Should You Lease or Buy a BMW? 4 Considerations

There’s more than one way to get a new BMW. While buying your Bimmer outright may be the most common and obvious option, you could lease one instead. But which way is best?

The decision to lease or buy a car isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. Ultimately, it depends on your specific needs and wants. With that in mind, here’s a closer look at when to buy or lease a BMW.

Benefits of Buying Your BMW

The greatest advantage of buying a BMW outright is that you’ll own it. As soon as you sign the paperwork, it’s yours. You can then drive it as much as you like, customize it or sell it to someone.

There are financial benefits to buying, too. Once you’ve paid it off, you’ll no longer have monthly car payments. Your Bimmer also becomes an asset at that point. While most cars depreciate, several BMW models have increased in value lately, thanks to a growing interest among younger generations. The trend suggests you could turn a profit by selling a car that becomes a classic.

You don’t have to wait for financial benefits from buying your BMW, either. Unlike leasing, buying means you don’t have to worry about mileage limits or damage penalties. You can also refinance your loan for a lower payment.  

Benefits of Leasing

Leasing has several advantages, including greater upfront affordability. While luxury car prices have dropped slightly in the past year, BMWs are still expensive. Lease payments are almost always lower than loan payments, so you’ll save money in the near term by leasing.

Depending on the terms of your lease, you may not be responsible for some maintenance expenses or have to worry about depreciation-related losses.

Another advantage of leasing is that you can use it to drive the latest model. At the end of your lease, you can turn your BMW in and lease a newer version. Conversely, you’d need a lot of capital to do that while buying each model outright.

Things to Consider When Deciding

As you can see, both buying and leasing can be beneficial. To decide which is best for you, ask yourself the following four questions.

1. What Can You Afford?

The most obvious thing to consider is how much you can afford. Look at your finances and the leasing and loan pricing of the BMW model you’re considering buying. Generally, you should lease if you want a new car for less money, but that’s not always the case.

Total leasing and buying costs vary depending on taxes, interest rates, depreciation and contract length, among other things. Use a lease vs. buy calculator to see which option is cheapest overall.

2. How Much Do You Drive?

You should also consider how much you’ll drive your Bimmer. That’s because leasing contracts have mileage constraints — typically between 10,000 and 15,000 miles — that incur extra fees if you drive further.

Leasing is fine if you only take the car out for occasional drives or have a short commute. Conversely, you’ll want to buy your BMW if you have a longer route or want to drive it cross-country.

3. How Will You Use Your BMW?

Will your car be your everyday ride? Is it something you’ll only drive for special occasions? Does it have investment potential? Your ultimate goal will make buying or leasing more or less beneficial.

Lease your Bimmer if having the latest and coolest model is most important. Buy it if you’ll put it through more wear and tear, or consider it a long-term investment. Even though cars often lose 60% of their value in the first five years, you can’t profit much from their value unless you own them.

4. How Long Will You Keep Your BMW?

Finally, ask yourself how long you want to keep your Bimmer. The timeline often determines whether leasing or buying is more expensive.

Leasing is more affordable if you only plan to keep your BMW for a few years before upgrading to a newer model. Buying a BMW is better if you want it for as long as possible. The cutoff point for buying become more affordable is typically around six years — the average auto loan term length, so you’ll have no payments after that and will offset much of the depreciation.

Decide When to Lease vs. When to Buy Your BMW

Usually, it’s better to buy a car than lease it, but luxury vehicles like BMWs aren’t as straightforward. Use this guide and ask yourself these questions to determine which method makes the most sense. Then, you can get what you want from your Bimmer for the right price.

BMW Owners Should Be Wary With Phishing on the Rise in 2024

Phishing scams are becoming more cunning and frequent in 2024, and BMW owners may find themselves being targeted. Scammers see you as having more to lose and perhaps more to give due to the luxury and prestige associated with your vehicle.

This makes you a prime target for sophisticated scams, from bogus insurance offers to fake lottery wins. It’s crucial to stay vigilant and informed. Keeping up with the latest security measures and understanding cybercriminals’ tactics allows you to better protect yourself and your assets.

What Are Phishing Scams?

Phishing scams — where cybercriminals impersonate legitimate entities to steal your personal information — are the most common cybercrime. In 2022, over 298,000 cases were reported in the U.S. These scams often arrive via email, SMS or social media messages and lure you with urgent or enticing offers.

These tactics have become even more sophisticated and customized. Cybercriminals target you with more believable messages because they cater to your interests or recent activities. No matter how authentic it appears, you must be skeptical of unexpected communication asking for personal details.

Why BMW Owners Are at Risk

People often perceive BMW owners as having significant wealth and purchasing power, a stereotype that attracts more scammers. The brand’s success underscores this perception. BMW was the top-selling luxury car brand in 2022, delivering 2.4 million vehicles worldwide. This status boosts your social image and makes you a magnet for targeted scams.

Scammers have crafted specific schemes to exploit luxury car owners like you. These include lottery email scams that falsely notify you of a hefty prize in a “BMW Lottery,” fake buyers offering high sums to phish for your banking details, and vehicle repair scams that overcharge or claim unnecessary services.

BMW has warned its customers about these deceptive practices, alerting them to fraudsters posing as representatives from “BMW’s Lottery Department.” Always verify the source before responding to such offers or claims to protect yourself from potential scams.

Common Signs of Phishing Scams

One of the telltale signs of a phishing attempt is a sense of urgency in the message, often with requests for personal information and noticeable spelling or grammatical errors. These communications may pressure you to act quickly, warning of dire consequences if you don’t. Additionally, pay close attention to the email address or phone number. If it doesn’t match the official BMW contact details, it’s likely a scam.

When you receive communications that supposedly use the BMW brand, scrutinize logos and formatting closely. Authentic BMW messages will have high-quality graphics and consistent branding. 

Suppose you need clarification about the legitimacy of a message claiming to be from BMW or an associated company. Don’t use the contact details provided in the message. Instead, reach out directly through BMW’s official website. This proactive approach ensures you’re communicating through secure channels and verifies the authenticity of the request.

Steps to Protect Yourself

Secure communication channels and tight privacy settings are crucial in safeguarding against phishing attempts. Here are some essential tips to keep your information safe:

  • Choose strong passwords: Opt for long, complex passwords that include a mix of letters, numbers and special characters. Avoid common words and predictable sequences.
  • Enable multifactor authentication: Always activate MFA where available. It adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of identification beyond a password.
  • Limit account access: Regularly review and minimize the number of accounts accessing your critical data. Fewer access points mean fewer opportunities for hackers.
  • Keep software updated: Upgrade your devices’ operating systems and applications. These updates often include patches for previous security vulnerabilities scammers can exploit.
  • Install reputable security software: Use trusted antivirus and anti-malware software to defend against phishing attempts and other cyberthreats.

Following these guidelines significantly enhances your defenses against the sophisticated phishing tactics that are on the rise.

What to Do if You Suspect a Scam

If you receive a suspicious message, the first step is not to engage or click any links. Instead, verify the email’s authenticity by contacting BMW directly through official channels on its website or through customer service numbers in your vehicle documentation.

You can also contact local authorities or cybercrime units to confirm the legitimacy of claims. Sharing this knowledge and approach with your friends and family is crucial to broaden their awareness and protect them from similar threats. It ensures they, too, are cautious with their digital communications.

Staying Ahead of Cyberthreats

It’s vital to stay alert and well-informed about the latest phishing tactics targeting BMW owners like yourself. Always verify unexpected or suspicious communications using established, official contact channels. Remember, staying cautious and educated about potential threats is your first line of defense in protecting your information and prized vehicle.

8 Signs Your Garage Desperately Needs a Refresh

As a BMW owner, you want to know how you can best take care of your car. Giving it a suitable shelter is a start. A garage is a great way to protect your vehicle, but before you pat yourself on the back for already having one, what state is it in? Some homeowners can be guilty of neglecting this area of their home. 

Why Upgrade the Garage?

Many people can be skeptical about remodeling their garage due to costs and other factors, but the investment is necessary to take care of your BMW. Rain and melted snow can trickle into your engine compartments and cause trouble, sunlight can cause interior discoloration, and hail can beat up the exterior. With all the unpredictability of nature, it’s just wiser to leave your vehicle under a roof when possible.

Safety aside, car owners should also think about security. A garage provides storage for your vehicles and other possessions. Keeping these valuables away from strangers and thieves can provide better peace of mind.

BMWs deserve a carport that can keep up with appearances as well. Visitors or neighbors to your home may raise a few eyebrows when the garage isn’t as well-maintained as your vehicle. Keep a strong impression alive by renovating your garage.

Signs to Fix Up Your Garage

If your garage isn’t accomplishing all three goals above, it’s time to consider refreshing it. In case you aren’t sure, you can refer to this list of indicators to spot when your garage needs a fix.

1. Tight Space

Some newer BMW series are bigger and longer than previous models. Also, a study found only 63% of homeowners use their garages for car parking. Most people opted for off-street parking spaces for their vehicles.

All these factors suggest a need for more adequate space in the garage. Consider getting a garage bump-out that extends the length or width of the area.

2. Floor Cracks

Cracks may have started to show up on your garage floor. Poor concrete work can contribute to the issues, but this material doesn’t do well through various temperature changes. Heavier car models and loads can also have quite an impact.

To combat wall and floor cracks, use a filler to seal up the sudden split. Others may find garage floor replacements are the best way to go.

3. Corroded Springs

Is the garage door not opening like it usually does? Its springs can be affected by corrosion, high-frequency use and age. Be on the lookout for snapping noises or squeaking when you’re operating the garage door. Upon hearing those telltale signs, you should start seeking repairs or replacements.

4. Broken Door Sensors

If the garage doors open smoothly when manually moving them, you may be dealing with a broken door sensor. Dirt and dust could be covering the sensor’s eyes. There’s also a chance of your wires getting skewed or tampered with.

Don’t wait for the garage doors to close on your BMW while backing in or out — tidy up your garage and see whether it fixes the problem. You can also upgrade the sensors.

5. High Energy Bills

High energy bills can be a real head-scratcher. Your garage is a primary suspect, especially if the ceilings, walls and doors aren’t properly insulated. Cool air or heat can escape through these access points if the port is attached to the rest of your home.

Keep the temperature consistent by investing in garage insulation solutions. Many car owners swear by foam insulation because it can create seals to prevent outdoor air from entering the home.

6. Chipping Paint

Look at the exterior and interior paint of your garage. If it’s starting to chip off, it’s a great sign to do some revamping. Add a new color to improve the look and feel of it — perhaps one that matches your automobile.

Beware of darker colors, as they make the garage hotter during the summer since they trap heat. If you want a color that’s good for insulation, pick something lighter.

7. Scattered Tools

Picture scattered tools lying around while the space where your vehicle should be is filled with garbage. If you can relate, don’t be one of the garage owners who keeps the mess and leaves their BMW outside. Get some pegboards and organize shelves to put everything into place. Throw away what you don’t need to free up some room.

8. Missing Items

Realizing you’re missing certain items from your garage can be jarring. Over 386,000 burglaries in the U.S. take place in residential properties. Consider increasing security if you keep overthinking whether your car is safe or if the carport is being breached. Add a camera or incorporate modern lock tech to safeguard the space.

Get a Garage Makeover

If you notice your garage isn’t in top condition, you shouldn’t sit idly. Put in effort to improve its look and functionality. A better carport can be a better home for your BMW.

The Ultimate BMW Forum