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MINI Cooper Prices Paid and Buying Experience

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Comments

  • cct1cct1 Posts: 221
    Certain times of the year are more advantageous--this isn't a great time for deals. Car sales are picking up this time of the year, and with gas prices going up, the Mini is going to be high demand--just like it was last summer. Best time is late fall/winter.

    The best I've seen is 500 off MSRP (legitimate); if you can get $750, you're doing well. There have unsubstantiated rumors of people getting a thousand off MSRP.

    If you're not in a hurry, and your set on a 2006, you'll probably see them with the biggest discounts we'll ever see late this fall and into the winter--with the 2007's around the corner, the dealers are going to be aggressive selling the 2006's.
  • bry317bry317 Posts: 3
    How Much out the door for Mini Cooper S? auto with sport and premium package. Edmunds' MSRP is $25,600. But I want to know how much totoal for u guy pay out the door. Thx
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Given that tax, title, and license will vary from nearly 0% to 12% depending on where you live, it's going to be rather difficult for us to say what your "out the door" cost is going to be.

    Most folks are paying right around MSRP+TTL and perhaps a small doc fee on top of that. West coast buyers are still sometimes paying up to $1K more than this, and some eastern buyers appear to be getting small discounts or accessory toss ins. But in general, the current market is MSRP.

    - Mark
  • I live in CA - where all dealerships are charging MSRP 'demand premiums' of upwards of 10%. So, i'm thinking of buying my mini out-of-state. I found a dealer who can give me MSRP. The question is, will i encounter any problems when i drive it back to CA and try to register it? Any hidden fees? The CA DMV lists an ambigious 'use tax', would that apply to me?

    Could a Californian has bought out of state and successfully brought a Mini back to CA let me know how the process went?

    Thanks so much!
    e.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    You will not have the slightest problem buying your car out of state and registering it in CA. All Mini's sold in the US are 50-state emissions compatible so there are no problems there. Just buy the car, drive/ship it home, and then go into your local DMV and get your title and plates.

    The "use" tax is just another name for sales tax for something purchased out of state. When you register the car, you'll have to pay the use tax (plus any license and title fees) just like you bought the car in CA. The use tax rate will be the same as the sales tax rate you'd pay based on where you live.

    I'd try and buy in a state that has no sales tax or that doesn't charge sales tax for an out-of-state buyer. (Talk to the dealer about this.) CA does have arrangements with most states to credit you for sales tax paid out of state, but it's just better if you can buy the car and not have to pay anything and worry if the credit will work out. There may be a small doc fee or temp license fee so you can get a temp plate and this will not be credited by CA. Get a fully itemized list of all the charges the selling dealer is going to charge so you don't get surprised.

    I live in WA state (local dealers were getting $1000 over MSRP + one year wait for a MSC) and bought in TX (MSRP and immediate ordering for a two-month wait). I did pay a small temp tag/doc fee - I think it was $100 - and this got me a paper plate to get home on. The whole thing went very smoothly and the drive home was a blast. Many CA buyers have done what you're talking about, so the road is well-trodden. You won't have any problems.

    - Mark
  • miniredminired Posts: 1
    I live in the Boston area and a dealer here wants to charge me ~$1100 over MSRP for an in-stock Mini convertible. These charges cover LoJack installation and Simoniz-ation, both of which have already been done to the vehicle. Does this sound reasonable or am I being ripped off?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,274
    definitely a rip-off.
    any add-on like simonize, paint protection, or super duper special spit shine is a rip-off.

    LoJack, if you want it, is about $695 full retail from what I've seen on my quick internet search.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • smckeonsmckeon Posts: 2
    :confuse:
    Hi Everyone!

    I have been reading a lot of the posts on here trying to figure out an answer to my question, but have been a bit confused. Therefore:

    Has anyone bought a new 2006 Mini convertible with some options (Cold weather pkg, sport seats, DSC) for anything less than MSRP in the NJ/NY/CT/PA area? And, has anyone had any experience purchasing from Morristown Mini?

    Thanks for your help!
  • krumekrume Posts: 2
    HI E - I JUST PICKED UP MY MINI S FROM THE NIELLO DEALSHIP IN SACRAMENTO. They were great and we paid $995 over list. We only had a 2 month wait from the day we ordered and the sales people treated us respectfully and did not push - they are not commissioned. All other dealers in the Bay area seemed less than friendly and want $2500 over MSRP.

    We contacted several out of state dealers - one in OR sells at list but has a 9 month waiting list. One in MN would sell at list with a 2 month wait but after weighing the hassles of driving or shipping, etc., the Sacramento dealer made sense. We really love the MINI and the whole buying experience was a pleasure.
  • ycnanycnan Posts: 1
    HELP! Can someone explain why the MSRP for a Cooper S according to MINIUSA.com is only $20,900, whereas edmunds.com says the MSRP for a Cooper S is $25,400??? What a difference. Makes a difference to me(!)
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,274
    It doesn't. That's the MSRP for a Cooper S convertible. Both the Mini site and Edmunds say the S coupe base price is $20,900.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • shopgirl6shopgirl6 Posts: 1
    Hi everyone,

    does anyone have any experience buying a mini from the kansas dealership. does MSRP include the tax or do i need to pay it additionally?
  • jessicalejessicale Posts: 2
    Hi,

    I am looking at buying a Mini in NC. I just started looking. I have been in contact via email to Flow Mini. Has anyone had any experience with them. Any suggestions about purchasing/dealing??

    I drove a mini in Germany on the Autobahn and have been in love ever since.
  • jackel142jackel142 Posts: 47
    With 20 years of dealership experience, I can tell you that the cost of LoJack is around $149.00. The "paint sealant" is nothing but a cheap wax, if the dealer applies it at all. Your best bet is to apply a quality wax yourself.
  • dboedboe Posts: 69
    Just curious, maybe that's 'dealer's cost'? :confuse:
    Do you have a source you can reveal?

    I see many competitive systems using GPS you can install yourself, and track it with your own PC or laptop,
    Most of those are around $200.
  • bfromholdbfromhold Posts: 38
    Hi Mark ~

    I also live in Washington State. I just visited the Mini dealer in Tacoma area, and they want $595 over MSRP. Plus they told me it's going to be a 15 month wait now!! :( Also, I was told it'll be a 2007 turbo charged motor in the Mini S (I'm not too keen on turbos).

    Who did you talk to in TX and what city? Did you get any freebie add-ons (floor mats, arm rest, cup holder, etc.)? I didn't think about checking with a dealer in TX. Do they import them directly there from the Gulf? How many miles is that? I might be able to handle a drive home if it's not too much over 1,500 miles or so...

    Can someone lead me to a reasonable Mini Dealer with a reasonable waiting time (hopefully 2 months or less)? I'd like to order a new 2006, but I don't want to wait over a year to get it (not to mention pay extra). I've talked with a dealer on the east coast. They offered MSRP and a two month wait, but that's a 3000 mile drive back to home. Any advice out there?

    Thanks,
    Brenda
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    I bought from Moritz Mini in Arlington. No freebies, just a straight MSRP deal for a MCS. I called them up, gave them my specs, put down $500 or a credit card, and my car was being built a few weeks later. The car comes from the same allocations that ship all over the country.

    If you don't want one of the new models, here's an article discussing the timelines for ordering the old model. It appears that since the new model won't be coming stateside until early 2007, there might be a couple more months to get an order in for the old model.

    http://motoringfile.com/2006/06/13/2006-model-year-ordering-details/

    If I was in the market now, I'd probably wait a few months and see what the scoop is on the new model. The turbo wouldn't bother me (especially if it improves on the abysmal gas mileage of the supercharged engine), but the first-year unreliabilities of a new model from BMW would. I think the best time to get the new model would be a 2008 model in the fall of 2007. If I were to get a new one, that's when I'd be targeting to buy a car.

    - Mark
  • Try Santa Ana Crevier. Their customer service is great and the salespeople are not pushy. Be careful of other mark-ups (i.e. the clear bra, the alarm system, installation prices). Also, feel free to e-mail me and maybe we can look for Minis together and get a great deal. =) I'm in Southern California and I've been researching on Mini too.
  • bfromholdbfromhold Posts: 38
    Iwannamotortoo~

    How long did the Santa Ana Crevier dealer tell you it would take for you to get your Mini? I don't think I could stand to wait until next year to get one. I'm a Mini manic now.. :D

    I was thinking it would be a good idea to get the additional security system. It makes a difference on my auto insurance. I was told by Prestige Mini in NJ that it would cost $445 installed.

    I'm going to check with the Texas Mini dealer to see if they'll throw in any freebies (floor mats, cup holder, arm-rest, and/or an extended warranty).

    Thanks for your reply
  • cct1cct1 Posts: 221
    As for freebies, you should be able to get mats. Forget the cup holder, it's standard, and worthless. The first thing I did was get rid of it as soon as I got home. I doubt you'll get the armrest thrown in for free, but it's worth a try. I'm not so happy with it--if I had to do it over again, I'd get an aftermarket armrest. The OEM armrest is made of plastic, and it feels like it.
  • bfromholdbfromhold Posts: 38
    cct1 ~

    Thanks for the tip about the cup holder and info on the OEM armrest. Where would I get an after market armrest?

    How long did you have to wait for your Mini, and where did you get it (City/State)?

    I just talked with a Mini dealer in TX (one that someone recommended on this forum). They said it'll be about 6 weeks for special order. I can't figure out why it takes so long to get one here in Washington State (15+ months I'm told).

    Anyway, thanks for your reply...
  • cct1cct1 Posts: 221
    I got mine in Milwaukee--took six weeks from when I placed the order. I'd consider checking other dealers--some of them ship anywhere for five hundred dollars. Classic Mini in Ohio, Knauz in Chicago, Mini of Peabody, Mini of Hampton. The reason why it takes so long where you're at is the way Mini's are allocated--there are only so many to go around in the North American market, and you're in a very high demand area. You're probably competing with people from California, since the waits from the dealers there are notorious (as are the mark up). In Texas and the midwest, the demand is less, and the dealers are more flexible with their allocations. The allocation issue is supposed to be changed with the new model; we'll see.

    As for an after market armrest, Mini Fini makes a nice one; there are others as well but I can't remember them all. The one nice thing about the OEM armrest is that it has a storage area, but it's so creaky, I'm afraid it'll break someday. And I don't need the storage; I replaced the bolster underneath the steering wheel with the european parcel shelf (It's much more practical than the bolster in the U.S. cars; I'm not sure why it's not standard, but it's fairly easy to switch out--not only does it give you hidden storage, but it also slightly increases leg room--I'd highly recommend it). I'll probably eventually replace my armrest with the Mini Fini one, but that will be quite a job, and will require a new piece for the center console (If you don't get the factory armrest, you won't need any new pieces for your console--the factory armrest uses a modified piece for the back of the console that won't work so well with the Mini fini).
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,011
    A reporter aims to speak with anyone who has owned a vehicle and found its controls to be complicated. Please respond to jfallon@edmunds.com by Monday, July 17, 2006, and be sure to include your daytime contact info and a few words about your experience.

    Thanks,
    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications
    Edmunds.com

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • Hi - I just found this forum and have been reading it. I have wanted to buy a Mini for years, but haven't been able to afford it. I just found a used Mini at what seems like a good price and I'm wondering what people think. I saw some postings about transmission and other engine problems on the 2002, so don't know if I should rule out the 2002 all together or not. Here are the details on the car I'm looking at:

    2002 Mini Cooper, British racing green with stripes on hood, white top and white mirrors
    5-speed manual
    30,125 miles
    Silver 15'' alloy wheels
    Black Leather Interior
    Chrome Line Exterior
    Heated Front Seats
    Fog Lamps
    "premium package" - i believe this is the a/c control and the controls on the steering wheel
    "on-board computer" - not sure what this refers to except gas mileage info.
    CD-changer in the hatchback plus one-CD player in the dash
    electric windows and door locks
    electric sun roof with sun shade
    in very good condition... some minor scratches that are hardly evident

    Asking $13,995

    This car is being sold by a Mini dealer in the South. This seems like a good price for a Mini. I've never seen one at this price. Kelley Blue Book lists this car slightly higher for private-party sales. Although there is virtually no warranty left (Sept. 06) and the dealer doesn't have a "certified used car program", they are saying that the original owner traded it in for an automatic because his wife didn't drive a stick. Also, they are saying that they have checked the car over and found no problems, would have replaced the tires if there was a certain amount of tread gone, etc.

    My questions:
    1) Is this a good price, or could it be low because there's something wrong with it?
    2) Is buying a 2002 looking for trouble? I have found most consumer reports of this car's reliability and safety to be high.
    3) I currently can't afford lots of high maintenance costs... is it just assumed that the Mini is an expensive car to maintain (I've heard brakes all around go for $700 and oil changes are $120, but only required every 12-15,000 miles)
    4) do I have the right to have this car checked by another mechanic (although I'm not sure who in the area is qualified to check it)
    5) I think this car takes premium gas, which may negate the money I save on gas milege... any thoughts about whether the cooper must have premium gas. (I know the 'S' requires it).
    6) any other advice you can offer!

    I would love to drive a Mini, but I'm not sure it is cost feasible.

    Max
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    This car may be selling at or below the going rate, but it is a poor value in my book.

    First, you're paying about 70% of new price for a four-year old car. This is an extremely high percentage - residuals for four-year old cars are generally less than 50% and can be as low as 30%. Now this may be where the used Mini market is - they're "hot" and the supply still hasn't caught up with demand. But it makes them generally poor used car values.

    Second, I don't think it's a good idea to buy a 2002. They have compiled one of the worst repair records of any recent car, not surprising as the first year of any BMW new model is typically very unreliable. And you've already stated you don't have the stomach for big repair bills.

    I'd suggest either of the following:

    1) Spend another $4K and get a brand new Mini with a full warranty and free maintenance. Given normal maintenance and repair, I venture that the new one would cost you less than the used one over the four-year period. (IOW, if you can't stretch the additional $4K for the new one, you probably shouldn't be buying the used one because it could easily cost you $4K in repairs over four years.) And it's a car with four-years of dramatic improvements. Granted, it doesn't have a leather interior and an on-board computer, but I see much more value in the stripper new car than in a few ticky-tack options on the used car.

    3) Get a Honda Fit Sport for $15K. It's not a Mini, but it's a very fine car, probably more reliable, gets better gas mileage, is very fun to drive, and like the new Mini, it's brand new with a full warranty.

    Again, this used Mini may be fairly priced - I just don't see the value spending this much for the first production year of a problematic car.

    - Mark
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I would definately wait, though, until this fall. When the newer generation/re-working of the Mini comes out, either it will be the one to get, or the older one will. My guess is that the older body style will instantly devalue like a rock, down to where it should be all along - as it has a weaker motor, not as much space inside,(I hear they are tweaking it so the back seat can be used by someone other than a migdet) and likely worse handling than the new one.

    So - either get a new one then and watch it keep its value or get a used one for $10K and laugh at all of the people who ate the depreciation.

    The Fit - it needs a few aftermarket parts to be a Mini S, but it's pretty close to a base Mini.
  • When reading the Edmunds preview of the 07' Mini it doesn't sounds like much is changing except the motor. Please explain why you think the pre 07' models will crash in value.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Well, an adjustment is inevetable when there is a body style or version change.

    The Mini is driven almost entirely on the idea of it being faddish and unique/limited, so the older ones will quickly be less desireable, even if it is mostly the motor and some sheetmetal that's changing with the new one. Everyone will want the new one and that's not so bad, actually. I bet you can get a couple of year used Mini for very little in a few months.
  • cct1cct1 Posts: 221
    The pre '07 won't crash--there'll be a dip, but they won't crash. The above poster states that they'll be less desirable because they are unique/limited--this is exactly why they WON'T take a huge dip in value, as opposed the VW Beetle, which was way overbuilt. The GP will definitely hold it's value well (and I don't particularly like the GP). And, ironically, the overrprice JCW engine kit may now hold it's value better, with the Cooper garage closing. Also, the closer the models look alike, the less the newer one will devalue the older one.

    Everyone may not want the new one--there are a fairly large numnber of people who have ordered the 2006 instead of the 2007 because of several concerns with the new model (myself included). There are some potential issues with the new one, the jury is out on it.
  • Mark - thanks for your comments. They make a lot of sense and have made me stop and think, particularly your mention of the "worst repair records" and the possibility that repair bills might be high.

    I just had a few followup questions I'm wondering if you can answer:
    1) you're saying that I'd be paying almost 70% of the new price for a four-year old car... but if the Kelley Blue Book is showing a similar price, doesn't that mean the car is holding its value? Used Toyotas and Hondas are often expensive, even at 4 years but it is because they are holding their value. Of course their reliability is higher.

    2) If I could get the dealer to come down on the price, what would be reasonable for this car? Perahps the 4k I might expect to pay in repairs? Although it is doubtful they will do it, maybe I should see what their response is to an offer of $10k?

    I've looked at the new Minis online and it seems that even the stripped-down model costs about $17900 + destination charges, putting it at about $19k or more. That's a bit hefty, for me, but you're right to say that I might be paying that in repairs. (Also seems that all of the interesting colors now cost $400-600).

    I did see the Honda Fit. Also saw Toyota's Yaris, equally priced, but might as well buy a Corolla at $15K. One thing the Mini has that these cars don't is leg room and a front seat that goes very far back. At 6'2, that's really important for me. Yesterday I drove the VW Rabbit which was quite responsive and has great legroom, too. The 2-door is $14990, but will probably be close to $16 with deal add-ons. The gas mileage is surprisingly bad for the Rabbit, though, i guess because the engine is a 5-cylinder.

    Thanks again for your help!

    Max
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