S3 Exige Sport 350 - Buying Help

S3 Exige Sport 350 - Buying Help

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SarlechS

Original Poster:

268 posts

141 months

Monday 22nd June
quotequote all
Hi Guys,

Test drove my first Lotus Exige V6 Cup on Saturday and i was very impressed with the car as a whole. I'm coming from a 987.1 Cayman S and looking to get myself back into a car that's more involving to drive (like my old DC2), No power steering, no frills, just pure driving.

Some questions i have for you guys

1) Is there anything i should look for buying an Exige? What are the key barometers for finding a good car? I've noticed prices vary a lot depending on who sells it and the price difference between a car with 4000 miles to 14000 miles is huge, does it really make much difference? Did you guys do the OBD reads to see how hard the car was driven, how many times it had been overrevved or did you not bother?

2) Is it worth getting these cars independently checked by a specialist (say Paul Matty) or would it be a bit of a pointless exercise?

3) Can these cars be had without a garage? do they suffer from leaky seals when it rains/snows?

4) Are these cars likely to depreciate much further? Most nice 350's tend to go for 40-45k with some of the early / IPS models going for 33-38k am i likely to take a huge hit if i kept one for 1-2 years?

5) Can anyone comment on how expensive these cars are to maintain? i understand the majority of the servicing is relatively cheap but intervals are very short (porsche 20k vs Lotus 9k) brakes seem to be more expensive than the porsches too, if anyone who has owned both can comment it would be much appreciated?

6) I notice these insurance group 50, do they get stolen often or is it more down to insurers knowing that most people track these?

Thanks in advance




Kananga

951 posts

113 months

Saturday 27th June
quotequote all
I’m in the same camp. Interested to see the replies.

Bookmarked!

gareth h

2,352 posts

187 months

Saturday 27th June
quotequote all
SarlechS said:
Hi Guys,

Test drove my first Lotus Exige V6 Cup on Saturday and i was very impressed with the car as a whole. I'm coming from a 987.1 Cayman S and looking to get myself back into a car that's more involving to drive (like my old DC2), No power steering, no frills, just pure driving.

Some questions i have for you guys

1) Is there anything i should look for buying an Exige? What are the key barometers for finding a good car? I've noticed prices vary a lot depending on who sells it and the price difference between a car with 4000 miles to 14000 miles is huge, does it really make much difference? Did you guys do the OBD reads to see how hard the car was driven, how many times it had been overrevved or did you not bother?

2) Is it worth getting these cars independently checked by a specialist (say Paul Matty) or would it be a bit of a pointless exercise?

3) Can these cars be had without a garage? do they suffer from leaky seals when it rains/snows?

4) Are these cars likely to depreciate much further? Most nice 350's tend to go for 40-45k with some of the early / IPS models going for 33-38k am i likely to take a huge hit if i kept one for 1-2 years?

5) Can anyone comment on how expensive these cars are to maintain? i understand the majority of the servicing is relatively cheap but intervals are very short (porsche 20k vs Lotus 9k) brakes seem to be more expensive than the porsches too, if anyone who has owned both can comment it would be much appreciated?

6) I notice these insurance group 50, do they get stolen often or is it more down to insurers knowing that most people track these?

Thanks in advance
1) I’ve had a couple of V6 Exiges(350 and 410), both were bought from main dealers with warranty, but they aren’t complex cars so wouldn’t worry too much about buying privately if it was a decent deal. The engines are not highly tuned so pretty reliable, some early cars seemed to have clutch issues but this was resolved.

2)People don’t seem to get them independently checked like the Porsche guys do, but if it’s a few hundred quid and provides some confidence why not.

3)Mine lives out for 2/3 of the year but I rent a garage for 4 months to keep the worst of the weather off, they are fairly water tight but you can get the odd drip on the sills, biggest issue for me with Elise / Evora / 350 was the brakes sticking when left out in the rain and not driven for a few days, not a problem if parked on tarmac but I’ve got a gravel drive and they wouldn’t break free until the front wheels hit tarmac, not a problem with the 410, I guess they have used different pad / disc material.

4)Depreciation has been very low on all of mine, which I have either traded or commission sold through a Lotus main dealer.

5)Servicing is way cheaper than Porsche, and for most people service is time based due to annual mileage behind fairly low.

6)I’ve found insurance very cheap (£240 for my 410 with LV), but I struggled to get a policy which allowed a decent annual mileage and also covered trackdays.

I had a few little niggley problems which were frustrating due to the dealer I used not having much experience in the workshop, am now using Silverstone who have been excellent and understand all of the little quirks.

For the people that “get” Lotus these cars really get under your skin and spoil you for driving pretty much anything else, get one bought and enjoy it smile

ecain63

10,131 posts

132 months

Saturday 27th June
quotequote all
SarlechS said:
Hi Guys,

Test drove my first Lotus Exige V6 Cup on Saturday and i was very impressed with the car as a whole. I'm coming from a 987.1 Cayman S and looking to get myself back into a car that's more involving to drive (like my old DC2), No power steering, no frills, just pure driving.

Some questions i have for you guys

1) Is there anything i should look for buying an Exige? What are the key barometers for finding a good car? I've noticed prices vary a lot depending on who sells it and the price difference between a car with 4000 miles to 14000 miles is huge, does it really make much difference? Did you guys do the OBD reads to see how hard the car was driven, how many times it had been overrevved or did you not bother?

2) Is it worth getting these cars independently checked by a specialist (say Paul Matty) or would it be a bit of a pointless exercise?

3) Can these cars be had without a garage? do they suffer from leaky seals when it rains/snows?

4) Are these cars likely to depreciate much further? Most nice 350's tend to go for 40-45k with some of the early / IPS models going for 33-38k am i likely to take a huge hit if i kept one for 1-2 years?

5) Can anyone comment on how expensive these cars are to maintain? i understand the majority of the servicing is relatively cheap but intervals are very short (porsche 20k vs Lotus 9k) brakes seem to be more expensive than the porsches too, if anyone who has owned both can comment it would be much appreciated?

6) I notice these insurance group 50, do they get stolen often or is it more down to insurers knowing that most people track these?

Thanks in advance
I'm probably only echoing the above responses.....

1. The cars are pretty bombproof. By all means get the ecu data off the dealer but it doesn't mean a huge amount in the scheme of things. The biggest concern should be any repair history. Forum cars tend to be tracked and the owners like to post the fruits of their efforts...... and why not!! But, forum cars are the minority and most Exige never see a track and a lot rarely see a road. Track use doesn't seem to phase the car so don't be put off unless it's been neglected.

2. Pointless unless you have a valid concern about history..... but I'd say if you're concerned look elsewhere.

3. A garage would be preferable. The seals are ok so long as they are aligned right. They are weather resistant normally but they don't always get the window seals right at the factory. I'd recommend a good detailing, protection and maintenance service for the car if it is to live outside.

4. Unlikely. They will always be popular.

5. They are cheap as chips to run and maintain. The only exceptions are the 410 and 430 as they run much more expensive brakes. Tyres are cheap and brakes tend to last a long time. Cosmetic bits are cheap for the 350 too as much of it is plastic or fibreglass. The 410 and 430 are biblical to repair if damaged due to the addition of carbon fibre etc.

6. Insurance is cheap, but as above they tend not to like big miles on policies. I have a 6000 mile policy, fully comp with full protected NCB and no points: £300 (Exige 410 Sport). That's with LV. If you are going on track I'd suggest a standalone policy because joint road and track policies are flawed if you crash.



@kananga....

You emailed me but might as well respond here.

The 410 has a chargecooler so no heat issues. They are pretty bombroof and low maintenance. I'm learning to do much of it myself actually as the car is basically a big Meccano set.

The silver one has popped up on the Facebook forum and does look cheap. Things to look out for would be any body repairs done as a result of crash damage. It may just be a desperate sell but £62k is really low given the rest of the market standing. It could well be totally sound so definitely worth a look.


Kananga

951 posts

113 months

Sunday 28th June
quotequote all
ecain63 said:
....
The silver one has popped up on the Facebook forum and does look cheap. Things to look out for would be any body repairs done as a result of crash damage. It may just be a desperate sell but £62k is really low given the rest of the market standing. It could well be totally sound so definitely worth a look.

Thanks. Been doing some more checking and the cheapest 410 advert that I saw from a dealer (Hendy IIRC) was for around £68.5k for a sub-4k mile example.

The Hendy car is a 2019/19 vs the silver one being a 2018/68, think it was higher spec’d and I’m guessing there may be some flex in the dealer pricing. So, feels like £62 is probably fair for a private sale ? Unless I’m missing something of course.


Edited by Kananga on Sunday 28th June 01:39

SarlechS

Original Poster:

268 posts

141 months

Monday 29th June
quotequote all
gareth h said:
1) I’ve had a couple of V6 Exiges(350 and 410), both were bought from main dealers with warranty, but they aren’t complex cars so wouldn’t worry too much about buying privately if it was a decent deal. The engines are not highly tuned so pretty reliable, some early cars seemed to have clutch issues but this was resolved.

2)People don’t seem to get them independently checked like the Porsche guys do, but if it’s a few hundred quid and provides some confidence why not.

3)Mine lives out for 2/3 of the year but I rent a garage for 4 months to keep the worst of the weather off, they are fairly water tight but you can get the odd drip on the sills, biggest issue for me with Elise / Evora / 350 was the brakes sticking when left out in the rain and not driven for a few days, not a problem if parked on tarmac but I’ve got a gravel drive and they wouldn’t break free until the front wheels hit tarmac, not a problem with the 410, I guess they have used different pad / disc material.

4)Depreciation has been very low on all of mine, which I have either traded or commission sold through a Lotus main dealer.

5)Servicing is way cheaper than Porsche, and for most people service is time based due to annual mileage behind fairly low.

6)I’ve found insurance very cheap (£240 for my 410 with LV), but I struggled to get a policy which allowed a decent annual mileage and also covered trackdays.

I had a few little niggley problems which were frustrating due to the dealer I used not having much experience in the workshop, am now using Silverstone who have been excellent and understand all of the little quirks.

For the people that “get” Lotus these cars really get under your skin and spoil you for driving pretty much anything else, get one bought and enjoy it smile
Very much appreciate the reply on that Gareth, top man!

I have a gravel drive too so the brakes on the 350 might be a problem as i'll only be driving it on the weekends... frown

gareth h

2,352 posts

187 months

Monday 29th June
quotequote all
SarlechS said:
Very much appreciate the reply on that Gareth, top man!

I have a gravel drive too so the brakes on the 350 might be a problem as i'll only be driving it on the weekends... frown
It wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me, just buy the wife a rake smile

Fonzey

1,378 posts

84 months

Monday 29th June
quotequote all
ecain63 said:
If you are going on track I'd suggest a standalone policy because joint road and track policies are flawed if you crash.
Out of interest what are the flaws you've experienced/heard about with joint policies? I'm aware you had a very good experience with Moris(?) and I believe a joint policy would hurt NCB/renewal costs on the road element of things if I binned it on track... but there must be some other big flaws to be aware of to justify the costs of a standalone policy.

For me to insure my car standalone would be approx. £2k/year spent on premiums vs the £350 I currently spend (and this is with a £30k car, not an £80k one!) - that wouldn't necessarily price me out of trackdays, but I'd certainly resent it as a hobby! If I did bin off my Exige on track and I lost all of my road NCB and had a fault accident flagged on my file, I don't think it would cost me anywhere near the tune of £1500 extra per year, so there must be something else at play to make it so worthwhile?




SarlechS

Original Poster:

268 posts

141 months

Wednesday 1st July
quotequote all
gareth h said:
It wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me, just buy the wife a rake smile
rofl*goes straight to amazon prime*

ecain63

10,131 posts

132 months

Wednesday 1st July
quotequote all
Fonzey said:
Out of interest what are the flaws you've experienced/heard about with joint policies? I'm aware you had a very good experience with Moris(?) and I believe a joint policy would hurt NCB/renewal costs on the road element of things if I binned it on track... but there must be some other big flaws to be aware of to justify the costs of a standalone policy.

For me to insure my car standalone would be approx. £2k/year spent on premiums vs the £350 I currently spend (and this is with a £30k car, not an £80k one!) - that wouldn't necessarily price me out of trackdays, but I'd certainly resent it as a hobby! If I did bin off my Exige on track and I lost all of my road NCB and had a fault accident flagged on my file, I don't think it would cost me anywhere near the tune of £1500 extra per year, so there must be something else at play to make it so worthwhile?
£4500 excess on my car Vs what was £8500 on other policies. That's the big difference if you bin it.

Moris have fixed excesses depending on the value of your car. Others state 10% of cover value.

Fonzey

1,378 posts

84 months

Thursday 2nd July
quotequote all
ecain63 said:
£4500 excess on my car Vs what was £8500 on other policies. That's the big difference if you bin it.

Moris have fixed excesses depending on the value of your car. Others state 10% of cover value.
Fair enough, but if you're paying £800 per trackday with Moris it means you need to crash every 5 trackdays for it to be worthwhile? hehe

I suppose that's the big difference, for me paying a £3.5k excess if I write mine off on track is frankly a bargain - especially when the agreed value is a healthy chunk above likely resale. I insured with Moris last year for a european trackday as my 'combo cover' didn't apply overseas and the excess was £1700 - so matches your findings too... but for UK trackdays I'd rather take the excess hit and effectively insure my trackdays for free.

ETA: I've used Moris loads, so hopefully this doesn't come across like I'm picking on them - but Lotus owners are in a pretty unique situation where combo cover is quite readily available and for most people it makes a significant difference to the affordability of trackdays. Dismissing combo policies outright to new owners is a little silly IMO - but people should certainly know about different options out there.