The Lotus Cars Community banner
21 - 40 of 43 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,461 Posts
So, I'm fairly new to the idea of buying a car sight unseen. This is a great list, but how can you be confident of the condition of the vehicle based on the word of the seller?
Same way you gain assurance on anything out of sight - ask the seller lots of questions, get them to take specific photos, and finally, best of all, get someone local to check the car. Ask on here for mechanics familiar with our cars in the location you are buying from, or even members here will often help.

Finally - it isn't that expensive to fly to see a car for final verification :)

Hope that points you in the right direction :)



I bought my car from a dealer on the other side of the country. I agreed the deal before I even knew anything more than the VIN - have had it seven years now :)
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
1,348 Posts
Salvage vs Rebuilt: There seems to be alot of confusion on the "Salvage" vs "Rebuilt" title.
I can mainly speak on Florida rules, but I think that most states have the same definitions.
A Salvage title is a car which has been considered a "total loss" by an insurance company. This happens quite frequently on our beloved Elises and Exiges, because the front and rear clams are expensive to replace and other parts and labor can be quite costly as well. A car with a salvage title cannot be driven on the road.
A Rebuilt title is a former Salvage title car which has now been rebuilt and deemed to be safe and roadworthy by the State DMV inspectors.
A car cannot be driven on the road until it is inspected and has a "rebuilt " status title.
Then there is the "Certificate of Destruction" or CD titled car. This is a car which is deemed to be unrepairable by the insurance company and can be only sold for parts or scrap. This car can never be driven on the road! Best to "Stay Away"!
Hope this helps.........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
If a buyer wants to setup having the car shipped to them rather than coming to get it themselves, is there any way you can be sure it is actually shipped to them? Rather then them trying to then claim they never received it after ?

I've heard of a lot of paypal scams working this way, just wondering what the normal practice is for a car that gets shipped.
Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Is there any way to get a rebuilt title certified as a regular title or get insurance for full coverage of a rebuilt title? I read most insurance companies won't insure rebuilt titles or only up to 40% of estimated value of a non-rebuilt car

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Thanks I checked with my insurance progressive and they said as long as the car was properly repaired a rebuilt title would be treated the same as a regular title. That opens the opportunity to some good deals

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Buying a car sight unseen is always a risky adventure. Pictures never show you everything. Check the area around where you're planning to buy the car and see if there is someone who has a business of performing pre-inspections. Try to find someone who is familiar with the Lotus. They should provide you with a thorough report and numerous pictures and they typically charge anywhere from $3-$500, but it's an investment well worth the money. Ask for a sample of a previous report/inspection that he's done.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Very good info on salvage title cars. I did a Vette salvage, would not do it again,
even though I got lucky and managed get a clean title. Traded for a new BMW.
Didn't dare sell it to someone.....
10K on A048's?, I wish....Got about 5K on rears, proves I'm having lots of fun.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,743 Posts
Hi, does anyone have experience with a rebuilt title and insurance in MI ?

Do I have experience? More than you'd believe. Will any of it apply o you? Likely not.

I say that because the lady at the SOS just handed me a clean title when I registered the car. I didn't notice at the time, so I didn't think anything of it. I was insured through Geico who, as far as I know, has a policy to not cover Lotus in the state of Michigan. My VIN slipped through though, and they were super irked when I filed a claim at Grattan (their policy excluded racing, not track days. Again, specific to Michigan).

They are cheap and horrible to deal with on an actual claim. Id only use them if you honestly bet on never actually needing them. Otherwise, pay extra for literally anyone else.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
A clean title. Would be nice! I had never thought that track days could be covered, or that some companies will not insure a Lotus - I'll check my company (State Farm) on both these points..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,743 Posts
A clean title. Would be nice! I had never thought that track days could be covered, or that some companies will not insure a Lotus - I'll check my company (State Farm) on both these points..

If you are getting a loan, make sure your bank/credit union will allow a branded title, too. Some won't.

Also, do not ask your insurer about track days!! Simply ask for a copy of your policy document. Look for the section titled something like "exclusions". I went to State Farm after Geico dropped me (tee-hee) and my policy with them made it very clear that anything on a track is not covered.

Lastly, don't get a car with the LSS shocks or you'll hate life on the Bosnian roads that are SE Michigan.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
wow, that was an excellent post. Thanks for the great info. I am thinking of buying an Elise in the USA in the next year. Suggestions for how to source out the cars (ie. best places to keep an out out for cars for sale)?

Thanks in advance
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Awesome list! New to the forum and getting serious about purchasing an Elise. Quick questions:
1) Starshield damage - if it's a little scratched and nicked up (hasn't turned yellow yet) - does it need to or should be replaced? (Approx. how much might the starshield replacement expect to cost? Any specific place that one should look to have it done at?
2) Shipping from one coast to the other - any thoughts on this? I've seen some crazy stories about this on the VinWiki channel?
3) "Limited editions" - like the California series or the 72D's - Do the hold their value? Or it seems like asking price is higher but selling price comes more in line with the 'regular' Elises in good condition - any thoughts around value in collecting a limited edition Elise?
Thanks and Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Buying a salvage title might make the initial purchase of a specific car cheap, especially if the car is not yet repaired. If the 'salvaged titled car' is rebuilt than your $$$ investment might be better off if the car was rebuilt by a factory approved service center and I am not speaking of your local body shop, but factory approved service center.

There is one other important factor before considering buying a salvage titled car, that is, your insurance company may not underwrite coverage
for salvage titled or rebuilt cars.

As mentioned State Farm does not consider insuring cars for racing purposes and even on the racing track surface. I asked for more details about what they would cover, my SF agent replied, after checking with SF HQ that they would cover damages up to the racing surface, such as paddock, but not on the racing surface.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Does anyone know of where I could find a list of banks/lenders that would finance a salvage/rebuilt title? And then after that companies that would insure said vehicle?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
953 Posts
Awesome list! New to the forum and getting serious about purchasing an Elise. Quick questions:
1) Starshield damage - if it's a little scratched and nicked up (hasn't turned yellow yet) - does it need to or should be replaced? (Approx. how much might the starshield replacement expect to cost? Any specific place that one should look to have it done at?
2) Shipping from one coast to the other - any thoughts on this? I've seen some crazy stories about this on the VinWiki channel?
3) "Limited editions" - like the California series or the 72D's - Do the hold their value? Or it seems like asking price is higher but selling price comes more in line with the 'regular' Elises in good condition - any thoughts around value in collecting a limited edition Elise?
Thanks and Cheers!
Good questions, particularly #3 ...any inputs?
 
21 - 40 of 43 Posts
Top