BMW SUVs are big, powerful, and adventurous. If you want a car that offers safety, luxury, and a superb driving experience, they're a great choice. But there's no such thing as a free lunch. If you want to ride a BMW SUV around town, you'd better have a big savings account to fall back on. An entry-level 2020 BMW X1 will set you back a whopping $36,195. Opt for a 2020 BMW X7, and you can expect to come away with a $74,895 hole in your wallet. Whichever way you look at it, buying a new BMW SUV is going to cost you - big time. But don't give up on your dream just yet. For buyers happy enough to sacrifice that new car smell for a great price, used cars are a great alternative. Choose wisely and you'll get all the fun of a new Beemer at a fraction of its cost. But make no mistake - you really are going to have to choose wisely. The freewheeling experience of buying a used car can leave you feeling motion-sick if you're not careful. Before you sign your name to any dotted line, be sure to check out our top tips on how to get the best deal on a used BMW SUV.
Check the Value
If you've got no idea of the true market value of a car, you're not going to know when you're being offered a great deal or when you're being stung. Before getting too far along the process, take the advice of wikihow.com and check what other people are paying for similar models elsewhere. Obviously there's going to be some variation based on vehicle age, trim level, etc., but you'll still get a good jumping-off point for your negotiations. There's plenty of pricing tools online and most stick to the same easy-to-follow format. Once you select the model you're interested in, you should be able to view the true market value, the invoice price (this will be what the dealer paid for it - always expect this to be lower than the market value), and the sticker price (i.e. the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP)).
Sort Out Your Finances in Advance
As cars.usnews.com writes, it's always best to get your finances sorted as soon as possible. If you have a pre-approved financing offer in place before you start shopping around, you're likely to get a much better deal than you would otherwise. Even if you don't end up taking the financing deal you've been offered, just having it there in the first place is a great negotiating tool. Let your dealer know what the financing offer is, and providing they want your business, they're going to have to meet it or beat it.
The used car market is vast... vast enough that you don't have to take the first BMW SUV you see and be grateful you found one at all. The wider you cast your net, the better your chance of landing a great deal. Check out local dealers, nationwide dealers (most advertise their stock online), used car listings from multiple sellers, and auctions... the more places you check, the better your chances of finding the model you want at a price you like.
Buy in the Summer
You might not think it, but the timing of your purchase can make a big difference to the kind of deal you get. Convertibles, for instance, tend to be in hot demand in the summer - there's nothing like a bit of warm weather to spike demand for driving with the top down. SUVs, on the other hand, tend to shift more units in winter. As with most things, the higher the demand, the bigger the price tag. Unless you're in desperate need of an SUV right here, right now, wait till the snow has melted and the flowers are in bloom before you start looking. Delaying the dream for a few extra months will save you big bucks.
Consider a CPO
Like many manufacturers, BMW runs a Certified Pre-Owned program. If you're not familiar with the concept, CPOs are pre-owned vehicles with low mileage, exemplary servicing history, and manufacturer warranty. Basically, they're the elite of the used car world. All BMW CPO's need to pass a rigorous inspection before they can qualify for the program: if any faults or problems are found during the inspection, the dealer is obliged to rectify the issue before offering the car for sale. As well as mitigating most of the risk of buying used, going the CPO route also means you're likely to get a great price: BMW will often offer financing deals on their CPOs that knock thousands off your interest payments.
A BMW SUV is a big car with high demand, high performance, and a price tag to match. Even if you buy used rather than new, you're not going to be able to cover the cost by checking down the back of your sofa for loose change. So if a dealer or private seller offers you the deal of the century, exercise caution. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. As kipkis.com writes, there's no such thing as a "cheap BMW in excellent condition." And if a dealer tells you there is, check their nose for signs of growth. Ultimately, a BMW is an investment piece - unless you can afford to change your car as often as your underwear, there's a good chance you'll still be driving it 5,6,7 years down the line. But you won't be doing that if you go for the cheapest car you can find now. A great deal doesn't always mean a cheap one: your ultimate goal is to find an SUV in good condition at a price you can afford - sacrificing condition for the sake of a few bucks is a fool's errand. If you spot an SUV that's priced way below market value, it's likely to come with a list of repair needs that will soon eat up any savings you make on the initial outlay.
Don't Buy the First SUV You See
As bmwblog.com advises, don't be tempted to buy the first thing you see. Panic buying, not looking into the history of a vehicle, not shopping around to see if you can get a better deal elsewhere - these are all rookie mistakes that are best avoided. Take your time - the world isn't suddenly going to run out of BMW SUV's overnight.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith