What used BMW 3 Series saloon will I get for my budget?
The 3 Series clings tenaciously to its value, and even for the oldest cars you'll still need a budget of more than £2,000 to secure a good one, especially if it’s a 320d diesel. The M Sport pack will also add a little to the price.
A later 2008 M Sport car will be well over £4,000, especially from a BMW dealer and with a full service history. The best value is actually to be found in later models; a 2010 320d Efficient Dynamics will only set you back around £6,200, which represents a lot of car for the money.
How much does it cost to run a BMW 3 Series saloon?
The 320d Efficient Dynamics model averaged almost 70mpg in official tests and can get surprisingly close to that figure in the real world. A 119g/km CO2 emissions rating means you’ll also have minimal road tax costs.
True, servicing at BMW main dealers can be expensive, but there are plenty of more affordable, not to mention highly competent, independent BMW specialists.
Larger alloy wheel options are best avoided because the tyres for those sizes are very expensive to replace, so stick with the 17in rims if you want to keep costs down.
The diesel particulate filter (DPF) in the exhaust needs regular long runs to heat up properly and clean itself out, so beware of cars with very low mileage, as the DPF can cost more than £1500 to replace.