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What discount on price would you expect for an Elise in an accident?

  • I would not purchase an Elise that was involved in an accident

    Votes: 29 46.0%
  • I would expect to pay $1000 less

    Votes: 5 7.9%
  • I would expect to pay $2000 less

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • I would expect to pay $3000 less

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • I would expect to pay $4000 less

    Votes: 4 6.3%
  • I would expect to pay $5000 less

    Votes: 14 22.2%
  • I would expect to pay $6000 less

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I would expect to pay $7000 less

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • I would expect to pay $8000 less

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I would expect to pay $9000 less

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • I would expect to pay $10,000 less

    Votes: 7 11.1%

  • Total voters
    63
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to get a somewhat scientific poll going here for insurance purposes. If you had two exact same condition 2005 Lotus Elises sitting side by side, same mileage and condition, except one of them has a CarFax report of being involved in an accident. The accident required a new rear clamshell replacement along with repaint, rear diffuser, and other small parts.

As a group of Lotus enthusiasts and experts, let me know your thoughts if you would be willing to purchase it, and if so would you expect to pay less than the other Elise not involved in an accident and repainted?
 

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I'm trying to get a somewhat scientific poll going here for insurance purposes. If you had two exact same condition 2005 Lotus Elises sitting side by side, same mileage and condition, except one of them has a CarFax report of being involved in an accident. The accident required a new rear clamshell replacement along with repaint, rear diffuser, and other small parts.

As a group of Lotus enthusiasts and experts, let me know your thoughts if you would be willing to purchase it, and if so would you expect to pay less than the other Elise not involved in an accident and repainted?
Don't know if you'd get a scientific poll from LT but, it's obvious that a car that hasn't been in an accident, much less reported to carfax, would garner more money than one that has....all things being equal.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yep - I agree. But I'm trying to find out what that value difference would be.
 

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Why bother buying wrecked when there are soo many more unwrecked (well at least for the time being) :D
 

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i would not buy a car that has been in an accident. as somebody above me said, there are too many cars for sale that haven't been in one.
 

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I'm in the market for an Elise right now and if there were two identical cars side by side and one had been in an accident, I would most likely not consider it. It would have to be significantly cheaper. With 2005s going for lower 30s, the accident one would have to be mid 20s for me to consider it, and even then, well, I'd probably opt not to buy it. Every person's situation is different though - there are probably people who love the car and would appreciate a price break for something they can't notice.

It would also depend on how much reliable info on the accident I had. If it was an elisetalk member who posted extensively when the accident happened and it was something silly like an SUV rolling into the back while in a parking lot, it would give me more comfort than if the car was at a dealer and they just said, "Yep, it was in an accident. It required changing the rear clam and diffuser, but everything is dandy. Look how good it looks!" I'd walk away.
 

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Why bother buying wrecked when there are soo many more unwrecked (well at least for the time being) :D
Because maybe you can get a great deal and there are always people looking for a bargain. That said, generally speaking I would avoid a Lotus Elise or Exige that's been in a BAD accident like the plague. The only way I would buy one is if I got it throughly inspected by Lotus and a reputable body/collision shop and only after a complete thumbs up from both places. Based on the damage you describe (if repaired to factory like new) I would try to go about $5k less than one with a clean carfax and no accidents.

I actually looked at one that had been in a bad accident when I was shopping for one. I was going to hook it up for a bit over $20k, but after getting it inspected I had to pass, there was a lot of hidden damage and not the best repairs that I wouldn't have ever been able to find on my own. I ended up paying quite a bit more for a pristine one that checked out like new.

HTH,
Larez2
 

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My Elise was hit by a motorcycle and required new rear clam, diffuser, toe-link, wheel, tire, brake caliper. The diffuser had only a slight bend on one corner where it sliced the tire. The brake caliper had a mark from the bike's foot peg -- probably not damaged but replaced to be safe.

I went after diminished value for around $5K. The "market value" of the car before the accident was estimated at about $42K. The general rule-of-thumb is DOV is about 10% of the car's market value just prior to the loss.

I had an independent, professional appraiser examine my car and write a detailed report to file a DOV claim. It took several months and many letters to the other guy's insurance company to settle the claim -- very frustrating. I finally filed a complaint to the insurance commissioner of the state where the accident occurred, along with a record of all the letters I sent to the insurance company (sent certified/return-receipt requested).

I settled for around $3K because that was all that was left of the personal property damage limit the biker carried.

I doubt I would buy any car that had been wrecked.

If you know the actual extent of the damage and know that the car was fully restored, use the 10% rule.
 

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I'm in the market for an Elise right now and if there were two identical cars side by side and one had been in an accident, I would most likely not consider it. It would have to be significantly cheaper. With 2005s going for lower 30s, the accident one would have to be mid 20s for me to consider it, and even then, well, I'd probably opt not to buy it.
Way to go guys!
Wait until you run your $25000 used Lotus onto a steep driveway just a bit too fast within the first two weeks of ownership. Now you spend $8000 (or whatever) for a new clam, plus you take a $5000 (or whatever) hit in resale value.
And then people come to the forum and complain about the depreciation of your cars :shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for the responses so far, and the votes. This will help in working with the insurance company.
 

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So a clam replacement is an automatic $5K hit on value?

Needless to say, there was no diminished value claim with the insurance company when I hit an opossum that cost me my clam.
 

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Body damage that is properly reparied is not a big deal - hell, having a new front clam and ss put on a high milage car could be seen as a plus... but there is always the doubt that the work was done properly. For this, I vote for $2000 off.
 

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Body damage that is properly reparied is not a big deal - hell, having a new front clam and ss put on a high milage car could be seen as a plus... but there is always the doubt that the work was done properly. For this, I vote for $2000 off.

It's the buzzword "accident" that gets people. I almost bought a car a few years back that the guy had new front bumper and the entire frontend repainted because it had a lot of rock chips. It looked fine and I didn't even think twice about it, nor factor it into the price.

You'd think that car would be worth the same as a car that had the bumper replaced and frontend repainted due to an accident where someone with a trailer hitch backed into them, but the reality is it's not because of the word "accident". It scares people and dimishes the value, when the reality is, the 2 cars are the same, and really should be valued the same.
 

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I think the concern with vehicles that have had recent accidents (and really, just about any Elise that's had an accident will have had it fairly recently) is that they may have been repaired with the specific goal of selling the car when the repairs were done -- in which case the repairs may have been done in the most...well...frugal...way possible.

If a car has had an accident and that owner kept the car for a long time afterward, a different standard may well have been applied.

In short, the metrics to look at are:

* how long ago was the accident?
* how long ago did the car return to service?
* how long did the owner at the time of the accident keep the car after the return to service?
* how much use did the car see post-return from the "accident" owner?

The longer ago the accident and the more use the "accident owner" put on the car post-repairs, in general, the more comfort I'd have.

I'd have the least amount of comfort in a car that has just been repaired and the owner is selling essentially straight out of the repair shop.

Steve
 

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Because maybe you can get a great deal and there are always people looking for a bargain. That said, generally speaking I would avoid a Lotus Elise or Exige that's been in a BAD accident like the plague. The only way I would buy one is if I got it throughly inspected by Lotus and a reputable body/collision shop and only after a complete thumbs up from both places. Based on the damage you describe (if repaired to factory like new) I would try to go about $5k less than one with a clean carfax and no accidents.

I actually looked at one that had been in a bad accident when I was shopping for one. I was going to hook it up for a bit over $20k, but after getting it inspected I had to pass, there was a lot of hidden damage and not the best repairs that I wouldn't have ever been able to find on my own. I ended up paying quite a bit more for a pristine one that checked out like new.

HTH,
Larez2
Lotus (particularly 111's) are very fragile cars. Just because someone says it was "only the clam" or some superficial sh*t doesn't mean the car isn't boned.

Again there are far too many cars out there to be purchased that haven't been wrecked. It's like pissing into the wind in my opinion, you can do it, but I wouldn't advise it.

If you want to get a better deal, find someone who fcuked up their motor and can't afford to fix it, and buy the roller and just have a new drivetrain installed. So long as the frame of the car is good, you're good. I couldn't say as much for an "accident" car.

Blown motor > Accident, if you're trying to save a few bucks.
 

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So a clam replacement is an automatic $5K hit on value?

Needless to say, there was no diminished value claim with the insurance company when I hit an opossum that cost me my clam.
Yeah, see, there's the difference I was trying to get across... If your car was for sale, I'd consider it, but would still think lesser of it than a car that was exactly the same but without an accident on record. But your accident wouldn't rule your car out of my market.

If a small furry animal decides to hit your car and it cracks your clam, that's a huge difference from you hopping a curb and cracking your clam, or from a used car dealer spinning some tale about a minor accident.

So, yeah, it's hard to say. Depends on the circumstances of the accident, but if 1/3 of the body was replaced on a car, there is going to be diminished value by the majority of people looking to purchase.. This is mostly because you can find a used elise without part of the body replaced, and the prices of these cars are not so high as to make getting a nearly perfect one out of the reach of most enthusiasts.
 

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Almost any car will depreciate for body work...as they say, it's only original once.

I think the degree of damage the car had should influence the degree of depreciation it suffers from. To me, a clam is a serious repair. I know it doesn't take much but this is a significant part of the body. Appearance and structural items are arguably harder to fix than mechanical items. If I put in a new alternator - there is no difference. But to replicate paint, texture, peel, quality consistency, fit, finish, etc... takes some extraordinary effort to duplicate what was originally there. Sure, some think they improve it or do duplicate it, but different peoples knowledge varies. I have seen some novices who don't know differently look at their repainted Elises and tell me how fantastic it is --- when I look at it, I see contaminents and flaws that surpass the factory finish or paint and other items where they shouldn't be. 10 years from now, this is going to be an issue and the cars that are undamaged and original will and rightfully should be worth more.
 
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