I'm about to take the plunge and buy my first BMW. I've seen one that
I really like - it's a 1998 (E36) 328i Coupe. It's a decent colour,
it's a manual (which I wanted), it's got all the toys, it's in amazing
condition, and it's attractively priced.
The one problem with it is the mileage - it's already got 148k (miles)
on the clock. Now I don't particularly have a problem with that. I
know it's been fantastically looked after and that, while it might be a
bit more prone to problems than one with, say 70k on the clock, I think
I'm getting a good deal.
The potential problem comes in a couple of years when I want to sell
it. Say it has done 170k by then - will anyone actually buy it?
Obviously I realise it'll go for less than one with lower miles, but is
there a market for cars with that high a mileage?
Any thoughts much appreciated!
We just traded in our 96 with 114k miles on at a dealer. Believe it or not,
they kept it and sold it on the same lot. No Auction. You should have
bought mine when I posted on several boards. Good Luck.
Thing is with anything with higher mileage, is not to pay too much for it in
the first place. With the 'prestige' marques, a lot of people ask pretty
similar money for something with 150k on the clock to what others are asking
for similar models with 70k on the clock. If you avoid paying through the
nose to start with, you'll minimise the amount you'll lose out come resale
Personally I'd rather buy something like that at that age with 150k on the
clock than 70k, as for starters it should be a decent amount cheaper, and
also the 70k one could have problems that are yet to become apparent - it
may not, but it could be a Friday car, and they just might not have reared
their ugly heads yet, and you could be left with a few nasty bills. OTOH,
chances are the 150k car will have had any such problems already happen and
been rectified before you enter the picture, so in many ways there's less
risk. It's also likely to have done a lot of motorway miles, so general
wear and tear could well be less than a lower mileage example. Only thing
you'd want to look out for is the sort of things that often need doing
around that mileage, like shocks, so take it for a good test drive, and make
sure you knock money off for anything immediately needing doing, like tyres,
shocks, suspension bushes etc. Unless it's a *particularly* cheap price,
they should play ball, if not, walk away. Ah, just read that it's been
fantastically looked after. Still bargain them down for anything needing
attention (as is the case with any car), but like I say, I'd actually rather
buy something at that age with a few more miles on the clock, rather than
less, as long as the price was right.
At what mileage should an automatic require a gearbox overhaul, due to
normal wear. A friend of mine owns a 328i, 1998 model with only 100,000
miles on the clock and he's had to have the auto box repaired. Was he
screwed on mileage when he bought the car, or is that unlikely?
Thanks for the thoughts everyone. I'm having an independent inspection
done on the car tomorrow (I know it looks nice, but am fairly clueless
about cars mechanically) to be on the safe side. If that goes well,
then I think I'll go for it.
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