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Setting an asking price for 2003 Honda S2000

I am the original/only owner of a black 2003 Honda S2000. It has 65,000 original miles, maintenance kept according to manual requirements, had the clutch replaced (a known clutch issue on this car, not my fault!) at approximately 49,000 miles. I submarined a car at slow speed when sliding on a wet surface, so it needs a front bumper. Other than that, it’s in good condition, always garaged.

Does anyone have a ballpark figure what i should ask for it? I’d prefer to sell to an individual, but if you know what to expect from dealers that would be helpful as well. Thanks.

I sure miss wasting a perfectly good hour listening to Car Talk!



I’d suggest you get an estimate to repair the car from 2-3 body shops because that will dictate the asking price. I’d also consider getting it repaired (insurance claim??) before listing it for sale. Any buyer would look to the car and subtract the highest estimate (and maybe too high) they can guess from the value of the car as defined by, NADA or Edmunds.

Hagerty’s insurance has listings for classic cars and your Honda fits that so that’s where this comes from:

A #2 condition car (yours is not because of the crash damage) Excellent $25,000

#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.”

#4 (this is an example of un-repaired damage taking away $14,000 worth of value) Fair $9,000

#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.

I would assume that you have full coverage on this vehicle. If so just pay your deductible and have it repaired properly . There very well could be more damage than you think. Repaired will get you more money anyway.

You can get an idea by surfing Craigslist “cars and trucks” site. I’m looking at that site & seeing 2003’s asking prices in this area from $11K - $20K. With the low miles, providing it is in excellent condition, yours should be priced at the upper end of that spectrum I expect. You’ll probably do better $$-wise to repair the body damage before selling it.

Don’t forget you can always download a Best of Car Talk Classics Show podcast each week, mp3 file, no charge. Click “our show” upper left, then “podcast”.

If this was a Civic I’d probably say don’t bother repairing it. But this Honda has quite a following, so repairing it would probably be worth it, even if you have to pay for it. Get some estimates and see.

A S2000 is a very desirable car to enthusiasts. If you legitimately have a low mileage one owner S2000 you have something special… bumper damage or not. These cars where usually modified and driven hard so a unmolested version is rare and I think I’d be looking for something around 15k +…even with the bumper damage… fix that and get her looking real clean you could get 20k maybe more. A one owner S2000 is going to draw attention from around the country… don’t limit your self to a local market… or god forbid a dealer.
Or fix it and keep it… I have a feeling this car is not going down in value. Its kind of one of those rare cars that may actually appreciate in value. Disclaimer…“past performance is no guarantee of future returns”

If I were in the market for a car like this, I would find everything wrong with it, total the repairs from my very expensive shop, and add 10 to 15% for my trouble. I’d subtract that amount from the asking price and see what you say. If you do the repairs I can’t do that anymore. if I want to sell to a private buyer, I would fix everything first. The idea is to eliminate everything between no and yes. Making a car visually pleasing and safe enough to register immediately says drive me away today. If you live in a state like Maryland, the car has to be inspected first. I’d pay for the inspection before advertising it so that the buyer can go directly from my place to the DMV to register it.

Thanks everyone for your sage advice. I did take it to one body shop that had trouble locating the part, so I put it off. Guess it’s time to find another body shop.

And George San Jose, thanks for the reminder of the podcasts. There’s a feeling of community when hearing radio broadcasts (even repeats) that doesn’t replicate with podcasts, but it is quite nice to hear them at will.