What used BMW 3 Series estate will I get for my budget?
There are lots of examples of the 3 Series Touring (especially the 320d) and you can pick up a high-mileage example for as little as £5000. Up the money to £9000 and you should be able to find a tidy 2014 example from an independent dealer with an average mileage and a full history.
You’ll need £12,000 to buy a good example from 2016 onward, with a low mileage and a full history, while the very last cars from 2019 start at around £18,000 and go all the way up to nearly £27,000 for a high-spec, six-cylinder model. The four-wheel-drive xDrive versions attract a premium that can be as much as £1500 over an equivalent tw0-wheel drive 3 Series, so consider if you really need this feature before committing to buy one.
Some of the petrol engines emit an awful lot more CO2 than the diesels, particularly the 335i with 189g/km. The more sensible 318i, though, coughs out 122g/km. The popular 320d diesel emits 124g/km (102g/km in EfficientDynamics form), while the 318d has a figure of 111g/km. Even the six-cylinder diesels are quite affordable to tax; the powerful 335d's 145g/km is quite impressive given the performance it offers.
Road tax for all models registered before 1 April 2017 will vary depending upon the emissions the engine produces (see paragraph above for more information) while examples registered after this date will render owners liable to pay a flat rate fee. There are two of these; a lower rate for cars that cost less than £40,000 when new, but any example that cost more than that will incur an additional fee. However, this surcharge only applies on the first five occasions that the vehicle is taxed, not including initial registration. To find out more about the current road tax costs, click here.
BMW offers a five-year fixed-price servicing package on its new cars, so it’s worth checking to see if you’re still covered by this when buying a used one. Servicing isn’t too pricey, however, there will be a discrepancy between the smallest four-cylinder diesel and a big six-cylinder petrol that needs all of its filters and spark plugs changing. Inspections are due every two years or 15,000 miles.
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