Best Used BMWs Under $10K

Our List Of The BEST Used BMW Cars You Can Buy Under $10,000 And Still Have Fun!

One of the most common questions we get asked is, “Can I find an excellent, used BMW for under $10K that’s affordable to maintain?” The answer is yes. In fact, you can find many different fun and popular used BMWs models for under $10K that will be fun to drive and not break the bank on repairs! Here is a look at some of the best used BMW values for under $10K. 

Daily Drivers 

The great thing about BMWs is that they can be comfortable daily drivers and well as spirited driving machines. Here are some excellent BMWs available for under $10K that you can enjoy every day.

reliable mid-size luxury BMW

1992-1996 E34 5-Series

The E34 530i and the 540i are fairly reliable mid-size luxury BMW sedans that are great daily drivers. Not only that, these 5-series BMWs look really great. That’s because these mid-90s BMW give you a touch of the old school look along with some more contemporary exterior design lines. You can find parts for the E34 pretty easily, too. Finally, the E34 5-series is fast. You’ll get the most out of your daily drivers with an E34 5-series. If you are looking for the most fun, get the V-8 powered 540i with the manual transmission. 

1994-2001 E38 7 Series

Want to drive a full-size BMW for under $10K? Then you will want to take a look at the 1994 to 2001 E38 7 Series. This pre-Bengle butt 7-series is bold, beautiful, luxurious, and fast. Also, these were the years that the 7-series was built like a tank. The 3.0-liter and the 4.0-liter V-8s are reliable and excellent. Inside the E38 7-series, you’ll find some of the highest quality leather and inlay materials available from BMW in the mid-90s and early 2000s. 

The M series are fast and handle exceptionally well

1992-1999 E36 M3

When you want BMW M performance for under $10K, then take a look at the E36 M3 produced from 1992 to 1999. This version of the M3 can be fairly reliable if taken care of regularly. These M cars are fast and they handle exceptionally well. Since this is an M car, you will want to be sure to have all the mechanical parts checked out before purchase. These cars tend to get driven hard and you want to make sure that you are not inheriting lots of mechanical problems. However, you should be able to find some excellent E36 M3 models that will give you lots of fun. 

2003-2010 E83 X3 SUV

Looking for a safe vehicle for your teen child? Then you may want to consider one of BMWs most popular SUVs or as they call them SAVs. The 2003 to 2010 E83 version of the X3 is a spacious and safe small SUV that gives your teen all the space he needs when he goes off to college. The E83 is the first generation of the BMW X3 SUV. This vehicle is new enough to have lots of excellent standard safety features, too. The E83 X3 is available with the 2.0 inline-four-cylinder engine with up to 148 horsepower. Also available is a 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine with up to 215 horsepower. Finally, there is a 3.0 inline-six-cylinder engine available with up to 268 horsepower. 

Convertibles and Roadsters

If you are looking for a fun weekend toy, then a BMW roadster or convertible is a great idea. Here are some affordable BMW convertibles and roadsters that you can find for under $10K.

1998 E36 Z3 Roadster

This is one of the most attractive BMWs that you can get for under $10K. The E36 brings you a classic roadster look that makes this vehicle truly timeless. You can find some 1998 models with either the five-speed manual or the four-speed automatic. You also get a choice of either an inline-four 138 horsepower engine or a more powerful inline-six 189 horsepower engine. 

The roadster has more size and power
Picture from

2003-2008 E85 Z4 Roadster

If you are looking for a BMW roadster with a little more size and power, then you should check out the E85 Z4 roadster. Available from 2003-2008, the Z4 continues to give you that excellent retro look along with some more advanced features versus the Z3. The E36 edition of the Z4 gives you the option of either a five-speed or six-six manual along with either a five-speed or six-speed automatic. Horsepower ratings on the E85 Z4 roadster ranges from 148 to 261 horsepower. 

2007 3-Series Convertible

Want to have open-top fun and enjoy all-weather comfort? The 2007 3-series hardtop is a great choice as an all-weather convertible. The hardtop ensures that you can handle the winters in the St. Charles area. For the 2007 model year, you have the standard 328i version along with the turbocharged 325i models available. Both models are rear-wheel drive and come with either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. 

Picking the right classic BMW

1980s and Classic BMWs

BMWs from the 1970s and 1980s are some of the most iconic vehicles on the road. While many of these models have actually shot up from their original sticker price, you can still find some bargains. Here are some top BMWs, from the class era, for under $10K.

1975-1983 E21 3-Series

For those who want a compact BMW with a high roofline and excellent old school looks, the E21 3-series is the way to go. Not only that, the E21 is relatively easier to maintain since it has less complex parts. Shockingly, the 320i model is fairly reliable and you can use this as a daily driver when you stay on top of the regular maintenance schedule. Also, this 70s era 3-series is really fun to drive and handles exceptionally well. Overall, the E21 3-Series is an affordable way to get into a classic BMW.

The E30 captured the imagination of European performance
Picture from

1982-1994 E30 3-Series

The E30 is the first BMW that really captured the imagination of European performance fans around the United States. The great thing about the E30 is that you get the classic “BMW look” that you rarely find these days. Also, because there were millions of E30 produced during their 13-year run, you can easily find a quality model in the St. Charles area. There are two distinct versions of the E30: the models produced between 1982 to 1987 and the model produced between 1988 to 1994. There were many variants of the E30 3-Series available for under $10K. Look for the “is” designation if you want a fuel-injected sport version. If you want all-wheel-drive, look for an “x” variant. 

1984 635 CSi

The 635 CSi is the stunning, large-sized coupe that was produced during the 1980s. This vehicle gives you lots of space, a distinct look and excellent performance. The 1984 635 CSi can be found for under 10K if you look for higher mileage models. However, this is money well spent on a big bruiser of a BMW that will stand out and never get old. 

1968-1975 BMW 2002

The iconic BMW 2002 is considered the first modern BMW. This attractive and iconic BMW was available for eight model years with over 339,000 examples produced. While a pristine 2002 models can go for as high as $100K, you can find some older models for under $10K. While these cheaper 2002 models will require some TLC, it will be well worth the effort.

Some Tips When Buying a Used BMW Under $10K

To make sure that you are buying the right BMW for under $10K, you want to make take some important steps before making your final purchasing decision. Here are some tips that can help you get the best BMW for your money:

1. Get a Carfax Report

A Carfax report will tell you the vehicle history of the vehicle. That includes information on the vehicle’s ownership history, accident reports, and vehicle maintenance information. 

2. Have the Vehicle Inspected by a Trained Mechanic 

A trained mechanic has the diagnostic tools and the know-how to determine if the BMW you want to buy is worth the price. The mechanic can spot potential major issues that could save you thousands of dollars in repair headaches. 

3. Know the Kelly Blue Book Value of the Vehicle

To make sure you get the best deal, you should know what the vehicle is worth. Kelly Blue Book can give you a price range on a specific vehicle based on year, condition, and more. This will give you an edge in negotiations and will ensure that you won’t overpay for a vehicle. 

4. Keeping Your Used BMW In Top Shape

While these above under $10K BMW models are relatively affordable to maintain, you want to make sure you have a great mechanic that can keep the performance of the vehicle top notch. In the St. Charles area, Autobahn Automotive Sevice specializes in German luxury vehicles including BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Porsche. We can inspect any BMW before you buy to make sure there are no major issues. After you purchase your BMW, we can provide affordable preventative and repair maintenance to help you get the most out your “new to you” BMW.