Cheap used BMWs

A sporty drive and high quality interior for £160 a month: cheap used BMWs, including the 1 Series, 3 Series and X1

John Evans
Aug 18, 2020

Are you a BMW fan? You may well find yourself looking at the price tag of a brand new model and thinking it's well out of your reach. The good news is those rather intimidating costs won't stay with these cars forever.

Eventually, even a high-end BMW will become much more affordable as a used car, you could almost call them cheap. But finding the right model at the right price can be challenging, mainly because the BMW range is so broad it can be difficult to know what you're getting.

One thing is for sure, whichever BMW you end up with, you'll be driving a comfortable, high quality machine with a strong engine that's enjoyable to drive - whether it's the compact 1 Series hatchback or the bulky X5 SUV.

We have thousands of used BMWs available here on Buyacar, but there are some in particular that could well be considered 'cheap'. We've done the hard work for you and picked out four of the best, so read on for more details on some cheap used BMWs.

Cheap used BMW deals

Cheap BMW 1 Series deals

The 1 Series is the cheapest car that the company makes, but it's still a proper BMW. The bold grille at the front and sharply-creased bodywork are BMW trademarks, as is the dashboard that’s angled towards the driver for ease of use. The central screen uses BMW’s superbly straightforward software, called iDrive, which is controlled with a rotary dial, so you can easily change your music, or zoom into the sat-nav map with minimal distraction.

All 1-Series models built after September 2015 come with sat-nav as standard, but the very cheapest cars are a little older than that. No matter which one you choose, alloy wheels, air conditioning and Bluetooth - for wireless phone pairing - are standard.

The cheapest models are generally 116d diesel models, or more powerful 118d diesel versions, but there are often some petrol models too. Few diesel-powered 1 Series built before September 2015 meet the latest emissions standards, known as Euro 6. As a result, they will be liable for charges in Central London’s ultra low emissions zone, as well as any other clean air zones that are set up.

BMW 1 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE

bmw-1-series
Cheap BMW 1 Series deals

Buyacar prices from £8,098
Monthly finance from £146

Cheap BMW X1 deals

The BMW X1 combines the rough dimensions of the 1 Series with the extra height and rugged design of an off-road car. The formula has proved extremely successful for BMW, and so there are plenty of examples to choose from, including some for under £12,000 on BuyaCar, or around £180 a month with finance.

These tend to be 2014 cars from the previous X1 generation, which was replaced with a new version in 2015. Despite their extra height, they drive in a similar way to the 1 Series, feeling agile in corners and easy to manoeuvre into parking spaces.

The car's age does show inside, with no dashboard screen fitted to X1s in this price range, although the controls for radio and ventilation are easy to use on the move. Climate control, 17in alloy wheels and rear parking sensors are standard on entry-level SE models, while cars badged xDrive come with four-wheel drive. Most X1s are diesel-powered. An 18d model will offer reasonable fuel economy and performance but cars of this age don’t meet the latest Euro 6 emissions standards, so you will need to pay to drive into central London.

BMW X1 BUYERS' GUIDE

bmw-x1
Cheap BMW X1 deals

Buyacar prices from £10,600
Monthly finance from £177

Cheap BMW 3 Series deals

The BMW 3 Series offers everything: comfort, luxury, space for the family, and a sporty driving feel. The previous-generation model is now available for under £12,000, or less than £180 per month.

In this price bracket, you’re likely to be looking at a 2014 diesel car, which brings smooth, quiet performance and good fuel economy. EfficientDynamics cars have smaller 16in wheels which improve mpg figures slightly.

Again, these cars don’t comply with the latest Euro 6 emissions standards, so will be subject to penalties for older diesel cars. If you can stretch your budget, then look for a car built after May 2015, which will be an updated version, with sat-nav as standard and slight improvements to interior quality. Diesel engines in these cars should meet Euro 6 standards too, but it’s important to double check this.

BMW 3 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE

bmw-3-series
Cheap BMW 3 Series deals

Buyacar prices from £10,398
Monthly finance from £185

Cheap BMW 2 Series Active Tourer deals

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is roughly the same length as a BMW 1 Series but taller, bringing extra interior space. Its curvy shape maximises space, but means that it's less rugged than a BMW X1.

It’s also more focused on comfort than most other BMWs, which makes for smooth family trips but less agility in corners, where it leans a little more than a lower 1 Series.

There’s not a great deal of choice for under £12,000, but a 2015 diesel car should be within reach and, in this case, it’s likely to have an engine that does meet current Euro 6 standards, meaning that it’s not affected by many of the diesel penalties currently being proposed. The 218d diesel car is economical and a good choice if you make plenty of long journeys, but it can be noisy when accelerating. The 218i petrol is quieter and smoother but not quite as economical.

BMW 2 SERIES ACTIVE TOURER BUYERS' GUIDE

bmw-2-series
Cheap BMW 2 Series Active Tourer deals

Buyacar prices from £9,099
Monthly finance from £152

 

Read more about:

Latest advice

  1. Car finance with a good credit score

  2. Fair credit score loans

  3. What is a used car supermarket?

What our customers say