I bought a used '08 a little over a year ago. It is true that a year ago there were a lot more deals to be had for used M3's while the economy was in free fall. I set my sights on a low mileage DCT coupe with minimal options. In the end I lucked out and found a coupe with only 1000 miles on it for $52K. It was quite a deal and the only compromise was that it was equipped with a sunroof (after 2 M3's with no sunroofs I'm over it now).
The other complication was the car was 2000 miles away. But here's the best part: Tom Williams BMW where the original owner bought the car came to my rescue. In addition to doing a pre-purchase inspection for free with the 1200 mile break-in service, they agreed to 'store' my car for about a week while I waited for the shipping company to pick it up. What great guys!
So I kinda lucked out. But lessons learned are this:
1. If you want a really good deal, you will need to travel most likely to get it.
2. If you are dealing with a private party, you most likely will need to make arrangements with the PP bank. Make sure the title and license transfers are clear before you travel to do the deal.
3. Transporting your car is just a royal pain in the ass. I've done it now 3 times and it never has been easy. Consider driving it back if you can't wait about a month to get your car delivered. Otherwise budget the transportation cost into the overall deal (you get what you pay for, mine was about $1400, but the car was covered the whole way.)
4. As someone else said, low mileage is better than the a newer year with more mileage. The lower the better and you still have the factory warranty so you should be well covered.
5. Most important. Find a dealer to do a pre-purchase inspection. Dealers usually do a very good job on this- I have had my last two M3's sold go through this and surprisingly they found things that needed attention before I sold the car. If at all possible, find a friend in the area to check it out before you go. The dealer PPI can do this for you, but it will cost you.
Good Luck- be patient, you will find your dream car!
'08 E92 IB, Gone
'10 GT3 now in my garage!
'10 X5 3.5D
'12 E91 Xi Wagon MT sports package