A Quandary

I bought my “S” in 2006 and like the various VXs and other 2 seaters that preceeded it, it was my only car. Unlike previous cars though, when I got the wrong side of 20k miles I thought I ought to get a daily run around to keep the mileage down. So bought a Golf GT TDI which is relatively spacious, fairly quick, very economical and (dare I say it) a “sensible” daily drive. The problem now however is that the Exige hardly turns a wheel, and work and other committments means that it’s highly unlikely to see a trackday this year.

So I’m left in the position of having a toy that I’m not really getting any enjoyment from, and it is a lot of money to have tied up in something that’s not getting used, especially as trackdays will be pretty much out of the question for the foreseeable future the way things are going.

So the predicament I find myself in is should I sell it and maybe buy a cheap S1 Elise which I could justify having on the basis that I’ve got far less money tied up in it whilst still owning a capable track car for future use, or do I keep the Exige and just see it sit there in the hope that my committments ease next year?

Talk of selling caused a bit of family agro (which I won’t go into here) and I know that if I do sell it, the chances of me ever justifying the expense of buying another one are slim. I really don’t know which to go with this.

Many Exiges seem to have very low mileages and so presumeably the owners have other daily drives as their main car. In which case I’m hoping their thoughts on this might help me make a final decision on what I should do.

No real help but I am in the same boat. I’ve only managed 4k miles in 2 years Every time I get around to selling I go out for a drive and change my mind. Got to the stage last year when a chap offered me a really good price but after I had taken him out on the test drive I couldn’t do it!

One solution I came up with is to sell my daily drive and then I only have the Lotus to use so will have to drive it more!

I actualy go out of my way to use mine sometimes when there is no need, I have a fiesta as my daily drive but find I use the Exige to go shopping if it is further than the end of the road (tesco) so at least I use it, then I try to fit in trackdays when I can but as you say work and family can get in the way.

I’d either

sell it and forget about a cheaper alternative - you will end up losing money on the car you have and ending up with an inferior car and maybe a bit of cash

Keep it and use it

I agree with your thinking - if you sell it you may struggle to get another and you know you’ll miss it in 6 months

I brought mine with the intention of very long term ownership, I�ve done 2k in a year track and road even split. �25k, 9k miles never tracked totally stock and just over two years old. Half that on pcp but would like to think that it will be paid off sooner than the 5 years. Point is, I brought a second hand stock car for a good reason, I could modify it at my own leisure over as long as I liked with the correct advice but the fact that I’ve gone at it all guns blazing spending the equivalent of the balance already is just down to poor self control but hey.

So what I’d say is if you’ve got to get rid of your car just selling it will lose you the most money trade. Private there’s not much (none hardly) of a market out there at the moment either, you�re not going to save mega bucks so part ex it for something a lot less on a Lotus dealers forecourt and consider it more an ongoing project S1 S2 whatever. If you just get rid you’ll miss those romantic winter nights you and your Exige cuddled up the your garage, 2kw heater on pissing about with the under tray to get to somewhere totally ungetable, hammering your bloody index finger (OH THE PAIN)…You know what I mean but hey if it goes you’ll lose loads and may find it tough to get back in. Lowering the payments should please the other half too. Good luck, hope I’ve helped.

Had a similar situation a while back but I got the ‘it’s either me or the cars’ ultimatum…
…So now it’s just me and the cars There’s plenty more fish in the sea but they only ever made about 600 S1’s!

I don’t get to use the Exige as much as I’d like either but when I do it’s 99% motoring bliss, no everyday grind, no using it in a way it wasn’t built for. I see it as not wasting it’s servicable life at all whereas using it for what any old mundane everyday car can do is just pointlessly wearing it out. I consider my car to be used well not well used!
I’m not saying everyone that has an Exige should have a second car, or that the Exige can’t easily handle everyday use without issue but I don’t think anyone could claim that these cars were built to achieve the same sort of goals from ownership that a diesel Golf does.

It’s really just horses for courses and all that.

From what I’ve gleaned on this forum too many people seem to think the Exige/Elise is too fragile for everyday use, but this isn’t the case, certainly for the Toyota versions. I’d be amazed if the engine/drivetrain wouldn’t do 100K miles easily, assuming reasonable care and maintenance.

My 2005 S2 NA is just coming to 30k and is used most days with no sign of deterioration.(Cue blow up tomorrow…) I agree that it depends on the sort of driving conditions you may encounter - I’m fortunate to live in the wilds of Nottinghamshire with some lovely twisty roads and Donington Park not too far.

Mechanical devices prefer use and suffer most when sitting idle, unless kept in a heated dry environment. And think of the actual cost/mile, which increases the fewer miles you drive.

Buy it, use it, enjoy it.

Keep it. Used cars aren’t selling well at the moment. The same Exiges appear week in, week out on autotrader. I’m trying to sell a 3 series (to release some money so that I can upgrade from my Elise to an Exige) but I’ve not had one call yet!..ummm hang about, fancy swapping you ‘S’ for my S1 Elise???

im in a similar position of not getting near my s1 exige. anytime i think of selling it i just need to look at it to change my mind again

i dont worry bout mileage too much. got 32k on mine and know one s2 exige s with 40K. most of which is track miles.

as a buyer id rather buy a well used car that has been cared for than a low mileage car thats been neglected

Keep it! If you sell it the trade will bend you over and give you a dam good spanking faster than you can say Max Mosley! I was thinking about Px�ing for a SL500 and was offered 26k on a half year old S2S!!!

Had a similar situation a while back but I got the ‘it’s either me or the cars’ ultimatum…
…So now it’s just me and the cars There’s plenty more fish in the sea but they only ever made about 600 S1’s!

Thanks for the replies guys. Much appreciated.

They all pretty much reinforce the way my thoughts were going. Better to keep the Exige and enjoy it even if that only happens to be on an irregular basis. Getting on a bit as I am this is most likely to be the only time I’ll ever own a car like this so make the most of it.

Result !!!


I’m mulling over the idea of swapping my S2 NA Exige for a S1 Elise.

Give me some more details of your S1 if you fancy…


I’m mulling over the idea of swapping my S2 NA Exige for a S1 Elise.

Give me some more details of your S1 if you fancy…

Slight change of plan… considering keeping the S1 Elise and going for the Honda upgrade…decisions decisions!!!