Originally Posted by ERinEC
Any advice for making a purchase without seeing a car in person, or do used car buyers shy away from this? I've been looking for a used M3 for a few months now, but nothing has really filled my requirements that is within driving distance of where I live.
Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to fly one way several hundred (or thousand miles) to look at a car with the hopes of then driving it home or having it shipped.
Without regard to the member's car that you are thinking about purchasing, you should wait until you are in a position to see the vehicle in person. (And respectfully, I don't really know what you mean. You're looking to buy a $50-60k toy, but can't take a weekend to go pick it up?)
I rented a car and drove 600 miles to pick up my old M5, and took a train 350 miles for my M3. Unless you're not a particular buyer, the chances that will find what you're looking for in your vicinity are relatively slim. (Save those who live in SoCal.) I also think that you should be prepared to walk away if you show up and find that it was misrepresented.
I would not trust a hired car inspector for an ///M purchase. We used one of those on an out of state purchase of a Subaru. I paid top dollar for them be rigorous, and long story short they did a terrible job.. Guy must have been partially deaf and blind, or perhaps thought the saleswoman was cute.
All of this is not to say that you couldn't purchase sight unseen and have no regrets. But you asked if car buyers shy away from this -- yes, I'd never do it on an M3 purchase or equivalent. I'll never do it again period based upon our Subaru experience.