Best used 2012-2019 BMW 3 Series PCP finance deals

Want a BMW 3 Series but don’t want to pay new-car prices? Finance this upmarket saloon for less than a new small family car

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith Matt Rigby
Jun 15, 2021

The BMW 3 Series has been the benchmark small upmarket car for decades. It blends good looks with a solid-feeling, classy interior and a driving experience that’s more fun than any other car of this type.

The latest version of the 3 Series went on sale in 2019, though the model that preceded it is still excellent. That version of the 3 Series was made between 2011 and 2019 and there is a wide variety of body styles, engine options and trims. Whichever version of the 3 Series you go for, it’s always been a popular car in sales terms, so it should be easy to find one that suits your needs and budget.

The engine options available with the 3 Series range from ultra-efficient diesels and plug-in hybrid saloons favoured by company car drivers, to powerful turbocharged six-cylinder models, at the top of which sits the high-performance M3. Body styles include the regular saloon model and the spacious estate (badged as ‘Touring’ by BMW). Coupe and Convertible models based on the 3 Series later went on to become their own standalone series - the 4 Series.

BuyaCar prices start from under £10,000, with PCP finance deals available from less than £200 per month. Opt for the efficient 320d and you’ll enjoy a car that looks great on the drive but won’t cost the earth to run.


In addition to the trim levels outlined below, 3 Series buyers could select from an array of optional extras and accessories. Some options commanded a four-figure sum when new, while even some of the less expensive must-have upgrades could run up a sizeable bill. You won't see much evidence of this additional cost when you're searching for used models though, so you could be saving even more money if you find one with all the bells and whistles attached.

Best used BMW 3 Series PCP finance deals

BMW 3 Series SE offers

This generation 3 Series range kicks off with SE trim, but the specification is anything but entry-level. Designed with company car drivers in mind, SE offers everything you could want from an executive saloon.

Kerb appeal comes courtesy of 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and tail lights, and a chrome grille surround, for later models. There’s a dual exhaust pipe on 320 models, while the 318 versions get a single pipe.

On the inside, all SE models get dual-zone air conditioning, cruise control, sat-nav, DAB radio, a multifunction steering wheel, a 6.5-inch media system with rotary controller, plus Bluetooth connectivity. Heated door mirrors, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers are also standard.

In truth, it’s arguably all the BMW 3 Series you could ever need, especially if you opt for the big-booted Touring version.

BMW 3 Series
Used BMW 3 Series SE

BuyaCar prices from £12,000
Monthly finance from £0*

BMW 3 Series ED Plus offers

The ED Plus trim is only available on diesel versions of the BMW 3 Series, specifically the 320d. Designed for company car drivers and those who cover long distances, ED stands for EfficientDynamics - with this model set up to provide maximum fuel economy - and this trim level is a case of take it or leave it.

The smaller 16-inch wheels came with low-rolling-resistance Michelin Energy Saver tyres to save fuel, so make sure these or other economy-maximising tyres are fitted when deciding between models if that's important to you. The ED Plus also features active air flaps in the grille to reduce fuel consumption and heated leather seats.

Aside from that, it’s the standard SE specification, but it makes a huge amount of sense if you’re going to cover big miles. You can expect an extra 7mpg over the standard 320d SE.

BMW 3 Series
Used BMW 3 Series ED Plus

BuyaCar prices from £11,000
Monthly finance from £0*

BMW 3 Series Sport / ED Sport offers

Upgrading to Sport or ED Sport delivers a more sporting appearance, most notably in the form of 17-inch double-spoke alloy wheels. Further cosmetic enhancements include black high-gloss side pillars, air inlet and rear bumper finisher, dark chrome exhaust finisher, and chrome grille with wide black vertical slats.

On the inside, the ED Sport gets heated leather sport seats, while the Sport gets cloth seats with red or grey highlights. Both versions get different driving modes, a sport three-spoke multi-function steering wheel, sporty instrument cluster with red lighting, illuminated sun visors, and a wider choice of ambient lighting options.

All of this is in addition to the standard SE specification. When new, it cost around £300 to upgrade from SE to Sport, and £500 to jump from ED Plus to ED Sport, so don’t pay over the odds for a used 3 Series in these trims.

BMW 3 Series
Used BMW 3 Series Sport

BuyaCar prices from £9,990
Monthly finance from £306*

BMW 3 Series M Sport offers

Opting for M Sport cost more than the SE model new, so you can expect to pay more for a used example. Because it offers some of the styling of the high-performance M3, M Sport models are very popular in the UK, so there is no shortage of second-hand models available.

Highlights include 18-inch alloy wheels, an aerodynamic bodykit, M badges, LED headlights, high-gloss 'Shadowline' exterior trim, leather upholstery, front sport seats and a rear armrest with two cupholders. Furthermore, the instrument cluster, multi-function steering wheel and suspension are all sporty M Sport designs.

In addition to the above, 330i and 330d M Sport models get an eight-speed automatic transmission, twin tailpipes with chrome finisher, metallic paint, and predictive gearshift.

BMW 3 Series
Used BMW 3 Series M Sport

BuyaCar prices from £13,700
Monthly finance from £353*

BMW 3 Series M Sport Shadow Edition offers

Short of buying an M3 – or going wild with the options list – the M Sport Shadow Edition was the most expensive 3 Series when new. Highlights include 19-inch two-tone alloy wheels, darkened rear lights with LED bars, dark chrome exhaust tailpipes, LED headlights with darkened surround, high-gloss black grille, black mirror caps and sun protection glass.

On the inside, Shadow Edition cars gained extended storage, a Harman Kardon speaker system, plus M Sport brakes and a high-beam assistant.

These cars cost significantly more than other 3 Series trims when new, so you can expect to pay more for these cars than lower-specification alternatives on the used market. But that doesn’t mean you can’t afford the 3 Series of your dreams. Check out some of the strong value finance deals available below to see just how much car you can get for your budget.

BMW 3 Series
Used BMW 3 Series Shadow Edition

BuyaCar prices from £17,200
Monthly finance from £0*

BMW M3 offers

The M3's selling point is its powerful engine. While the previous generation used a V8 engine, this version went for a smaller 3.0-litre straight-six, with power up from 414hp to 425hp. Cars with the Competition Package upped power to 444hp.

As you'd expect, the M3 has the most comprehensive equipment of the 3 Series range, along with some pretty aggressive bodystyling. 

Used BMW M3

BuyaCar prices Limited stock

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


Read more about:

Latest deals

  1. Best used car deals 2022

  2. Best used 2020-present Hyundai i20 PCP finance deals

  3. Best used 2020-present Honda Jazz PCP finance deals