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Hey Guys,

So the time has come where I'll be purchasing my first E46 M3. I sold my Lexus IS recently and now I'm on the hunt for my dream car. Unfortunately my area (PNW) doesn't have much of a selection and it's hard to come by anything that catches my attention around here. With that said, what process would you recommend when buying out of state? Since I'm relatively new to BMW's and the proper "check out" needed before purchasing it's hard for me to justify buying out of state right now. But the deals I've seen are very tempting so I definitely want to look more into the whole process. Anything around my area I could take to my mechanic but obviously thats not an option if I'm interested in something across the U.S. So are most of these members taking the sellers word before purchasing and having their car shipped to them w/o seeing them in person? Or Are they flying out to the car location, checking it out, then having it shipped/driving it back? An option I had thought of for my situation would be locating a local BMW dealership near where the car is located and having them do the proper inspection needed to make sure everything checks out fine. Then I guess I'd do the paperwork/buy process and fly back and have the car shipped?

Sorry for the long post, just kinda curious to know how this all usually works. Any input, advice, personal experiences would be greatly Appreciated. Thanks! :)
 

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Previously, I have followed this process, and find it works with the least amount of risk and prevents potential serious disappointment.

1) Have a serious concersation witht he seller, or dealer offering the vehicle. Query them carefully on the cars exact condition, it's history, including service history and make certain that they seem to be trustworthy.

If everything checks out during the conversation, get the VIN# from the seller and contact BMW who can provide you with the complete vehicle service history from the date of delivery (at least any service done by BMW during the warranty period).

2) If everything has gone well to this point, engage one of the number of reputable national car inspection companies and have them inspect the vehicle, in person, for you. For a fee, generally in the range of $150-175.00, they will do a complete physical inspection , drive it and and provide a detailed report covering everything about the condition of the cars exterior, interior, how it drove, etc., including photos which you know have not been "optimized".

Alternatively, if there is a forum member in the area where the car is located, they may be kind enough to do this for you. Either way, I strongly recommend this.

3) Have a PPI done by a BMW dealer of YOUR choice. Do not accept a PPI the seller provides. This will provide you with a complete report on the mechanical and operaational condition of the vehicle.

4) If everything still looks good, make the offer to the seller, and upon them accepting it, send them a deposit via PayPal. The deposit is whatever the two of you agree to.

5) Book a flight, fly down, close the transaction and drive the vehicle home. Usually I limit purchases to those where the return travel time is twelve hours driving time, but that's just me. You may be willing to deal with further regions. But I am not personally willing to buy anything worth this kind of money without having seen it myself. That said, if you follow the steps above, you can be prerry well assured of gettign what you wanted, and shipping is always an option.

I hope this helps. It's about as bulletproof as it gets and protects your hard earned money, and eliminates false expectations.

JC


Hey Guys,

So the time has come where I'll be purchasing my first E46 M3. I sold my Lexus IS recently and now I'm on the hunt for my dream car. Unfortunately my area (PNW) doesn't have much of a selection and it's hard to come by anything that catches my attention around here. With that said, what process would you recommend when buying out of state? Since I'm relatively new to BMW's and the proper "check out" needed before purchasing it's hard for me to justify buying out of state right now. But the deals I've seen are very tempting so I definitely want to look more into the whole process. Anything around my area I could take to my mechanic but obviously thats not an option if I'm interested in something across the U.S. So are most of these members taking the sellers word before purchasing and having their car shipped to them w/o seeing them in person? Or Are they flying out to the car location, checking it out, then having it shipped/driving it back? An option I had thought of for my situation would be locating a local BMW dealership near where the car is located and having them do the proper inspection needed to make sure everything checks out fine. Then I guess I'd do the paperwork/buy process and fly back and have the car shipped?

Sorry for the long post, just kinda curious to know how this all usually works. Any input, advice, personal experiences would be greatly Appreciated. Thanks! :)
 

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I just bought one from a BMW dealer in Sarasota. Everything can be done over the phone. I flew down and picked it up. Dealing with a private owner may be a bit more complex.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Previously, I have followed this process, and find it works with the least amount of risk and prevents potential serious disappointment.

1) Have a serious concersation witht he seller, or dealer offering the vehicle. Query them carefully on the cars exact condition, it's history, including service history and make certain that they seem to be trustworthy.

If everything checks out during the conversation, get the VIN# from the seller and contact BMW who can provide you with the complete vehicle service history from the date of delivery (at least any service done by BMW during the warranty period).

2) If everything has gone well to this point, engage one of the number of reputable national car inspection companies and have them inspect the vehicle, in person, for you. For a fee, generally in the range of $150-175.00, they will do a complete physical inspection , drive it and and provide a detailed report covering everything about the condition of the cars exterior, interior, how it drove, etc., including photos which you know have not been "optimized".

Alternatively, if there is a forum member in the area where the car is located, they may be kind enough to do this for you. Either way, I strongly recommend this.

3) Have a PPI done by a BMW dealer of YOUR choice. Do not accept a PPI the seller provides. This will provide you with a complete report on the mechanical and operaational condition of the vehicle.

4) If everything still looks good, make the offer to the seller, and upon them accepting it, send them a deposit via PayPal. The deposit is whatever the two of you agree to.

5) Book a flight, fly down, close the transaction and drive the vehicle home. Usually I limit purchases to those where the return travel time is twelve hours driving time, but that's just me. You may be willing to deal with further regions. But I am not personally willing to buy anything worth this kind of money without having seen it myself. That said, if you follow the steps above, you can be prerry well assured of gettign what you wanted, and shipping is always an option.

I hope this helps. It's about as bulletproof as it gets and protects your hard earned money, and eliminates false expectations.

JC
Thank you very much, this is exactly what I was looking to hear.
 

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Thank you very much, this is exactly what I was looking to hear.
I agree with this. Also, if you show up and the car isnt everything the seller said it was, leave it there and fly/drive back home. If he left out anything you can "see" im sure he left out things you cant. If you ever find that someone isnt 100% up front on the condition of a car, dont buy it.
 

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I flew from So Cal to Washington State to buy my M3. Truth be told. I REGRET IT. I mean, I like the car and all, but flying out of state to buy a used car seems retarded in hindsight. 2 - way plane ticket + shipping the car or 1 - way plane ticket and driving the car back are pretty expensive / time consuming.

Also, the seller has a pyschological advantage. You blew a ton of money to go look at a car, so even if its 75% of what you thought it would be, you're still likely to pull the trigger and not have much negotiating power. I mean, hell, the seller knows you aren't going to do this 50 times or even 20 or even 10. Hell, you probably aren't going to be flying all over the country to look at a used car mroe then once.

Also, you're going to pysch yourself out too... "Damn... I came all this way... it only needs $5000 worth of repairs... screw it... whip out the checkbook".

And honestly, I have never told ANYONE that I did that because its kind of embarassing. First thing I did when it was delivered was head down to my local dealer and get a license plate insert so it didn't say "Washington" on it to save myself questions.
 

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I've bought several cars out of state and never had a problem. Only had to walk away from one deal, a 6-series that had obvious unreported body work that didn't show up in the photos. And with that I was only out a cheap rental car, a few tanks of gas and motel room for a night.

I make sure the price is agreed on up front. I'm taking a pre-printed check from my bank so not like I can change the deal once I get there anyway.

If the car is not exactly as advertised, or for some reason I don't want it, I don't have any problem just walking away and canceling the deal.

For me I'm not usually shopping out of state to get any great bargains, probably like you I have specific options / colors I like which are usually hard to find and I have to end up buying out of state to get what I want.

Nick
 

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I had 3 colors I wanted and ranked them in order of my desirability. Then I had some "must have" options as well as some "must NOT have".

Anyways, I flew up to check it out and spent about ~$200 or more on the plane ticket plus an entire day. Then it cost about $700 to $800 to ship the car here. When I got up to see the car, there was a large ding on the hood that wasn't mentioned and the interior trim wasn't what I wanted. Plus it had a euro plate on the front.

I ended up having to repaint the hood and bumper and swapping out the interior trim pieces.

So not only did I spend about $1k on the flight + shipping... I also spent about $700 - $1000 to repaint the hood and bumper and another $1200 to $1500 to swap to the aluminum trim.

So I paid alot for the car in the first place, but it cost another $3000 on top of that. Actually, no, it ended up costing me around ~$5000 on top of what I paid due to "an incident" with the Nav :banghead:.

Maybe you are the type that can walk away, but I was obsessed with getting an M3 at the time and when I was up there, I didn't realize the additional expenses I would incur. Blinded by love I guess :pimpin:.
 

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Yeah, if you can't make yourself walk away if needed, then I would probably not try and buy out of area. :eek:
 

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I was in the exact same situation last month, weighed all the options of flying/transporting out of state, etc, but ended up buying a local car. It wasn't my first or even second color choice but I stayed to my low mileage restriction (under 60K). I am happy with the purchase since my local indy mechanic was here on hand (PPI) and the local dealership as well and was able to strike a better final price. :pimpin:
 

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agree on the points about being in a bad position as a buyer when doing it out of state.

Only way I'd do it is if I was out in say the bay area or socal visiting friends and I just happened to check out cars while I was down there. Would take some luck and coordination, but there are way more M3s for sale in cali than in our neck of the woods.

I lucked out with finding my low mileage one around here ;)
 

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I flew from So Cal to Washington State to buy my M3. Truth be told. I REGRET IT. I mean, I like the car and all, but flying out of state to buy a used car seems retarded in hindsight. 2 - way plane ticket + shipping the car or 1 - way plane ticket and driving the car back are pretty expensive / time consuming.

Also, the seller has a pyschological advantage. You blew a ton of money to go look at a car, so even if its 75% of what you thought it would be, you're still likely to pull the trigger and not have much negotiating power. I mean, hell, the seller knows you aren't going to do this 50 times or even 20 or even 10. Hell, you probably aren't going to be flying all over the country to look at a used car mroe then once.

Also, you're going to pysch yourself out too... "Damn... I came all this way... it only needs $5000 worth of repairs... screw it... whip out the checkbook".

And honestly, I have never told ANYONE that I did that because its kind of embarassing. First thing I did when it was delivered was head down to my local dealer and get a license plate insert so it didn't say "Washington" on it to save myself questions.
Wow, great feedback. I don't even think I took into consideration the out of state buyer position a couple people had mentioned. Sometimes I find it hard justifying the $500 plane ticket a well as the $1000 shipping and figure why can't I just spend that $1500 towards a local car? The car I was specifically referring to when I made the post just actually sold : / Oh well..part of me is kinda relieved.
 

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1. Don't buy an M3 that you haven't personally inspected and driven. Period.
2. Carefully review maintenance records. If it isn't in writing - it never happened.
3. Have a PPI done by an Indy that knows M3s. Buyer pays and the results to the buyer.
4. Plane tickets aren't that expensive.
 
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