This publication exists partly as a guide to help the automotive enthusiast do some research. It’s why I only work with brands I use and trust. We won’t break that rule here. I am a member of the BMW CCA (Car Club of America), and there are a lot of benefits to join. But there are also a few drawbacks. I’ll lay both out, using a recent CCA-sponsored car show I attended as an example.
The BMW CCA does a lot of events…
Car shows (MPACT and my own aside), are usually all the same, especially modern BMW ones. The BMW CCA is a little different. They have a rich history to draw from, with some members being a part of the club for over 40 years. So when they host a Cars & Coffee-type event, it’s a much more varied group that usually attend. Where else will you see a 1M, E28, and E36 M3 next to each other?
The country is divided into regions, and you can select which one you’d like to join, so it’s easy to find events near you. Also available are X and M Chapters. Make no mistake, these are big fans of the Roundel, and shows are usually filled with like-minded people.
There are also smaller monthly meetups with guest speakers, greets at local mechanic shops, and other community happenings that generally make owning a BMW much more enjoyable.
…But some aren’t practical.
My chapter in New Jersey is big on track and autocross days. Having done some of these events I can tell you: they get expensive. A typical day in my E92 M3 would require an oil change, brake fluid, and possibly tires and brakes, depending on how hard I thrashed it. That’s aside from the cost of registering itself, along with track day insurance.
If you’re into track time, it’s a great way to get involved with other BMW fans and share experiences. But if you’re just starting out, a visit to the BMW Performance Center might do you better. Speaking of which:
The BMW CCA offers many discounts…
Here’s a tip. If you’re ordering a new (or pre-owned) BMW, it’s important to do your normal deal for the car at a BMW Center. Then, send the required paperwork into CCA headquarters, and they send you a check (the amount varies per model).
This isn’t contingent on any other deals or offers from BMW, aside from employee pricing. If the dealer includes the CCA rebate in your deal, they are likely being dishonest. This perk alone could be worth the yearly membership cost.
Aside from purchasing a new car, they offer discounts on BMW parts, experiences like the PDC, track events, aftermarket accessories, and more. There’s even an ombudsman to help you in disputes with dealers and BMW of North America.
…But it’s only a deal if you need it.
To quote my mother, “When in doubt, do without.” Do you find yourself purchasing items from BMW CCA partners? If not, then the discounts don’t really matter.
And have you seen car prices lately? BMW recently announced that many models will receive an increase in base price for 2023. On an M3, it’s almost a $4,000 increase. But the rebates offered remain the same, and has for many years.
The marketplace can get eyes on your goods…
The BMW CCA marketplace is listed on the website and in the back of each issue of Roundel. It’s a great place to get eyes on the car you might be selling, and to find weird BMW things you might be looking for.
What’s weird? E39 headlights. Z4 factory booklets. Winter wheels for a 2001 328i. Anything you can imagine is there.
…but the world has gotten smaller.
With Cars & Bids, along with other auction sites, it’s become much easier to find other enthusiasts that might be interested in your car. And for parts, there’s always eBay.
What else do you get with a BMW CCA membership?
There’s a monthly magazine called Roundel (the Fall Cruise was on the cover for 2020), and a quarterly publication called Bimmerlife. Both are good places for BMW news and happenings, but not essential reading.
Each year, the CCA will do a raffle for multiple new BMWs. Tickets are usually $25, and you can purchase as many as you like. They do offer desirable prizes, from customized M cars (M8 this year), to multiple lesser offerings like a stock M4 and 330i.
“I’ll never win”, you say? My best friend’s dad did (really), so believe me, it’s possible.
Is BMW CCA membership worth it?
It depends on what you expect from your time with a BMW. If you’re like me and someone who’s been in the BMW “ecosystem” a long time, then it will pay for itself with your next purchase alone. The additional resources are also valuable. And no car enthusiast ever said “Oh no, not another meet”.
Your time with any car is what you make of it. The BMW CCA simply adds another layer to what is already an enjoyable ownership experience.
BMW CCA Meetup gallery
Find out more about the CCA here.
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