Should You Buy a New or Used BMW?
When purchasing a luxury car like a BMW, cost will certainly factor into your buying decision. There are pros and cons associated with buying a brand-new vehicle and with buying a used one. Weigh the benefits of a new-car purchase against the benefits of a used-car purchase, and you’ll discover which is better for you. In either case, you’re going to drive away with one of the most sophisticated vehicles on the market.
Used Pro: Swap In Affordable Parts
Commit the following to memory: rebuilt OEM parts. Why? It’s obvious that a used BMW is going to cost thousands, or even tens of thousands, less than the brand-new version. Are the savings worth it, though,if an older model has a few problems and you can’t drive it off the lot or you know a trip to the repair shop is in your near future? If you’re willing to commit some extra time and effort, yes — you’re going to save a ton of money.
An OEM, or “original equipment manufacturer,” part refers to a third-party manufacturer licensed by BMW. The parts and accessories it makes are high in quality and far cheaper than original BMW parts.Buy refurbished OEM, and you’ll see an even greater savings. Thanks to OEM and other after market parts, repairing a used BMW is often significantly cheaper than buying a new one.
New Pro: High Quality From the Start
You may simply not have the time to find the best deals on aftermarket and OEM parts to fix up a used BMW. In that case, it may be worth it for you to go new. It could cost thousands of dollars more, but it’ll be covered by the dealership warranty for a while.
Buying a used BMW that’s only a year or two old may be an option, too. You’ll save a little and the car might not be in need of parts replacement yet.
Used Pro: Value Remains Steady
No matter the car you choose, even when it comes to a luxury car like a BMW, the value of the car is going to drop sharply after even one year — perhaps as much as 40 percent. In other words, if you buy new, you have one year to sell the car back for almost the full value. After that, your investment is worth considerably less on the secondhand market.
When it comes to a used car, you’ve already passed that decline. Sure, with each passing year, the car will drop in value, but nowhere near as much — especially if the car is a BMW: The high quality of the vehicle will keep its price high. If you buy a broken-down BMW and repair it with your aftermarket or OEM parts, you can possibly increase the value of your purchase.
New Pro: Customization
When you choose to buy new, not only are you going to be the first owner of the vehicle, but you’re going to be the driver who determines what the car looks like, in addition to what features it has. You get to pick the interior, the color of the car, and whether or not the car has upgrades, such as TVs. Of-course, that’s less true if you buy the car off a lot (which could save you some), but buying new at least affords you the opportunity for customization.
Remember that it’s not impossible to customize a used BMW, either; it’s only a bit harder. If you look into aftermarket and OEM parts, you can swap out existing interiors and the like to match your tastes at a reduced cost. You can apply a new coat of paint, too. But all of this takes time, and it takes a little investment as well, so factor that into your buying decision.
Used Pro: Lower Insurance Rates
As long as your car is up and running, a used car might command a lower insurance rate than a brand-new car, especially when it comes to a luxury brand. That’s because a newer car will cost more for the insurance company to repair in the event of damage — even dents and scrapes.
Again, there are pros and cons to each, and your situation will be the deciding factor. Whereas a new BMW might be a great choice for someone else, a used BMW might work perfectly for you and viceversa.
About the Author: Janelle Yardley is a frequent contributor to several car blogs, in addition to being an auto dealership sales associate.