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Discussion Starter #1
What is the group's wisdom on Elises that have very low miles, say under 8k? For 10+ year old cars, that's really hardly driven.

Normally buying a used car with low miles is a good thing, but at some point, does it become a disadvantage?

What are the risks?

Thank you.
 

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IMO in the elise/exige it isn't an issue, they dont have exotic engines with belts that nee serviced or anything, even if you had to change every piece of rubber in the car you're taking <$1k so it's a non issue
 

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One thing that concerns me with very low mileage cars is the tires. Many I've seen, especially on BaT, have the original tires still mounted. Yes, they have plenty of tread left, but tires only have about a 5 year shelf life. Driving a performance car as it was meant to be driven on 14 year old tires is very dangerous. Buy new tires!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
One thing that concerns me with very low mileage cars is the tires. Many I've seen, especially on BaT, have the original tires still mounted. Yes, they have plenty of tread left, but tires only have about a 5 year shelf life. Driving a performance car as it was meant to be driven on 14 year old tires is very dangerous. Buy new tires!
Absolutely agree!
 

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Saffron Yellow is Lighter
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One thing that concerns me with very low mileage cars is the tires. Many I've seen, especially on BaT, have the original tires still mounted. Yes, they have plenty of tread left, but tires only have about a 5 year shelf life. Driving a performance car as it was meant to be driven on 14 year old tires is very dangerous. Buy new tires!
I agree, but that can be true of any car that has more mileage, just depends on the age of the tires.
 

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The market is telling us there is little difference between a sub 10k car and a 30k car Get up to 60k and I see lower asking
It is really about condition and the paint and seats wear on these cars worse than many others so by the time you hit 60k it will have needed some correction of sandblasting and the sills or seats might be best up
 

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I’ve only bought one Elise, but I wanted an extremely clean and well taken care of low mileage machine. Low miles doesn’t guarantee that, but it is an indicator. I didn’t want to purchase someone’s daily driver that had been ridden hard and put away wet.

Too low of mileage, say 3,000, could indicate problems from lack of use. But for semi exotics that are weekend and evening drivers, under 25,000 miles is a positive indicator.
 

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Ehhh

As I said above, the seats get worn, and the paint gets worn, just through use, so in that way cars with mileage will always be worth less.

But for a 15 year old car, hundreds of miles of year is simply too few, especially since they would tend not to be evenly distributed. A guy bought it new, drove it a few thousand miles, and for the next 14 years, it it sits.

Cars are not designed to sit.

This is not to say I would not buy a car with super low miles, but I:

a] certainly would not pay a huge premium for the honor

b] would actually inspect it just as carefully as a higher mileage one.

When you drive a car, small things that fail from time rather than mileage pop up as minor nuisances that are corrected in real time

When you do not drive a car, these things are basically sitting there waiting to catch you unawares.

There is always a group of collectors who will value 'lack of miles' above all else, and they may drive a segment of the market.

They tend to buy cars that are not driven, and then not drive them


shrug
 

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Sorry to revive this threat after 8+ months.

I am looking at an 05 Elise with 33,000 miles on it. It looks like on the car fax reports it was consistently driven until ~2014 where it had only a couple of hundred miles put on it. The car is located in PA.

Do you think that there is more of a risk with a bad fuel system, dry rotted seals and corrosion in the engine / head gasket?

Here is the link Lotus Elise Carfax
I might look at it this weekend
 

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Keep in mind a lot of these cars are garage queens. I take mine out once or twice a week on my days off and and maybe put 15-20 miles on it a week, if that. I probably wont put 1k miles on it in 1 year. So just because it has low miles the last couple years, does not mean its been neglected, could be it was just a weekender like my car. But it would be good to get a PPI done on it to verify its still in good working order.
 
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Less is Better
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My '05 has just a touch over 8000 miles. I've had it for 6 years. It works perfectly. In fact, better than new. I don't drive it often, but I do drive it regularly. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a low mileage Elise or any other car. You might have to do some replacements of some rubber parts, but you would probably have to do the same with a high mileage car of the same age anyway.
 
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