I need BMW purchasing help?! First time buyer


Asked by Feb 22, 2016 at 12:56 AM about the 1997 BMW 3 Series 328i Convertible RWD

Question type: General

I'm looking at a BMW 328I 1997 convertible and it's got 145,000 miles on it,
but its in very good condition, ESPECIALLY for its age. I'm wondering about
how much driving I can get from it, what a good price would be in your
opinions, what I can expect in maintenance, and anything else you could
tell a first time car buyer. I have my heart set on this car and I want to know
if $3,000 is worth it. (A little background info- I'm a fifteen year old girl and
I've been working part time to save up this much and I don't want to waste
my money at all but due to family issues as soon as I turn sixteen I'll need a
car and it would be nice to have such a nice one) Thank you so much in
advance for your help!

13 Answers


Can I give you a little piece of advice? Look, take it from someone who's had many cars. If you can find a really nice 90s Honda Accord EX , you'll be so much further ahead and it will cost you less to maintain. Good luck.




The first car is like the first love- and this one sounds beautiful- as long as you live, buying a used car will always be a gamble- so there are no guarantees- but if she treats you good even for a couple of years it will be worth it- and you will have great memories- I happen to like these cars, but they are expensive to fix- but so are all cars- I will never forget my first love, a 1961 Austin-Healey 3000- she took me to college and back- and will always have my heart-


Did you miss the part about her being 15 YEARS OLD? Where's she going to get the money to fix and maintain this expensive car? I hate to say it, but, a lot has changed since the 1960s. I grew up in the 60s and remember it well. Cars were less complicated, less expensive and easier to repair. They also got horrible fuel economy, and gas was 25 to 35 cents per gallon. When the last post said "gamble", that's very true. Used cars are all about condition, and if really think that the BMW is for you, then I think it's a big dice roll. You should also know that if you had to replace the convertible top, it would cost more than the $3,000 you're spending just to purchase the car. Old convertible cars are notoriously known for leaks, wind noise and vibration problems. It's an expensive car and usually requires a lot of maintenance to keep them running in top condition. One system failure can cost you hundreds of dollars. Just my opinion, but, an old well maintained Asian car like a Honda or Toyota especially from the late 90s in immaculate condition and lower miles would be a much better daily driver. I guess you need to ask yourself whether you you'd rather " look good or feel good "?


griffanatic- So, what are you thinking or do you have any questions? Who is selling this BMW? Private party, can they produce all the service records? Or is a used car dealership? Is it being sold "as is" ? You have to be really careful here or you'll lose that hard earned money you saved up for. If you can find a car from an original owner or second owner with service history then you will improve your odds of getting a decent car and have the car inspected by your mechanic before you purchase it. Finally, if they cannot provide the title on the car when you purchase it, walk away. Good luck.


Take a serious look at this discussion a while ago on a 17 year old looking for a BMW. I would consider your decision. http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/Discussion-t37529_ds553578


Thank you guys for your help, I make almost $400 a week and currently have been saving all of it for almost a year, so I have quite a lot of money past the initial $2500-3000 I would pay (currently negotiating down). The seller has offered to let me test drive it when it's out of the shop, (air conditioner repair and tune-up) he has the title and all service records. He was kept it well maintained and is the second owner.

1 people found this helpful.

griffanatic- OK, great. Sounds good. But, I would still suggest getting your mechanic to look it over. Once your mechanic gives you a thuumbs up, you're good to go! Can you post a picture of this car?


Hopefully, the car's interior is as immaculate as well. I see that this car has an average of 8,000 miles per year, that's pretty good.


griffanatic,, forgot to ask, how does that convertible top look??


Like I said, I like these cars- a lot- they are cool and have style, in an age where all new cars are looking alike- they handle great and they have reliability if they are treated right- and the guy is fixing things on it- just get it- you like it, and it will be a thrill to drive it-


As far as I know the top is in good condition, and since its in the shop I'm sure a mechanic would mention the top was not in good condition if it was and issue. The interior and seats are all in great condition, the backseat has a little wear but nothing terrible at all.


And here's a picture

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