Why are Used BMWs so Cheap?

Why Used BMWs are so Cheap

Why You Should Consider Buying One

Why You Shouldn't Consider Buying One

What To Consider When Buying A Used BMW

Be Smart When Purchasing Used BMWs

Vehicles from the German carmaker BMW tend to depreciate faster than most other automobile brands, causing their market prices to significantly drop over time. For some, the affordable price is a wonderful opportunity to own a luxury vehicle.

However, many car experts would argue that purchasing a used BMW may not be the best investment. For example, product review site Consumer Reports have included six BMW models in their list of used cars you should avoid buying.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into why used BMWs are so cheap. We’ll list down the reasons you should or shouldn’t purchase one, and what you need to consider before making a purchase.

What Makes Used BMWs Cheap

When it comes to BMWs, it’s not surprising to find a $40,000 model being sold for only $25,000. Used BMWs tend to depreciate quickly because some of their models’ maintenance costs tend to pile higher over time. However, that’s not the only reason used BMWs are so affordable. Here are more.

Their market is oversaturated

One of the primary reasons used BMWs are so cheap is because their market is almost always saturated. Just like any other product, when there’s an excess of cars in the market but not enough demand, you can expect the price to drop.

For BMWs, lease returns play a huge part in saturating the market and lowering prices. Brand new BMW models are known to have amazing lease deals. When these leased vehicles are returned, they are often sent to auction or be sold on dealer lots as certified pre-owned cars.

When these leased BMWs start filling up auctions and dealer lots, it drives down prices. It’s also vital to note that the pricing affects both dealerships and private sellers. That’s because regardless of what type of car seller you are, you’ll have to set the price according to the current market rate to remain competitive.

Their new cars have attractive pricing incentives

One unnoticed reason why used BMWs are so affordable is the pricing incentives that come with buying new models. BMW vehicles are known to have stiff competition when it comes to selling new models.

To stay competitive, many dealerships offer great pricing incentives that convince customers to purchase a new model instead. For example, paying a $399 lease each month to drive the newest model is far more attractive than paying $600 to $700 per month to finance a three-year-old BMW model.

This causes used vehicles to remain in dealer lots. It further saturates the market and drives prices lower.

They are expensive to own

BMWs are amazing pieces of technology and craftsmanship. It’s also for these same reasons that BMW models are expensive to maintain. The cutting-edge technology that runs their vehicles requires brand-specific tools and certified specialists so they can be maintained and repaired.

On average, BMW owners can expect to pay around $150 to $400 per service every 10,000 miles. Major services can cost somewhere between $1,000 and $3,000 or even more. BMW owners can expect around $1,000 to $1,700 each year for maintenance and basic repairs.

The staggering cost of maintaining BMWs makes their vehicles hard to sell for many dealerships. To prevent driving consumers away, dealerships typically sell their BMWs at extremely low prices.

BMW has designed and manufactured amazing vehicles.

Why You Should Consider Buying One

parked BMW

BMW is a legendary brand and many of their vehicles are capable of living up to that reputation. If you’re looking forward to purchasing a used vehicle, here are some reasons you should consider getting a BMW.

  • They have amazing models: BMW has designed and manufactured amazing vehicles. Models like the M3, 8-Series, and X6 were considered great vehicles when they were released. Fortunately, purchasing second-hand models doesn’t take away the magic and technology of these vehicles.
  • Personalization is possible: When it comes to vehicle personalization, BMWs are generally found on top of many experts’ lists. BMW has pioneered satellite technology, Bluetooth, parking sensors, and more. These technologies are still present even in five-year-old models. What’s more, personalization of the vehicle is as easy as adding or removing what technology you want.
  • It’s easy to find the car you want: Due to the number of BMWs up for sale at dealerships and auctions, it’s easy to find the type of model you want or need. It’s also easy to find cars with specific features like color, seat design, type of doors, and finish. As long as you’re with a reputable seller, you’re bound to find the model that’ll suit your preferences.
  • It’s possible to restore them: Another good reason to consider getting a used BMW is how easy they can be restored. Whether you are planning to restore its looks or performance, BMW spare parts are readily available. With the right planning and servicing, it’s possible to have your used BMW restored to its former glory.

There’s a reason some people jokingly refer to BMWs as “Break My Wallet.”

Why You Shouldn't Consider Buying One

It’s not surprising to hear warnings from car owners and mechanics about purchasing used BMWs. Despite its many amazing features, owning a used BMW also comes with several downsides. Here are some reasons you should think twice before getting a used BMW.

  • Breaks the wallet: There’s a reason some people jokingly refer to BMWs as “Break My Wallet.” Owning a BMW is not only expensive to maintain but having the wrong model can cost you more on repairs. For example, both 3 and 5-Series cars with six-cylinder engines are notorious for having cooling system issues[1]  that can be expensive to repair[2] .
  • Electrical issues: Despite running top-of-the-line technologies, many BMW models are known for having a wide variety of electrical problems. It not only affects high-end gadgets but basic systems as well. You may find yourself driving to a service center often to fix windows that won’t operate and a car battery draining fast.    
  • Car reliability is mixed: Compared to other automobile brands, BMW’s reliability is considered mixed and mediocre at best. In the Consumer Report’s 2020 list of reliable car brands, BMW sits at 12th place among 26 other carmakers. Blindly purchasing a used BMW without proper research may lead to a higher chance of owning a less- reliable model.

What to Consider When Buying a Used BMW

Taking the time to do your research before making a purchase can benefit you significantly in the long term and help you avoid any costly mistakes. This is extremely true when it comes to buying a used BMW. Here are some tips to consider:

1. Look into the dealership first

Studying the dealership where you plan to purchase your used BMW should be the first item on your to-dos. You have to make sure that the dealership or individual seller has the experience or the track record of selling luxury import vehicles.

Choosing an experienced car dealer allows you to ask specific questions about the vehicle, knowing that you’ll get a reliable answer. Their knowledge and expertise can also be helpful even after making the purchase, especially if you need to inquire about a specific issue you’re experiencing.

Ask family and friends or read online reviews about the dealership. It’s also wise to ask if they have a factory-trained staff or if they are a BMW certified dealership. 

2. Choose Certified Pre-Owned cars

When you finally have the money to buy a used BMW, it might be tempting to blindly purchase the vehicle due to the sheer excitement of owning one. What you need to do is confirm if the vehicle is a certified pre-owned car (CPO).

This certification is proof that the used vehicle has been confirmed fit for selling. Vehicles with CPO are also generally backed by their manufacturers with additional warranties and coverage. Reputable luxury car dealerships should have this by default, but if you’re buying from a private seller, make sure to ask for the CPO.

CPOs tend to bump the price a little higher but the peace of mind it brings is well worth the cost.

3. Check the vehicle history

Looking at the vehicle history is something anyone should do when purchasing a used car. This is more important when purchasing a luxury vehicle like a BMW. Thoroughly inspect every detail in the vehicle history and learn to read between the lines.

For example, if you notice a major bodywork on the vehicle but there are no vehicle history entries about an accident or collision, ask the seller why. Checking the vehicle history is one of the best ways to spot a red flag.

4. Take the car out for a test drive

Checking the vehicle history and inspecting the vehicle is all well and good. However, nothing beats taking the vehicle out for a test drive. By driving the vehicle yourself, you get first-hand experience of how it feels and moves on the road.

Turn the music off, and pay attention to everything when going on a test drive. Have a feel of the steering wheel, look for jitteriness, and listen to strange engine noises. Even the slightest issues can be a prelude to a much bigger problem so be sure to share what you noticed with the seller.

Be Smart When Purchasing Used BMWs

Owning and driving a BMW can be an exhilarating experience. With their low prices, it’s easier than ever to own a luxury vehicle. However, you must do your research first and look for reputable car dealerships to help you make a wise purchasing decision. Should you encounter problems with your newly purchased pre-owned BMW, there are always special service centers that can address them.

Auto Works of Brandon is a premier car service center that specializes in luxury import vehicles like Mercedes-Benz and BMW. If you’re having an issue with your used BMW, contact us today. Our team will be happy to check your vehicle and restore it to peak performance.


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