BMW Questions..... My First Car? Maybe, Probably Not

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ipodtouchy333, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. ipodtouchy333 macrumors 65816

    Nov 15, 2007
    Okay, I am 16 and am going to get my first car. Now, before you call me a spoiled brat for wanting a bmw and probably won't get one anyway I just thought I would look a little on craigslist for some used cars. I found some bmw's for around $7000-10000. I will definitely have to pay for at least some it myself. For people who know about cars and more specifically bmw's, this is where I need your help. The "cheaper" ones are 1997 BMW 528i that is $6500. The other "cheaper" one is a 1997 BMW 318Ti Sport Package (whatever that is) for $5500. Now onto the more expensive ones. There is a 2000 BMW 323ci that is $10000. There also is a 1998 BMW M3 for around $10500. I just made this thread for a few opinions. Thank you for reading!
  2. heehee macrumors 68020


    Jul 31, 2006
    Same country as Santa Claus
    I will probably never buy an used European car without some sort of warranty. They are extremely expensive to fix and alot can go wrong, mechanically and electronically, even new ones. Also, you have to factor in your insurance.
  3. bigrell486 macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2006
    $10,000 for a used car from 1998 or 2000 is pretty steep when there new cars from 2008 that start at $12,000.

    Sure they aren't BMWs, but still.
  4. silbeej macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2007
    My friend got a 95 325i for about 5500, and it is still running, had about 105k on it, now has around 125k. The M3 was twice as much to insure, and it still isn't a little for the 325. If you want insurance costs to be low, go with family style cars, big, wagons, andything but the sporty ones.
  5. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    I think you could probably get a better car for your money than those. If you must though I wouldn't recommend a pre-2000 BMW as they were a bit more unreliable and any BMW will cost a mint to fix and maintain. (I had two of them, so I'm not just being a hater) Just prepare yourself.
  6. tdevers macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2008
    If you're looking at something along the lines of a 5 series why not take a gander at a V6 Accord (Coupe or Saloon) with a manual transmission. Its a Honda, and its good bit of fun.
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
  8. hotzenplotz macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007
    The cost of the car is only part of the picture.
    Who is paying for your insurance?
    Call your insurance and get quotes from them on the models you are interested in. If you can get the vehicles VIN number, even better.
    Who is paying for the gas?
    This is one of the hidden wallet killers.
    Who is paying for repairs?
    See below.

    Rule of thumb: If you like a car, and are ready to buy, have it checked out by a mechanic, preferably one you/your family trusts and get their opinion. This applies to any car. Note any problems the mechanic found and make a list that you can use to negotiate the price.
  9. Jay42 macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2005
    Just remember, every time you bring the car in to the shop to get it fixed (which will be frequently with European high-milage cars) you will have a tough time getting out of there spending less than $1k.

    Get a stick-shift Japanese car, they last forever, get good milage, and hold their value relatively well. Just make sure the synchros aren't worn out and the clutch doesn't slip. Have a mechanic check the radiator for unburned hydrocarbons (blown head gaskets) and just a general check of the suspension, engine, etc. and you should be all set. Carfax isn't a bad idea either.

    I bought a used Subaru WRX and couldn't be happier. Turbo, 5 Speed MT, AWD, reliable, reasonable service cost, room for 5, and decent highway milage to boot for less than $17k. Only downside is its one of the top 5 most expensive cars to insure. I guess you can't have everything.
  10. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    I just wanted to drop in and say that the previous generation 5 series is one of my favorite cars...

    You're going to spend a ton on maintenance, BMW's, generally, are really not that reliable.
  11. pianoman macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    get the 2000 BMW 323ci for $10,000. M3 is too much car for a 16 year old (any BMW is, arguably) and insurance is probably really expensive. also, don't be naive about maintenance costs. it is much more expensive to maintain a european car than a japanese or american car.

    be prepared to put some more money into it and make sure you have it inspected by a BMW dealer before purchasing (to know if there are any problems).

    FWIW, i don't think a 16 year old should be driving a BMW. but, that's not what you asked, so... enjoy!
  12. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    If you are 16 and it's your first car, get something wreckable, as the majority of drivers wreck their first cars due to inexperience.
    When you get more experienced look for a nice car.
    Just my 2 cents
  13. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    i wouldnt get one personally. they all run on premium, have more expensive repairs due to harder to get parts and such, insurance would be high as they are nice cars and fast
  14. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    Who say's European cars are unreliable, take a look at the American cars, shocking! no style, horribly built, cheap parts, massive engines with no power, bad electrics and very very unreliable.

    I'd take a European Audi/Merc/BMW over any honda/gm/ford anyday.
  15. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    And if you want really cheap insurance look for something with Buick or Mercury on the side. :p

    Something that drops like a rock are the fleet cars that tend to sell in large numbers to rental agencies -- these usually tank that entire line even if you get a individuals vehicle.


    Me I'd probably go with a used 2007 Taurus ex-rentals with the V6 and warranty with around 25k miles on the clock.
  16. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Ummm I wrecked my first car as a result of an over 30 driver who was not paying attention to the big red stop sign at an intersection. BUT I agree, many new drivers wreck their first cars, but it is not always their fault.

    That said, I would avoid all pre-2000 BMWs as well. I found the pre-2000 5 series to be shoddy, well I find the new 5 series to be of lesser quality then the Mercedes entry-level. Look for anything year 2000 onward. Sounds to me like you're set on BMW and the parents are going to make sure you're happy.
  17. pseudobrit macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2002
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    Cars 8-11 years old will have had two or three owners. Chances are pretty good that cheap BMWs (especially the ti and the 323, which started out low end) will have been seriously beat on by at least one teenager already.

    Insurance co. won't want to touch a 16 y/o in an M3, either.
  18. iJesus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2007
    Reno, Nevada
    Do not get a used european car like a BMW.
    If there's any chance it can happen, get yourself a nice VW (new Rabbit or a certified pre-loved car)
  19. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    There is a Dinan Certified independent BMW shop a quick walk away, their lot is always packed.
  20. sikuss macrumors member


    Jul 1, 2007
    So, you say DON'T buy a used European car and recommend a used Volkswagen in the same post? :rolleyes: VW's are overpriced IMHO & you'd get much more value from a used Honda Civic.

    Take everyone's advice -- the car WILL get beat up, if not from a fender bender, then from some idiot at your highschool who will probably be showing off in their M3 in the parking lot & lose control. I know it sucks and you want it now but I'd strongly recommend you wait until you can actually keep it nice.

    Highschool graduation gift? ;)
  21. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Picked up a Mercury ex-rental here with 25k miles on it, don't expect any problems with it for 100-125k miles.

    The last version of the car only began to have issues when my parents decided to listen to the lube jockey instead of following the owner's manual. (aka, do you want us to destroy your tranny with a reverse flush to remove the transmission fluid for $99, or do it safely by using the torque converter drain plug that we cannot find for $15 -- with drain plug under the big rubber plug on the bell housing).

    These days, the cars should easily survive the rental process, which will likely break it in properly or kill it -- versus the people who tend to baby their cars and end up with poorly set rings and mileage problems.
  22. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO

    He called it a "saloon" so I'm guessing he might be British, and over there, their Honda Accord is our Acura TSX, which is a slightly more comparable car to the 5 series than the Accords in the states are.

    I beg to differ. I got an 08 GTI, and I doubt you'll find anything that's as fun to drive, looks as good, and has all of the same interior features and the build quality for the price I paid. I looked at cars like the Mazdaspeed 3 and Civic Si and was very unimpressed.

    VW doesn't price their cars like other companies. The others start their prices low, but the cars have no features. VW starts out prices higher, but those cars have almost everything on them standard. By the time you option up on the other cars to match what the VW has, you're at the same price. My dad was looking at new cars awhile back and I compared a Mazda 3, Civic and Jetta for him. The 3 and Civic base were cheaper than the Jetta base, but by the time you added packages to the 3 and Civic to match the Jetta, you were spending the same amount of money.
  23. iJesus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2007
    Reno, Nevada
    A used 1997-2000 BMW will NOT have any sort of warranty on it. A certified pre-loved VW will have some sort of warranty on it. The best advice I can give the dude though is to get a an ordinary car (nothing fancy) and wait until he's 18 so he can get a much nicer car as a grad present.
  24. wkw macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2004
    Eugene, OR
    I recently bought a '99 bmw 540i automatic. I love it! the E39 5 series is one of the best looking cars ever made.


  25. wronski macrumors 6502

    May 8, 2005
    If you don't give a **** about interior quality.

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