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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 05-09-2016, 07:32 PM   #1
jcmxcv
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Nervous Buyer: Can I afford this?

Hi there. I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right spot or if there are other posts like mine - but then again I don't really care



I have been working hard and have decided that I want an M3. Why?....its an M3 - duh.



Here's my question: Can I afford it?



I'm a college student but I work full time and make around 2.0-2.5k per month with only $500 (if that - going to food lol) I always work a lot in the summer so money usually isn't a problem there (12k in 3 months)





What do you guys think? Am I in a situation where I can afford repairs/proper maintenance.



Be honest. As much as I want an M3...I'm willing to be a responsible adult and let it go.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:14 PM   #2
m3e46freak
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You can afford it if..

1. You buy a used one for about 16,000
2. Please get a pre purchase inspection done.
3. Save $2500 for a rainy day
4. Remember gas/insurance/mods
5. Dont get in trouble because it will only remove funding for the vehicle/college/life/food

K bye..lol enjoy man!
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:55 PM   #3
DreaM3r
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I'd say no. But who knows what will break. Just some food for though:
I bought 4 tires 900 plus mount and balance,
brakes all around 700+,
my VANOS sheared off the tab, 1900 dollars, mind you no codes or symptoms!!!

replaced fuel pump 350+ dollars.

All DIY except the VANOS

Etc etc. I did this all this spring mind you. So you decide what you can afford. You will 100% be spending money every year to keep her running like she should. Be careful and get a PPI and ask about its history.
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:19 PM   #4
BMWCaptain
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No, you can't afford the insurance!

Last edited by BMWCaptain; 05-09-2016 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:50 AM   #5
choxor
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Gas, tires, insurance, maintenance, crap that breaks. Being able to afford something doesn't mean just having enough money to cover the costs. Personally, at your age, I wouldn't do it. Take that money and save it for when you're done with college. Putting it into a high maintenance depreciating automobile is a complete waste.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:23 AM   #6
M_3_X
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Go for it, you won't regret it. Now it's the best time to get an e46 M3.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:26 AM   #7
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Parking nice cars on college campuses is an easy way to have them get messed with.
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:59 PM   #8
Dan1983
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If you want a M3, buy some tools and learn to do the work yourself. There's plenty of resources available online to help if you need it. Try not to wrap up too much money in it, as you'll never get that money back, it's a depreciating asset.

Be smart, do as I say not as I do...haha.
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:27 AM   #9
smcutter
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I love my M3, but it's not an economical vehicle and even a PPI won't find problems that are bound to pop up. I had TWO PPI's done before I bought it from a dealership, and both independent shops gave it a crystal clear bill of health. Within 2,000 miles the front right brake caliper seized up and the thermostat started throwing a code. The brake caliper cost $180 (DIY) and the thermostat means I'm going to have to do a cooling system overhaul for almost $1,000 (also DIY).

I'm a 31-year-old VP of Finance making $6,000 a month. I paid $17k for mine and I sometimes wonder if I can afford it. Once you're out of college, you're going to be hit with real-world expenses like health insurance, rent, cell phone bill, car insurance, and student loans.

Now for the advice that you probably won't follow: Take the money you would spend on an M3 and put it into a 401(k) or IRA. Oh, how I wish I had followed that advice when I was straight out of college!
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:29 AM   #10
NOVAbimmer
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I, for one, would recommend an E60 M5 for an economical sports car that's also practical for the family on the go.
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:46 PM   #11
jcmxcv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smcutter View Post
I love my M3, but it's not an economical vehicle and even a PPI won't find problems that are bound to pop up. I had TWO PPI's done before I bought it from a dealership, and both independent shops gave it a crystal clear bill of health. Within 2,000 miles the front right brake caliper seized up and the thermostat started throwing a code. The brake caliper cost $180 (DIY) and the thermostat means I'm going to have to do a cooling system overhaul for almost $1,000 (also DIY).

I'm a 31-year-old VP of Finance making $6,000 a month. I paid $17k for mine and I sometimes wonder if I can afford it. Once you're out of college, you're going to be hit with real-world expenses like health insurance, rent, cell phone bill, car insurance, and student loans.

Now for the advice that you probably won't follow: Take the money you would spend on an M3 and put it into a 401(k) or IRA. Oh, how I wish I had followed that advice when I was straight out of college!

Lol thanks so much for the words of wisdom. As much as I want the car. I think I'll invest in myself through school & my business. Already working on that IRA (:
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Old 05-12-2016, 05:36 AM   #12
rich022
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These are not cars for college students on a budget. Period.
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:53 AM   #13
choxor
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Originally Posted by jcmxcv View Post
Lol thanks so much for the words of wisdom. As much as I want the car. I think I'll invest in myself through school & my business. Already working on that IRA (:
Good man. Financial discipline is a good thing to learn when young. You'll soon see that those who impulse buy whatever they want are perpetually broke. Doesn't matter how much money they make. And the debts you incur now can really hurt you enjoying your money after you start your career. On the other hand, money that you save now will make things much, MUCH easier.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:22 AM   #14
Kong Sheng Han
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich022 View Post
These are not cars for college students on a budget. Period.
Orly?
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOVAbimmer View Post
I, for one, would recommend an E60 M5 for an economical sports car that's also practical for the family on the go.
This!

Even better when it's stop and go congested traffic for short trips to school, soccer, groceries. Love mine just for that reason.

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Old 05-13-2016, 10:49 PM   #16
brianphi
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Consider something like an s2000.... miss mine a lot super low maintenance, only really expense was tires.

I make a very comfortable living now but still can't justify putting many miles on my m3, so I drive a prius daily. On the other hand some college students don't drive that much so maybe it would be very affordable for you....
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:40 AM   #17
Destructo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smcutter View Post
I love my M3, but it's not an economical vehicle and even a PPI won't find problems that are bound to pop up. I had TWO PPI's done before I bought it from a dealership, and both independent shops gave it a crystal clear bill of health. Within 2,000 miles the front right brake caliper seized up and the thermostat started throwing a code. The brake caliper cost $180 (DIY) and the thermostat means I'm going to have to do a cooling system overhaul for almost $1,000 (also DIY).

I'm a 31-year-old VP of Finance making $6,000 a month. I paid $17k for mine and I sometimes wonder if I can afford it. Once you're out of college, you're going to be hit with real-world expenses like health insurance, rent, cell phone bill, car insurance, and student loans.

Now for the advice that you probably won't follow: Take the money you would spend on an M3 and put it into a 401(k) or IRA. Oh, how I wish I had followed that advice when I was straight out of college!
This. Lots and lots of this!
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:38 PM   #18
taylor192
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Enjoy life as a student. Spend it on booze and women, you'll have lots of time to buy a nice car after graduation.
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:16 PM   #19
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In re-reading your situation, and more importantly, the basic question you asked, I would offer the following insights.

Yes, you can afford it if your financial situation is exactly as you laid it out.

However, I don't think that's the right question. 'Should I buy an M3 at this point in time?' is the question you should be asking. For a myriad of reasons, that others have pointed out, I would say "Not at this point in your life."

Between insurance, routine maintenance, gas and tires, virtually any E46 is going to be of the age and mileage where unexpected failures are going to occur, and always at the worst time. If you don't have a second car and don't have access to a lift, there will always be items that you can't DIY and the car will be down for more than a couple of days.

Just my.02, but...
Build a nice cash reserve/savings and wait a few years.
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Old 06-05-2016, 02:05 PM   #20
av516
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also college student here- engineering
i make a bit more with my engineering and defense contracts
can you afford it with 2.5k/month?
yes and maybe, how much are you going to put down?
i got mine for 20500, with 5k down and will be paying it off by december (it is financed )
it is not cheap at all, gas, tires, maintenance, insurance is probly going to cost me at least 5k-6k the first year, i daily it more than 15k miles a year
2.5k for insurance
another 2k for gas, at least
my tires are going to be around 1500 for PSS
looking back on my purchase, i should have probably stuck to another ZHP since this car was a replacement for my older ZHP that got hit on the front
another thought would be that, the money im spending on this car would have been better used for a double masters degree (engineering and management)
but, my company will be paying for my college now, so i was able to have less of a worry.

as said by others above, is this the right time to buy an M3?
its really up to your situation
do you need to haul people/family members around?
will you need to use the car for trips to your internship/work?
what if something else happens? gf got pregnant, something bad happened to you?

it seems like a simple decision, i too think of this at first but
at around 16k initial buy + 4k-5k a year maintenance
it is quite a lot, also a lot of fun

good luck and do update us of the final verdict
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