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How important is a dealer history?

G. Bell

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I was looking at two cars from the same dealer, very similar spec but the one with a main dealer history was costing £3'000 more despite having a few 1000 more miles on the clock and a slightly lower spec. It then came to my mind, how important is a main dealer history with the Evora?

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I'd place a well regarded specialist equal to or better than a dealer stamp in most cases. If I was being ultra-picky (i.e. trying to get a few quid off) I'd like to see dealer stamps during the warranty period just to give me confidence that austerity ownership hadn't kicked in from the start.

That said, a book full of kwik-fit stamps might be a worry ;).

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  • Gold FFM

my evora has been serviced at lotus  dealers,  up until last year (when lotus  closed the service department) it has annual trip to the factory for it service.

it now goes to the excellent hanger 111..   it certainly was one of the reasons i choose it a couple of years back over other examples that lacked a little main dealer service love... especially in the warranty period as noted in a post above 

fully stamped, all the receipts, all leads me to think the  car was pampered and treasured... 

the bonus of a decent main dealer is that all little niggles get sorted...  some of the issues the early cars had, were tweaked / upgraded with  each visit to the factory.. im not sure things like this woudl get undertaken and normal garages..

for instance, my gear change is sublime, it was updated  tweaked and set up properly during early services  & warranty period.. its on par with any later edition evoras ive sat in and tried. up to the current model.. yet others i tried were quite different...  its little things like this that can make a difference between a main dealer/ specialist  or a halfords, / quick fit general service

having said that outside of warranty a specialist would be just a good...  there pretty bullet proof to be honest..  engine oil, (clutch & brake fluid every two years) isnt rocket science.. something you could easily do yourself...  and i do on my other non performance cars.. 

i think providing that the items as listed in the service booklet are  complete and up to date then all good no matter who undertook the work.. 

i would  check very carefully through the paperwork, checking milage, against mots - online mot history etc , and  against when it was in for the service.. if it was carried out at non specialist...

my only thoughts, if its  not a  lotus specialist/ or main dealer , then id be looking very carefully and checking all teh paperwork corresponds and matches with mots etc etc, because some of the specialist garages labour rates are very competitive, so id want to know why someone wouldnt service their pride and joy at least at a specialist if cost differences were negligible 

if  it got a stamped history for the basics which check out , then cant see a problem especially if its a little cheaper........  





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Dealer history is a selling point/has worth, but it does depend on who was the supplying dealer. Like most things, some have better reputations than others. 

Service history (& by who)/invoices/owner records/condition/quality upgrades more important.

My Lotus was supplied through a dealer, but I'd use others who are recommended to service it, even if further away.

Note;- IF YOU PURCHASE, CHECK THE DEALER WARRANTY BEING SUPPLIED - 1) It may not cover all you think it does! 2) It may only be for 6 months, not all dealers will give you a 12 month warranty.

You say similar spec, but is more expensive car also a 'later' model etc, &/or with recent 'large service' carried out, newer tyres, exhaust etc?

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Color and state of paint could also impact the price of the car meaningfully. Some colors sells faster and dealer should take that into account. 

To be fair those modern cars have really good service manuals nowadays so if it is a specialist rather than a dealer and the car has a full history that doesn’t show regular issues, the difference in price sounds too much.

if it was me, I would most likely go for the one color I like best and see what I can get on the price if it was the more expensive one.

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  • Gold FFM

I purposely bought my car from a dealer in last couple of months and paid the extra as it was sold with history.

the lotus dealer when serviced the car did stamp book but I asked for the actual receipt of work done which took me several calls to finally achieve.

you can read my disappointment with the dealer over some very minor issues but I believe the root issue lies with dealer having no standard to follow from the manufacturer unlike other mainstream brands.

also not all dealers are the same I have discovered they vary which is the same to any dealerships regardless of brands?

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  • Gold FFM

My views in respect of an Evora, FWIW:

1st 3 years - Main dealer servicing will have an affect, especially if the car remains in warranty

After 3 years very little difference between MD history and that of a respected Lotus Specialist if you can ensure latest software updgrades. 

For an Evora, I'd always be looking for either MD or Lotus Specialist service history.

I always keep the invoices to back up the dealer stamps, but if buying provided the stamps were from recognised MD/specialist I'd not let this affect purchase. I would however expect to discount for any "due" works that could not be evidenced.


Blessed with the competence to be a slave to the incapable.

Currently without a Lotus, Evora 400 Hethel Edition in Racing Green with Red leather and 2010 Evora N/A in Laser Blue and 1983 Lotus Excel LC Narrow body in Ice Blue all sadly gone.

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