Looking to buy a used BMW 5-Series car? Used Car Expert has thousands of used BMW cars for sale from used BMW car dealers and private sellers across the UK.
1995 (N Reg)
1997 (R Reg)
1996 (L Reg)
1998 (S Reg)
1998 (R Reg)
1999 (V Reg)
The BMW 5 Series is a stylish design that has stood the test of time. It is a slightly cooler, and more sporting executive car than its life-long rival the Mercedes E-Class. But the E-Class is the more comfortable motorway cruiser.
The 5-Series is really too big, is not as cosseting as a car this expensive should be and it’s more expensive than a house. The saloon is still stylish, as is the estate (as far as estates go) but the hatchback ‘GT’ cars (which have the most rear leg room) look too much like 1980s Rover Stirlings.
As usual with German cars, SE spec is the best ‘all rounder.’ You get smaller wheels and a smoother ride than with the more sexy-looking models. All cars are decently specified.
There is not a lot to choose from engine-wise. The vast majority of cars are diesel powered. The 2.0 diesel pairs so well with the 8-speed autobox that it’s hard to recommend anything else.
Pay around £23,000 for a 2 year 2.0 diesel engine and less than 30,000 miles on the clock. Which is a significant saving, but the car will still feel pretty new. Or wait until depreciation peters out at 4 years old – but you will need to shop around more for a nice, clean example.
Depreciation is savage for the first two to three years, only backing off at the car’s fourth birthday. Diesels drop most quickly, principally because they have higher mileages. The best time to buy is four years old, and if you want newer, 2 year old cars are a reasonable deal, but will depreciate further.
Used Car Expert recommends that you try to buy after a big drop in depreciation and before the next one, so with the current BMW 5-Series you would aim to buy a 5 year old and sell it before it is 6 years old.
Diesel BMW 5-Series cars lose most over the first year (from new to 1 year old), so that is the best ‘nearly new’ buy in terms of car for money.
Petrol BMW 5-Series cars lose least between years 1 and 3, so this is the best buy if you want to keep the car for a while.
Petrol BMW 5-Series cars lose least between years 2 and 4, so that is the best buy on older cars.
For advice on what to pay, see below and for more detailed depreciation and mileage & spec adjusted prices & graphs visit our price guide.