To give you some back ground I've owned mine for 10 months now (bought it Xmas eve eve
) and done about 6k of mixed driving, both steady 10 mile commute and evening hoons with friends plus occasional track time. I'll be honest, I love it to bits, and its a keeper!
In terms of price they really are inconsistent for the condition/asking price, some dogs ask for top money and some minters fetch a suprising price, seems to depends largely on location and owner not knowing their popularity in the wider market. ypically they start at about 2k for a 51/02 plate with around 100k on the clock, with a decent 03 with 65k being about 3750 for reference.
In terms of advice, check for/ask owner on:
Service history with frequent oil changes if driven hard - Honda recommend 12.5k between services but after about 3k the oil does start to darken. Also check for coolant change at 10 years, possible tappet adjustment at 75k (if needed), and timing chain is done at 100k too (about 300 notes).
Steering doesn't pull right when you let it go on a flat, smooth road - indicates knackered EPAS steering rack that should have been done under warranty and will cost a wedge to do (don't know an exact price)
Oil grade used - 0w30 is used by some owners and can burn off quickly if the owner doesnt allow engine to warm up and/or revs the car often, make sure he checks it often (typically weekly/ fortnightly). (Fuchs Pro-S) 5w40 is typically chosen by owners who work their car hard but are attentive to oil consumption and engine care (most engines use none at all with most grades)
How the owner treats the car regarding revs from cold, car has no oil temp' guage as standard so ( from experience) allow about 5-10 miles depending upon ambient temperature before revving hard
Note: Engine will not rev above 5500 at either stand still or if the oil is low (VTEC kicks in at 5850)
Rear tyres can wear the inner edge due to standard camber setting, so make sure they aren't knackered too!
- Note: Some owners will run budgets at the rear, and given the cars lift-off oversteer tendancy, this may not end well (though the standard car is quite progressive when it does go). The standard Bridgestones are expensive and not great (apparently) in the wet in terms of mechanical grip, though great in the dry.
Few points off the top of my head that Pre & Post facelift cars differ:
Flywheel is about 3kg lighter on the facelifted car (same engine), and has apparently increased response.
EPAS steering tune is different,to reduce the 'lag' on pre-facelifts and increase feedback and feel.
Hope it helps!