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Discussion Starter #1
I've happened across a 2002 LMB M5 with about 80K miles on it, however, seller has also been forthright and disclosed following:

- Car has a rebuilt title (seller indicates no frame damage, but I have no idea - he has provided pictures of the damage, but I wouldn't know. I do see from the pictures the wheel on the side the accident occurred is different from all other wheels indicating that the original got toasted, so I'm sure control arm and the rest also bit the dust too, but doesn't help me on the frame part).
- He's only owned the car for a year (a little under)

All of this originally tells me to go away and keep looking. But I love LMB and seller is close by which is convenient. Asking price was $19K.

Am I stupid to walk away just because of a rebuilt title? What does getting a rebuilt title involve - I always assumed it meant very extensive work, perhaps a write off from insurance. I'm also hesitant because he's owned for less than a year.

My head tells me to walk away, but....I'd love an M5. I've decided I'm going to continue searching for an M5 up to end of May and then admit defeat if I can't find one - just take over my wife's Jetta lease for a few years to save money for the next car.
 

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Everyone will tell you to walk/run from a salvage/rebuilt title but they are not always bad news. You just have to know what and where to look.
However at 19k i don't even think its worth negotiating with the seller since i too agree thats a LOT for a car with a salvage/rebuilt title. Just to give you an idea what I think a fair/good starting price would be for this car .... without seeing the car but assuming its in good shape with the year and mileage you described .... about 12k, so as you can tell you and seller are worlds apart.
 

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Rebuilt title == automatic 50% reduction in resale price; frame damage == walk away and never look back!
 

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I think it depends on what you're looking for in the car.

As others have said, if the title is rebuilt, then the resale price is going to suffer drastically, even assuming that there's no frame damage and the car has been returned to as new otherwise. So the question is, are you planning on keeping the car and driving it to the ground, or do you think you may resell it a few years down the line? If everything is fixed absolutely correctly, and there is NO frame damage, and you plan on keeping the car forever, a rebuilt title may be alright. Now, I'm not totally familiar with Canadian market, but if it's anything like the US market, 19k for a rebuilt titled car is probably too high of a price, as others have said.

Remember though, this is all assuming that the car has NO frame damage and has been all fixed. Only a PPI or a qualified shop/person can tell you whether there's any frame damage. If there is ANY frame damage, run away from the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone - its good advice, and consistent with what I was thinking, even though I really want an M5.

I think I will just stay away and continue the search! Appreciate all the replies!
 

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one just came out in my neck of the woods (Vancouver). 2002 LMB with very low mileage at 90K (55mi) - asking $25K CDN. not sure if i should post a link but just go to vancouver craigslist and you'll find it. Good luck!
 

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Thanks everyone - its good advice, and consistent with what I was thinking, even though I really want an M5.

I think I will just stay away and continue the search! Appreciate all the replies!
Good move. There are way too many cars for sale to settle for one that has a rebuilt title and is too expensive on top of that!

And with the exchange rate these days, you may be better off buying a US car and having it imported, if you're willing to go through the hassle of that.

Best of luck!
 
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