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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I want to sell my M5 that I bought new in the UK in 2000.

The question is do I sell it at a reduced price taking into account the mainly cosmetic work that needs to be done (see below).
Or, do I do the work first and then sell my car as "M5, 2000, perfect condition, one owner, 81,000 miles".

To make my car perfect I would need to:
Get a new MOT (current one expires in June).
Have the car serviced and tuned. (the power drops a little at high revs with max throttle).
Have a few minor hailstorm dents pulled and removed.
Get the bonnet's minor paint 'blooming' removed.
Have the wheels restored to look like new.

Would you do the work first and try to sell for 'top dollar', or sell it 'as is' at a reduced price?

Do you have any idea what I could sell my car for in the UK, before and after doing the work above?

Your advice will be appreciated.

Many thanks, Chris
 

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For a one owner car with relatively low miles, I'd get at least the dents pulled out and paint issues solved. Nothing is worse than unkempt one owner car. Just invites these "what else could be wrong with this car" type questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For a one owner car with relatively low miles, I'd get at least the dents pulled out and paint issues solved. Nothing is worse than unkempt one owner car. Just invites these "what else could be wrong with this car" type questions.
Very good point! Thanks. I will do this!
 

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Hi,

As per above! It's very rare to find a 1 owner from new E39 M5 in the UK nowadays, plus, you have a low mileage example which are big plus points for potential buyers and for you to potentially ask more as an initial asking price. I'd say get the issues resolved and make a good advert, with relevant information and lots of high quality pictures. Put in detail of all the servicing work done over the years & who did the work along with details of all the invoices to backup that history. If you're example is in a sought after colour combo, has the right spec in terms of options, you should get very good interest. If the car is also very clean cosmetically, then that will also help alot, take pictures of the usual rust/corrosion areas to show yours isn't suffering in those places.

Detractors will be that it's a pre-facelift, the market in general wants the facelift examples as first preference. Not to do with your specific example, just looking at E39 M5 on the market, then actual sales of examples are/have slowed down significantly with many examples advertised week/month in/out and only with significant asking price drops do they then either sell or are no longer listed (where the owner either keeps it, sells to a dealer or gets shot via we buy any car type places). A number of examples, both pre-facelift and facelifts have higher asking prices which haven't sold for quite some time, so if you need to sell shortly, be prepared for low ball offers and being asked to PX it etc etc. Price it well, it should get interest from potential genuine buyers

If you look at ebay, autotrader, forum classifieds, facebook groups you'll see prices vary by a big margin. If you put up some more details here, I'm sure more UK members will provide an opinion/input on a asking price range to list at.

Cheers, Dennis!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Hi,

As per above! It's very rare to find a 1 owner from new E39 M5 in the UK nowadays, plus, you have a low mileage example which are big plus points for potential buyers and for you to potentially ask more as an initial asking price. I'd say get the issues resolved and make a good advert, with relevant information and lots of high quality pictures. Put in detail of all the servicing work done over the years & who did the work along with details of all the invoices to backup that history. If you're example is in a sought after colour combo, has the right spec in terms of options, you should get very good interest. If the car is also very clean cosmetically, then that will also help alot, take pictures of the usual rust/corrosion areas to show yours isn't suffering in those places.

Detractors will be that it's a pre-facelift, the market in general wants the facelift examples as first preference. Not to do with your specific example, just looking at E39 M5 on the market, then actual sales of examples are/have slowed down significantly with many examples advertised week/month in/out and only with significant asking price drops do they then either sell or are no longer listed (where the owner either keeps it, sells to a dealer or gets shot via we buy any car type places). A number of examples, both pre-facelift and facelifts have higher asking prices which haven't sold for quite some time, so if you need to sell shortly, be prepared for low ball offers and being asked to PX it etc etc. Price it well, it should get interest from potential genuine buyers

If you look at ebay, autotrader, forum classifieds, facebook groups you'll see prices vary by a big margin. If you put up some more details here, I'm sure more UK members will provide an opinion/input on a asking price range to list at.

Cheers, Dennis!
Hi Dennis,
The colour combo is very dark blue/black with a tan interior. Is that a sought after colour combo?
The spec includes a sunroof, electric seats, tan leather seats, walnut trim, car phone! and rear parking beepers. I would have to look at my purchase invoice to see what other extras I purchased.
In 2000, the Vanos unit was upgraded under warranty.
Since the purchase in 2000, I have all the service history – always done by main BMW agent.

The headlight units are a bit dull. Would you advise I replace them with new original ones, or the later E39 design with big lenses and what may be LEDs?

I agree with you, something is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. So forget 'asking prices'! So, do you have any idea what a one owner, low mileage, 2000, M5 like mine would actually sell for – if it looked really good and had just been serviced and tuned?

Thanks, Chris
 

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Hi Chris,

Without seeing pictures, it sounds as though you have the very common Carbon Black exterior colour with the sought after Caramel Heritage interior! So yes, that's a sought after combo! The Walnut trim complements well and what you list there is standard stuff. The carphone won't be sough after though, just a period piece really. Do look for any nicer options - Alcantara headlining, Double Glazing, full or extended leather, rear door in built sunblinds etc are often cited by those wanting an M5 they'd like to have for instance

The headlights you mention confirms you have a pre-facelift. As I mention, the market prefers the facelift examples, so yes, you could indeed put on facelift used but clean and refurbished Xenon angel eye headlamps and the facelift rear lamp clusters. I'd suggest the facelift steering wheel as well. If you have Satnav, is it the small 4:3 screen? if so, many prefacelift E39 owners (not just M5's) change the GPS computer and monitor to the Mk4 and 16:9 versions respectively. Doing all of these will cost you a fair amount and will increase interest and possibly gain you more in actual selling price, but perhaps not as much as you'd need to spend to make the changes. The full BMW history will help for sure along with your invoices.

Get the car nicely valeted, take lots and lots of high quality pictures, lots of close ups and all/any blemishes. The style 65's must be the correct shadow line colour and refinished to a high standard, else interest will be less/dented.

Assuming everything is excellent asking prices for 'lower' miled examples seems to be £17K and up. There's a few at £20 - 25K. Actual selling prices would perhaps be lower/significantly lower but there's also a bigger proportion of buyers at close to asking IF the car is pristine and everything checks out very nicely/properly. It's a tough(er) market for sure right now.

Good luck in the forthcoming sale !

Cheers, Dennis!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Dennis, thanks for the info.

I have looked out my purchase invoice dated 31/03/2000
FYI, the 'Options' I ordered were:
Carbon Black
Caramel Nappa heritage leather
No model inscription (rear M5 badge not fitted but in the glove box instead) (I like to be underestimated on the road!)
No rear spoiler
Double glazing for side and rear windows
Graduated tint windscreen
Electric rear and manual sideblines
Park distance control
Communications pack

...and the 'Accessories' were:
Six disc CD Changer
Tracker 24 Hour Monitor


What do you mean by "The style 65's must be the correct shadow line colour"?

I was thinking when I order replacement parts needed like new headlights assembly they should be the same as the original to keep the vehicle authentic? But you're saying "No", update to the latest E39 M5 spec where cost effective to do so. Is that correct?

Thanks again for your advice, Chris
 

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Hi Chris,

That does indeed sound like a nicely specified example for when you did it 20 years ago ! Caramel Heritage is a sought after interior colour and more of an appreciation for it when it's shown in pictures with complementary exterior colours, it looks great with Carbon Black, Le Mans Blue and Oxford Green 2, Imola Red perhaps being most of the colours it was perhaps ordered with!

From factory, the colour for the Style 65 wheels only the M5 came with was called 'Shadow Chrome'. At the upper end of the asking price scale, the wheels on such an example should be this colour as it's what the market demands/heavily prefers. You will see examples with a darker anthracite or plain silver refinishing option done to them in the past and would be a detracting point for anyone looking for a upper level example. There's much discussion about who and where does a very good job of refinishing in shadow chrome and only a relative few wheel refinishing specialists do this job well. I do know a couple places I'd recommend to you - The Wheel Specialist who have franchises throughout the UK and Chesham Alloy Wheel Refurbishment. These recommendations come from a good number of owners posting about having their sets done - there's a small chance a discount could be available at Chesham Alloy Wheel Refurbishment.

If you price up brand new Xenon facelift headlamps from Euro Car Parts, I believe they come in at around £1200. You can get refurbished Xenon facelift headlamps for around £400 the pair and you'll likely get £100+ back for your pre-facelift Xenon's. All E39's have the same headlamps, there's nothing specific about them for an M5.

Cheers, Dennis!
 

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Hi Dennis,
Wow, you have amazing knowledge. Thank you so much!
One final question. Where I get in and out of the car, the driver's seat on the exterior side edge has a patch of grey suede, where the seat color has worn off. Plus there are some tiny thin cracks generally on the seats.
What product do you recommend to add back the color and restore the seats back to as new as possible?

Thanks, Chris
 

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I'm more of the opinion to keep it absolutely original. Unmolested cars are very hard to find, let alone one-owner with low miles and full BMW service history. If someone wants to 'update' it then they easily can if that's really their thing, but non-period things can put off people with money looking for originality in a market already full of blinged-up tat. Updating the steering wheel could raise 'was the airbag recall done?' type questions. Your car will stand out in the crowd if it is still 'right' and not got-at.

The pre-facelift headlamps are a doddle to open and dry out. The outer lens surface can be polished to be clear again. Low cost, simple and original.

Good luck with the sale!
 

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Would you do the work first and try to sell for 'top dollar', or sell it 'as is' at a reduced price?
You can't go wrong either way IMO.

You will probably lose money if you pay someone to fix everything, unless you are really lucky and find a buyer who is both impatient and has money to burn. You will have to spend some time as well.

Obviously fix any oil leaks or things that would require immediate maintenance from the next owner. Perhaps pay for a pre-pre-purchase inspection.

However, it might be fun for you to make the car as perfect as possible and try your luck on BaT...
 

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You can't go wrong either way IMO.

You will probably lose money if you pay someone to fix everything, unless you are really lucky and find a buyer who is both impatient and has money to burn. You will have to spend some time as well.

Obviously fix any oil leaks or things that would require immediate maintenance from the next owner. Perhaps pay for a pre-pre-purchase inspection.

However, it might be fun for you to make the car as perfect as possible and try your luck on BaT...
Oil leaks!? Not possible surely?! I have decided to get the car looking and performing as new! I will also get a pre-purchase inspection too!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm more of the opinion to keep it absolutely original. Unmolested cars are very hard to find, let alone one-owner with low miles and full BMW service history. If someone wants to 'update' it then they easily can if that's really their thing, but non-period things can put off people with money looking for originality in a market already full of blinged-up tat. Updating the steering wheel could raise 'was the airbag recall done?' type questions. Your car will stand out in the crowd if it is still 'right' and not got-at.

The pre-facelift headlamps are a doddle to open and dry out. The outer lens surface can be polished to be clear again. Low cost, simple and original.

Good luck with the sale!
Thanks, I will investigate how to dry out the headlamps. Do I just remove the light grey plug thingys at the top and use a hair dryer?

Regards, Chris
 

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I tried that method but it takes forever and doesn't get enough water out. The complete headlamp comes out easily after removing 4 screws. The front clear cover assembly then just unclips which allows you to get all the water out of the back (and replace any broken adjusters). The round glass lenses are held into the front cover assembly with metal clips that can be gently moved off with pliers. You can then get right inside the front cover with a hair dryer and fully dry it out. New gaskets used to be available to seal them up again so that they stay dry for longer. The headlights have breather tubes so they aren't a fully sealed unit but I think water gets in around the gasket when it gets old.
 

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The age old question. How to make the car most attractive, without making decisions the new owner might not like. I think cosmetic stuff should be done, because who doesn't want an attractive car? I believe all new outer lens can be purchased for 2000 era headlights, can be made to look brand new.

But I would not advise changing things like going post-facelift - expensive and maybe not what prospective owners are looking for. I'd also let the new owner make decisions on things like tire and brake pad brands, if needed. Over here double glaze windows would be super rare, not sure about over there.

There have been a number of "get an E39 M5 now" type articles in the past few months. I'd suggest finding the links and including some in your advertisement. Again not sure about cross the pond differences but here's a good resource to track E39 M5 sale prices: E39 M5 GL!
 
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