What used BMW 1 Series hatchback will I get for my budget?
Prices for this generation of the BMW 1 Series start at around £7000, at the time of writing. This buys you a late 2011 or early 2012 car, but with an above average mileage for its age. The 1 Series makes a fine motorway cruiser, and lots are bought as company cars with just that purpose in mind. Hence it’s always best to check mileage carefully, and to try to seek out a car with a below average mileage on the clock. Always check the history carefully. It’s probably better to spend upwards of £8000 to secure a car with an average mileage and a full service history from an independent dealer. Stretch further to £10,000 and you should be able to find a clean 2013 example with an average mileage, maybe even a 2014 car from a car supermarket. Upping your budget to £12,000 should net you a clean 2015 car.
Check out how much you should be paying for a 1 Series on our free valuation tool here.
The good news is that, once bought, the running costs for the 1 Series should be quite reasonable. The diesels are the most economical, with the incredible 116d SE model good for a claimed official figure of 78.5mpg and just 94g/km of CO2 emissions. The 118d comes in not much lower at 67.3mpg in some versions, and the 120d is good for 65.7mpg. As a result, these are cheap to tax and make excellent company cars. The petrols are not so abstemious, as you’d expect, but you’ll find the 118i with the 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine good for a reasonable 56.5mpg in some trims.
Servicing is due every 18,000 to 20,000 miles, and on the whole costs are reasonable. There are a number of transferable BMW service plan options open to the used purchaser, covering the car for three years or 36,000 miles or sometimes more, for a fairly priced one-off payment, depending on the level of cover required. There are also plenty of independent specialists who will look after a 1 Series, at a reduced rate over that charged by a main BMW dealer.