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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm new to this forum and looking for some help as I'm thinking of buying a used BMW 330e. I'd be really grateful for advice from owners and people who are knowledgeable about hybrids in general.

I've test driven the car and I'm very happy with the way it looks and drives. I use my car for business and it's much more tax-efficient than other cars with this kind of performance because of the low Co2 emissions.

However, I'm very torn because whilst it offers a lot, it's obviously very different from a 'normal' car and a bit of an unknown quantity for me. In particular, I have the following reservations:
  • Depreciation - I'm aware that the new model is coming out next year. This in itself doesn't concern me but I understand that new emissions rules mean BMW will be likely to make big improvements to battery life etc. Is this likely to make the 2016 model worth significantly less when I come to sell it in 2-3 years?

  • Running costs - I have no idea what the servicing costs/intervals are, what the reliability is like, if there are any particular parts that need replacing. I suppose I'd just like to know what additional costs to expect (if any) in comparison to a standard petrol car?

  • Battery decline - I've read some threads where people have said that they're disappointed with the battery life and range. This doesn't bother me too much if the lower range of 15 miles or so is stable, but I would be concerned if the range continues to decrease. Is this likely to happen?

  • Not plugging in - I plan to plug it in as often as possible (probably once every couple of days realistically) but this might not always be possible. If, for example, I didn't plug it in for a couple of weeks, what effect would this have on performance and economy and would the car still drive the same (albeit using more petrol)?
I'd be very grateful for any advice, even if you can only answer one of my questions. Thanks in advance.
 

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EV Convert
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Hello and welcome along.

No doubt a 330 owner will come along with some specific experience but my own view as an owner of BMW's best possible effort in this space (740e) is this.

I'm assuming you mean it when you talk about this being a business purchase (your own company, or a company car) so BIK and company taxation are relevant.
  • Business use: Buy new on contract hire. easily the cheapest. Do a 2 year deal if you're worried about pipeline cars trouncing yours. Used car BIK is charged on the new price, you can't get BCH and PCP/HP is more. Why bother with used. Really,
  • Depreciation: See business
  • Running costs. See business. You don't say what your mileage is, but on BCH you have no costs other than a service or two.
  • Battery decline, Inevitable. With a 2 year old car on BCH this won't be your problem.
  • Not plugging in. Compared to a diesel 320d, range and economy will be poor. If you cannot plug in daily and do say 50% or more of your miles electric, AND economy is important to you then a PHEV is the wrong choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for your speedy response.

I probably do around 6k miles per year. It would be my personal car but I use it quite a lot for business (self employed). I'm looking for a certain level of performance but it's much more tax efficient if my car is under 130g/km of Co2 (although this will no doubt get stricter over the next few years).

I've looked at leasing but it would cost me a lot more than my current system (I buy a high spec/low mileage used car every 2-3 years).
 

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EV Convert
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Why is it more "tax efficient" if it's a private car? The only "tax" in play is the RFL, you can't do anything about VAT and no BIK to consider, no Employers NICs, no FYCAs, and the HMRC AMAP (fuel rate) is 45p regardless.
 

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I also don't get why it's "much more tax efficient if the car is under 130g/km of Co2"?

I have a 330e as a company car, CO2 rated <50g/km so taxable benefit at 13% of list price this year, which is half of what would have applied if I had gone for a diesel Audi A4 or a 520d.

I've always said that the 330e and similar PHEVs were company car tax dodges as depreciation/warranty/battery decline would be major worries for me as a private owner.

I charge mine every night. I have a commute of 15 miles. Doing these 15 miles in pure battery mode is just about achievable in the summer. This was this morning's commute nearly on all battery, along with my lifelong overall average MPG:
AvgMPG.jpg


If you don't charge at you'll be getting low 30's MPG wise I would think.

Shout if you have further questions.
 

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Mine gets 20-24 miles in the summer and 15-18 in the winter. My commute is 23 each way, charge at both ends. So Summer commuting I get about 600-800 "mpg" and in the winter, way less and very variable, but still about 70-120. Long journeys, flat battery, 25-40. Fully charged start, maybe 45.
 

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Running costs - I have no idea what the servicing costs/intervals are, what the reliability is like, if there are any particular parts that need replacing.
How long do you plan to keep the car? BMWs can be very expensive to repair out of warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your replies.

I would probably be planning to keep the car for another three years or so.

The 130g/km of Co2 relates to capital allowances. I think it's only relevant to the self employed who have the choice of claiming an amount per mile or a percentage of the 'actual costs' of owning/maintaining the vehicle.

I don't like diesels and I'm struggling to find a petrol car in this class which combines decent performance with under 130g/km Co2 (even the 320i is 134g/km). The only petrol car I can find which offers this and is under the threshold is the Mercedes C200.

I do like the idea of a plug-in hybrid (especially one as nice as the 330e) but I'm concerned about the depreciation with the new model coming out next year (probably with significantly improved range) and also about repair and servicing costs, as I can imagine these could end up being much higher than a standard petrol car.
 

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You can get pre-purchased maintence from BMW. Extended warranty too if needed. I think the BMW extended warranty is only available if the car is at a BMW dealer and is in an approved used category.

Get quotes.
 

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Hi. I have had a 330e for 3 months and comment on a couple of your questions:

Don't be fooled by the E range/ charge levels: even in summer I only got a max charge of ca. 20miles (have never seen published 25miles) and now is down at 16miles max at ca. 8C air temperature That would be fine if those were achievable driving miles but they are not. Realistically probably half of the displayed range on car - a CON: yes. I can loose 3 miles range within 0.5 miles of leaving house.

Saying that by charging at home when I can does mean I can drive around town on pure electric with my smug green hat on!!

On the road:
My car will stay on pure electric until I hit 50mph at which point engine kicks in. The car then runs petrol/electric but I find that the battery depletes pretty fast and the system has never managed to fully recharge battery on braking etc BUT, on those longer trips which are mostly business and I get good £/mile expenses this is what I do is:

Leave car in default: AutoDrive mode:
At start and up to > 50mph I let car do its thing
then some 20miles from destination I flip car to SAVE mode. Then the car really does charge battery back up to full charge level.
I can then arrive at my destination and drive around in pure electric in town
I do same on return such that I arrive back at home with a pretty good charge
All knowing my fuel costs on that business trip have more than covered my actual fuel cost.

Odd - yes, but it is using car to keep towns clean. which was a factor in choice (But main was to move from diesel to hybrid to save tax). If it were not a company car I would not buy the 330E, but go for a much better hybrid but that means a more mainstream manufacturer - I wanted the fun of BMW so put up the creative BMW marketing!!

It is so frustrating. but as you will gather the main reason I got the 330E was to slash by BIK and BMW have done a great job in working round UK government chaotic company car tax system. I can see UK rules changing as it is so obvious BMW have created a tax dodge car here.

However - it is a great car to drive!!
 

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Motorpoint and I’m sure other sites have 2 year old 330e’s for around £16500 which seems good value to me, the equivalent Merc is about £5000 more but has a better standard spec. I’d rather have a BEV that could do 200 miles (and if my iPace is actually delivered I’ll have one) but I think a used 330e as a private sale for business use (ie not a company car) seems a good buy and would be my back up (if the leaf 60 is as disappointing as predicted).
 

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Thanks for the explanation on capital allowances on business cars which is dependent on CO2 emissions and the date it was bought. The 330e is indeed a good fit for your particular needs; a very decent used purchase with the 3 year Unlimited Mileage Warranty, along with the high voltage battery warranty for up to six years from the date of first registration, or up to 60,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

It might be worthwhile checking if any of your target cars are covered by a service pack by entering the registration and mileage here: BMW Service Packages | Oil change and maintenance packs

My leased car has it:
Your service options.
Congratulations your BMW has Service Inclusive!
Your BMW is covered by BMW Service Inclusive which lasts for 4 years or 48,000 miles (whichever occurs first) and covers the cost of your vehicle’s comprehensive servicing requirements. Because your pride and joy is ours too.

Saying that I do a about 12,000 miles a year and according to the app, my next service visit is due in 5,000 miles or August 2019 for Engine Oil according to Connect-Drive. Other more distant schedules: both Brake Fluid, Vehicle inspection (& MOT) 08/2020, so not sure how much of a saving it would amount to.

My other advice is to seek out a car with folding rear seats as it makes it more practical. I've managed to move my kids in and out of uni in it. This is after having a 7 seater as my previous company car.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Again, thanks for your replies - it's really useful to hear from 330e owners and people who know a lot more about hybrids than I do.

I've looked further into the Co2 thresholds and was amazed to find that the government website doesn't mention the upcoming limits (only the current ones). I believe the threshold is being reduced to 110g/km so this rules out a number of cars which were tax-efficient compromises (like the Mercedes C200 petrol).

The 330e now looks like a stronger contender, particularly as I already like the car (especially with the M Sport package, which I would get) and on paper it very much ticks the box for emissions.

My main reservations are still about residual values with the new model coming out next year (with much better range), battery decline (does the 6 year guarantee cover decline or only complete failure?) and repair costs should anything go wrong on such a complex car (which is unlikely on a 3 year old BMW, but certainly possible).

If anyone can elaborate on their thoughts regarding any of these particular issues, that would be great.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Also, a question specifically for 330e owners, does the car always have full performance, regardless of battery charge (albeit with poorer fuel economy)?
 

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Have you considered the VW Passat GTE? It has a larger battery than 330e so does more EV miles. Not being replaced soon AFAIK so less impact on residuals.

Whatever PHEV you get, hopefully you can install a charging point at home and enjoy EV driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Have you considered the VW Passat GTE? It has a larger battery than 330e so does more EV miles. Not being replaced soon AFAIK so less impact on residuals.

Whatever PHEV you get, hopefully you can install a charging point at home and enjoy EV driving.
Thanks for the suggestion but I'm not as keen on the Passat GTE. I looked at the Golf GTE initially but ended up deciding I preferred the 330e.

I'll definitely look into getting a charging point installed at home. The problem is that we mostly park on the street so I can't always guarantee I'll get the same space.

I'm also not sure how people get around the problem of wires trailing across the pavement?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Does anyone have any thoughts on the standard 330e brakes please?

On the 330e M Sport I test drove with standard brakes (not the blue M Sport + ones), they felt a bit unresponsive for a car with 250bhp.

I'm wondering if that's normal because of the regenerative braking or if the pads/discs might need changing?
 

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You can't expect others to justify / ratify the spec of the car for you. Buy it, or not. It's fine. But... So are all other BMWs. Or Merc, or Audi, or Jag, or whatever...

By the way as you can't reliably charge at home, it's pretty much useless as an EV. Get a 330 diesel 3 years old for peanuts and smile.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You can't expect others to justify / ratify the spec of the car for you. Buy it, or not. It's fine. But... So are all other BMWs. Or Merc, or Audi, or Jag, or whatever...

By the way as you can't reliably charge at home, it's pretty much useless as an EV. Get a 330 diesel 3 years old for peanuts and smile.
To be fair, I don't think that's what I've asked at all. I'm not very familiar with hybrids and I've struggled to find answers to these questions online, so surely asking the opinion of owners on an EV forum is the logical thing to do?

In terms of charging, I would be able to charge at work more reliably and as I said I'm not overly keen on diesels as they don't suit the type of driving I mostly do (also few are under 110g/km unfortunately).
 
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