CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Used car for sale - 2 previous owners

,

I’m looking to purchase a bmw 328i. there is a 2008 RWD - great option and great price. Its a MT6.
It’s previous 2 owners only owned the car for just over 1 year. Between owners, it sat at a dealership for 6mo. 2nd owner bought as CPO. it seems to have been a trade in at a MB dealership. The used car dealer is the resale arm of the MB dealer. There are only 5m left on warranty and 17k miles.

Price is great. the 6mo sit was Jan 2010 - Jun 2010. CarFax and AutoCheck both report no accidents - clean vehicle.

Should I be worried that it sat for six months and both owners ditched it after 1 yr?

The two previous owners could have ditched it because they could no longer afford it, or because this car is a sick puppy. There’s no telling. Sitting for six months is not necessarily a big deal considering the state of the economy (six months of sitting won’t hurt the car), but my opinion as a whole is that if you have any misgivings on this car, pass on it. There are plenty more fish in the sea, especially in your price range.

I wouldn’t worry much about the out of service time. 2 owners is a concern. The MT6 is a performance version of the 3 series? Assuming yes, then this is a car with hard as nails suspension, and very expensive wheels and tires. Perhaps it was just too hard core performance for the previous owners. If you buy it, expect a very hard ride, to feel every expansion crack, and to corner like it is on rails. Some drivers will love that type of ride, and others will find it harsh and jarring. Take it for an extended test drive, to make sure this is what you want, and can live with a long time.

Also be aware that “The Industry” has learned how to avoid having body and frame work show up on Carfax & AutoCheck…Don’t bet your life it’s a “clean car”…Do your homework, find out about insurance costs…

The OP probably means “6 speed manual” when he says “MT6,” which means it’s probably equipped like any other 328i. Are there any service records available? See if it was brought to the dealership an abnormal number of times. My mother’s 2011 328i, also with the 6 speed manual and with 35,000 miles, has required zero repairs except for regular maintenance.

It could have been a short term lease, which is common on these cars.

Thank you! I appreciate all the comments. I used MT6 to reference a manual transmission 6 speed. I will ask for the service records.

Some of the very “short-term” owners are the one who bought the car but did not qualify for the loan. Usually this does not happen but at times dealerships screw it up.

I would guess that it is likely not a problem car because it was a CPO vehicle. BMW doesn’t want to put their problem children into this program because they get a great premium for it. CPO adds $2500 to a $34,000 dealer retail price. You can bet that they only put their best cars into it to keep refurb prices down and maximize profit. It’s not clear why the second owner get rid of it, but he should have gotten a great car at purchase.