BMW is among the most popular car brands in the world, but a new BMW is expensive. For many people, the best way to own a BMW is to buy it second hand, but consider the following first:
Plan a budget, including down payment, insurance, monthly payment, fuel and maintenance. Research the various makes and models available.
Focus on cars for sale available at Bristol Street Motors that are about three to five years old, which is generally where the greatest long-term value is.
2. Financing and Insurance
Ideally, second hand cars are paid in full, but if you must finance, secure it ahead of time. Doing so will give you much greater leverage when it comes time to negotiate. It’s also a good idea to set up the insurance in advance. Upon completing the sale, you can square the details up over the phone, and then you can drive off the lot.
3. Finding the Car
Invest as much time in finding the right dealer as you do in choosing the right BMW. Avoid private sellers. Dealerships are a much better option, and you can buy from them assured that the pre-owned vehicle has met a certain standard before sale.
4. HPI Check
Ask the dealer for an HPI check for the vehicle, which provides a wide array of information including a guarantee of valuation and mileage info. The check also includes the vehicle history, which will reveal flood damage and the like.
5. MOT Certificates
A MOT certificate is required for any second hand car available at Bristol Street Motors that is three years old or older. Never buy a pre-owned BMW unless it has a current MOT certification and you can verify the MOT certificate for each year that it was required.
6. Inspecting the Car
Inspect the tires and wheels. Examine the body, inside of the trunk and underside for rust. Open the hood and look for grime build-up, loose connections and worn hoses. Prior to finalizing the sale, you’ll want to hire a professional mechanic to perform a more extensive review of the BMW.
7. Test-Drive the Car
Never test-drive a car until you’ve inspected and verified the MOT and HIP. Turn the radio off so that you can listen for noises. Listen to the engine, brakes and the tires. Note the steering responsiveness and firmness, and pay attention to how solid the frame and suspension feel.
8. Negotiating the Price
When you’re ready to negotiate, you should already know the estimated book value, dealer costs and the average rates in the region. Don’t be unrealistic, but it’s OK to start a couple of percentage points below what you’re willing to pay. Stay firm to your max, however. The right deal is out there.