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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 10-03-2012, 07:40 PM
jameskoo87 jameskoo87 is offline
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Need adive: can I affored used 3 series?

Greetings,

I'm new to the forum and this is my first time posting ... I hope this won't be the last

I'd like to get some advice on determining whether I can really afford to buy & maintain used 3 series...

Here's my situation,
I'm a fresh college graduate and I'm working in a tech industry (salary is about average, $60,000 a year). I have about $20000 student debt and I have a saving of around $10000, excluding my emergency fund (only $5000). My brother needed a car so I had to give away my beloved MK5 GTI.

So I've been looking for a new car but bmw 3 series has always been my dream car... I test drove one and I was impressed with its handling and smooth ride... one dealer is offering me a white 2009 328xi with 40,000miles, navigation, for OTD price of $28,500. This includes CPO warranty, which will expire in 2015 I believe.

My friends and family are telling me that I should get a new car that is affordable/reliable. But every time I go to sleep I can't stop thinking about driving my dream car.
I really want this car but my rational thoughts tell me that I should get a more practical & affordable car... but I feel like if I don't drive it now when I'm in mid 20's, I will regret it later when I'm old and have family to support and etc...

I want to hear some of your thoughts.. can I really afford it? If not... what should I do?

Thanks in advance..

P.S - forgive my stupid title with typos...

Last edited by jameskoo87; 10-03-2012 at 07:46 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-03-2012, 07:53 PM
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laser laser is offline
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Life is about choices!

Yes you can afford a used BMW and you can afford a new one as well.

Choices are yours as to paying off the student debt asap, getting married, buying a house, on and on .......

If this is your dream .... go for it!
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  #3  
Old 10-03-2012, 07:56 PM
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Buy an E46, they're more fun anyway. Nice 2005 for around $10k. I'd get a 330i but I'm biased.
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  #4  
Old 10-03-2012, 07:59 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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You live in MD? Why are you looking at a 4WD car?

I'd say sure, if you are reasonably handy w DIY.

How about going to Carmax and checking out a 2008+ 328i in manual transmission? You'd get a warranty from Carmax, and would not take too much of a hit if you ad to sell it.
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  #5  
Old 10-03-2012, 11:02 PM
legend217 legend217 is offline
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Lease it. Maintenance is going to kill you in a long run. Do you have a stable job yet ?
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  #6  
Old 10-04-2012, 04:06 AM
demontwinz demontwinz is offline
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pay off more student loan before you go buy a nice car : (

I want to tell you to buy a 335i e92 because of how fun it is. Wouldn't the CPO give him a piece of mind?
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2012, 04:16 AM
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Speedwagon Speedwagon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskoo87 View Post
Greetings,

I'd like to get some advice on determining whether I can really afford to buy & maintain used 3 series...

Here's my situation,
I'm a fresh college graduate and I'm working in a tech industry (salary is about average, $60,000 a year). I have about $20000 student debt and I have a saving of around $10000, excluding my emergency fund (only $5000). My brother needed a car so I had to give away my beloved MK5 GTI.

So I've been looking for a new car but bmw 3 series has always been my dream car... I test drove one and I was impressed with its handling and smooth ride... one dealer is offering me a white 2009 328xi with 40,000miles, navigation, for OTD price of $28,500. This includes CPO warranty, which will expire in 2015 I believe.

My friends and family are telling me that I should get a new car that is affordable/reliable. But every time I go to sleep I can't stop thinking about driving my dream car.
I really want this car but my rational thoughts tell me that I should get a more practical & affordable car... but I feel like if I don't drive it now when I'm in mid 20's, I will regret it later when I'm old and have family to support and etc...
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by legend217 View Post
Lease it. Maintenance is going to kill you in a long run. Do you have a stable job yet ?


Maintenance isn't going to kill you! To maintain a car well it will cost some no matter what kind of vehicle and things do break. I think you will only live once (as far as I Know) so go for your dream car. Are you sure your dream car is a used 328I?
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2012, 05:40 AM
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Mark K Mark K is offline
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I don't see why you couldn't swing it and get BMW. After all, a new GTI will cost you about 27k OTD bare bone with 3 years of free maintenance and 4 years warranty. This BMW will cost you 28.6k with 3 years or 60,000 miles of warranty left. Not that big of a difference.

If your family was referring to Elantra or Corolla then maybe the point is there. I just don't see you driving GTI as a student and then a Corolla when you got relatively well-paying job.
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  #9  
Old 10-04-2012, 05:48 AM
mjrbimmer335i mjrbimmer335i is offline
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Do it! If not, I'd recommend a Kia Optima SX. You can get one fully loaded in your price range new...
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  #10  
Old 10-04-2012, 06:10 AM
haskindm haskindm is offline
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People that are telling you to buy a new car are wrong! At this stage in life you cannot afford the depreciation on a new car (and you pay the depreciation whether you buy or lease). Find a 2-3 year old car that has already gone through it's depreciation. Keep a good reserve to pay for some repairs and pay off your debts as soon as possible. Now is the time to be frugal so that you can succeed later. There is no way that the repairs on a good used car would ever even come close to the deprciation loss on a new car.
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  #11  
Old 10-04-2012, 06:21 AM
vavet5308 vavet5308 is offline
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If you're in MD, especially near DC, $60k isn't all that much after you've paid rent. Add your student loan payments, clothin budget for a new professional job, etc and you really don't have much discretionary income. Auto expenses snowball - nicer cars cost more to buy, more to maintain, insure, register, fuel, etc. IMHO, the first 2-3 years after you start working is the time to be frugal, save, pay off debt (student loans might be the exception depending on interest rate, tax benefits, etc).

I understand wanting a nice car. I think everyone here does. I'd rather have a decent car and be able to go out with my friends a couple nights a week than to have to drive my really nice car straight home after work every night. Build those savings and especially your emergency fund. You don't want to have an beater or econobox. You don't want to be embarrassed by it or be ashamed to go out on a date. At this life stage, an appliance type car is fine - Camry, Accord, even a well-optioned Mazda3.
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  #12  
Old 10-04-2012, 06:41 AM
Yeoman Yeoman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legend217 View Post
Lease it. Maintenance is going to kill you in a long run. Do you have a stable job yet ?
This.

Never own a German car out of warranty.
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  #13  
Old 10-04-2012, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeoman View Post
This.

Never own a German car out of warranty.
I've owned two 3 series well out of warranty. Each cost me about $2000/year in maintenance, less before 100k.

That's $170/month.

How much are you guys paying on your leases?
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Last edited by Chris90; 10-04-2012 at 07:04 AM.
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  #14  
Old 10-04-2012, 07:07 AM
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Chris90 Chris90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vavet5308 View Post
If you're in MD, especially near DC, $60k isn't all that much after you've paid rent. Add your student loan payments, clothin budget for a new professional job, etc and you really don't have much discretionary income. Auto expenses snowball - nicer cars cost more to buy, more to maintain, insure, register, fuel, etc. IMHO, the first 2-3 years after you start working is the time to be frugal, save, pay off debt (student loans might be the exception depending on interest rate, tax benefits, etc).

I understand wanting a nice car. I think everyone here does. I'd rather have a decent car and be able to go out with my friends a couple nights a week than to have to drive my really nice car straight home after work every night. Build those savings and especially your emergency fund. You don't want to have an beater or econobox. You don't want to be embarrassed by it or be ashamed to go out on a date. At this life stage, an appliance type car is fine - Camry, Accord, even a well-optioned Mazda3.
Smart man.

There are tons of fun cars for little money. You start out with a 3 series, where are you gonna go next, M3, Porsche? Pace yourself. I started with a Civic EX 5 speed, which revved to 8000 rpm. Was a lot of fun at the time.
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  #15  
Old 10-04-2012, 07:19 AM
legend217 legend217 is offline
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My cousin bought a used bmw E90 sedan 3 years ago. After many repairs and now he wants to trade in due to his last repair bill which cost nearly $3500.
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  #16  
Old 10-04-2012, 07:41 AM
Fravel Fravel is offline
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I (was) in your same situation. I went with a CPO '06 with 72k miles for $18k though.
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  #17  
Old 10-04-2012, 07:57 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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James, You sound like you really want the car, go for it, everything else will work itself out. I would shop around a bit, the one you listed sounds too expensive. If the car is a CPO, routine maintenace on a BMW is no more expensive than any other foreign car. The rational thinker in you always makes more sense, but that same rational thinking is also boring and non-rewarding. Look at it this way, if the car doesnt work out, you can always sell it at a minimal loss.
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  #18  
Old 10-04-2012, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legend217 View Post
My cousin bought a used bmw E90 sedan 3 years ago. After many repairs and now he wants to trade in due to his last repair bill which cost nearly $3500.
Assuming he wasn't just getting worked over by some dealer, there's a significant risk buying used that you'll get someone's lemon. Happened to a buddy's 2005 325i, his has cost him way more than mine, he found out after he bought it that it had been in an accident, and generally in poor shape.

Still, tax for me on a new 3 series would be $3000. Excise tax another $1000. Bye-bye, $4000 gone the day you drive it off the lot. That's a lot of maintenance.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:56 AM
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BiHoTTo115 BiHoTTo115 is offline
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I've got a 2006 330XI (E90), bought it last year (from a reputable source in my city) with 114K on the clock (I'm also out of college 1 year in November), 135K on the clock now. It's an automatic, basically fully loaded. ZERO issues so far *knock on wood*. I have a VERY handy father when it comes to cars, and I'm learning bit by bit, but there are are a lot of things you can DIY around these cars. Granted a lot you can't...but if you're capable, or at least know someone who is capable, there's very little you can't do OVERALL. I've got a maintenance post started here that you should feel free to check out. I'll be doing some general stuff around the car and will make sure to write down everything I do. There are a lot of DIY guides out on the internet though, and these help a lot.

FWIW, it helps to put the car on a lift every once in a while throughout the year, to make sure everything looks as solid as can be. Routine maintenance will help with any car though.
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  #20  
Old 10-04-2012, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskoo87 View Post
Greetings,

I'm new to the forum and this is my first time posting ... I hope this won't be the last

I'd like to get some advice on determining whether I can really afford to buy & maintain used 3 series...

Here's my situation,
I'm a fresh college graduate and I'm working in a tech industry (salary is about average, $60,000 a year). I have about $20000 student debt and I have a saving of around $10000, excluding my emergency fund (only $5000). My brother needed a car so I had to give away my beloved MK5 GTI.

So I've been looking for a new car but bmw 3 series has always been my dream car... I test drove one and I was impressed with its handling and smooth ride... one dealer is offering me a white 2009 328xi with 40,000miles, navigation, for OTD price of $28,500. This includes CPO warranty, which will expire in 2015 I believe.

My friends and family are telling me that I should get a new car that is affordable/reliable. But every time I go to sleep I can't stop thinking about driving my dream car.
I really want this car but my rational thoughts tell me that I should get a more practical & affordable car... but I feel like if I don't drive it now when I'm in mid 20's, I will regret it later when I'm old and have family to support and etc...

I want to hear some of your thoughts.. can I really afford it? If not... what should I do?

Thanks in advance..

P.S - forgive my stupid title with typos...
We'd need more information. At least the following:
  • Amount of down payment, if any
  • Trade in allowance, if any
  • Length of time to finance
  • Interest rate
These would help us determine what your monthly payment would be. Using zero down, zero trade, four year term, with an interest rate of 3.5% the monthly payment would be ~ $637.00. Once you have this number you'll be able to compare it to your ability to pay. Also call on insurance to determine what your monthly insurance cost will be. It might be slightly higher for the BMW over something else depending on your age.
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  #21  
Old 10-04-2012, 10:09 AM
jameskoo87 jameskoo87 is offline
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Thank you all for sharing your thoughts.

If I do decide to get it,
I plan to put around $5000 down,
I don't expect to get good APR since I'm fresh out of college... so I'm guessing it'd be around 6% (reasonable)?

I want to do 60 months financing... I paid last 2 years of my GTI ($350 per month) but that was when I lived with my parents... so as someone has noted I don't have much after paying my rent ($700, living with room mate)

I wish I can trade-in my GTI but my brother needs it so... that's not an option for me.

Based on that, do you think it's a bad idea to go with used 3 series? I do have friends who are mechanics but I'm not sure if they service BMWs... I just got a qoute for insurance and it says $700 for 6 months..

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  #22  
Old 10-04-2012, 10:15 AM
Tom K. Tom K. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haskindm View Post
People that are telling you to buy a new car are wrong! At this stage in life you cannot afford the depreciation on a new car (and you pay the depreciation whether you buy or lease). Find a 2-3 year old car that has already gone through it's depreciation. Keep a good reserve to pay for some repairs and pay off your debts as soon as possible. Now is the time to be frugal so that you can succeed later. There is no way that the repairs on a good used car would ever even come close to the deprciation loss on a new car.
+1. With roughly 10,000 miles per year, my '99 328i averaged just over $1,000 per year in maintenance and repairs, after the warrenty/covered maintenance period - not counting tires.

And unless you are in Garrett Co., forget the AWD as it is unneccessary as long as you have good winter or A/S tires. It results in both poorer gas mileage and performance due to the added 200 pounds.

Tom

Last edited by Tom K.; 10-04-2012 at 10:17 AM.
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  #23  
Old 10-04-2012, 10:20 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskoo87 View Post
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts.

If I do decide to get it,
I plan to put around $5000 down,
I don't expect to get good APR since I'm fresh out of college... so I'm guessing it'd be around 6% (reasonable)?

I want to do 60 months financing... I paid last 2 years of my GTI ($350 per month) but that was when I lived with my parents... so as someone has noted I don't have much after paying my rent ($700, living with room mate)

I wish I can trade-in my GTI but my brother needs it so... that's not an option for me.

Based on that, do you think it's a bad idea to go with used 3 series? I do have friends who are mechanics but I'm not sure if they service BMWs... I just got a qoute for insurance and it says $700 for 6 months..

With those numbers you're looking at a car payment a little over $500 / month. Insurance will add another ~ $115 / month for a total of $615 / month.

The question isn't "Can I afford a BMW" but rather "Can I afford a $615 / month" car + insurance payment. A non-BMW car might bring the monthly insurance payment down slightly but, IMO, probably not much.
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  #24  
Old 10-04-2012, 11:18 AM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is offline
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comes down to basic math. you'll be taking home about 3700 a month after taxes.
from that deduct your fixed expenses, debt service, 401K, savings, etc, then see what you have left.
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  #25  
Old 10-04-2012, 11:23 AM
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I'd get a late model E46, 2004 or 2005 (or 2006 if a coupe). That will cost less, depreciate less, and be more reliable than a first model year E90. And be more fun to drive, just as roomy etc.

Look for a private sale, avoid random dealerships that sell Chevy's next to BMWs. BMW dealers aren't likely to carry E46s, so buy privately from some owner who lives in a fancy house and dresses nice.
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