Report My Struggle in Lotus / Motoring / Cars Chat Posted August 27, 2014 It was a great three years mate, I so wanted to keep the thing, it sat there for months without use, unplug the charger, no prep, no fluids to check (no fluids at all apart from oil and there's a guage on the dash for that), start it and drive 11 hrs straight to Berlin. Incredible motor. My initial plan was to keep it, use it for days out, stick a kiddie seat in the back, it was the only car I have owned since 1997 that was suitable for family use and even at 130k miles it felt like new, plenty of these are at 200k miles now and engine builds are virtually unknown... But we have a family daily car. And while my Porsche actually paid me to own it (would any ISA make £800 on £16,500 in the same period?), it still DID have the possibility to throw up a bill at some point, and it's not Lotus money guys, 'Porsche tax' consumables like Exhaust/clutch/suspension are £3k a pop. I now have nothing that can throw that kind on unexpected cost at me, I'm not going to be doing overtime to pay for a car again. Never looked like it was going to mind, I mean I did the Berlin-Prague run after deciding to sell it, in fact the fact I did that trip sold the car to the next owner. I never put up an ad, these all sell word of mouth on the forums, Mine was sold in days, the ones on PH that have not sold need a good looking at as to why IMO, as I got five people within hours of just mentioning on a thread it was going to be sold. In the past five years I have done Elise £9500 to £13,000 and the 993 £16,500 to £23,000. While most of the £10,000 increase was taken up in running costs I think both were free to own and both were my favourite and most fun cars regardless of that. The Esprits in contrast lost me £2000 a year. So despite all the fun I have had in all my cars, it has been a lesson that you CAN put a price on enjoyment and I would have to think long and hard over what I bought in the future... Fantastic post - Nice pictures and a fun write up as usual. European touring is just the best fun ever....though why do you hate France so much? It's shame Esprit ownership has not left the same cosy glow, maybe a big Porsche bill would have cooled it a bit. Also did you pay £16500 for either of your 2 Esprits? That sort of money would have got you to the top of the tree Lotus wise and maybe the cars and ownership experience could have been better. Confession time - my missus has just bought a 996, yes they have problems but the 993 can't be "worth" 3 times as much, surely? (By worth I mean ownership experience not market forces). For modernity and standard kit it's hard to ignore, plus with the bargain basement price there is some leeway for repairs before being in sniffing distance of 993/964 money. But you will know better. As always France: I was driving into Europe to speed legally, meet friendly people and drink great beer. Esprit: Re-read, I said I had fun in all my cars, my Lotus ownership and experience was ace, please don't wish it otherwise. 996: Yes, you can buy one for £10k, and if you are not one of the unlucky 1 in 10 (Porsche's own failure figures) then you have a bargain. But the failure threads are now almost daily, Hartech rebuilds with the upgrades that stop it happening again are near £10k, if you keep that as a contingency fund then it's fun motoring and you are covered. IF I had to have a 996 then I'd take that £20k, add a bit more and get a 996TT, it uses a different lump and is immune from the problem. Proper supercar too. Kimbers: Each year we booked Hotels, Bavaria year we stayed in 11 places, Berlin year we stayed in three. Booked in advance and secured parking in all, would not have wanted to be street parked in Berlin or Prague anyway. Also street parking is actually very expensive and often the Hotel with parking is cheaper price wise. I used booking.com to find and book all, just saved time and made one bill to pay (or claim if something went wrong!). Will do again, in a less exciting motor probably! But it's way better than flying.