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JohnC

Buying a Used Car

Quite topical with GBB's post for the Forum Challenge:

A friend asked me recently if I would look out for an XDrive 3 series Touring for his wife. With my early morning cup of tea I did a bit of searching and found a nearly 3 yr old 330D XDrive in Tanzanite blue, Merino upgraded leather, sunroof, adaptive lights, electric seats, 19" wheels, big brakes, reversing camera, Harman Kardon sound, storage package, full BMW service history and the remainder of a 5 yr service package. It looked fantastic and was up for 22,900 as a BMW approved used car (another year's warranty).

Given the price, it looked a bargain despite its 40,000 miles and my friend's wife is a low mileage driver in any case. I e-mailed him and phoned him and he hummed and hawed.

4 days later he phoned the dealer to get a video of the car, to be told that it had been sold the day before.

3 or 4 weeks later he is still looking and nothing remotely close has come on the market at anything like the price or the spec or in the same colour which he now tells me he really likes and is what he really wants! I told him there was about the same chance as me winning the lottery.

Sometimes you just have to act!

There is a similar one in Autotrader at the moment but no 5 yr service package, no main dealer or year's warranty, slightly less spec and it's over 3,500 more expensive!
Big Blue

Yep: you've got to bite the bullet. I did that with the Gorilla: even though the mileage was higher than the Schreibmaschine and it was "only" the 507PS model, not the 540PS one, the spec and price was untouchable so I flew to Germany.
PhilD

The moral of the story, never tell friends you are into cars and can offer advice!
franki68

Nice spec,I'm looking at those to replace the all road .
JohnC

PhilD wrote:
The moral of the story, never tell friends you are into cars and can offer advice!


But he has known me since he was about 6, grew up 2 doors away, double entered a Fiesta with me in hillclimbs for a year and just knows me too well!
JohnC

franki68 wrote:
Nice spec,I'm looking at those to replace the all road .


This is the one that is very similar:

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/class...=estate&logcode=p&adPos=9

But I quite like this one and its Marmite colour:

http://www.sytner.co.uk/car-searc...-luxury-5dr-step-auto-prof-media/       EDIT: NOW SOLD TOO
PhilD

marmite is a bit browner than that John. Both of those are lovely.
Nice Guy Eddie

How much is a new 330d, 35k with full discounts and a bit of spec?

Its where I'd be putting my money if I was just looking at the monthly costs rather than long term ownership.
JohnC

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
How much is a new 330d, 35k with full discounts and a bit of spec?

Its where I'd be putting my money if I was just looking at the monthly costs rather than long term ownership.


With XDrive and the spec of those cars, you would be closer to 40K new with discount.

Buying at the low to mid 20K's, the car should still be worth c10K in 3 years time giving a capital cost of c350/mth with no upfront cost.

I don't think there would be any change out of 550/mth for a new one and there would be a deposit as well.

You could get it cheaper as a base car but the extras would crucify the lease payment.
Nice Guy Eddie

Too bad, I think Coast to coast were doing 8k discounts on the 330d M sport last time I looked but then I forget at the insane price of new ones.
Chip Butty

Broadspeed quote today

335d X drive M Sport touring +
M sport plus pack
adaptive suspension
elec + memory seats
Media Pro
Extended merino leather

39,366

330d X drive with the same spec would be 37k something
JohnC

Chip Butty wrote:
Broadspeed quote today

335d X drive M Sport touring +
M sport plus pack
adaptive suspension
elec + memory seats
Media Pro
Extended merino leather

39,366

330d X drive with the same spec would be 37k something



+ Sunroof, Comfort Pack and adaptive headlights brings it to 39K

I accept you could drop a few of the extras but they do bring a lot of pleasure to everyday driving.
JohnC

I think he should look at this but he wants a dark colour!

http://usedcars.bmw.co.uk/3-Serie...209-3497199.aspx?srcmdc=se_na_re_
Chip Butty

So, on a cash basis - it's circa 10k - 12k more for a brand new one rather than a 3 year old one.

On the basis that you will need to top the warranty up every year and start paying out for consumables -  I'd definitely do the numbers on a new one before dismissing out of hand.
JohnC

It's not really my call and is certainly not my money but I will run it past him.
gooner

JohnC wrote:
It's not really my call and is certainly not my money but I will run it past him.


If she's not a high mile driver why does it have to be a diesel, the 320i comes as X drive. There's only 10 on AT though and getting the spec in the OP looks unlikely.
JohnC

gooner wrote:
JohnC wrote:
It's not really my call and is certainly not my money but I will run it past him.


If she's not a high mile driver why does it have to be a diesel, the 320i comes as X drive. There's only 10 on AT though and getting the spec in the OP looks unlikely.


The spec is all important and there is a much better chance of getting it in the bigger engines. They would happily look at a 320D or a 320i but they looked for weeks before they spoke to me and hadn't even found one car that measured up at that time.
PG

Surely for a low mileage driver, a second hand 335i or even a new 340i will be far cheaper to buy and no more expensive to run.

Is a 335i / 340i available with X drive? If not just fit winter tyres.
JohnC

PG wrote:
Surely for a low mileage driver, a second hand 335i or even a new 340i will be far cheaper to buy and no more expensive to run.

Is a 335i / 340i available with X drive? If not just fit winter tyres.


Given where they live and the fact that it is his wife's car, it has to be 4WD. I agree that winter tyres would solve a lot of the problem but it's a peace of mind thing because my friend is away from home a lot (he has a Discovery Commercial) and wants to make sure his wife gets home when he isn't there.
PG

JohnC wrote:
PG wrote:
Surely for a low mileage driver, a second hand 335i or even a new 340i will be far cheaper to buy and no more expensive to run.

Is a 335i / 340i available with X drive? If not just fit winter tyres.


Given where they live and the fact that it is his wife's car, it has to be 4WD. I agree that winter tyres would solve a lot of the problem but it's a peace of mind thing because my friend is away from home a lot (he has a Discovery Commercial) and wants to make sure his wife gets home when he isn't there.


If that is why he wants X drive, then he'll still need winter tyres. As a 335D X drive owner, you may be able to tell me I'm wrong, but I suspect that X drive on a 3 series plus road tyres is all about on road grip and mild grip on adverse conditions. It isn't an SUV with knobbly tyres for bad conditions.
JohnC

X Drive is as you say more about road grip, especially in the wet (I still haven't spun a wheel even with full throttle getaways). However it is also massively better in the snow in getting the car moving and keeping it going uphill as long as you are gentle but with big wide road tyres, it is the stopping bit which is more "interesting".

It isn't a substitute for proper winter tyres but it does give a very useful half way house.
JohnC

Due to some impatience and a lack of XDrive 3 Series with suitable spec, my friend went out and bought a 535D Touring at the weekend which came with a set of winter wheels and tyres (although the tyres are pretty worn apparently). Carbon black with Oyster leather, but otherwise fairly standard - and he had me jumping through hoops looking at spec!

Impatience is a dangerous thing! However he got 2K more for the old car than he thought it was worth so they are happy.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Is the 535 AWD/X-drive or whatever, or plain old RWD?
Roadsterstu

RWD

Should be fine on decent winters I'd have thought.
Grampa

When you see a bargain anything on auto trader, eBay etc etc, my experience is you have to act very sharply if you don't want to miss out, so best get yourself prepared to go and view at a moment's notice before you start the hunt.
Martin

I was having a look around Synter Birmingham at the weekend and they had a couple of well equipped (Merino, leather dash, M Sport plus, professional Nav etc) pre registered 330d x drives for 36k which seemed like a good deal to me.
gooner

Martin wrote:
I was having a look around Synter Birmingham at the weekend and they had a couple of well equipped (Merino, leather dash, M Sport plus, professional Nav etc) pre registered 330d x drives for 36k which seemed like a good deal to me.


That's not bad at all. Being specced by the dealer should mean that they've had the options required for a good residual value in a few years time.
JohnC

Martin wrote:
I was having a look around Synter Birmingham at the weekend and they had a couple of well equipped (Merino, leather dash, M Sport plus, professional Nav etc) pre registered 330d x drives for 36k which seemed like a good deal to me.


I had previously pointed those out to him but they were too expensive apparently!
Nice Guy Eddie

Its a more complicated process with BMW when looking at pre reg cars. The initial discount is often offset by lack of deposit allowance and additional support on the finance rate. It was certainly true that when we bought the 3 series it was just as cheap to go for a new one, when putting together the real cost of ownership, as it was a used one.
Martin

That was the case with the 535d, I got mine for about the same monthly cost as a lower spec 12 month old one.

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