Yesterday, I made the final lease payment on my 2006 BMW X5 (4.4L V8). Best car I have ever "owned" in terms of engineering excellence, reliability, service, raw power and handling, and a host of other things. It's not the most expensive car I've owned, either. Add to that: the residual is on the order of $34k, while the value (and all the ads for 2006 models here and there) is around $45k. So, obviously, I'm going to now buy this car.

I've been so happy working with BMW, and even though I have a standing auto financing arrangement with another company I've done business with since 1982 (and who finances my wife's Infinity X-35), I decided to give BMW finance a shot. I called up and got Kristen on the phone who, proceeded to offer me 3.9%. I said let's go and she politely indicated they'd have to run it past underwriting. She just personally called back and the docs are on the way for the same deal she quoted me, to the penny. The one thing she emphasized is that there's no prepayment penalty, explicitly indicating that some people purchase at end-of-lease and flip for a quick profit. No problem. But I think I'm going to run this baby into the ground, and it'll probably take 10 years to do it.

It's working with real pros that makes it so intolerable to work with those who aren't.

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