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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just wondering what I should be on the lookout for, it's a US Florida car with 75000 miles posted for sale at $14,500 CAD or about $12,000 USD. I know they have issues with precats failing and grenading the engine, and on the 03 MY they improved the chassis rigidity. I guess what I'm asking is if $14,500 CAD is reasonable for a car in seemingly great condition, no accidents, rust and driven a low amount each year, I checked KBB pricing but it didn't return any results. I know the used car market has been hilarious this past year, even Miata's in Canada are going for $9k CAD with moderate rust. For context, similar Spyders are going for $13-17k CAD in Quebec there's nothing for sale elsewhere in the country other than this one. I also have the VIN, it's (JTDFR320030084817) but I don't know how to decode it, if anyone could help me with that, I'd greatly appreciate it. EDIT: Sorry this is a private sale car, so I posted this in the wrong forum. Which is the correct forum for this subject? I'm new on here.

Thanks everyone!
 

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I'll open this up with a hot take...as an American living on the East coast any car that has been registered in Florida in it's lifetime has flood damage until proven otherwise. Flood damage is easily shielded from a carfax, insurance, etc. so it's worth being sure of before final sale.

Other than that bit of paranoia, the 03+ cars supposedly fixed the oil burning issues which lead to precat degradation. Personally I would still get rid of them if buying any MY Spyder but that opinion is debatable. Either way definitely confirm whether there is any oil consumption. Florida cars also tend to take more sun damage which may manifest as faded paint, a faded top, and/or hazed headlights so its worth getting high definition proper pictures to assess exterior quality since you're so long distance.

The rest I would do just like any other car purchase, look for frame/body rust, make sure there's no cross contamination of fluids in the resevoirs, check if the clutch slips on the test drive, etc.

Personally I don't feel like a bone stock 2003 with 75k miles is worth 12.5kUSD but like you alluded to the car market is insane right now & tbh I think a good number of people here may disagree with my valuation. If the car has the right modifications (hard top, suspension, bracing, etc that would change my opinion of the asking price.
 

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I personally wouldn't buy a car from Florida, for the reasons mentioned above... unless you can examine it in person.

The price isn't bad if it's in truly good shape, and not every car in Florida is flood damaged - but when you're buying from a distance, you can't be too safe.
 

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Ultimately it's your call. It's no different than buying any other vehicle. You have to do your due diligence which in your case is made more difficult because of distance.

Other info you should factor into your decision is the duty. If you are not already aware, there is an import duty on vehicle imported from the States that are not manufactured in North America. Since these cars are Japanese-made you will need to pay a 6.1% duty on the car's Canadian value. So if you pay $12,000 USD, which by your calculation is $14,500 Cdn, your duty would be an extra $885, (6.1% of $14,500), plus HST (Federal and Provincial sales taxes). In my case, when I imported my car in 2011, it cost me 19.1% more in taxes at the border (6.1% duty, plus the Federal/Ontario 13% HST). Then you have the RIV process (Transport Canada, Registrar of Imported Vehicle); not expensive but you will need to go through the process to licence and register the vehicle. Just providing this info in case you are not already aware.

For your added info and comparison, you should know that this past summer a lower mileage 2003 sold in Ottawa for asking, $18,750 Cdn. Here is the old Facebook Marketplace link - Log In or Sign Up to View. (or Facebook Marketplace screenshots below).

I hope the above info is helpful. All the best in your decision-making and search.
 

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Yeah the price for these cars in Canada can be a lot higher because of the costs associated with bringing them across the border and getting them registered. I bought my 2005 from someone in BC (originally an Arizona car) with a little less than 40K miles on it in 2015 and paid $14K CDN. Prices have certainly gone up a lot since then.
 
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