Buying a NC PRHT

I have decided that it is about time I made a move and obtained a MX5

Problem 1 - there are so many models and specials.  I haven’t a clue what the differences are most of the time.

Problem 2 - I have just had a 3 year “trial” with a Money Pit Lotus and I’m a bit skittish about choosing something

about which I know very little.   (If I’d known then what I know now etc …  )  Therefore buying from a private person

has its drawbacks (The Lotus PO was a straight Liar!)

For instance I’ve read by a poster on here “the 1.8 engine is a common failure point.” 

So the 2.0 is a different and stronger engine?  (Does seem strange having 2 engines so similar in size.)

This sort of vehicle -

5 or 6 speed  - does it matter a toot.  Are either stronger boxes?

Secret places to look for rot?

Many thanks for any help.



I’ve not heard of any re-ocurring or serious issues with either engine.

There have been tales of them being fussy with oil levels and ensuring that the levels are kept to maximum, but this is just general care and maintainence anyway.

There have also been mentions of some burning a bit of oil, but few and far between.


The 2.0l is the stronger engine of course, and the 6 speed gearbox can be notchy between 1st and 2nd when cold.


The forum has tons of info, and tons of advice at the click of a mouse.

Cars do tend to turn up on here, some times club owners looking to upgrade etc, sometimes one off chancers looking for an avenue.


Use the DVLA mot checker to get a small feel for a cars history.


They have a few common niggles, however, nothing serious that raises any cause for concern in my opinion.

Drop me a watsap message

i have 2 mk3 mx5’s that will probably fit the bill…ask on here for feedback re cars we sell



07770 566599

You may find this useful. Good luck with the search.

Rodders has a reliable reputation.

Info here too

Hello Vince

I bought my 2014 2 litre Sport Tech Recaro from Paul October 2017, very pleased with the car & I have had a few things done to the car by Paul since the purchase.

Definitely get in touch with Paul for sound advice on all things MX5.



Many thanks for all your kind replies. So much info. it makes my head hurt.

Paul (Rodders) - I’m full on Ludite so no whatsap / facebook / Twitter or even a Smartphone.

So could you PM or Email me from here?

Something like this is what I’m looking for -

Much dearer and I would be dubious until I decide I like the car long term. Although, being over 70, I probably haven’t got much long term myself!


I’m just like you with regard to all the modern means of communication, I do have an old mobile, only my wife has the number…Just call Paul, he answers his phone personally & promptly.

I bought my car for my 72nd birthday.

Age is just a number!!


ps. Paul Roddison Roddisons Motorsport Sheffield S9 1US 0114 244 5300


I’ve been in touch and he apparently has a 07 coming in next week which might be suitable.

A fetching shade of Highland Green apparently.  

Room in the boot for a zimmer?





Highland Green is particularly rare and quite lovely ?? 

The Sport spec comes with 17" wheels and rubberband tyres I believe?

Does these make for a “firm” ride? I don’t really care that much for ultra precise steering response
or the finer points on track handling. Being shaken into submission on Buckinghamshires dreadful roads however …

If so are regular 16" wheels reasonably available S/H?

The 17’s should be on 205 45 17 tyres so not really rubber band. I have the same wheels and tyres and 40mm lower on my 2007 2.0  and still find the ride comfortable.

Vince, it might be handy to put in your location and maybe someone close to you might let you see how comfortable…or not they are for you. 

If you are close to Worcestershire you are more than welcome to test mine.


Good idea, it’s certainly worth a try.

I live in a small “village” of Holmer Green, between Amersham and High Wycombe.  Darkest (and lumpy) Bucks.




My car’s the 2.0 Sport so has the sports suspension & the standard for that model 17" wheels with the 45 profile tyres. I’ve always found the ride quality to be absolutely fine; do note though that the type of tyres fitted can make quite a difference.

Good luck with the car hunting; as others have said, Paul Roddison’s highly recommended on here, he did a bit of work on my car too a few years ago - top bloke.

Removed this post as it contained wrong information.

See Andy1964’s post below for correct information.

For both the Mk3.5 & Mk3.75, DVLA’s website quotes £260 today for the 5 speed manual & the same for the 6 speed manual - although the 6 speed’s CO2 emissions (181g) are slightly higher than the 5 speed’s (177g), they’re just beneath the threshold at the top of the banding.

£300 is quoted for the Mk3.5 & Mk3.75 autobox / paddleshift 6 speed variant, due to its higher CO2 emissions (188g).

The Mk3 2.0 litre - with the 5 speed manual & with the 6 speed manual box - is quoted at £300, presumably due to its higher CO2 emissions of 193g (6 speed) & 183g (5 speed).

So in summary, tax rates appear to be the same regardless of whether it’s a 6 speed or a 5 speed manual, tax is higher for the autobox / paddleshift car & the Mk3 costs more to tax than the Mk3.5 & the Mk3.75, which are both subject to the same rates.

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Hey Andy, thanks for correcting me and saving me £40 in my mind! (I actually did only pay £260 to renew my tax this year ! Bargain!!) I hadn’t updated my brain for the tax rates from when I first had the Mark3.0 in 2006 where the 5 and 6 speed boxes had different rates. When I got the Mk3.75 in 2013 I didn’t give it a thought that Mazda had improved the CO output and brought the tax rates down. I will update my post above to stop any misleading information going out!

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Thanks captainhaddock - my tax is due at the end of this month & when I saw your post I thought £300 was quite a hike from last year, so I went straight on to the DVLA site to check, was relieved to find that it would be £260! :smiley: