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Buying a used BMW? What to Consider

Aug 12th 2015 at 12:43 PM

Buying a new BMW is a sizable investment to make, and that’s why many buyers prefer to invest in a used model. Used BMWs are not particularly costly and the availability is widespread. Prior to buying a used BMW, there are a few things you should consider which are listed below.



One outstanding issue with respect to BMWs is their depreciation is rapid. As an example, a 3-Series that is three years old has a price tag of around $30,000. A 3-Series that is six years old depreciates to around $17,000. Thus the 3-Series loses around $4,000 per year. With this in mind, and taking a financial standpoint, opting for a BMW that is five or six years old could be a better alternative.

Cost of Ownership

Maintenance, repair, and insurance costs are much higher for a BMW than for the average auto. Together with premium gasoline, high-end tires, synthetic oil, expensive parts, in addition to higher labor costs for repair, you can fully expect to have to pay around $2,000 more each year for your BMW than for something like a Toyota or Honda.


German cars are solidly built and well-engineered, but even the BMW is not as reliable as a Japanese brand. In general, BMWs have a rating of ‘average’ for reliability. It’s obvious that a used BMW will require some repairs from time to time. One major issue about reliability is that European autos utilize a large amount of complex electronics. And bear in mind that turbocharged BMWs are generally more troublesome than other models.

Service and Repairs

Should you be planning on making an investment in a used BMW, it would be prudent that, prior to making your purchase, you try to find a local repair shop that comes with a high recommendation and specializes in BMW.

German cars have very particular needs and it’s likely that not all local garages can manage repairs efficiently and effectively. On the other hand, if you take it to a dealership, you’re looking at a very large price tag, so opting for a specialized BMW repair shop is definitely a big plus. And, you may even consider utilizing their services to conduct an inspection on the car you are interested in buying.


BMW Tech Tips

Keeping a BMW longer means more regular maintenance than that specified within the factory maintenance schedule.

By becoming more familiar with common problem issues and how they can be prevented, or at least being able to recognize those telltale signs of trouble to come, means you’ll likely save a lot of money and a lot of heartache, too. After all, any problem that is caught early will cost a lot less in repair work.

If your BMW begins to overheat, or you start to see coolant leaks where you park, make sure you get your auto checked as soon as possible. Your engine will incur serious problems if it overheats. For the same reason, check the coolant level fairly frequently and keep it topped up.

All-wheel drive models must have their tires properly inflated to avoid all sorts of issues including wear on the treads and even jolting during acceleration. Some tire sizes come with a different pressure spec on front and rear tires, so check the tire placard for correct pressures. You’ll find the placard on the driver’s door jamb.

Keep the interior dry as anything such as water leakage or spilled coffee that gets under the carpeting can dictate expensive problems relating to the electronics.

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