Duplicate Title and Value of Car


I’m looking to buy a used 2007 BMW 328i coupe from a private party. Car appears to be in great shape, odometer says 43k miles on it. test drove the car everything is fine, plan to take it to the bmw dealership to get inspected before buying to make sure no large issues with car no accidents, etc. Car priced at 20k online which is considerably below the actual value of the car (prolly valued at about 22-23k from a private party altough ive seen them for more). Only one problem, the title showed exactly 150k miles on it and this is what is hows on instavin. Title shows no other issues, never being retitled or salvaged or anything like that. You can see on carfax when he took it to the dealership that the mileage was reported at like 33k, 37k etc. The owner says he screwed it up when he transfered the title of the car from arizona to WA and i believe him because that is a ridiculous amount of miles. Also, the dealership should easily be able to tell me if the engine and the car looks like it has 150k miles or 43k miles correct? Anyways, i informed the owner i would not be interested in the car unless he fixed the miles on the title. He is in the military and living in puerto rico so 3 months later he now has the new title showing the correct miles of 43k. The title says “duplicate title” on it and also has a “prior title number” on it. When i do an instavin check ,it still shows that the car previously had 150k miles on it and is now at 43k with the new title. i know to fix the miles on a title it has to be legally certified with a notary and everything, but should this negatively affect the value of the car since anyone who searches the vin will see the 150k? This one mistake he made ruins the value of the car forever? or is there maybe something more sinister at work here that im not seeing. Please help give me some peace of mind, or tell me to stay away. it seems like a great deal!

No. The value is fine. He fixed the mistake on the title. I had the miles on a title messed up once on truck that had a dash fire. Lots of Doc’s and hassle I had it fixed. The state that titled the car, will make sure the miles are right or it will be branded unknown miles. Don’t put much stock in carfax or instavin. Make a copy of this title before you transfer it to your name. Just make sure its a up and up deal and you have it checked out before money changes hands.

These auto title services do screw up from time to time. Our 97 Civic was totaled and we bought a 98 Civic to replace it. When we sold the 98, we purchased a CarFax report that showed our 98 had been totaled. The accident, of course, was to the 97. We alerted CarFax and they happily fixed the report. But it took several days.

Assuming it really does have 43K miles, if you plan to sell it in a few years, I’d be concerned. If I were buying it from you, I’d be highly suspicious and would definitely assume the higher mileage. If I feel that way, others would too…remember, some of the people posting here are in the industry and may deal with this all the time. The rest of us don’t and the fact that some percent of the possible buyers will steer clear of this issue means you won’t get full book when you sell it.

Note: You were concerned enough to post about it here…don’t you think the next buyer will raise the same issues, at which point you’re further removed (years and owners) from when it happened so the next buyer will be less likely to trust you.

On the other hand, if you’re going to drive this 5+ years, I don’t think you’ll be looking at a significant difference in selling price because it will be 10 years old and the difference will probably only be a few thousand, which discount you’re getting now.

Statesboro. The new title will show the right miles. Like I said keep all paper work and if anybody questions it later you can show what happen. Its not a big deal.

If you are satisfied with the duplicate “corrected” title then likely a buyer from you years from now can be satisfied. Some agencies “bend” the rules a bit for military people away from home. Are you sure the duplicate title “certifies” the mileage is correct or just states this is the mileage as given to DMV agency by the owner? Some states could be much more difficult than others in requirements for proof of miles on the car.

Oldbodyman, if there is absolutely no way a potential purchaser could pull a car fax, instavin or other search and find mention of 150K miles, I’d agree with you.

But if they could, there are literally millions of used cars for sale…the biggest suspicion people have is wrong mileage…why would someone not want a discount on a vehicle with a mileage question? Otherwise they can buy the same car without a mileage issue since there are plenty around.

Once its fixed, the fix should show up. If it does not, thats why you keep all paper work to show the error and how it was fixed. Were is the problem? This happens more than you know.

Doesn’t BMW have electronic monitoring of the mileage like Onstar. Onstar knows and has a history of mileage and every time the oil monitor is set on my car. Can’t believe the dealer doesn’t have access to that info and can give you a history report.

OBM I don’t know much about the “paperwork” and what would be legit or not. That’s why I’m saying since the vast majority of potential purchasers are in the same boat - and have a healthy distrust of anyone selling a used car - that doubt has to affect the value.

thanks guys for all your input! I ended up buying the car for $19,700 and so far so good. The Dealership confirmed what “bing” wrote in that BMW is able to tell if the mileage has ever been tampered with and he confirmed that it had not, so the car legitimately has 43k miles. Well almost 44k now ive been driving it everywhere. :slight_smile: It might take a little extra convincing for whenever i decide to sell the car because of that 150k/43k on the instavin showing up on the same date, but i will probably be driving this car for at least 5 years if all goes well so like statesboro says, difference in value would be minimal. Thanks again for everyones input!