BMW Resale Value

Selling your BMW within three to five years of ownership will get you the best value on the resale market.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
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If you want to get up to 60% of your BMW’s original value upon resale, you should sell it within three to five years of purchasing it. Of course, time isn’t the only factor that affects a car’s value—your BMW’s condition, mileage, and market demand will all impact its monetary worth. 
The value of any car depreciates the second you drive it off the lot—but your BMW can still maintain a considerable chunk of its value after purchasing it. When you feel ready to sell it or trade it in, it’s important to know precisely how much you can earn upon resale.
If you’re not sure how to calculate these numbers, that’s okay! Car insurance
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What goes into determining my BMW’s resale value?

Even if your BMW means the world to you, there are several factors to consider to calculate your Bimmer’s monetary worth. Here are some ways you can determine your car’s resale value:
  • Depreciation: Some cars can depreciate in value by up to 65% within three years of ownership. While your BMW may hold its value a bit more, it’s important to know that it depreciates every single day you own it.
  • Mileage: Your BMW’s mileage will have a significant impact on its condition and value. In fact, cars with 100,000 miles or more are considerably more difficult to resell. To maintain the most value on your vehicle, try to adhere to an annual driving limit of 12,000 to 15,000 miles. 
  • Accident history: Not all accidents are your fault, but a collision can impact your car’s resale value by 15 to 30%, even if your BMW has been fully restored.
  • Model popularity: The most popular BMWs will sell much faster, so the 3 Series will have the highest resale value. 
  • Interior and exterior condition: Keeping your car in pristine condition—both inside and outside—will make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Small dents, scratches, tears, and more can all negatively impact how much money you’ll get back for your vehicle.
MORE: How to sell a car for the best price

Resale value vs. trade-in value

The value of your vehicle will also be impacted by whether you plan to trade your car in or resell it yourself. What’s the difference? Well, a trade-in is the amount of money a dealership will offer you in exchange for your used BMW. This is typically not a cash payment—rather, it’s an amount that goes towards your new car purchase.
You can typically make more money by
reselling your vehicle
—but note that this process takes a bit more leg work, especially if you opt for a private sale. You’ll have to prepare your car for resale, as well as find a buyer all on your own. 

What is the MSRP of my BMW?

Identifying your BMW’s original Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is a great place to start when trying to
calculate its resale value
This
Kelley Blue Book guide
is a reliable resource for pinpointing the MSRP for any vehicle you may own. 
Key Takeaway Before calculating your BMW’s value based on its mileage, accident history, popularity, and condition, use Kelley Blue Book to identify its original MSRP.

How does wear and tear affect my BMW’s value?

We already discussed how your car’s condition is essential in determining its resale value. The good news? It’s largely within your control! Be sure to follow BMW’s recommended
maintenance schedule
and invest time and money in regular cleaning and washes. 
Of course, some damage is unavoidable. Just keep in mind that for every $5,000 in repairs (whether they’re the result of an accident or something else), your car’s value will be reduced by $2,500. 

How to calculate the resale value of your car

Because there are several factors that go into it, calculating your car’s resale value off the top of your head can be headache-inducing! Fortunately, you can use this
car value estimator tool
to help! 
Of course, you can think about resale value before you even purchase your BMW. For example, the 2021 BMW M235i is projected to maintain 48% of its initial retail value after five years of ownership—meaning it’s one of the models that will offer you the most bang for your buck.
Imagine you purchased a 2021 M235i for its original MSRP of $46,495. After driving it for five years at 12,000 miles per year, you can resell it for an estimated $22,318
Keep in mind that this number is estimated and absolutely ideal. Additional factors—including a fluctuating market—will impact your car’s actual resale value when you decide that it’s time to sell. 
MORE: Trade-in vs private sale: What’s the best way to sell your car?

The bottom line: is my BMW worth reselling?

Here’s the bottom line: if your car is in great cosmetic shape, has accumulated fewer than 15,000 miles per year of ownership, was manufactured within the last three to five years, and happens to be one of BMW’s more popular models, you’ll get a substantial payout by selling it. 
However, if your BMW doesn’t meet any of these requirements—or, perhaps, only meets one or two—you may want to make some last-minute tweaks, or simply consider trading it in.

How to prep your BMW for resale 

Regardless of the condition of your BMW, if you’re set on reselling it, you’ll benefit by doing a bit of prep work so you can get the most money possible.
Here are some easy changes you can make in a relatively short amount of time:
  • Get your car detailed. A professional cleaning is the best way to get that new-car smell. Unless you have the tools and time to do a thorough cleaning yourself, consider leaving it up to the professionals. 
  • Get routine maintenance done. Invest in a fresh oil change, make sure your tires are newly aligned and balanced, and top off all of your fluids before marking your car “for sale.” 
  • Collect the original parts. Don’t try to sell your car without the original manuals, keys, and accessories—whatever accompanied your car when you first bought it should go to its next owner.
Prepping your BMW in this way won’t just increase its sticker price—it will also help ensure that potential buyers view you as a reliable and trustworthy seller. 

Finding cheap BMW insurance 

Once you part ways with your old BMW, you’ll probably be in the market for a new car. Whether you upgrade to a new Bimmer or go with a completely different make or model altogether, you’ll need reliable
car insurance
to protect your new purchase. 
If you’re hesitant to switch plans or insurance providers because you’re worried about the work involved, don’t be.
Jerry
does all the paperwork for you and can even help cancel your old policy!
Even after your switch, Jerry can help you continue saving on your
BMW insurance costs
. Before every policy renewal period, you’ll be presented with new competitive quotes, which means you’ll always have the best coverage at the best price.
“Insurance companies originally charged me $189 while driving my BMW 300 miles per year. Thanks to
Jerry
, I only pay $56! I’m so happy.”  —Ray T. 
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FAQs

The BMW 3 Series has the highest estimated resale value, with its 2021 model projected to retain over 56% of its value five years after purchase.
Your BMW’s value depends on a myriad of factors—using this
helpful tool
from Edmunds can help you calculate a more accurate number.
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