BMW 3 Series 320i M Sport White

BMW 3 Series Depreciation: How to Avoid Losing Big in 2023

Are you thinking about getting in a BMW 3 Series?

Before you commit to the purchase, it’s important to consider one crucial factor: depreciation.

Everyone knows that cars tend to lose value over time – but exactly how much will an average BMW 3 Series depreciate each year?

If you’re curious and want to know more, then buckle up because we’re going on a data-driven mission into the depths of depreciation rates for this iconic car!

Let’s begin!

BMW 3 Series depreciation rates per year

We know you don’t want to think too hard about it, but having a good understanding of depreciation rates can really help to keep your wallet happy.

To find the depreciation rates of the BMW 3 Series, we compared the new price and current values of the BMW 3 Series from various model years listed on Auto Trader UK.

We based the study on one of the most popular BMW 3 Series models, the BMW 320i.

So, let’s not wait any longer. What is the conclusion?

On average, a BMW 3 Series will have depreciated by about 17.9% when it’s one year old. In the first three years, it will depreciate by about 38.5%. At five years old, the depreciation rate is 50.2%, and at ten years old, the depreciation rate is 69.1%.

Here is the depreciation table for the BMW 3 Series:

YearRRP*Current ValueAverage MileageDepreciation RateDepreciation cost
2022£38,990£32,0008,000 miles17.9%£6,990
2021£38,990£27,00017,000 miles30.8%£11,990
2020£38,990£24,00035,000 miles38.5%£14,990
2019£30,100£17,00045,000 miles43.5%£13,100
2018£30,100£15,00080,000 miles50.2%£15,100
2017£26,565£12,000100,000 miles54.7%£14,565
2016£26,565£11,000105,000 miles58.5%£15,565
2015£26,565£10,50090,000 miles60.4%£16,065
2014£26,565£9,00080,000 miles66.0%£17,565
2013£25,860£8,00095,000 miles69.1%£17,860
2012£25,860£7,000100,000 miles72.9%£18,860
2011£25,465£5,500110,000 miles78.4%£19,965
2010£25,465£4,000125,000 miles84.3%£21,465
2009£25,465£3,000110,000 miles88.2%£22,465
2008£25,465£2,500120,000 miles90.2%£22,965
*Recommended Retail Price (RRP) from BMW UK, BMWOnLease, BMW Group, BMW Brochures, and BMW Press
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Here is a list of the depreciation rates of a BMW 3 Series by year:

  • One year old: 17.9% depreciation
  • Two years old: 30.8% depreciation
  • Three years old: 38.5% depreciation
  • Four years old: 43.5% depreciation
  • Five years old: 50.2% depreciation
  • Six years old: 54.7% depreciation
  • Seven years old: 58.5% depreciation
  • Eight years old: 60.4% depreciation
  • Nine years old: 66.0% depreciation
  • Ten years old: 69.1% depreciation
  • 11 years old: 72.9% depreciation
  • 12 years old: 78.4% depreciation
  • 13 years old: 84.3% depreciation
  • 14 years old: 88.2% depreciation
  • 15 years old: 90.2% depreciation

And for the visual learners, here is the same data in a BMW 3 Series depreciation curve:

BMW 3 Series Depreciation Curve Infographic

Which second-hand BMW 3 Series has the best value?

BMW 3 Series 320i black

When looking for a second-hand BMW 3 Series with the best value, it is not only essential to check for the BMW 3 Series’ most common problems, but you should also consider age, condition, and mileage.

While newer model years might have more features, older BMW 3 Series can be found in good condition for a much lower price, thus increasing the value.

So, for the best value, you should try to look for a BMW 3 Series that has depreciated as much as possible but is also as new as possible.

Considering the value of the BMW 3 Series lowers yearly, this will always be a balancing act.

However, from our research into the depreciation of the BMW 3 Series, we found that a 5-year-old BMW 3 Series may offer the best value. The price you will pay is about half of its Recommended Retail Price (RRP), but you still get the benefits of a relatively new car!

Besides second-hand price, another important factor to look at when getting a used BMW 3 Series is insurance costs. You can find a list of the cheapest BMW 3 Series to insure in this article!

Learn more: BMW 3 Series: Which Years To Avoid & To Buy? (2023 Guide)

Why different BMW 3 Series models may depreciate differently

Depreciation is a normal and expected part of owning a car, but it’s important to note that not all vehicles depreciate at the same rate.

The same goes for the BMW 3 Series, for which different models within the same car line can depreciate differently.

Factors such as the body style, trim level, and engine type can all affect how quickly a BMW 3 Series will lose value over time.

BMW 3 Series 330e M Sport white

For example, the BMW 3 Series GT, which was introduced in 2013, may depreciate differently from the standard sedan model.

Similarly, the six-cylinder engine models of the 3 Series may offer better performance. Still, they may also depreciate more quickly than the four-cylinder engines due to their higher cost and fuel consumption.

The BMW 3 Series is available in several trim levels, including the Sport, Luxury, and M Sport, each with its unique features. The more premium the trim level, the higher the initial cost of the car, and the more it may depreciate over time!

However, sometimes, a particular trim level, like an M Sport package, can have a high demand on the second-hand market, reducing depreciation! (Fun fact, even though it’s called ‘M Sport,’ it doesn’t mean that the 3 Series should be viewed as a sports car.)

Lastly, if a BMW 3 Series is tuned, it may increase or decrease its depreciation, depending on the quality and reputation of its tuning parts.

Tip: Are you interested in all the pros and cons of a BMW 3 Series? If so, check out our article here!

How long does a BMW 3 Series last?

To find out how long a BMW 3 Series lasts, we used real-life data of how long people kept their BMW 3 Series.

Here is what we concluded:

The BMW 3 Series lasts at least 250,000 miles with regular maintenance. This is based on multiple high-mileage BMW 3 Series on sale in the US and UK for the four latest BMW 3 Series generations.

And you can find an overview of our main results in the table below:

3 Series generationFuel typeAverage of 5 highest-mileage cars on saleHighest mileage
G20 (2019 – onwards)Petrol88,640 miles (142,650 km)95,450 miles (153,610 km)
G20 (2019 – onwards)Diesel104,770 miles (168,610 km)123,000 miles (197,950 km)
F30 (2012 – 2019)Petrol203,600 miles (327,660 km)214,280 miles (344,850 km)
F30 (2012 – 2019)Diesel199,460 miles (321,000 km)213,168 miles (343,060 km)
E90 (2005 – 2012)Petrol224,980 miles (362,070 km)232,000 miles (373,370 km)
E90 (2005 – 2012)Diesel216,520 miles (348,450 km)229,000 miles (368,540 km)
E46 (1998 – 2005)Petrol230,220 miles (370,503 km)256,000 miles (411,990 km)
E46 (1998 – 2005)Diesel177,270 miles (285,280 km)189,080 miles (304,290 km)

If you want to learn more about these long-lasting BMW 3 Series and tips for making your 3 Series last longer, you can find our in-depth article here!

Lastly, if your BMW 3 Series doesn’t start anymore, don’t immediately panic thinking you need a replacement; one of these seven simple fixes might just solve it!

Conclusion

So, do BMW 3 Series models hold their value?

Well, of course, the answer is no, but how bad is it?

We can conclude that the most significant part of the depreciation of a BMW 3 Series happens within the first five years. On average, the BMW 3 Series will depreciate over half of its original value during this time!

Therefore, it will never make financial sense to buy a brand-new BMW 3 Series. For the best bang for your buck, look for a 5-year-old model with as few miles as possible.

At last, we can also conclude that the depreciation of the BMW 3 Series is much more closely tied to its age rather than its mileage.

For example, a 5-year-old BMW 3 Series with 80,000 miles will have a significantly higher value than a 9-year-old BMW 3 Series with the same mileage.

What did you think of this article? Let us know in the comments below, and have a great rest of your day!

Tip for your next read: 8 Mind-Blowing Tips For Your BMW 3 Series (Hidden Features)

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2 Comments

    1. Hi Caroline,

      Great question!

      Unfortunately, I don’t have any specific data for you on this. However, generally, a car’s age makes a bigger impact on its current value than its mileage. In other words, a BMW that’s 3 years old with 100,000 miles is often worth more than a BMW that’s 6 years old and has 50,000 miles.

      Hope that helps!
      – Patryk

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