How to buy used BMW 7 series in good condition

BMW 7 Series in the body E65 has accomplished a revolution in technology and design. Sooner or later, in the life of every fan of this cars, the time comes when dreams become true and you decide to buy used BMW 7 Series. Not everyone has competent friends close by who want to travel half a city in search and inspections of potential car to buy. This article is for those who decided to inspect and choose used BMW 7 themselves and everyone who wants to refresh useful information in it. Here we will try to talk about the most important and basic points that you need to pay attention to in order to choose the good used BMW 7 series. 

Where to begin?

There are 4 points explaining what you need before buying a used BMW 7 series.

  1. You need to know the exact amount of money that you are willing to spend to buy a car.
  2. You need to have about 20% extra of the planned cost of the vehicle. These money will need to be spent on registration, insurance, inspection, other payments and repair.
  3. Time. The amount of time spent searching is proportional to the condition of the BMW found. Do not buy the first car you get! When choosing, you need to have something to compare with!
  4. You need to prepare for the purchase. To do this, you need to read and remember the main advantages and disadvantages of the BMW 7 series that you are going to buy.

The history of the BMW 7 series. Which car year is better?

First generation (E23; 1977–1987)

BMW 733i sedan (US)
BMW 733i sedan (US)

Second generation (E32; 1986–1994)

BMW 740iL sedan
BMW 740iL sedan

Third generation (E38; 1994–2001)

BMW 7 Series
BMW 7 Series E38

Fourth generation (E65/E66/E67/E68; 2001–2008)

BMW 740Li sedan
BMW 740Li sedan

Fifth generation (F01/F02/F03/F04; 2008–2015)

BMW 730d xDrive
BMW 730d xDrive

Sixth generation (G11/G12; 2015–present)

BMW 750i - G12
BMW 750i – G12

Here are list of five top BMW 7 Series cars released in the last decade:

  • 2006 BMW 750Li – $71,800
  • 2008 BMW 760Li – $82,495
  • 2013 BMW 740Li – $81,525
  • 2016 BMW 730d xDrive – $82,295
  • 2017 BMW Alpina B7 – $137,995

How to check used BMW condition?

Of course, the best method to check the technical condition of a used car is to check it by a service technician.

But if you have to choose a car let’s say a dozen options it can be worth a lot. So here are some tips on how to pre-evaluate a car’s condition before sending it to a specialist.


  1. Check the VIN on the panel under the windshield. Check it with the registration documents and see if it is right or not. Inspect the engine number.
  2. Check the geometry of the body. – pick up a matchbox and lean it against the joints of doors and fenders. Doors and fenders should be on the same level. The gaps on all doors should be the same. Open the hood. Look along each side – there should not be any waves and folds or sign of repair. Open the trunk. Raise the mats, remove the lining from the fenders. See if there are dents, waves or welds. Open and close alternately all the doors of the car. If everything is good with the body or it is QUALITATIVELY restored after an accident, then all doors should open and close properly! Otherwise, the geometry is broken.
  3. Check car painting. Look for the different colors of the body from different sides at different angles in different lighting conditions. As a rule, a mismatch in the colors of body parts can only be seen if part of the used car was painted, and not all. One or several doors, a fender, a hood may also differ from the general tone of the car color. Compare the color of the car with the color of metal in the doorways, under the hood and in the trunk. If the whole car shines like new, but by the year it is not supposed to, then it definitely repainted. Most likely, a rusty or restored body is hidden under a paint layer. Look also for dirty tricks if the bottom has recently been covered with anticorrosive materials – they can also hide rust or sign of repair!
  4. Engine – look for oil leaks on the engine. Too clean or an excessively dirty engine should alert you. The owner can hide oil drips that are not visible after washing. Listen to how engine works and make a smart face (you need to have technical skills here). Look at the smoke flies out of the exhaust pipe on a warm engine, while pedaling the gas pedal sharply, raising the tachometer needle to 5-6 thousand revolutions. Blue smoke indicates strong engine wear and high oil consumption. Black smoke means that the machine consume fuel to much. This is usually a faulty lambda probe, a dirty injector, or dead nozzles.
  5. Check Automatic Transmission IT SHOULD BE CHECKED IN ALL MODES! And kick down and 1, 2, 3, D, R! To check it you need to drive on each gear to make sure that it works.
  6. Dashboard gauges work, and the condition of the interior: check the operation of the heater and air conditioner in all modes. Check the rest of the electrical equipment. Does everything work? Push all the buttons and levers!
  7. Tire tread wear. Sometimes they can tell a lot about condition of used car suspension.
  8. Test Drive. Turning off the radio, open the windows and listen to extraneous knocks and sounds. If the selected car is four-wheel drive – be sure to check if this is really so?

That’s all! We hope you find this useful!

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