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  • 09-28-2010, 06:11 PM
    Robert Platt Bell

    I meant her, not you, of course....

    Hope she enjoys it either way.

    But the best deals out there are from individual owners.

    There are a LOT of one or two owners Z3s out there with less than 50K on the clock, with all service records, garage kept, etc. for resonable prices - far less than the dealer.

    I may sell mine next year. It has only 28K or so on the clock, but I live on an island where the speed limit is 35 mph. Sort of overkill, really. I'll try it for another year and see.

    But a lot of these cars were "toys" for their owners and will make good bargains for the bargain hunters.

  • 09-27-2010, 10:49 PM

    Actually, I am not looking at anything...

    she is doing it all.

    In fact, she emailed me today and said that she bought it for a price that she felt was very reasonable. She is happy and that is what counts.

    She plans to bring it to town for it's 60K service. I think that it is a waste of money but it's her car and money.

  • 09-26-2010, 09:39 AM
    Robert Platt Bell

    For $8000, make the time....

    That's an even worse way to buy a car! "Gee, I don't have time to look at cars, so I'll just buy whatever they have on the lot"

    And yes, I know people who have done this. They got bent over. Badly.

    The only worse scenario I can think of was a friend of mine who went car shopping and had his trade-in catch fire on the lot. Not a lot of buying leverage there. "Here, let me extinguish your trade-in while we talk financing..."

    You can look at 5 or 6 cars on a Saturaday afternoon. It is not that hard.

    A friend of mine came back from hitchhiking around the world and wanted a cheap, reliable car. She decided to look at a used Geo Prism, the clone of the Toyota Corolla, which comes off the same assembly line at NUMMI on Fremont, California. Smart girl.

    We looked at six of them, from individuals, dealers, etc. and even a couple of Corollas (which because of nameplate, sell for 30% more).

    After looking at several, we realized that the third one we saw was the real bargain - best condition (no dents, rust, fading, etc., clean interior) lower mileage, service records, new timing belt, nerw rubber, even a clean engine - and from an individual seller who used it as his personal car.

    We drove back and bought it. It was a good car for nearly 5 years, after which she sold it for 50% of what she paid for it (about right) and hitchhiked around the world again. Like I said, smart girl.

    The point is, if we hadn't looked at five of the same exact model cars, we wouldn't have realized what a good deal the one she bought was.

    Most folks walk into a car dealer thinking of a convertible and drive out with a station wagon - like my neighbor, for example.

    Or they try to compare different brands and models of used cars, which is like comparing apples and oranges.

    The point is, if she wants a Z3, there are tons out there. Look at several, pick the best one. It does not take any more time than the average American spends watching TeeVee shows in ONE DAY (4.8 hours).

    Fixating on one car from a dealer that is 100% overpriced is a really bad idea. They are not going to drop the price in half. And even at a reasonable "dealer price" you are paying 20-30% more than private party sale.

    FWIW. Saving money takes effort.

  • 09-24-2010, 08:19 PM

    Robert, some folks have the time...

    and inclination to seek out car after car no matter that they are hundreds if not 1000's of miles from them. This lady does not and wanted THIS car.

    As it turns out, she started driving over to see it and the dealer called to say that they were taking it in for paint so she is rethinking about buying it.

  • 09-24-2010, 05:03 PM
    Robert Platt Bell

    Worst way to buy a car!

    They made about 398,000 of these cars. Fixating on one particular car will make the salesman happy, to be sure!

    Bend over the desk and bring vaseline!

    You can tell them all day long about book value, but if they are stating out at nearly twice book value, there is no negotiating with that kind of mentality. Even at "book" she is paying 20-30% over private party sale. Why?

    A better approach is to look at 5-10 of these cars, same make, model and range of years. Then buy the best one of the lot. Once you've looked at several, you see patterns and can really judge relative condition.

    And 65,000 miles is not really that low for this kind of car. And these cars can need a LOT of repairs between 65,000 and 100,000 miles!

    Oh, well, you can lead a horse to water, right?

    Some people would rather buy an anonymous mystery car from a dealer than one from the owner with all the service records and known problems and fixes documented.

    Just as well, it leaves the better bargains for the rest of us!

    I just hope she doesn't become yet another angry BMW owner, after she overpays for the car and finds out it needs $2000 to $4000 in work in the next 2-3 years.

    Send her the attached article... it is sobering, as is my other BMW fright pig article linked therein. While the car she is looking at won't need that much work, it still could might need O2 sensors, suspension work, cooling system overhaul, etc. in the next 20K miles. Easily 2-4 grand if the dealer does it, maybe 1-3 grand for an independent mechanic, about $1500 if you buy the parts and do it yourself (struts are pricey!)...

    At least the 2.3 has only one primary O2 sensor!

    Good luck either way!
  • 09-24-2010, 01:02 AM

    I have advised her on all of that...she

    is making an offer based on the book and my recommendation. It is a car that she absolutely wants so realistically it is worth whatever she is willing to pay.

  • 09-23-2010, 09:43 PM
    Robert Platt Bell

    Out the door, out the window...

    13 grand is nearly twice the price.

    Don't expect the dealer to dicker much.

    If she is serious about buying a 10-year-old Z3, look from one from the original owner, with all service records. A much better deal than any dealer.

    When checking book values, note how private party sales are 10-30% cheaper than dealer prices. Why pay extra?

    Good luck with it, either way.
  • 09-23-2010, 09:39 PM
    Robert Platt Bell

    Check Edmunds for pricing

    That is a lot of money for an 11-year-old car, mileage notwithstanding.

    At this age, it may need oxygen sensors (which age with time as well as mileage, I just replaced them in two of my E36's with 75k on the clock) as well as a cooling system overhaul, suspension re-do, and of course mundane things like brakes, etc.

    Tell you what, if she wants, she can have my 1999 M Roadster with 27,000 miles on the clock, for $13 grand - and she'd still be paying me over book for it. And it doesn't need new brakes. It has new tires and wheels, though.

    For 13 grand you could buy a much newer Z3 or even a Z4. Walk away.
  • 09-23-2010, 08:48 PM

    It was. The 13 is out the door....

    She is going to the dealer today and offering about $8500 which matches KBB and others.
  • 09-23-2010, 11:12 AM

    Re: A friend is buying a 2000 2.3 with....

    I'd be glad to sell her one with 74k miles with all that stuff mentioned by DaneKane already corrected/repaired/replaced for $12000. I consider that just "normal" maintanance on these cars.
  • 09-21-2010, 08:25 AM

    Re: and youy are CORRECTOMUNDO!...

    I never like to 'put down' the cars I own, but a 2.3 liter 10 year old Z3 with 65k should be closer to $10,000 or $11,000. Auto or manual doesn't matter.
  • 09-20-2010, 11:04 PM

    and youy are CORRECTOMUNDO!...

    ..prices have sure "fluc'd" lately..with dealers taking the Hi-line of late..but that price is so out of's go for less, and at 65k, it'll need at least a grand in parts/labor just with the cooling system overhaul(Radiator, pump, all hoses, belts, possible clutch fan,possible thermostat/housing..OE COOLANT, and clamps,etc)..and 10-1 it needs a vanos oil line, probable top or at least a rear window..then there's the glove box slump, the seat shiskabobing to do.then there's the ohsoneeded "fullfluidchange"..everything!(BIG BS to BMW's lietime(sic)Fluid schedule, ha courtesy MR Freud!) i bet she drops at least two large to be up to runnin'speed on top of the price..drop $2k from that price or walk!(jmnsho)..Z3Cheers! dk '97 2.8 bg R, +1..and counting...(ADD guibo and suspension, which is shot by 65k,btw..)
  • 09-20-2010, 10:44 PM

    A friend is buying a 2000 2.3 with....

    65k miles. It's an automatic and she is having an independent shop do the pre buy inspection. Aside from the welds, is there anything else that I can recommend that she have checked. The seller is a BMW dealer who has indicated that her brakes will probably need new pads and rotors "down the road" at a cost of about 500 bucks. They are asking 13k out the door.

    Any thoughts. Personally, I think it is way overpriced.

    Scott Pettit

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