Things to remember:
1) The value Mini "suggest" your car would be worth at the end of the select term is usually pretty lowish as they want to get your car back and sell it on their forecourt with as much profit as possible.
Mini's have high residual value and are desirable so resell is pretty likely.
EG: you say your car is worth 8k? they gave you what a 5.5k-6k balloon when you got it new?
This was found on minicherished in 30 secs not exact same as yours but to give you an example of the profit they would be looking at from your car.
MINI Cooper S Manual 2003 38,999 Black II Leather GRAVITY Black £12,950
So if it is worth more after select term they will give you TRADE value of your car, you probably find its work nearer 10k selling private and more on their forecourt!
2) If you do finance your car elsewhere at the end of the loan if its in good nick and treated well with Full Mini Service History (usually are as TLC is so good) then they will be tearing your arm off
to buy it off you and get you into a new one!! so the trade-in offer hits you less if you paid less in finance.
They do this as they have people buying 2nd hand ones all the time and they look for specific specs that the new customer wants. ((A note to all that like to make their mini "individual" not everyone likes pink cars with landing pads on the roof with blue interiors))
Cars loose money not matter what, but to ensure the best residual value you should research what options are desired by most when looking for a 2nd hand mini and spec them as a must and then tailor your car a little!
EG: Chilli pack = a must
in most cases, Harmon Hifi- is very desirable,. Colours-- yellow, white, bright greens/blues and goldish colours do loose more money than others. (not so much on Mini's as they are "funky/cool" and get away with more diverse colours than other cars.
3) Why pay Mini lots of interest for the finance?
11% or there abouts it 5.5% flat rate so you pay the same interest through the whole term of the loan.
Although banks don't use flat rate % only apr if you were to compare a bank loan would be the equivalent of 2.55% ish.
You would save probably 3k+ in interest you could put back into a new car next time around or a nice holiday!!
Marks and Spencer do the deferred loan - keeping monthly payments low -but costs much less and has an automatic option to allow you to carrying on paying off the loan after the say 48months at the same rate.
Or if you can get a loan for the full cost then an option to look at is unsecured personal bank loan over a greater period ie 6 years.
calculate how much you would pay off in the time you would like ie 48months and how much you would owe after that.
Sell the car to private person or mini the small amount left on loan is payed off and you have money left over for another car - this often works out even cheaper!!
NOTE: check loans for early ending fee's it might be just a small amount but remember to take it into account in your calculations.
4) If you take a Mini select HP agreement then you don't actually own the car until you pay the final amount off
This means legally you cant mod it,
change it in any way, you must clean it and keep it in tiptop condition , I don't know if they do but some car manufactures pose financial penalties for scratches/damage that are "deemed" excessive.
Hope this helps a little...