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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I don't have a ton of specifics, and no picts, but thought I'd run this by you...

I bumped into a guy with a 2001 Silver CVT, around 25,000-30,000 miles, original owner. He hasn't driven it much, obviously, and that shows in the lack of wear in various areas. For example, the interior is hardly worn, fender liners and strakes aren't all scuffed-up, engine bay just lacks that grimy look that tends to cover everything over time - in a well used car, etc.

But, the IMA is inoperable, and it looks like it has sat out in the weather from time to time - the trim pieces at the base of the windows, for instance, are all peeling. I think he said he has usually kept it in a car port... He said he replaced the pack at Honda some time ago, but it only lasted a few months - and he said they blamed him for not driving it enough...

The passenger side door and rear quarter panel have some door ding-like ripples in them, where someone kicked the door repeatedly. The dings are shallow, not too bad... The paint overall looks very good, same with all plastic trim pieces... I opened the hood and there was a mouse staring at me, sitting on top of the engine...

He generally wants to sell it. I told him he could probably get more than I'd be willing to pay - I was thinking maybe I'd do $1000, but that's mostly because I don't want a CVT and I'm not all that into getting another Insight. I told him maybe he could get $3000 tops if he put an ad online, as-is... I think he wants me to fix it up and sell it for as much as possible...

So... I looked at the KBB and NADA values. KBB's low value was about $2100 for "good" condition, high value was about $4100 for "excellent" condition. NADA's rough trade-in value was $1200, average $1700, clean $2100, and retail $3500.

I'm just not too sure how the low miles factor-in to the market value. The low miles is good in many ways, but there's also a down side. For instance, I glanced under the wheel well and noticed that the tie-rod boots were cracked - and I suspect a lot of the rubber boots are cracked similarly, since it hasn't been driven much. Of course the engine is barely broken in, and I imagine most of the major mechanicals, such as the transmission, are similarly good...

It has Kumho tires...

That's about it. So, what's something like this likely to fetch, as-is? How about if I clean it up (like cosmetic detailing) and fix the IMA, neither of which would be much of strain for me? I'm thinking I could do just that and could probably get at least around $3000, maybe more? The low miles thing is throwing me for a loop. I don't really have a good sense on what the brute value is on low miles, I mean, 30,000 miles (he said it's 25,000 but then said it might be a bit more) is probably one of the lowest mileage Insights out there... That's probably worth something to someone, just not really to me...

What do you think??

Edit: Here's some low mileage recent sales (2 sales, 1 highest bid thus far) from bringatrailer.com. Maybe I'm grossly underestimating the value of low miles. The red 2001 looks truly exceptional, the others, only so-so, really...

43k miles, 2006 Silver Honda Insight 5-Speed Hybrid, Bid to $6,950 on 8/9/18
48k miles, 2006 Red Honda Insight 5-Speed, Sold for $14,000 on 12/4/18
7k miles, 2001 Red Honda Insight 5-Speed, Sold For $21,000 On 4/9/18

https://bringatrailer.com/search/honda+insight/
 

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I have a low mile 2001 Dodge Crewcab V8 2wd

Low miles has zero affect on its valueless nature.

Depending on your area the miles may be viewed favorably or unfavorably
Me thinks you would need to get more exposure like bringatrailer would drive to really $$$
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you can buy it from him for $1000 you're going to turn a profit if that's what your question is. :)
Haha, nah, I'm not really interested in the profit... He's an old guy, his wife died not too long ago, plus, I don't think I could get him to sell it for $1000 unless I misrepresented it's potential value...
 

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CVT and needing bodywork negates the low mileage imo.
Low mileage examples are only worth good money if the body matches originality imo.
ie straight body, mostly original paint, no corrosion or dings or scuffs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
^Yeah, that's the way I'm starting to see it myself. Low miles is definitely a plus. But it only becomes the big premium kind if it's part of the 'collectible-type' package. Silver and CVT reduce (if not eliminate) its collector's appeal. As-is, needing a lot of detailing and minor bodywork reveal that it's not the kind of low mile garage queen that could fetch a big premium.

On the other hand, one could do the bodywork (the 'dings' are very shallow ripples in a concentrated area) and get it professionally detailed (and a bit more, such as removing some corrosion on some of the fasteners and clamps) -- and it'd be near impossible to detect the neglect... But that takes some money and/or sweat...

Anyway, I did take a closer look at it today, assessed what the prospects are for the IMA (probably only needs to be grid charged). Took it for a short drive and it's pretty impressive, even without the IMA working. It has a real tightness that's hard to beat, feels new-ish. The doors feel way tighter than mine, just more solid. Everything is more or less like that...

It's pretty weird: I've done quite a few mods to my car, like removed the EPS, different springs, etc., and the two cars feel quite different. I forgot just how light yet rather vague the EPS is. It's not bad though, just feels totally different from my car... The CVT actually felt really nice - again, even without the IMA working. It was very smooth and responsive...

I should have the IMA working soon and I'm kind of eager to see how it feels with that... I'm basically getting the IMA going for the owner, I'll clean it up a bit, change the oil, etc., and then the owner wants to try it out for a while before he decides what to do with it...
 

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Really nice you offering to help the guy, maybe you'll reignite the flame he had when he bought it. It's nice to have help and input. If not showing him your commitment to Insights may seal the deal for you in the long run. Either way " good on ya mate"
 

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At this point, in 2019 when most IMA batteries are dead and the value of the cars for the most part no longer justify the expense of a replacement battery, the main problem with the CVT from my perspective is guaranteed end-of-life of the vehicle when the transmission fails, not that they don't get the high mpgs the manuals get. Some people on here have reported better drive-ability with IMA-bypassed CVTs than 5MTs.

I also don't think that silver "hurts" the value of the car so much as another colour may "help" the value. Honda made most of them silver because that actually appeals to more buyers. When detailed the silver ones look really nice; I've gotten a few "Wow!" remarks from people who aren't Insighters when they see a detailed silver G1.

I do kinda agree with the above poster; I think that it's good you may be able to get him to like the car again, and that means he might sell it to you later. I just worry he won't drive the car enough and will continue to need the battery balanced.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
...I just worry he won't drive the car enough and will continue to need the battery balanced.
That's true: he almost certainly won't be driving the car enough to have good pack health. But I told him he could just call me if he has any problems (and to grid charge - I'm putting in a harness). He only lives a few blocks away. I told him we can also just bypass the IMA if he wants, but if he were going to sell it that wouldn't be good for the value. So whatever he wants, basically, he's pretty much covered at this point.

The idea that I could have first dibs on it in the future is true, but we'll see. I'd have no problem buying it at a below market price if the owner felt that whatever I've done to the car deserved a big discount, cuz I just won't pay that much for it regardless. But if he wants to sell it for as much as possible he's perfectly free to do so without any hard feelings on my part... It's really up to him, what he needs...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Really nice you offering to help the guy, maybe you'll reignite the flame he had when he bought it....
I think the car was originally bought mainly for his wife, who died not too long ago. He keeps telling me, "Oh, this was my wife's favorite car! She just loved it!" So he's not really the one who had a "flame" for it per se. I suspect - and he actually told me this - that the car has sentimental value to him, so that's really the important thing here. He has 4 other cars and an RV, too, and bad knees - so I don't think he'll end up driving the Insight much... Basically, it's more of a 'spiritual thing' I think to fix up the car and let him just see it in good shape, going again, no problems - so he can let go of it with 'an open heart' or something like that, just feel free and/or good about it, instead of dread, letting it rot, etc.
 
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