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Shopping for a new car is exciting, especially if you’re planning on getting a new BMW. After all, the German automaker is known for producing some of the most high-end cars and SUVs. However, if you’re a first-time buyer or have never bought a BMW before, there are a few tips you should be aware of.

There is no first-time buyer program with BMW, but there are incentives

A person presses on a BMW on a badge.
BMW badge | Getty Images

Many automakers have first-time buyer programs that allow those with no credit history to purchase a car for a reasonable financing rate. However, BMW doesn’t offer such a program. However, it does offer a few incentives for new buyers. According to Jerry, here are the most common ones:

  • College graduate: If you are a recent college graduate or will be graduating soon, you could save $1,000 on a new or certified pre-owned BMW. To qualify, you will need to fit certain criteria and provide a copy of your diploma or transcript.
  • Military salute program: BMW has a “military salute” program that offers a $500 to $2,000 discount to members of the military. It’s worth noting that not every BMW model qualifies for this discount.

Pick a BMW that you can afford

A customer walks through a BMW dealership.
A customer walks through a BMW dealership. | Getty Images

Let’s face it, BMWs are expensive cars. The most affordable model, the BMW 2 Series, has a starting price of $38,200, which is obtainable for some buyers, but not all. That said, it’s important to know what you can afford. Check out how to calculate an affordable car payment based on your income.

Also, to save money on a BMW, you can check out the certified pre-owned inventory at your local dealership. Certified pre-owned models are used ones that have been thoroughly inspected to BMW’s standards and have an extended warranty.

What are the best BMW models for first-time buyers?

A white 2011 BMW 3 Series
2011 BMW 3 Series | Getty Images

After figuring out how much money you need to save for a BMW, it’s time to find the right model. Although you can’t go wrong with any BMW model, here are a few that are great for first-time buyers:

  • BMW 3 Series: The 3 Series is practically the “Honda Civic” of the brand’s lineup. It’s sized well for most buyers and provides a lot of driving excitement. You can find used models for as little as $5,000 to $20,000. However, a new one will set you back around $43,000.
  • BMW 2 Series: The 2 Series offers pint-sized fun with its strong engine and small stature. Five-year-old models can be found for around $25,000 or less, and the coupe body style can make you stand out.
  • BMW 1 Series: The BMW 1 Series is no longer available new, but used models sell for around $20,000 or less. This platform is great for those new to the German brand.

Whether you’re looking for a new or used model, buying your first BMW is a fun experience. However, remember to get a pre-purchase inspection done for used models and check with your local dealership about any incentives for new-car purchases.