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BMW maintenance costs: what you may have to pay (2021)

nicad 10/09/2021 2248

BMW's maintenance costs are much higher than the industry average.

BMW owners should budget between $750 and $1200 per year for routine maintenance.

Extended car warranties can help reduce BMW maintenance and repair costs.

BMW builds high-performance vehicles with luxury at their core. However, drivers should expect a high BMW maintenance cost for annual servicing. If you're considering buying a new or used BMW, it's important to know how much you might pay for repairs and maintenance.

In this article, we'll cover the average annual maintenance costs for BMWs and how to keep yours in top running condition. We'll also discuss what you can do to reduce overall ownership costs, such as purchasing an extended car warranty. We've reviewed the best car extended warranty providers on the market - considering industry reputation, coverage options, and cost - and will recommend a few top providers.

Best Extended Warranty

Check out our top picks for your car:

See the article

Average BMW Maintenance Cost

What determines BMW maintenance costs?

BMW Reliability

Can a car warranty reduce your BMW maintenance costs?

BMW warranty extension

Warranty extension from a third-party supplier

Top Recommendations for car warranty extensions

Stamina: best overall

CARCHEX: the best for used cars

CarShield: the most affordable

Frequently Asked Questions

Average BMW Maintenance Cost

According to RepairPal, BMW owners pay, on average, about $968 per year for maintenance and repairs. Compared to the industry average of $652, BMWs are expensive vehicles to maintain. BMW's maintenance costs are comparable to other German luxury brands like Audi ($987 per year) and Mercedes-Benz ($908 per year).

BMW ownership costs vary by vehicle. BMW's high-performance M range and SUVs cost more to maintain than its standard commuter range. The BMW 3 Series is one of the most affordable models to maintain, which is one of the reasons why it is also one of the most popular.

Here is a comparison of maintenance costs between a few BMW models using data from RepairPal:

BMW model

Average Annual BMW Maintenance Cost

BMW 330i

$748

BMW 528i

$825

BMW X3

$1034

BMW X5

$1166

BMW M5 p>

$1173

You'll be happy to know that some BMWs come with a free maintenance period. Cars of model years 2015 and 2016 receive four years or 50,000 miles of servicing under BMW Ultimate Service. Models from 2017 or later come with three years or 36,000 miles of servicing under BMW Ultimate Care. If you're curious about the difference between the two plans, BMW Ultimate Service covers more maintenance and wear items than BMW Ultimate Care.

Free maintenance plans may initially lower the cost of ownership, but you'll need to be prepared to cover maintenance and repair bills after coverage expires.

What determines BMW maintenance costs?

BMW maintenance costs vary depending on the routine services needed and unscheduled repairs. BMWs require oil changes every 10,000 miles, fuel filter changes every 60,000 miles, and spark plug changes every 90,000 miles. Typically, you'll alternate between affordable and expensive maintenance at each service interval.

Below is a sample maintenance schedule for a BMW 3 Series, according to BMW of Annapolis.

BMW Service Required

Maintenance interval

Every 10,000 miles

Change engine oil and oil filter, check tire pressure and inspect various systems

Every 30,000 miles

Inspect the exhaust system and check for various components, like power steering, fuel connections, and transmission leak

Every 60,000 miles

Replace fuel filter, hydraulic fluids and service fuel injectors

At 90,000 miles

Replace timing belt and hoses, replace spark plugs, rotate or replace brake rotors, and clean fuel components

Drivers should note that maintenance schedules differ by vehicle. For example, models like the M4, M5, and M8 need new spark plugs every 30,000 miles. You can check your owner's manual or the BMW website for additional details about your car. Complementing the annual schedules, BMW vehicles are also equipped with a monitoring system that alerts drivers to required maintenance services.

BMW Reliability

RepairPal ranks BMW 30th out of 32 automotive brands for high and frequent maintenance costs. BMW drivers visit the repair shop twice as often as the industry average. They are also more likely to undergo a serious repair.

According to RepairPal, BMW owners most commonly report the following issues:

Engine oil leak

Regulator failure window

Fan motor resistor failure

Can a car warranty reduce your BMW maintenance costs?

If you find coverage at the right price, an extended car warranty can help reduce BMW's cost of ownership over time, especially as the car ages. An extended warranty pays for mechanical breakdowns after your factory warranty expires, meaning you're only responsible for a deductible and a one-time or monthly payment to pay for the contract. But some extended warranty companies also offer maintenance plans.

Given the expensive specialty components found in luxury vehicles, a single BMW repair can cost thousands of dollars. An extended warranty can cover a variety of repairs and reduce the likelihood that you will pay for a repair.

BMW Extended Warranty

BMW's factory warranty lasts for four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. After this coverage ends, the BMW Extended Warranty can extend for up to seven years or 100,000 miles. The manufacturer offers a few coverage plan options, but extended warranty is only accepted at dealerships. You will also need to purchase the extended warranty before the original warranty expires.

Beyond its warranty options, BMW allows drivers to purchase extended maintenance plans. These can cover maintenance items for up to seven years or 125,000 miles. Like extended warranties, BMW maintenance plans are only valid at dealerships. Due to this limitation, it can be more expensive in the long run than hiring an independent mechanic for service.

Warranty extension from a third-party supplier

If you want more flexibility or more affordable coverage, it's a good idea to consider third-party providers. Major third-party extended warranties are accepted at all authorized repair shops nationwide, meaning you can choose your own mechanic. This not only provides additional installation choice, it also means you can save money if you need to replace an uncovered part in conjunction with a covered repair.

Top-rated providers offer five or six coverage options that can last up to 200,000 or 250,000 miles, depending on the company. And unlike BMW's extended warranty, you can purchase a third-party plan long after the factory warranty expires.

Top Recommendations for Extended Car Warranties

The best way to find a good deal on an extended car warranty is to compare coverage from different providers. Although hundreds of providers are available, there are a few reputable extended car warranty companies that rise to the top. These include Endurance, CARCHEX and CarShield. Get a free quote from each to see how much you'd pay for coverage.

Featured Extended Warranty Companies

We've reviewed the best extended car warranty providers in the industry, and here are our featured picks.

Best overall

Best for used cars

Low cost plans

Endurance

CARCHEX p>

Select Auto Protect

Get a quote

Get a quote

Get a quote

(866) 990-3410 p>

(866) 950-7122

(860) 294-4933

Stamina: best overall

Endurance is a consistent supplier with a strong industry reputation, and we named them the best supplier overall after researching numerous companies. Endurance has been in business for over 10 years and tends to offer more affordable coverage than other companies. The provider offers six coverage options, including EnduranceAdvantage

TM, which combines maintenance services and repairs. Learn more in our Endurance warranty review.

CARCHEX: the best for used cars

If you own an older BMW, it may be best to get an extended warranty quote from CARCHEX. This company offers five plans with durations up to 250,000 miles, making it an ideal choice for seasoned cars. CARCHEX has been in business for over 20 years and is trusted by automotive industry leaders like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com and CARFAX. Check out our full CARCHEX review for more.

CarShield: the most affordable

If you want the most affordable extended warranty plan, CarShield is our top pick. After comparing quotes from multiple vendors, we found that CarShield offered some of the lowest prices overall. CarShield has six plans, which range from powertrain warranty coverage to exclusive bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage. For more, check out our in-depth CarShield review.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the BMW maintenance plan worth it?

The BMW Maintenance Plan generally costs more than maintenance by independent repair shops. If you're logging an average number of miles (15,000 miles per year or less), it might not be worth it. However, if you put a lot of miles on your car, the maintenance plan may offer more value.

What is the cheapest BMW to maintain?

The 3 Series is generally the cheapest BMW to maintain in the automaker's current lineup, and drivers pay around $748 a year to do so. Some vintage models are also cheap to maintain, such as the BMW E28.

What is the average oil change for a BMW?

According to RepairPal, the average oil change on a BMW 328i can cost between $183 and $205. You can consider this range as your base upkeep cost.

What is the maintenance schedule for my BMW?

The maintenance schedule for your BMW is based on having your vehicle serviced every 5,000 miles or once or twice a year. You can check your maintenance schedule through your Conditional Maintenance Monitor (CBS system) under 'vehicle status' and then choosing 'maintenance required'.

How do I determine the cost of maintaining my BMW?

You can use its CBS system and calculate the average cost of these specific BMW maintenance services to determine which services your BMW needs the most. According to data from RepairPal, BMW owners on average pay over $900 or more for repairs and maintenance each year.


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