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  • Sep 26th, 2019 3:59 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 22, 2004
627 posts
413 upvotes
London, ON

Weird CarFax

I'm looking at a 2015 BMW on a used dealer lot. I requested the CarFax, which is "clean", although the history is really weird (picture below). Car was first registered in April/2015, but then the registration was renewed in September/2015 and November/2015? The last record shows a dealer listing in December/2015? Is it possible that this was a dealer demo? The CarFax is dated October/2018, so it sounds like it was never privately registered in the last 4 years?

Anyone with dealership experience know how the registration process works if a dealer owns it? Would the UVIP show any more information?

It is a nice car, with low kms and in seemingly good shape, but if it's been sitting on dealer lots for the last 4 years, with unknown service history, I don't have a good feeling.

Image
16 replies
Deal Expert
Jun 30, 2006
19864 posts
8179 upvotes
Toronto
Get the newest carfax as of Sept 2019
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jul 30, 2007
31266 posts
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Toronto
certainly if this car has been sitting at dealer for that many years, you should not even touch it as pretty well many mechanical components may need to be checked out and/or changed out. Also make sure it's not a N20 engine. That's a ticking time bomb.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 22, 2004
627 posts
413 upvotes
London, ON
Thanks for the reply. Its an N55. I will ask them for the latest carfax for sure. I had put in an offer yesterday, but haven't heard back, so it may be a dead deal anyway. This is for a weekend car, so I don't need headaches. I know for a fact that the car has been on their lot for no less than 5 months, they were originally asking too much, but perhaps it has some sort of "unsellable" curse.

My other option is to demand that a PPI be done at a BMW dealership, but not sure if that may help. I've always found those inspections to be pretty superficial.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 22, 2004
627 posts
413 upvotes
London, ON
I should add that it has 40,000 kms now, so between the last carfax listing (~14,000kms) and now, someone has put on 25000kms. Could be a dealer inventory car that they drive with dealer plates from time to time?
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jul 30, 2007
31266 posts
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Toronto
If you are doing PPI at bmw dealership, request to see if they will let you have access to the service history of the car as well. If lots of services done on it, it may be a sign of trouble. Just to add a note. Normally, bmw dealers will get a first crack at buying out the nicer and well conditioned vehicles and the so-called "rejects" would be up for car auctions for others to buy. You have indicated the car is low mileage and seems nice, you should wonder why a bmw dealer would not buy it but instead it ends up at a non bmw dealer lot.
Deal Addict
Sep 12, 2006
1503 posts
438 upvotes
Could have been a manager's demo or something. And resold after auction to another dealer, and eventually the 2nd owner in 2015. Nothing too unusual IMO.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 22, 2004
627 posts
413 upvotes
London, ON
booblehead wrote: If you are doing PPI at bmw dealership, request to see if they will let you have access to the service history of the car as well. If lots of services done on it, it may be a sign of trouble. Just to add a note. Normally, bmw dealers will get a first crack at buying out the nicer and well conditioned vehicles and the so-called "rejects" would be up for car auctions for others to buy. You have indicated the car is low mileage and seems nice, you should wonder why a bmw dealer would not buy it but instead it ends up at a non bmw dealer lot.
I talked to my local BMW dealer (in a different town than the seller), and they insisted that the service history can't be disclosed. My bigger concern is that if its been sitting for a few years, then it may not have had regular oil changes, not to mention proper oil circulation from time to time. I agree that why isn't BMW selling the car. Perhaps if it was traded elsewhere....however the ownership history (with the renewals every 3 months) is rather odd to me.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 22, 2004
627 posts
413 upvotes
London, ON
Marubozu wrote: Could have been a manager's demo or something. And resold after auction to another dealer, and eventually the 2nd owner in 2015. Nothing too unusual IMO.
I would agree, but the thing is, Dec/2015 shows "dealer listing" and nothing after that.....does that mean there hasn't been a private owner in 4 years? Used dealer's personal ride with dealer plates from time to time? Can they do that for 4 years?
Deal Fanatic
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May 11, 2009
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Debtario
ncnmra wrote: I talked to my local BMW dealer (in a different town than the seller), and they insisted that the service history can't be disclosed. My bigger concern is that if its been sitting for a few years, then it may not have had regular oil changes, not to mention proper oil circulation from time to time. I agree that why isn't BMW selling the car. Perhaps if it was traded elsewhere....however the ownership history (with the renewals every 3 months) is rather odd to me.
If it doesn't smell right, just walk.

I'd push the BMW dealer to disclose service history, but them refusing to disclose it would have already left a bad taste in my mouth.
"I possess a device, in my pocket, capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers"
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jul 30, 2007
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bmw dealer can still print it out the history and ask him/her to review what kind of services had been done on the car, a friendly SA can do you a favor perhaps after you mention you are thinking of buying the car and you are just doing some due diligence.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 22, 2004
627 posts
413 upvotes
London, ON
If it comes down to it, and I decided to do a PPI, I would certainly ask the BMW SA. At this point, I think they are on crack with their pricing; its a convertible, listed at this price (high to begin with) since at least July, and they don't want to budge, so I think its a dead deal.
Deal Expert
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Jul 30, 2007
31266 posts
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must be their trophy car ... to keep. Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes

Nobody buys a convertible in the winter time. That would be another year of depreciation this dealer has to absorb.
Member
Aug 7, 2017
394 posts
412 upvotes
Contact Carfax and ask them to check the data - I had a Carfax with errors once and they had to correct it - it was also weird/overlapping registration info IIRC. They're not immune to data errors.
Deal Addict
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Jul 5, 2011
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Toronto
I wouldnt take "Independent Source" as a strong indication of anything really.

Carfax can pick up any residual listing from any number of sites that repost based off a database provided by the dealer.

I would be more concerned about the service history. The dealer can pull the full history by using a key reader in the store in about 5 seconds.
2013 Wins - $1320 - Woohoo!
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 22, 2004
627 posts
413 upvotes
London, ON
X24Secret wrote: Do a carproof for comparison.
I thought carfax & carproof are the same now? I think carproof calls itself "carfax canada".

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