5 Best Vacation Destinations for BMW Owners

BMWs are luxurious and famous in the car world for a good reason. These cars can last long with routine maintenance, love and care. There are quite a few vacation destinations that might suit your fancy if you’re a proud BMW owner. The best vacation destinations for BMW owners — with some reasons why you might be drawn to these locales — are the following five.

1. BMW Welt and Museum

The BMW Welt and museum in Munich, Germany, is a must-see for BMW owners. The Welt shows you ideas for the company’s future, while the museum teaches you about the history behind the brand. They sometimes even showcase prototypes of new vehicles you’ll definitely want to see.

The Welt brings you holds various events and exhibitions and the museum brings you through 100 years of BMW legacy. If you’re a fanatic about your car brand, the BMW Welt and museum is where you need to go. Not to mention, you’ll get to explore the beautiful surrounding city.

2. The Caribbean Islands

Why is the Caribbean a destination of interest for BMW owners? Curacao is a Dutch island in the Caribbean that’s ideal for exploring in a convertible. The island has a ton of beautiful scenery you won’t want to miss.

A MINI or other BMW convertible can offer you a way to sightsee and take in the fresh island air simultaneously. The pale blue water and gorgeous white sand you can only find in the Caribbean does wonders for your soul. You could take a cruise to the islands and rent a car once you arrive, which allows you to try out new makes and models of BMWs different from yours back home.

3. Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Lake Tahoe, Nevada, is an excellent place to unwind and destress. BMW owners can delight in the breathtaking scenery of the lake and the chance to kick back with their loved ones. Lake Tahoe provides over 75 miles of view, drawing in all car enthusiasts.

From beautiful beaches in the summer to ski resorts in the winter, you can’t go wrong with a road trip to Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Ensure you prepare for common road trip mishaps to make the most of your journey. There’s something for everyone near the lake that straddles Nevada and California — you won’t be disappointed.

4. The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are an ideal vacation destination all year round. They’re always warm, so if you’re looking for a day at the beach in the middle of winter, you’ve found your spot. With their unique travel destinations like Key Largo and Key West, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy on this road trip. Duval Street in Key West is a must-see attraction for tourists.

A 7-mile bridge in Key West connects Knight’s Key — which is in the Middle Keys — to Little Duck Key in the lower Florida Keys. This bridge is the ultimate way to sightsee and is one of the world’s longest bridges. You cannot miss the opportunity to drive across this bridge while you’re in the area. Mallory Square’s nightly sunset celebration is a breathtaking sight of the Gulf of Mexico horizon you can watch from the comfort of your BMW.

5. Southern California

On the other side of the coast, the Pacific Coast Highway in southern California offers a beautiful scenic drive with lots of fun activities along the way. Without stops, this drive can take up to twelve hours. You’ll want to drive from north to south for the best views. There’s more rain in the area in January and February and many shops are closed on Tuesdays along this coastal drive.

Ensure you plan your itinerary accordingly to make the most of your road trip. This scenic drive up the coast has many stops — like zoos and beaches — you can stop at for a day or two. Your whole family can enjoy these activities along with a lovely ocean breeze you can almost taste with the top down on a BMW convertible.

Vacation Destinations BMW Owners May Love

When you have the right vehicle for your travel, it can put all of your worries aside. As long as you have your BMW set for the road, you can rest assured your vacation will be a hit. If you go on a cruise for vacation, set up a rental before you arrive at a port of call so a shiny new BMW is waiting for your arrival. You can’t go wrong with a cruise to the Caribbean no matter what you drive, though.

5 Scams All BMW Owners Should Watch For

All car owners want to keep their new vehicle as safe as possible. BMW drivers have invested in luxury vehicles, making them prime targets for scams. Everyone should be familiar with some cons, but a few specifically for BMW owners require an extra level of research. 

1. The Lottery Email Scam

BMW and other car owners have received emails from scammers indicating they have won the BMW lottery. Some are vague, only stating they have won a BMW-related prize, and some explicitly note there is a free car for you with a sizable check of over a million dollars.

Never respond to emails providing any information. A good rule of thumb is to default to the adage that if something is too good to be true, it probably is — this mindset will save countless people from scams. Avoid receiving these emails by reporting them as spam, and update or install malware and antivirus software on your machine to ensure total protection. 

BMW has a list on its site denoting the fraud initiatives affecting customers, most of which have similar setups — targeting email users stating they have won a prize. It doesn’t matter if it’s from the nonexistent lottery or company promotion department — they don’t exist.

2. Spear-Phishing

You may have heard of phishing, but spear-phishing is an advanced form. Phishing is when a cybercriminal attempts to steal information by posing as a reliable source, such as a close friend or colleague, increasing the likelihood of success by earning your trust more quickly.

These spear-phishers will likely not attack BMW owners personally. Most cybercriminals target businesses, such as dealerships or databases, to obtain customer information first. They do this by looking at employee social media accounts and messages from friends to gain a more authentic-appearing identity.

Stay up to date with BMW-related news, as customer databases have been targets of spear-phishers in the past.

3. Fake Car Buyers

There have been several instances recently of fake BMW buyers setting up meetings to purchase vehicles from owners. Then, behind their back, they pour oil into the water coolant system — or vice versa — to damage electronics. 

When the imposter buyers then test drive the vehicle, it causes severe problems under the hood. This is to convince the seller the car is damaged and should give them a drastically reduced offer, some by over 60%.

To ensure you’re getting the most value from your BMW, think through maintenance versus selling and research legitimate buyers or trade-ins at your dealership for a newer model. Google is also a great resource to verify individuals’ names who claim to be representatives from BMW or local used car companies.

4. Physical Mail From a BMW Division

BMW owners have reported receiving mail from either the BMW Automobile Transfer Division or the Vehicle and Entitlement Assignment Division. These mailings aim to inform the owner of an opportunity to hire someone to sell their car on their behalf — a consigner — by tempting them with a high cash value return.

These mailings have required owners to pay a fee, complete a form and mail it to the Netherlands, where BMW does not have any affiliation. Be aware of these letters. Car dealerships sometimes offer to buy used cars, but you should always verify these offers by calling them first. 

5. Car Repair Scams

The best schedule to follow for your BMW’s maintenance is from the operational manual. Use it as a resource when discussing needed upkeep with your mechanic. Many attempt to price-gouge or charge drivers for unnecessary services or mispriced car parts. The options are endless, from inflated quotes to unnecessary services like fluid flushes — especially if the mechanic can sense the driver doesn’t have a lot of vehicle maintenance know-how.

The best course of action for BMW owners is to go to a trusted dealer and use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. This honors your warranty, and recalled parts will be fixed for free. If a price or service sounds unnecessary or suspicious coming from a mechanic, always call for a second opinion from a trusted friend, contact your dealership if you’re somewhere else or walk out the door if you think there’s something wrong.

Be Aware of BMW Scams

Fraudulent activity is getting increasingly more creative. These are not all the scams out there, but knowing a few will help you recognize more in the future. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of an offer, repair or service, exit the situation and consult the dealership.

You should also report the problem to BMW to notify them of suspicious activity that may affect other car owners. This awareness gives drivers a sense of security so they can enjoy their vehicles without worry.

What’s Responsible for That “New Car Smell” in Your BMW?

One of the best parts about buying a new car is the smell that awaits you in the driver’s seat. When you inhale that fresh factory scent, it’s the aroma of a clean slate. There’s nothing quite like it anywhere else, but what causes it?

Read on to learn more about what’s responsible for that new car smell in your BMW. It’s time to uncover the mystery and how it might affect your health.

What Causes New Car Smell?

Various odors always collect in cars after people drive them around for a while. Your vehicle might eventually smell like the fast food you most often buy or the leather conditioner that removes blemishes from your seats to make them look new.

It’s no wonder why people want to keep the new car smell that marked the beginning of their adventure with their BMW. What causes it in the first place?

The odor begins with the creation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When various machines put the car together, chemicals create the essential paints and coating that make your BMW stand out from the crowd. Some start to release microscopic VOCs when the vehicle reaches a dealership lot and even after purchase.

The chemicals in your car’s metal siding, paint and interior features aren’t hazardous enough to warrant a change in the manufacturing process. VOCs are actually so common that you can find them in things like:

  • Furniture upholstery and foam
  • Air fresheners
  • Bug repellants
  • Home printers
  • Household cleaning products

VOCs in cars are noticeable enough to create the new car smell most people love. They’re especially present in models using petroleum-based solvents in vinyl and plastic.

Is It Toxic?

Enjoy that new car smell, but remember to open the windows occasionally. A 2019 study found short-term exposure to a high concentration of VOCs in new vehicles caused health effects like headaches, shortness of breath and throat irritation, plus a higher risk of cancer.

Due to the toxicity of VOCs, China passed air quality guidelines for new vehicles. Ford followed suit by designing a patent to eliminate VOCs to bake interior car materials at a high temperature during production.

Germany’s steps to protect its consumers from VOCs are most notable for BMW owners. The country established VOC regulations for building materials, noting the proven effects of the chemicals on production employees and consumers. Since then, the Germany-based brand began testing its materials and cabins for the chemical compounds to ensure they did not meet concentration levels that resulted in harmful health symptoms or conditions.

Other major brands will likely take similar steps if or when the VOC regulations become mandatory in more countries. Right now, new car owners can enjoy the smell and ventilate their cars to avoid inhaling high concentrations.

What Makes It Disappear?

You can take steps today to protect your health while considering how to personalize your BMW with things like 3D-printed dashboard covers and LED floor lights. Opening the windows after your car sits in the sun releases lingering VOCs so you don’t inhale them.

Extractors are also an option. They deep-clean carpets and upholstery by extracting particles and debris from fibers that would otherwise trap dirt, bacteria and gases. They can remove the solvents causing VOCs within car cabins and dust left behind by airborne VOCs that solidify and fall to the floors or seats.

How to Recreate the New Car Smell

If you’re one of the many people who breathe that new car smell and feel nostalgic, you don’t have to remove it altogether. There are many ways to recreate it without using harmful chemicals.

Air fresheners and cleaning products often have labels promising to restore the crowd-favorite scent. You can also steam your car’s upholstery to release odors from daily life that fill your car with smells like old food, spilled drinks and family pet odors.

A small air purifier can also work in a converter under your car’s dash. Various models use reusable filters or negative ion filtration systems to process pollutants and chemicals from the air. Some people need stronger cleaning solutions to smell the new car odor that brings back memories, so try different tricks to find what works best for you and your BMW.

Protect Your Health by Learning More

Now that you know what’s responsible for that new car smell in your BMW, you can take steps to protect your health while enjoying the aroma. Opening your windows and scheduling routine cleaning will preserve the scent you love without potentially harming your health.

The Ultimate BMW Forum