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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

Brilliant forum you've got here, it's kept me entertained for a good couple of hours reading up on all the standard info. But I'd like your expert collective advice!

I currently drive an 05 231bhp Mazda RX-8. It's a brilliant car to drive in every single way, but it's costing me a fortune in fuel (nearly £200 a month!). I'm considering trading in for a Lotus.

I bought the Rex for £8,500 at the start of February, but I'll be lucky to see £7,900 on a private sale now, I think. £7k for trade-in, probably. If we take it as £7k then I've got a budget of £13-16k for my new car, and the Elise S2 is very attractive because of the better fuel economy (33mpg versus about 23/24).

I've carefully read the daily driver thread, but my problem is I'm not in the least bit mechanically-minded. However, I do have a cousin who is a mechanic who lives about 15 miles away who is pretty good with most things. Question is: exactly what should I be looking for with my sort of budget, and how often can I expect to speak to my cousin considering that budget?! :D

Some extra info:

Daily commute of 35 miles. Weekly average of ~230.
The vast majority of my commute (90%) is A roads and motorway, but weekend use is much more varied (traveling to football matches, etc.)
I'm 5'11 and 12st, so hopefully shouldn't be too awkward size-wise, from what I've read.
I'm a teacher, so I usually have a collection of books with me on a day-to-day basis, but I'm usually the only one in the car.
I'm now used to group 17 insurance from the RX-8, so my only issue is the economy
I already have a pair of earplugs as a result of going to a lot of gigs! Haha.

[edit] I live near Doncaster, South Yorks, England.

Thanks in advance,


365 Posts
aww come on guys, no reason we can't help out his maintenance q's.

Spud, I've only been a 2006 Elise owner for about 6 months and have zero unplanned maintenance issues.

The planned maintenance issues I've had was Regular Oil Changes and I chose to change the transmission oil when I first bought the car. Both are super easy and cheap when you DIY (less than $50 US to do both).

I don't think it's a problem if you're not mechanically inclined. With the info here, you and your cousin could easily work through the DIY Maintenance stuff. And, if you ever weren't sure if you should try a particular maintenance task, ask a forum, and they'll let you know in about 5 seconds if it's over your head.

Depending on how much stuff you're hauling for your job, the concessions you have to make in an Elise may be something to consider. I'm picturing a collection of books stacked either in the passenger seat or in the boot. If you use the passenger seat and it's a large stack, maybe it means you have to first put books in the seat, then walk around to get in the car, and do the reverse when exiting the car. If it's a small stack, then maybe you can just hold onto them while entering/exiting. It sounds like a very small detail, but if you're doing this every day or multiple times a day, it may start to wear on you. Or maybe you're fine with both, and it's a non-issue.

If the books can fit in the boot, you'll probably want the Sector111 bootie since you don't want books flying around back there.

If you don't plan to track the car, then set aside some of your budget for a good set of commuter tires, and you should be good.

Good luck, and definitely still check with SELOC since there is likely some Elise/Exige ownership presence near you.
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