It’s not as uncommon as you might think for a car to exceed 300,000 miles. For our YouTube used car buying escapades, we’ve ended up owning several vehicles that have managed it, notably Miles the Skoda Octavia and a half-million mile Audi A4. The thing is, cars that have racked up multiple hundreds of thousands of miles tend to be of that ilk - relatively humdrum diesel saloons, often with spells as minicabs in their histories.
What you see here is definitely not minicab material, however. It’s an E46 BMW M3, and its current owner hasn’t let the car’s more exotic nature deter them from clocking the equivalent mileage of going from Earth to the Moon and halfway back.
The figure currently stands at a whopping 331,260 miles, said to be mostly motorway miles due to many trips over to continental Europe over the course of a 13+ year ownership. A quick check of the MOT history shows the M3 regularly clocking over 20,000 miles a year, with the figure jumping by a whopping 38,000 miles between 2007 and 2008 alone.
It’s wearing those miles noticeably in some areas, but less so in others. The Imola red leather seats don’t look too bad at all, for instance, but the steering wheel has a gaping hole in its leather trim. On the outside meanwhile, all of the wheel arches are rusty, and the tin worm has struck the boot lid too.
Mechanically, there’s better news. The BMW has been treated to unspecified work on the differential, suspension, Vanos system, cooling setup and more with receipts to prove it. It received a “refurbished engine” at some point which has done around 85,000 miles, although it’s unclear if this was a rebuild of the original 3.2-litre unit or a transplant.
It passed its most recent MOT on the first attempt, albeit with the rust and a minor oil leak cropping up as advisories. The M3 is sold with an aftermarket Bluetooth infotainment system that works together with a rear parking camera, and the original head unit is included along with a brand new starter motor and fresh wipers.
It’s for sale on Gumtree for £13,599. Spending that kind of money on an E46 M3 usually means restricting yourself to the less coveted convertible. Then again, you don’t have to spend drastically more to get a far lower mileage manual coupe.