Aged at the Bottom of the Barrel: 2003 BMW 525i Touring

The past few years had been tough on folks looking for a sub $1k car. First, the cash-for-clunkers debacle of 2009 took $3B worth of junky cars off the road and essentially chopped the knees off the cheap running car market. A decade later the COVID thing and related panic caused global supply chain issues that meant you couldn’t get a new car and used car values jumped up to the point that the average owner of a junky car on craigslist thought he was the next Wayne Carini. Spoiler alert; you aren’t, and your car is a piece of junk. Anyway, I had all but lost hope sometime late 2021…but recently I’ve witnessed a softening in the market. YES, new cars are still murderously expensive, and 10 year old daily drivers are stupid…but the bottom end of barely running junk has dropped noticeably. Perhaps the fuel prices and inflation pressures have risen to the point where the sellers ACTUALLY need the money and aren’t just hoping for a sucker with an uncashed stimulus check to show up and overpay. This next car is an example of a reasonable price for a cheap car. Find this 2003 BMW 525i Touring offered for $500 in Los Angeles, CA via craigslist. Tip from Hugh.

From the seller:

2003 BMW 525it
condition: fair
cylinders: 6 cylinders
drive: rwd
fuel: gas
odometer: 139000
paint color: red
size: full-size
title status: clean
transmission: automatic


Needs battery and cosmetics, ie: paint and front seat covers. New Radiator before parking it. Year old alternator.
Jump starts fine, runs fine. We are moving don’t have time to finish repairs. Need gone by this weekend or I am donating to Kars 4 Kids. Spare parts included.

See a better way to drive an old BMW? tips@dailyturismo.com