BMW is synonymous with refined luxury and high-performance vehicles, offering everything from sporty coupes to rugged SUVs. If you’re looking to buy a car from the brand that promotes itself as the ultimate driving machine and need help covering the full purchase price, consider the wide range of finance plans available.
Financing is all about finding a reputable dealer and a good interest rate on your loan.
Dealership financing. BMW Financial Services offers traditional loans and loans with balloon payments that keep the monthly cost low that you can get directly through your dealer.
Take out an auto loan. Borrow from another lender to get a loan that uses your new car as collateral for more competitive rates and terms.
Find an unsecured loan. Unsecured loans are similar to auto loans, but you won’t have to use your car as collateral and you can use the funds to cover other things, such as costs of registration and add-ons.
Use your credit card. Putting your purchase amount on one or more credit cards allows you to earn plenty of reward points, but the high interest rate may it more expensive than other options.
How to apply with BMW Financial Services
BMW Financial Services offers a quick online application. And if you’ve applied for BMW financing in the past, you can enter your last name, Social Security number and ZIP code to make the application process even faster.
Follow these steps to get started:
Visit the BMW Financial Services page and choose Apply for Financing.
Select the model you’re interested in, then enter your ZIP code or search by state to find a local BMW dealership.
Select the financing option you want, loan term and down payment you can provide.
Enter information about yourself, your employment and your finances.
Review your application and BMW’s terms and conditions. Hit Submit Application.
It will take between 12 and 24 hours for BMW Financial Services to process your application. If you have any questions or don’t receive a response, contact your local BMW dealership.
BMW Financial Services pros and cons
Discounts for college grads, military members and installation of accessibility equipment
Specialized lease option for ridesharing services
BMW credit cards help earn rewards for BMW Financial Services
Hard credit check after submitting application
Approved financing only available at a specific BMW dealership
Before you decide on financing, consider whether you want to buy your vehicle or lease it. Each have their benefits, so use this list as a guideline before you make your final decision.
Benefits of buying
Own your car outright. The most obvious benefit of buying your BMW is owning it outright. You won’t have to worry about mileage or renewing contracts. And when you’re ready for a new car, BMWs are known for retaining their value.
Customize your perfect vehicle. Your luxury car doesn’t have to be something you can just drive off the lot. Buying your BMW allows you the freedom to customize nearly every feature to build your dream ride.
Low APR. BMW offers an APR of around 3.89% to qualified applicants. Use your great credit score to your advantage by investing in a car that can take you anywhere.
Benefits of leasing
Purchase additional miles at any time. Close to running out of miles on your contract? No worries. BMW allows you to buy extra miles and apply them to your current ride.
Drive the newest model every few years. Are you the type of person who wants to be constantly in style? Leasing your BMW allows you to switch to the newest features every two to four years.
Low monthly payments. Leasing a vehicle from BMW lowers your payments. You could be driving a luxury car for half the monthly cost of buying it outright.
Watch out for that balloon payment
Leasing a car or taking out a loan with a balloon might come with low monthly payments. But it could cost you more than you’d planned if you can’t afford that one-time payment at the end. In that case, you might have to refinance your car loan — which means more interest payments.
Check out our article on how balloon payments work to properly weigh the risks and benefits.
What will a new BMW cost me?
BMW is a luxury car brand, and its prices reflect that. Expect to pay over $30,000 for its most base models, and the more high-end options may cost you $80,000 or more. And if you choose to customize your car, the amount you pay may well exceed the base MSRP.
Whether you decide to buy or lease a BMW, familiarize yourself with each option. Dealer financing may be convenient, be sure you’re getting a deal you can afford. If you opt for a balloon repayment plan to keep your monthly costs low, remember that the final payment will be much larger and include all of the remaining principal and interest due on your loan.
When comparing your financing options, remember that the price advertised on a vehicle usually doesn’t reflect the total cost you’ll end up paying. Factor in a range of other expenses into your calculations, including:
Dealer delivery costs, where applicable.
Vehicle registration fees.
Increased insurance premiums.
Interest on your auto loan.
State and local taxes.
Finally, make sure you’ve compared all your financing options before you walk into a car dealership. This will ensure that you know how much you can afford and allow you to negotiate with confidence.
What you’ll need to apply
Every loan has its own terms, but in order to qualify for most financing, you’ll likely have to have excellent credit with a long and positive history. Lenders may want to confirm your employment and your spouse’s employment. This includes where you work, how long you’ve been working and your gross annual income.
This information helps your lender determine your capacity to repay the loan, but even if you hit all the marks for a specific lender, you may not be approved. Try to find offers from multiple lenders before visiting a dealer so you know you have backups in case one loan falls through.
Costs of maintaining a BMW
Like other luxury cars, BMWs are quite expensive to maintain. This is because many of the parts have to be specially imported from Germany and all work must be done by BMW-certified mechanics.
After the three-year dealership warranty is up, expect to pay high prices for the work you need completed, even things as simple as oil changes and basic checkups can add up.
Before you settle on a loan, compare the features of the loans that are offered by different lenders. The loan term, interest rate and fees all play a role in how much you’ll end up paying, but be on the lookout for additional features that may impact your ability to pay.
Create a list of your available loan options and make special note of the APR. This is the final amount of the loan that includes both interest and fees, and it’s often a good indication of how much your BMW purchase will end up costing.
If you want to hit the road in a BMW, there are many finance options available to help you buy your next vehicle. Make sure that you carefully compare them before deciding on the right one for your financial needs.
Frequently asked questions
Should I opt for an extended warranty?
An extended warranty lowers the cost of maintenance further down the road. Since BMW repairs and servicing can be quite pricey, investing in an extended warranty may be a good idea for most buyers.
How much should I put down?
Whether you choose to buy your car or lease it, having money down is nearly always necessary. Most car gurus state that you should be able to put at least 10% of the purchase price down on the car. For people looking to lease a BMW, the US BMW website has a comprehensive list of lease prices that can help you determine how much you’ll need to have on hand at the time of signing.
What luxury cars are similar to BMWs?
Audi and Porsche are two popular luxury car brands you might want to consider. Check out our luxury car loans guide for more options.
Kellye Guinan is a freelance editor and writer, specializing in consumer lending. Her writing and analysis has been featured on Bankrate, MSN and MediaFeed. She holds degrees in anthropology and German language and literature from Middle Tennessee State University.
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