Best used BMW 3 Series PCP finance deals

Fancy a BMW 3 Series but don't want to pay through the nose for it? Find out how to finance this desirable car for less than a new supermini

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Mar 30, 2020

For more than four decades, the BMW 3 Series has been the compact upmarket car to beat. No other car of this type offers the same blend of smart styling, a high quality interior and fun-to-drive, rear-wheel-drive handling.

The current seventh-generation 3 Series arrived in 2019, but that doesn’t mean you should rule out the previous model. Indeed, there’s never been a better time to buy one, with a production run stretching back to 2011 meaning there's plenty to choose from in a variety of trims and body styles.

There’s a 3 Series to suit all tastes and budgets, too, from the ultra-efficient diesel-powered saloons favoured by company car drivers, to the razor-sharp high-performance M3, with its powerful turbocharged six-cylinder engine. Bodystyles include the standard saloon, practical estate (Touring), plus coupe and convertible models - although the later two are branded as the 4 Series.

BuyaCar prices start from as little as £10,000, with PCP finance deals available from £160 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.

2012-2019 BMW 3 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE
2019 BMW 3 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE

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. 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.

Nearly new BMW 3 Series SE

Buyacar prices Limited stock

BMW 3 Series
Used BMW 3 Series SE

Buyacar prices from £9,499
Monthly finance from £171

BMW 3 Series ED Plus offers

As the name suggests, 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.

Nearly new BMW 3 Series ED Plus

Buyacar prices Limited stock

Used BMW 3 Series ED Plus

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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 pillar, air inlet and rear bumper finisher, dark chrome exhaust finisher, and chrome grille with extra 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.

Nearly new BMW 3 Series Sport

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Used BMW 3 Series Sport

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BMW 3 Series M Sport offers

Opting for M Sport cost an additional £2,200 over 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 are no shortage of second-hand models available.

Highlights include 18-inch alloy wheels, 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
Nearly new BMW 3 Series M Sport

Buyacar prices from £27,950
Monthly finance from £387

Used BMW 3 Series M Sport

Buyacar prices from £11,490
Monthly finance from £212

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, and full black panel display for the dials. M Sport brakes and high-beam assistant completed the package. Considering these cars cost between £34,000 and £47,000 when new, you can expect to pay significantly 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.

Nearly new BMW 3 Series Shadow Edition

Buyacar prices Limited stock

BMW 3 Series
Used BMW 3 Series Shadow Edition

Buyacar prices from £17,350
Monthly finance from £266

 

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