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New year, new car. As we approach the end of 2012 and the start of a brand new year (time flies, doesn’t it?) some will be looking for a new ride to upgrade to. As our otofest car sales carnival held two weekends ago showed, appetite for premium cars remain strong – the two-day event saw a Nissan GT-R, two BMW X6s, an Audi A5 Sportback, Audi S5 and a Toyota Vellfire 3.5, among other cars, find new homes.

We’ve already wrote a piece on grey import car maintenance, touching on international car warranty, adoption packages and insurance warranty, among other things, but for some, buying a grey import is out of the question. Peace of mind is the main priority when it comes to making such a big investment.

If you have the same line of thought, official pre-owned cars are a safer bet. Used car prices with new car security, that’s the promise. A few premium marques offer such certified used car programmes, and we pay the BMW Premium Selection outlet in Glenmarie a visit to find out more.

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BMW Premium Selection (BPS) started in 2008 with this Glenmarie outlet, which is the biggest such outlet in Malaysia and probably ASEAN. Run by Auto Bavaria, it’s located next to the major dealer’s BMW 4S Centre along Persiaran Kerjaya. The standalone showroom is a two-floor, 28,000 square feet building with a cafĂ©, touch-up centres and PDI bays.

“The selection is great. We have 80 cars here and 80 cars more in the system,” said Dean Brigham, managing director of Auto Bavaria.

He is right. We can see everything from a 118i to a 640i Convertible. There’s also a sexy E89 Z4 in the corner, a dark blue sDrive35is example that’s as good as new. A grey 2008 E92 335i Coupe with a double-digit number plate is going for RM238,800. Hmmm…

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Brigham explains that BMW’s approved used car programme takes in cars with documented vehicle history (serviced at official BMW dealers with original parts) and puts them through a 72-point check.

Cars that pass the test (DIY modded cars won’t, but genuine BMW add ons are allowed) will be refurbished both visually and technically at the dealer’s cost before being put on sale. Typically, accepted cars are below five years of age, with less than 100,000 km mileage.

If the car is still under factory warranty, it will be transferred to the new owner along with any BMW Service + Repair Inclusive (BS+RI) still applicable. A minimum of one-year BMW factory warranty is standard with BPS cars, along with one-year free scheduled service and BMW Roadside Assistance. Buyers can choose to extend the warranty, at a fee.

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Peace of mind doesn’t come free, does it? “The benefits far outweigh any price premium, plus some cars can’t be procured outside,” Brigham replied, adding that BPS customers also get to enjoy the same innovative financing deals offered by BMW Credit (step-up financing, baloon payment, etc) to new car buyers.

Another major factor is the “real premium experience” a BPS owner will enjoy, so there’s no need to hang out under the cherry tree should any issue arise. Garnish comes in the form of BMW White Card membership.

BMW Premium Selection is a growing business, and since 2008, they’ve sold over 2,500 vehicles under the BPS banner. This year’s target of 800 units will be exceeded. Moving forward, BMW Group Malaysia is working on a similar certified pre-owned programme for the MINI brand called MINI NEXT. No timeline revealed for that one, just “in the near future”, so stay tuned.

If you’re in the market for a BMW and don’t mind a few miles on the clock plus the slight loss of “new car smell” in exchange for five-figure savings, check out Auto Bavaria’s BMW Premium Selection outlets in Glenmarie and Sungai Besi, KL.