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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm going to check out this car in person, and I was hoping to get some advice from you guys. It's an 05 with 12,xxx miles. It has a clean title but "very minor damage" was reported in an accident as shown in the carfax link. It has the touring package and includes a hardtop. The dealership might be shady, I read about a couple of bad experiences, but I don't know for sure about them.

My plan is to first inspect it myself, then take it to Symbolic Motors (the lotus dealership here) and have them do a PPI. My buddy works for a auto body shop and I was going to ask him to come with me as well. If they won't let me and/or Symbolic inspect it then there is no way i'll buy it.

Carfax link:
CARFAX Vehicle History Report on SCCPC11155HL34745

If it checks out, they want $30,900 and I was going to offer high $28k for it - do you guys think that's a good deal, what's the most that you would pay? Any other things to consider here?

Thanks,
Larez2
 

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I wouldn't buy that car. For 35k, I can show you an immaculate 06 one owner, serviced by Symbolic has HT, for sale right now. 17K miles.
 

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If you already know the dealer to be questionable, then why buy a car from them? like ironman said, you can find a 05/06 for low 30's, just take your time and shop around.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your input.

Well i just read about a couple of bad experiences at this dealership - so i was concerned. I read about them on another message board, so really, I don't know for sure if or how bad they are. I mean if they were really crappy I don't see how they could stay in business.

I just figure with a little bit of due dilligence and having Lotus check out the car as well, I may be able to score a good deal on it. If it checks out with a good bill of health, why not buy it (for $28-29k)?
 

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because you can get an 05 with no accident history for 30k
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Where can you get an 05 for $30k? I did a search on this board and lots of people talk about 05 elise's going for 30k or less, but I don't see any. Perhaps I'm not looking in the right place. The ones for sale in the classifieds section are all higher. I saw one sell recently for $30,500 but that was across the country and it was on Ebay, I also saw one on sale in autotrader for $28k but it had 67k miles on it. I don't see how this car I'm looking at is any more risky than those, especially if i have it throughly inpsected before hand and everything checks out.
 

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Did you try cars.com? there are several 05s with ASKING prices in 32-33 range, so I have no doubt with a motivated seller you could pick one of them up for 30k
 

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Remember asking price and what the car actually sells for are completely different things.
 

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It's probably trick of light or reflections but in the picture something doesn't look right about that fuel door.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ivan1 thanks for the links and advice, I'll have to check cars.com and those cars out. I like to haggle and drive a hard bargain with dealers, in fact I've helped several of my friends purchase cars from dealerships. But I have a real difficult time with private party individual sellers for some reason. It doesn't feel good to low ball a motivated or desperate private seller and get a price you want that way.

It's sounding like most people would avoid this car like the plague - so I may not even bother checking it out and getting it inspected. Is there a price point where any of you guys would even begin to consider it? What do you guys think its worth?
 

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I would really want to see pics of the damage before repair if possible..receipts for the repairs would be nice too...

remember as NJdrool said, even a private party expects to get less than their listed price, so I dont think you have to haggle too much..make some offers...good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
RE: the fuel door, hmmmm, good observation, yeah hard to tell from the pics, but you migth be on to something. I'll definitely pay close attention to it if I check it out on person. i really wish I could see a before picture of the "very minor damage".

If the car is a piece of junk, i'll be sure to post that here in case anyone else happens to comes across it later in their search.
 

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RE: the fuel door, hmmmm, good observation, yeah hard to tell from the pics, but you migth be on to something. I'll definitely pay close attention to it if I check it out on person. i really wish I could see a before picture of the "very minor damage".

If the car is a piece of junk, i'll be sure to post that here in case anyone else happens to comes across it later in their search.
Nevermind, fuel door looks ok.

If you get the car, I have a set of the identical wheels in silver, would love to trade for the black.
 

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Ironically I do prefer silver wheels to black ones, although they are growing on me so maybe.

Did you notice your last post was post number 666??? spooky!!
 

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Get it for 28K max.
 

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Just get a salvage Elise & fix it up !! A little welding on the frame, and it'll be good to go ! ( Somebody has to buy them ! ) rotfl
 

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Just to reiterate from what the other guys are saying above, asking price and selling price are two totally different things.

You have a lot of bargaining power with someone if you are READY to buy, and tell them "Look, I have the money read and I'm willing to buy today if the price is right". That approach got me an 06 with 7k miles, touring, sport, and hardtop in the color i wanted for $37k down from asking of $42k (granted the asking price was high). I negotiated another car, an 06 with touring and hard top and 7k miles from $37k to $34k.

You have to be ready to put down a deposit at that moment though if they give you a good price (this is from a dealer). Also, don't be afraid to put down a fully refundable deposit down and then use that to your advantage when calling other places. Just the simple mention of "Look, I have a deposit on another car right now (described the car and told them the "great" price I was getting on it...okay I may be exagerated a little on the price, but that is negotiating!) and then tell them that if you can get to the price you want then you would put a deposit down on this car and then go and remove the other deposit.

All in all, I wouldn't buy a car that has had any damage from a dealer you don't 100% trust. The only way I would consider it is from a reputable place this is known for their honestly and customer service like Fox Valley, Criswell (talk to Dan), Norm Baker, or HRM.

Just to let you know, Dan has an 06 Aspen White on Red, with Touring and Hardtop and LSD/TC. He said he was going to ask mid-30's but Dan is a GREAT sales guy to work with and if you are motivated to buy I'm sure he would get you a great deal in the low $30's.

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions as I just finished the 2 month long buying process.
 

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Does it have starshield? If so, does it have it everywhere it should be? Missing from any panels? If so, panel probably replaced.

You cannot tell body damage for sure without taking front and back clams off. That is what? 3 hours to take off and then 3 to put back on?
 
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