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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at a used M235i with low miles and the exact option list I want. It looks perfect except for two things: 1) It's a lease vehicle sold at auction to a non-BMW dealer. 2) The asking price is about $1000-2000 below what I'd expect the asking price to be. I'd be buying it long distance so I want to be extra cautious.

The Carfax is clean, but that's all I can find out about it. Would a PPI by a nearby BMW dealer be able to tell me if there had been an unreported accident or some other hidden problem?
 

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I'm looking at a used M235i with low miles and the exact option list I want. It looks perfect except for two things: 1) It's a lease vehicle sold at auction to a non-BMW dealer. 2) The asking price is about $1000-2000 below what I'd expect the asking price to be. I'd be buying it long distance so I want to be extra cautious.

The Carfax is clean, but that's all I can find out about it. Would a PPI by a nearby BMW dealer be able to tell me if there had been an unreported accident or some other hidden problem?
PM me the last 7 of the vin and I will see what's up, if anything.
 

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I'm looking at a used M235i with low miles and the exact option list I want. It looks perfect except for two things: 1) It's a lease vehicle sold at auction to a non-BMW dealer. 2) The asking price is about $1000-2000 below what I'd expect the asking price to be. I'd be buying it long distance so I want to be extra cautious.

The Carfax is clean, but that's all I can find out about it. Would a PPI by a nearby BMW dealer be able to tell me if there had been an unreported accident or some other hidden problem?
This may be wrong, but I tend to assume there was something wrong when a "lease return" is available via a non-bmw dealer. I tend to think that with all the perks a bmw dealer gets, there has to be a reason they all passed on it to begin with. Whatever that is, its likely to be significant because a bmw dealer has an incentive to bring it and put a CPO sticker on it and have decent markup.

On the other hand, thats where the value is. Most cars from a bmw dealer have a cpo sticker, and to me thats not worth a whole lot. You can get a considerable discount on non-cpo cars. You used to be able to get those from bmw dealers, but ow they basically CPO everything they can in whatever way they can.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
MJBrown62: PM'd. Thanks!

ZoomVT: This is exactly my concern. It should be a really good CPO candidate, so the fact that it's not has my radar up. On the other hand, if there's really no hidden damage and nothing else wrong with it, it has a good price and its got the balance of the factory warranty. Cautiously optimistic!
 

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Captain Crunch
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It could be a pre-lemon car. As in, the car qualifies as a lemon, but BMW decided to buy the previous owner out before the car was officially declared a lemon. You can take the VIN to a local dealer and have them print out the service history. That would provide a ton of information.
 

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It could be a pre-lemon car. As in, the car qualifies as a lemon, but BMW decided to buy the previous owner out before the car was officially declared a lemon. You can take the VIN to a local dealer and have them print out the service history. That would provide a ton of information.
First as we all know a dealer can not provide a history to someone who is not the owner. Second, if the owner/lessee does not want a report made to Carfax about an accident/repair, there will be no report, and the vehicle will have a clean Carfax.
 

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Captain Crunch
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First as we all know a dealer can not provide a history to someone who is not the owner. Second, if the owner/lessee does not want a report made to Carfax about an accident/repair, there will be no report, and the vehicle will have a clean Carfax.
First, I've heard from several people when they are looking at a used BMW to buy to go to the dealership and get a list of service history. Are dealerships no longer willing/able to provide this data?

And second, since when can you have an accident or repair not reported to carfax? Unless you do it off the books, I thought all of the accidents must be reported?
 

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First, I've heard from several people when they are looking at a used BMW to buy to go to the dealership and get a list of service history. Are dealerships no longer willing/able to provide this data?

And second, since when can you have an accident or repair not reported to CarFax? Unless you do it off the books, I thought all of the accidents must be reported?
BMW Service History Documents specifically state that they are confidential and cannot be shared. It doesn't prevent us from talking about it, just not print it out and distribute it.

Regarding accidents, if you hit a tree at 35 mph and have the cash to pay a body shop, that info isn't going to show up anywhere.

And there can be a delay in the reporting. On rare occasion we have had vehicles traded in with a clean carfax, and then have the accident show up while it's on the lot.

~Michael~
 

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Captain Crunch
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BMW Service History Documents specifically state that they are confidential and cannot be shared. It doesn't present us from talking about it, just not print it out and distribute it.

Regarding accidents, if you hit a tree at 35 mph and have the cash to pay a body shop, that info isn't going to show up anywhere.

And there can be a delay in the reporting. On rare occasion we have had vehicles traded in with a clean carfax, and then have the accident show up while it's on the lot.

~Michael~
Makes perfect sense about the service history and out of pocket for the carfax. I'm curious what the story is of this M235i and why its a very early lease turn in sitting on a non bmw lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks all. It sounds like the smart money is on an unreported accident, or an accident that was reported but that hasn't shown up yet. Probably going to let this one go.
 

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Sounds like a BMW b u y back then sold at auction to a used dealer.

I'd wouldn't touch it with a 20 foot pole.

Some people buy or lease a car, and find out within a few months that the car doesn't meet their needs and trade it. However the hesitance on history is a big indicator. The largest indicator is that it was not made a CPO and sold from a BMW Dealership.

skip.
 

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If you are passing, post the VIN.... Someone might Google it and find this...pay it forward.
 

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Thanks all. It sounds like .........
Sounds like .........
So no one has a definitive answer on this one? What did MJBrown tell you? Was there a specific reason to pass?

Some people buy or lease a car, and find out within a few months that the car doesn't meet their needs and trade it.
This still sounds like a plausible explanation. This is the kind of car people buy/lease on a whim and then later realize they need something larger/more comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Doing a little more digging over the weekend on this one, but there's probably no way to get a definitive answer short of an independent inspection. I'll let you know what I find, and I'll post the listing if I pass, in case anyone here has higher risk-tolerance :) Thanks for the input, it's much appreciated.
 

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Dunno how to tell you guys this but carfax is not the ultimate in car knowledge. There is no law or rules that say anyone must report or give any info to carfax. It is a privately owned company. Now that being said most do and carfax does ok at gathering information.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I was able to find a nearly identical model here in NC, so as promised, here's the VIN for the car I passed on: WBA1J7C57FV288769

It's at South Bay Maserati in CA. Blue/Brown M235i coupe, 6-speed, loaded, 13.6K miles for $40K. I talked with the sales guy and I wasn't able to get much useful information, but I didn't pick up any red flags either. I'd still have a local BMW dealer do a mechanical inspection, but it could be a great deal for someone closer to LA. For what it's worth, the dealership is well-reviewed and the sales guy seemed to be on the up and up, I just ended up finding a good example closer to home.

Thanks again for the all the help!
 

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I think that, now knowing the dealership, it may make more sense as it may have been traded in directly. Probably at a good enough price that they can sell it at the current price and still make money. I dont know the dealer but its potentially a different story if the car is at Joes' Used Car sales lot...
This car probably never made it to the BMW auction, so no dealer had a shot at it.

Just my $.02
 

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I was able to find a nearly identical model here in NC, so as promised, here's the VIN for the car I passed on: WBA1J7C57FV288769

It's at South Bay Maserati in CA. Blue/Brown M235i coupe, 6-speed, loaded, 13.6K miles for $40K. I talked with the sales guy and I wasn't able to get much useful information, but I didn't pick up any red flags either. I'd still have a local BMW dealer do a mechanical inspection, but it could be a great deal for someone closer to LA. For what it's worth, the dealership is well-reviewed and the sales guy seemed to be on the up and up, I just ended up finding a good example closer to home.

Thanks again for the all the help!
The Vehicle History had no red flags. No odd warranty claims. So that was no help other than determining that it hadn't been in a buy back if no claims have been made.
 
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