I’m being offered a 2005 BMW 545i with 78,000 miles on the clock. Well-equipped with the sport package and manual transmission, it’s being offered at $18,000 (negotiable) by a co-worker’s family member who “wants to get rid of it quick so he can replace it with a new truck.” I’m told it’s been babied, but I’ll definitely be asking for service records and a chance to have it inspected by a German car indy mechanic that’s 3 blocks from my apartment.
The prospect of replacing my homely ’09 Rio with a Fünfer is appealing; I can stomach my skyrocketing insurance premiums and plummeting mileage records for at least a season or two. The manual transmission, the sublime acceleration of the Bimmer V8 – worth it.
But the question remains: this being a German car well on the brink of its 80s, should I be running, not walking, away from this deal? The repair histories on TrueDelta for this model at this mileage are unsettling, to say the least: $2,500 brake booster failure at 66k; $1,700 wiring harness replacement at 68k; transmission replacement under warranty at 69k (note – these are not all the same car). I don’t care enough about projecting my higher education and job market success at the young age of 23 to go deep into credit card debt courtesy of maintenance bills for my 6-year-old “new” ostentation machine. Is this car worth the plunge? Or should I remain in fully-paid-off Korean budget-car purgatory for another year or two and keep on saving?
Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!
You sound like you value your money for stuff other than a nice car. And honestly, any awesome E60 just makes me lust for an E39. But that’s not important…let’s focus on what you actually value.
Do the right thing and run the hell away from this vehicle. A six-year-old BMW? Not a chance in hell! If you really want one, get a CPO 5-series with a factory warranty. Or see if this car can be CPO’d at your local dealer. You don’t want this car, I am 99% sure of this.
There will come a day when I want to own a beautiful German (a picture of an E92 M3 adorns my cubicle), but at this stage in my life any excuse to stay out of debt is a good one. Especially for a car that is neither affordable to own nor the stuff my dreams are made of.
In any case, thanks for taking the time to read my letter, thank you for the advice and take care!
All the best, and you are making the right move! E60 BMWs weren’t exactly a value conscious Rio when new, and TrueDelta (shameless plug) shows just how much you’re gonna shell out now that the warranty is history. More importantly, why even consider a car with such financial risk when ya don’t really want it in the first place?
Judging by your wit, your sentence structure and your personal level of interaction with me via email, your resume at the ripe young age of 23 must be as good as you say. So stop being modest! Actually no, remain modest, and get something you’d really love when you can afford it.
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