Make your Esprit easier to sell by keeping a History file
Keeping a history is worth it's weight in gold, as you'll probably know from your experiences of buying. A good history can tell you so much about the condition of an Esprit and how well the owners has looked after it and cared for it. Most people recommend only buying a second hand car with full service history. This alone can be expensive to do, especially with Lotus Dealer prices. But this doesn't mean you can't keep a well documented history.
A history isn't just about the dealer stamps in your service book and receipts for the work. You can add so much more to help keep the history and make it attractive to buyers, improving your Esprit's value. Dealer stamps are a good point, so if you get a service at a dealer, make sure you take your book and get it stamped. And if an independent carry's out the work, make sure they stamp it. As this still proves the work has been done. Keep any receipts and bills from the work done as well.
Above left, you can see my bills and receipts of work done. Listing parts, prices and dates. This shows without doubt what has been done and by whom. Some are from Lotus Dealers and some aren't. Keep everything, even quotes for work, this will show how careful you are and will give a positive impression to any buyers.
Above right you can see a list of parts and receipt. These are items I have purchased for the Esprit. On each part receipt, I have written what was done and the date and mileage at the time, It was done. This should be as valuable as your dealer receipts, because this shows you've taken a interest in your Esprit, have done some work yourself and documented it. This also helps create a positive feel from any prospective buyer. You can also look back if you have any further problems and see what was changed when. This also goes for the dealer history. Keep receipts for anything you buy, tyres, oil, brake pads and list when they were put on the car.
Above left, you'll see all my previous MOT's, including receipts and MOT checklists. This shows the Esprit has been regularly checked and has been road worthy without anytime off the road. If you do have a gap, make sure you've got documents to show what was happening to the Esprit while off the road. Also you'll see my insurance documents and registration with the current MOT. Keep these together to make taxing the car easier.
Above right, is all the information I collected when I bought the Esprit. Photos I took when looking at the Esprit. The original advert in the paper, the HPI check documentation checking it's legal history, the original checklist I fill out, listing problems and the receipt filled in by myself and the previous owner. This will give any buyer an insight into what happened when you purchased the Esprit. Showing how careful you were in picking this particular one.
Above left is all the manuals and alarm information and installation certificates. This will be invaluable to a new owner, and to yourself. Alarm, ticklecharger and radar detector manual will be needed at some point and will show you've taken care as an owner to look after these manual and certificates. Could increase the value of your car if you can prove what alarm is installed and have proof for insurance companies of installation.
Above right is all the previous insurance documentation. Keep it to show your careful with anything to do with the car and for you own piece of mind. Also thickens your history nicely.
Lastly, if you've joined any clubs then keep all the information sent. People always seem happier to buy from a club member as they seem to think they are better owners. Of course this is true in many cases. Add this to your History and not only will you have a nice thick history, you'll be seen as a club enthusiast and a safer bet to buy from.
At the end of the day a History is really only to prove to the next owner that the car has been maintained to a certain standard. It nice to keep a History, but you're hardly going to spend time looking through it until you wish to sell. Most people never keep a car for it's full life (not including write-offs), so keeping a history is just a way of increasing the value or getting the market value for there car. Some people can't be bothered and those are the people you don't really want to buy from. And you don't want to be one of those!
If you have any comments on this piece, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org