I own a 1999 528i with 90K miles. Car is in good shape, but obviously well beyond the warranty period. I own the car outright (i.e. no debt to speak of).
I have owned other cars in the past that have become EXTREMELY expensive to maintain after the warranty expires, and I'm hoping to avoid a lot of unexpected costs to maintain my 528i going forward. And given that the car is now 8 years old, I know it's just a matter of time before major repair items spring up, and potentially have a real impact on the resale value of the car.
Case in point - I took the 528 in today for routine oil change and service and walked out $1100 lighter in the wallet just to repair some belts and another minor part. Not a killer bill, but this is on top of another $2100 that I've spent in the last 12 months on scheduled and unscheduled maintenance items.
I am therefore trying to decide whether to sell the 528 and lease a brand new 535i, or whether to keep the 528 and enjoy having no monthly payments, while hoping not to incur any major repair expenses. On the lease side, I'll pay about $585 per month, but will have nearly everything covered under warranty for the entire life of the lease. On the ownership front, I'll have no monthly payments but can get hit with a major repair item at any time. And when a major repair item hits, it pretty much needs to get paid or else it has a major negative impact on the value of the car.
Anyone have any thoughts? At roughly $600/mo. in lease payments, I'm out a guaranteed $7200 per year, while the repair expenses during my last year have only totaled $3300. But you never know what lies around the bend where maintenance and repairs are concerned - I had a Land Rover that had only 52K miles on it (2000 miles out of warranty), and got crushed with a $7000 repair bill that basically forced me to sell the damn thing. Now I realize that a 528 is no Land Rover, but I'll flip if I ever get hit with another bill like that.