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Used BMW Buying Tips: How to Get an Excellent Used BMW?

Updated on June 30, 2020
Seecond-hand BMW Car
Seecond-hand BMW Car | Source

BMW Attributes

  • BMW has a large selection of models such as the most common 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, X3, X5, and Z4 with the BMW 3 Series accounting for 30% of the total brand's car sales.
  • Owning a new or near new BMW means that you have a top-class driving machine.
  • Although the brand new BMW cars are expensive, there are much cheaper and affordable used BMW cars.
  • There are BMW vehicles that are cheaper than some Poxy Fiat Runabouts.


BMW Cars

BMW is one of the most famous and luxurious cars. Many people might think of buying any other car brands, but owning a BMW will still be their sought after dream. In the scientific surveys, the BMW overrides all the other so-called luxury cars.

Bear in mind that other terms refer to BMW vehicles such as Bimmer, Beemer, and Beamer. Among them, the term Bimmer is the correct term for BMW cars while the terms Beemer and Beamer are properly used for BMW motorcycles.

Owning a BMW means that you join the kind of drivers who enjoy the sheer driving enjoyment while having a quality and luxurious vehicle. Once you drive a BMW, you can feel the difference between it and any other car. You will be also seen as a high-class person when driving a BMW. Just remember not to be arrogant as we all are equal.

Brief History about BMW

BMW is an acronym that stands for Bavarian Motor Works. It was established in Germany in 1916. They have been primarily manufacturing aircraft. In the early of 1920s, they started making motorcycles. Finally, in 1928 they started making cars. They also owned Rolls Royce and Minis.

Maybe they had the mindset to be exceptional by making such a beautifully engineered, ergonomically designed and luxurious vehicle. They may also have determined to make most people feel and appreciate the excellent workmanship that BMW cars have.


Find Used BMW for Sale

There are several places or outlets where you can get second-hand BMW vehicles. The problem is how to find legitimate places where you can get used BMW in good condition. Here comes the importance of researching on the internet and collecting as much information about the model you want to buy as possible.

  • To do that the easy way, you can use the internet first to research the specific model or the collection of models you are interested in. Websites such as,, and NADA Guides will be very helpful. You can get an average and up to date data about the used models. Also, if you want to get more accurate and real-time information and data, you will need to pay some money for some websites.
  • When you gather information about the model or models you are interested in, make sure to get the MSRP, Invoice Price, TMV, and TCO of the model as a new. Doing that will give you a hint about how much the used model will depreciate and avoid being ripped off by an unscrupulous seller.
  • Try to gather information such as gas consumption, maintenance data, and repair costs.
  • You can find used cars for sale on eBay. At eBay, you can find a large selection of used BMW cars including 3 Series, 5 Series, and Z4.
  • Some sellers are offering free shipping for the people who buy from them.
  • You can also find local used car lots or auctions that have a nearly new BMW vehicle that has been used for a very short time. Because these near new BMW cars are sold as used cars in the car lot or auction, they will be sold at a cheaper price than the brand new ones.
  • Save all the data you get in a notebook so that when you use it in front of the dealer, the salesperson, or the private seller, they will realize that you are an informed and knowledgeable buyer.
  • After you settled on a model or some models to research more detailed information on them, check the Consumer Reports and Car Review websites such as Car and Driver to narrow down your research on cars that you can afford. Also, remember to take repair, maintenance, fuel, and insurance costs into account.
  • Do not forget to check the crash tests of the models you are interested in buying. Websites like, the NHTSA, and Euro NCAP will be very helpful.
  • Once you are shielded with all the necessary information, be prepared to go to the local dealerships or auctions to compare the prices and negotiate. Keep in mind that they typically start high and go down in price bit by bit, but you on the other hand need to do the opposite meaning, start with the rock-bottom offer going up until you come to a compromise. Just remember to not pay over TMV (True Market Value).
  • You can go to a BMW-specialized dealership to buy a CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) car. Although that option will give you the peace of mind when buying a used BMW, you will still need to inspect and check all the points that have been approved.
  • Get the VIN of the used car you are interested in buying to check the history of the car. Doing that will let you avoid the cars that have been previously damaged or flooded or have in an accident.
  • Check with the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) or the Vehicle Registration Authority to avoid the cars that have been previously stolen and to check the validity of all the paperwork. Also, make sure that the used car has no registered liens and identify the real owner.
  • If the used car is priced at a very lower price than it is worth, you need to be suspicious. Your goal is not to find a very cheap used BMW car, but rather you need to look for a good car at a reasonable price.
  • As we mentioned before, it is vitally important to take a trusted BMW-specialized mechanic or technician to check and inspect the used vehicle for you.



VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number and it's vitally important to get the history of the used car.

You can find it on various places on the car such as:

  • Front of engine block under the hood.
  • Front end of frames (older cars)
  • Driver's side interior dash.
  • Driver's side door jamb (inside).

Also, you can find the VIN on the car's title or insurance card.

Inspect a Used BMW Car

Apparently, some people can afford a brand new BMW however, the majority can't. So most of the people buy a used BMW. Therefore, you should set a budget for your deal to not hurt your finances. Also, remember that Buying a BMW whether it is new or used means that you will spend a continual expenditure for the ownership of that BMW car.

Do as much research as you can about the car or the group of cars you like so you will not regret your decision later. Also, do not proceed with the last stage of inspecting the used car I mean the test drive before you check the documents and the full history of the car. Never ever pay a dime until the car passes the inspection.

Keep in mind that the people who do their homework beforehand are more likely to save thousands of dollars when buying a used BMW vehicles. When it comes to buying a used BMW, the mechanical condition is more important than the age or mileage.

Make sure to inspect the car thoroughly. Also, be willing to pay some money to check and inspect them instead of paying much more money if you get a bad condition BMW.

No one wants to be inflicted when buying any used car. The infliction could be more painful if you found out that the car that you have bought is a lemon used BMW. In today's used car market, you cannot just trust anyone talk concerning the condition of the used BMW you are thinking of buying. Hence, you should conduct a thorough inspection of the used vehicle.

Therefore, to avoid buying a lemon used car and to get an excellent and in good condition used BMW vehicle, it's strongly recommended that you take a trusted BMW specialized mechanic or technician to check the car for you. Also, make sure to let the mechanic to test drive the vehicle for a while to let him give you his opinion about the mechanical condition of the car.

Always remember that you are not obliged to buy as long as you are not convinced or there is something sketchy or ambiguous with the paperwork or the car. Therefore, do not buy the first thing you see.

You should be aware of the essential inspection guidelines. Therefore, you should inspect several things for safety and durability to avoid incurring the cost of repairing them after purchasing, so follow the following tips:

Car Body and Exterior:

The car body or the exterior of the car is one of the most important things to inspect. The appearance and condition of the body can tell you whether the car has been damaged, flooded, repainted or has been undergoing significant repairs.

  • Doors: Inspect all the doors carefully and accurately to see whether they are in good condition and open-close smoothly or not. If there is a rattle or clank sound, avoid that car because you will incur the expenses of repairing them later.
  • Panels: Check all the edges of the panels closely to see whether they are smooth or not. If there are different gaps between the panels or if there are many dents and dings, that implies that the vehicle has been in an accident or has undergone significant repairs. If you found that the panels are inconsistent in material or shape, you should also be suspicious.
  • Paint and Finish: Check the whole car for the paint and finish consistency. There must be a consistent degree of color across all the car exterior. There must be a clear coat finish all over the car. If the car is two-tone, you should check every color apart.
  • Windshield and Window glass: Inspect the windshield and all the window glass to make sure that they are all in good condition with no apparent cracks or hairline cracks.
  • Tires: Inspect all the tires including the spare tire for the safety and durability. If you find any cracks or excessive wear and tear, a bald or approaching baldness tread, avoid that car. You can check the tread condition by using a penny or a tread depth gauge. Some of the BMW models such as 3 Series have a Run-Flat tires as a standard, but because they are expensive, some BMW owners replace them with traditional tires when they need replacing. So take advantage and choose the used BMW that still has a Run-Flat tires.

Under the Hood:

  • It's vitally important to check under the hood. Check the engine to spot any stains. If you find oil stains, dark stains, burnt oil smell or a coolant leak on the ground, that may imply a problem or impending problem with the engine. Avoid that used car as it will cost you so much to repair.
  • Check all the hoses and tubes to spot if there and cracks or splits.
  • Look for rust, pitting or corrosion under the hood.
  • Check all the electric wires and make sure they are in a good condition and not worn.

Mileage: You should check the odometer's reading cautiously. Make sure that the reading is valid and not cloaked or rolled back. Cloaked or rolled back odometer is one of the most malicious actions that can make buyers overpay thinking that they get a low mileage used car. Obviously, this is an attempt to make the used car look newer and less worn than it really is. If the reading is invalid, the numbers could be seen out of alignment.

Service Records: Check all the service records and make sure to have a full service history. It is strongly recommended that you get a Vehicle History Report. Using the VIN number you can get a report from Pay to get a Vehicle History Report instead of incurring much more money on repairs later.

Paperwork and VIN: Check the validity of all the paperwork. Also, make sure that VIN on paperwork matches the VIN on the car itself. Avoid the used cars that have a registered lien and, identify the real owner.

Test Drive: It 's vitally important to test drive the car to make sure that it is in good condition. Pay attention to any rattles or squeaks that can be heard from the drive train or the suspension system. Make sure that the gear shift function properly. Before test driving, it's vitally important to do some research on how to effectively test drive a used car. You can also let the trustworthy mechanic or the BMW certified technician test drive it for you to get an additional opinion from a professional.

New BMW Car
New BMW Car | Source
Used BMW Car
Used BMW Car | Source

The Drawbacks of Owning a New or Used BMW

  • BMW cars are relatively expensive cars so to keep it elegant and durable, they will need regular maintenance now and then. That means that you are going to pay more for maintenance, repair, insurance.
  • With the use of premium gas and synthetic oil, ownership of a BMW means that you will pay a couple of thousand dollars per year more than other more common and traditional cars such as Toyota and Honda.
  • BMW cars depreciate faster than other traditional cars.
  • BMW and some of the other European cars use plastic materials rather than using more durable materials that are used in Japanese cars. Generally, BMW is not as reliable and durable as the Japanese cars.

BMW's Popular Models

  • BMW 1 Series
  • BMW 3 Series
  • BMW 5 Series
  • BMW 7 Series
  • BMW X1
  • BMW X3
  • BMW X5



BMW car is one of the most desirable cars for many people due to its elegance and superb workmanship that easily can be observed. However, you should do your homework beforehand to avoid overspending for buying and for the ownership.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Mohamed Mohamed


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