a Virginia resident...and buying a car...Virginia has the option for you to buy "Prospective Purchaser's Trip Permit". It costs like $5.00. It's a temporary tag/registration that you stick in the back window, and it's valid for 3 days (from the date of the Bill of Sale).

The Trip Permit and a valid Bill of Sale make it a legal registration.
That sounds wonderful, but I dont see any evidence Tennessee has this.
 

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Do you literally have to "bring a trailer" to sale like this or can you legally drive it home? Assuming you dont have plates and live out of state.
When I picked mine up in AZ they took the plates off the car. My daughter got pulled over due to no plate but the AZ cop understood and all I had to do was show him the paperwork.

Never got pulled over in CA all the way up to SF.
 
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