Category Archives: Information

Checklist for Buying Your First BMW

Dream cars are as many and as varied as the people who dream of them, but almost every driver has fantasized about owning a luxury car from German manufacturer BMW. While getting your hands on a brand-new BMW might seem out of reach, if the opportunity does present itself, what do you need to do first? Here’s an easy-to-follow checklist to help you navigate the purchase of your first BMW.

Know Your Credit Score

When was the last time you pulled your credit report? You might know how much money you bring home every payday, but even if you’re making $10,000 a month, you might have trouble getting your hands on the keys to a new BMW if you’ve got bad credit.

Tools like Credit Karma are useful for keeping track of your credit accounts and finding out if someone has opened a card or taken out a loan in your name, but the credit score they provide isn’t always accurate. Take advantage of the Federal Trade Commission’s offer of a free credit report once a year — you can pull one report from each of the three major credit reporting companies (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) and compare them to your information.

Do Your Research

There are a lot of options when it comes to getting a new — or new-to-you — BMW. Do you want to pick up your new car at the dealership, or travel to Germany to pick it up in person? Do you want a new car or a used one? Do you want to buy or lease?

Do your research and make your decisions before you get to the dealership — or, if you’re buying used, before you meet with the seller. Not only will this help you get the car you really want, but it will also keep you from getting pressured into paying more for something you didn’t need in the first place.

Don’t Forget Insurance

BMW M2 Performance Parts

Whether you’re buying new or used, you need to make sure you have insurance before you drive away. If you’re going with a new or an expensive used model, you’re not going to want to choose one of the standard car insurance companies. Instead, find a company that specializes in insurance for high-dollar vehicles like BMWs and other luxury cars.

A good insurance policy will give you better overall protection, and keep you safe in the event of an accident or theft.

Go Certified

You might be able to find a BMW on Craigslist for a steal, but you’ve got no guarantee the previous owner didn’t ride the car hard and put it up wet, so to speak. If a new BMW is out of your price range, but you have your heart set on that German manufacturing, make sure you choose a certified pre-owned BMW. Not only do these come with a warranty and roadside assistance, but the mechanics at the dealership have inspected it and repaired any problems.

There’s nothing quite like getting behind the wheel of a BMW, especially if it’s yours. Just make sure you do plenty of research, and don’t forget to pick up a good car insurance plan to protect your new investment.

What to Do If You Inherit a Classic BMW

No one likes to think about inheritances. They can be a fantastic windfall for many people, but to get them, someone has to die. That’s why we often don’t prepare for them, and end up scrambling to sort through the will, probate and any related inheritance paperwork. One tricky thing to navigate is car inheritance. What should you do if you inherit a classic BMW?

First, Paperwork

The first thing you’ll have to do is navigate the paperwork — which can be a pain if your deceased relative didn’t leave a will, or you don’t have an inheritance lawyer to help you figure it out.

If they did leave a will, once the will has gone through probate, all you will need is the car title and a copy of the probated will to transfer the car title into your name. Once that’s done, the car is yours.

If they didn’t leave a will, you will still need the title, but in addition to that, you will also need a letter signed by all the heirs stating the car belongs to you. If the inheritance gets contested, will or no will, you will absolutely need a lawyer in your corner to help iron out the wrinkles.

Bring the Car Home

Step two is bringing your new car home. This can be tricky, depending on where the car is and whether it is running at the time. If it drives well, you can drive it home with you. If it won’t start, you’re left either paying for an auto shipper to bring the car home to you, or renting an A-frame trailer to tow it home yourself.

Towing it yourself is the cheaper of the two options — even if your car doesn’t have the kind of towing capacity you need, renting a truck and an A-frame to tow your new car home is still more cost-effective than paying for an auto shipper.

Storing the New Car

Storage is especially important with a classic BMW — they tend to be quite popular with car thieves, so the last thing you want is to bring your new BMW home and leave it in the driveway. Make sure you have somewhere safe to store your new car before you bring it home — this could be in your garage, in a local storage unit or in a family member’s garage until you can clean all the clutter that is currently in yours.

It becomes especially important if your deceased friend or relative was a collector and you inherited a bunch of different cars. Selling a few of them is an option, but if you want to keep the collection together, you will need a large garage to store them in. Make sure you invest in a good commercial garage door, so you can easily get your cars in and out, but can also ensure your inheritance is secure.

Inheriting a car or a collection of cars can be an excellent way to get your hands on some amazing classics. Just make sure you’re prepared to navigate the inheritance paperwork and have somewhere to store them when you finally get them home.

How to Take Your Car to Its First Show

Car shows offer a fantastic way to see some amazing cars or show off your own car, but if you’ve never gone to one before, taking the plunge to present your car at its first show can be intimidating. Whether you’ve got a classic BMW that you want to showcase or a modded race car that you want to show off at the track, it’s essential to find out what you need to do before you take your BMW to its first show.

Wash Everything

If you’re going to show your car — no matter what model of car it is — you want it to be as clean as possible. Give the car a good wash to remove any dirt or debris and make it look shiny and new. Don’t neglect the interior of the car or under the hood. If you’re showing your BMW, you’ll want to give your engine a good cleaning. It doesn’t have to appear off-the-assembly-line new, but you want to make it look like you at least made an effort!

Once everything is washed, add a good coat of wax, and polish your car so that you’re sure it looks its best when you’re on the showroom floor.

Pick Your Class

Before you enter a show, you’ll want to make sure you pick the right show class. There are generally three classes — street, stock and modified — but each show might have its own classes. Be careful to read up on the individual show before you enter.

Stock cars are cars that, other than being in good shape, are basically the same car that rolled off the assembly line when it was new. It might have some replacement parts, depending on the car’s mileage, but it hasn’t been modified at all.

Streetcars fall in the middle and might contain some aftermarket parts or paint jobs. They still look like their classic stock counterparts, but they pack a few extra secrets under the hood.

Modified cars, as their name suggests, have been heavily modified and may have a lot more power than street or stock cars.

Keep All Your Paperwork

It’s not just the car that the judges are going to look at. Make sure you have all your paperwork in order, including your license, registration, proof of insurance and receipt for your entry fees. You can and probably should also have some process photos of your car, especially if you’re entering in the modded class. Having some before and after pictures can help show the judges all the work you’ve put into your favorite BMW.

Finally, the most important thing to remember is to have fun — win or lose, car shows are a great place to network and find some new friends or reconnect with old ones while you enjoy a few brews over the hoods of your favorite cars. You can enter your BMW in nearly any car show, but you might want to pick a BMW-only show if you really want some competition.