Best used BMW 1 Series finance deals and offers

The BMW 1 Series has just been replaced, making now the perfect time to snap up a used bargain, with dramatic savings - even on 2019 models

Chris Rosamond
Nov 7, 2019

There’s a new 2019 BMW 1 Series model in town, which now compares much more closely with mainstream hatchbacks, as it powers its front wheels - compared with the sporty rear-wheel drive setup of the previous models - just like all its rivals from the Mercedes A-Class to the Volkswagen Golf.

Luckily for BMW, the switch hasn’t made the latest BMW 1 Series any less fun to drive, and it’s odds-on that most potential customers won’t notice the difference anyway. Still, there is a distinct core of enthusiasts for whom the BMW badge means a rear-wheel drive setup - which offers steering that never tugs in your hand when accelerating and greater traction than front-wheel drive alternatives - and choosing a nearly-new previous generation 1 Series is likely to be the last chance to experience it – at least in BMW’s entry-level hatchback.

For anyone else considering a used 1 Series, this car is much more than the sum of its parts. So if you don’t care about front- or rear-wheel drive but are constrained to an older generation BMW by budget, it shouldn't be a hardship. Especially with the outgoing model's slick-to-use media systems, comfy cabin and punchy but economical engines.

Having been on sale since 2011, there are plenty of older BMW 1 Series for sale on the BuyaCar website – 466 last time we looked – with some cracking PCP finance deals too. BMW 1 Series cash prices aren't the lowest - due to strong demand for used versions - but PCP monthly payments offer strong value. That's because the car is expected to be worth a lot when you hand the keys back at the end of the contract, shrinking how much you have to pay every month.

In spite of its upmarket image, a BMW 1 Series can be surprisingly affordable to run too, with diesel 1 Series models such as the 116d, 118d and 120d offering excellent fuel economy and reasonable servicing costs if you shop around.

The less powerful petrol engines are relatively frugal as well, but of course if you want to push the boat out there are plenty of more powerful options, right up to the sports-car-rivalling 340hp BMW M140i. This might sound like an expensive, decadent option but even this performance model can acheive more than 40mpg if you drive carefully and don't spend much time in town, so fuel bills shouldn't be too bad.

With serious performance on tap, the 1 Series M140i flagship will prove more pricey to insure, while parts like brakes and tyres are likely to wear out more quickly due to the power on tap and prove more expensive to replace. BMW 1 Series M Sport versions can be a great option though, as this trim level offers a sharper drive and a sportier look with its big alloy wheels and body kit - but without the less frugal large 3.0-litre engine of the M140i. 

That said, whichever engine and gearbox combination you pick, the 1 Series is likely to be more responsive, better performing and more fun to drive than any ‘like-for-like’ rival.

There are a few compromises when picking an older 1 series, not least the rear-wheel drive format which means engines strething further into the cabin and a relatively long bonnet, which equates to less space for passengers in the relatively tight rear seats. The boot is smaller than a similar age VW Golf too. Unsurprsingly both rear cabin room and boot space have been improved in the new-for-2019 BMW 1 Series, since power goes to the front wheels, meaning less metalwork under the rear seats.

 

Otherwise, there’s really not much to complain about at all if you’re looking at an older car. It’s handsome to look at, with that distinctive BMW kidney grille, and relatively swoopy styling – at least in compact hatchback terms. The older model also came in three- and five-door bodystyles, while buyers of the latest version are limited to five doors.

Inside, you get a slick media system, which comes with a rotary controller for adjusting settings safely while on the move, with touchscreen functions on versions with the upgraded sat-nav system, so there’s little sense of being short-changed with high specification levels on all models and a genuinely plush feel to the cosseting and extremely well-built cabin. Read on to see what you can expect from each of the BMW 1 Series trim levels.

2011-2019 BMW 1 Series deals

2011-2019 BMW 1 Series SE deals

It might be the entry model, but the 1 Series SE trim level is very well equipped, including the all-important colour display screen – in this case a 6.5-inch variety with BMW’s highly-rated iDrive media system with sat-nav, controlled by a rotary controller dial positioned between the seats – plus air-conditioning, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Other luxuries include a multi-function leather steering wheel, BMW digital radio with single CD player, keyless start, and drive models with ECO PRO for maximising economy, Comfort and Sport modes.

The SE also gets rain sensing wipers and automatic headlamps, front foglights and 16-inch alloy wheels plus a chrome tailpipe for a bit of exterior bling. There’s also an SE Business edition, which adds cruise control, powerful LED headlights and rear parking sensors and was typically purchased by company car drivers.

BMW 1 Series
Nearly new BMW 1 Series SE

Buyacar prices from £14,398
Monthly finance from £200

BMW 1 Series
Used BMW 1 Series SE

Buyacar prices from £8,650
Monthly finance from £139

2011-2019 BMW 1 Series Sport deals

The Sport trim was a popular option amongst 1 Series buyers, as it added a bit more of a sporty style without too much additional cost.

On the outside, the key upgrades included 17-inch alloys with run-flat tyres, various bits of racy black trim in the front grille, air intake and rear bumper, as well as a dark chrome exhaust finisher. Inside you get different cloth upholstery, door sill finishers, switchable ambient lighting, which can be changed between orange and white, plus gloss black and red interior trim details.

Upgrades which are more than cosmetic include more supportive sports seats in the front, a chunkier steering wheel with red stitching and a speed limiter. There’s also a Sport+ mode added to the drive models for a sharper drive.

BMW 1 Series
Nearly new BMW 1 Series Sport

Buyacar prices from £14,562
Monthly finance from £196

BMW 1 Series
Used BMW 1 Series Sport

Buyacar prices from £8,990
Monthly finance from £142

2011-2019 BMW 1 Series M Sport deals

Opting for the M Sport trim level ratchets up the sportiness to another level, starting on the outside with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps and foglamps, an aerodynamic bodystyling kit, and M badges. Under the skin, lowered and stiffer M Sport suspension sharpens up the driving responses even further.

Inside leather upholstery with blue contrast stitching and black headlining give a sportier feel and help get your heart beating a little faster too.

Opt for the M Sport Shadow Edition, and you’ll find cruise control with braking function, uprated brakes, a dark finish to much of the exterior trim, and an upgraded audio speaker package inside.

BMW 1 Series
Nearly new BMW 1 Series M Sport

Buyacar prices from £16,553
Monthly finance from £212

BMW 1 Series
Used BMW 1 Series M Sport

Buyacar prices from £10,499
Monthly finance from £161

2011-2019 BMW M140i deals

If you’re lucky enough to be considering a used M140i, you’ll not just be getting behind the wheel of one of the most fun to drive cars around, but you'll gain plenty of luxury goodies too.

Externally the M140i stands out thanks to special 18-inch alloys with high-performance tyres, dual split exhaust pipes and wide gloss black slats in the grille. Under the bonnet there’s a hefty 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine, which sounds seriously sporty and nothing like the engines in rival models, which are typically much smaller and only have four cylinders. 

The engine's performance is reigned-in by an stronger braking system, while M Sport suspension sharpens up the roadholding further compared with other 1 Series models. You also get an automatic transmission with launch control - for fast getaways - and variable sport steering so you can adjust the feel from the driving seat.

Inside you get twin-zone climate control and an auto dimming rear view mirror, while an M140i Shadow Edition gets the moody darkened trim of the M Sport Shadow Edition, and the Harman/Kardon audio upgrade.

BMW M140i
Nearly new BMW M140i

Buyacar prices from £23,500
Monthly finance from £309

bmw m140i
Used BMW M140i

Buyacar prices from £19,054
Monthly finance from £261

 

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