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Tuesday 3rd October


What should I be paying?

Oof, prices have taken a hike recently. The rear-drive e40 used to start at £51,950, now it’s £56,185. Want the M Sport pack? That’s another £1,500. Want to go the whole hog and M50 your life away? We wouldn’t bother, but if you’re not to be dissuaded by us, how about by the M50’s £69,040 price tag?

Help me spec mine.

Right, it’s an e40, but that comes on 17s as standard. No. The £950 19s look suitably futuristic, and the chassis is sophisticated enough to cope with them. We’re not massively keen on the leather, so save yourself £950 there instead. Then there are various packs, most of which give you stuff you want next to stuff you don’t want. Most of the options are selectable individually if you venture a bit deeper into the configurator.

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What’s it going to cost on lease?

There’s a lot of choice on BMW’s own finance schemes, from PCPs, via Hire Purchase to Contract Hire. The trouble is the same as everywhere else – high APR rates (8.9 per cent as we write this in January 2023). That means monthly PCP payments for an e40 M Sport are going to be around £800 over four years with £8,000 down. It now makes way more sense to make that deposit as big as you can. Make it £16 grand down and the monthlies drop by £200.

Yeah, a 430i is going to be cheaper to buy and more fun to run. But if you can charge at home, the i4 will start to claw cost back. If you’re paying 35 pence per kWh at home, that should take you about 3.5 miles. If the 430i is doing 35mpg, that’ll be around 75 pence of petrol to do the same distance. About twice the price. This week at least. And don’t charge away from home. The EV cost argument soon falls flat on its face. That said, for charging away from home, BMW gives a year's subscriptions to the members' discount prices on the Pulse and Ionity networks. It’s not enough to make a huge difference.

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