Let’s rip off the Band-Aid. On average, BMW owners can expect to pay between $150 to $400 per service every 10,000 miles. A major service can cost $1,000 to $3,000 or more. At the end of the day, owners pay about $1,000 to $1,700 per year for maintenance and repairs – this is higher than most brands.
If you’re nervous about ownership costs down the line, you can always get an extended warranty – either from BMW or through a third-party service contract. A car warranty won’t pay for standard BMW maintenance costs, but it will cover expensive parts more likely to fail over time.
There are many options to choose from for extended coverage, so we’ve sifted through the market and picked out a few of the best third-party extended car warranty providers. These are companies that performed well in areas like cost, reputation, and customer service.
Compare the top BMW extended warranty options to help lower your out-of-pocket vehicle ownership costs.
BMW Ultimate Care Plan Coverage
BMW Ultimate Care is a free maintenance program only available to the original owner. Model years 2015-2016 came with 4 years or 50,000 miles of the BMW maintenance plan, while models from the year 2017 and later come with 3 years or 36,000 miles. Ultimate Care covers the following items:
- Engine filter
- Engine oil
- Cabin microfilter
- Brake fluid
- Spark plugs
- Engine air filter
- Vehicle check
- Remote control and key battery
- Fuel filter (diesel only)
This plan will pretty much cover everything you need up to your third service in one package. BMW’s maintenance schedule is based on 10,000-mile intervals, and sensors let drivers know what needs to get fixed at each point. So, if you drive your 3 Series hard and use the turbo any chance you get, you’ll have more items to repair when you go into the repair shop.
Standard BMW Maintenance And Repair Costs
According to RepairPal, BMW owners pay an average of $968 per year on repairs and routine maintenance. What do people spend that money on? Here are a few common services for a BMW 328i:
|Oil change||$149 to $174|
|Engine filter||$88 to $116|
|Spark plugs||$144 to $295|
|Wheel hub assembly replacement||$235 to $595|
|Windshield wiper motor replacement||$612 to $679|
|Turbocharger assembly replacement||$2,328 to $2,481|
Keep in mind, if you go into your dealer for an oil change, they will probably perform a full engine check, which can add to the cost. One way to save money is to do some maintenance work yourself. If you go this route, you need to be confident in your wrench skills. Make sure to consult a professional if you have any doubts, and err on the side of caution. You definitely shouldn’t do work yourself if your car is under a factory or CPO warranty.
Repair Costs: BMW 3 Series Vs 5 Series Vs M4
As we mentioned above, BMW is known for its high maintenance and repair costs. Let’s remember that those two things are different. Maintenance involves engine oil and oil filter changes, tire rotations, brake pads, and replacing other parts that wear out regularly. On the other hand, when parts break unexpectedly or fail during regular use, that’s when you make repairs.
Now let’s take a closer look at some different BMW models using Edmunds.com’s True Cost to Own data. Exact costs may vary by zip code.
For this comparison, we’re going to look at the 3 Series, 5 Series, and M4. We’re looking at 2019 BMW vehicles first – specifically the maintenance and repair costs you would pay over the next five years if you bought a 2019 model today. We’ll compare the 2019 BMW 330i, 2019 BMW 530i, and 2019 BMW M4.
|Cost||BMW330i||BMW 530i||BMW M4|
|2019 Vehicle Price||$44,699||$55,897||$79,577|
|2019 Vehicle Maintenance For Next 5 Years||$7,948||$7,394||$7,904|
|2019 Vehicle Repairs For Next 5 Years||$2,609||$2,609||$2,609|
BMWs are built well, and you shouldn’t expect many repairs in the first few years. BMW’s factory warranty extends for 4 years or 50,000 miles and it’s pretty comprehensive. However, right after it ends, drivers start paying about $1,000 to $1,700 per year on repairs.
In this next table, we’ll compare the 2015 BMW 328i, 2015 BMW 528i, and 2015 BMW M4:
|Cost||BMW 328i||BMW 528i||BMW M4|
|2015 Vehicle Price||$15,924||$19,987||$34,664|
|2015 Vehicle Maintenance For Next 5 Years||$10,700||$11,926||$15,961|
|2015 Vehicle Repairs For Next 5 Years||$8,842||$8,842||$8,842|
As you’d expect, costs have grown compared to 2019 models. You can see that maintenance costs also grow as you move up model types. M4 owners pay more than 3 Series owners, in other words.
BMW 3-Series Vs Audi A4 Vs Nissan 370Z Vs Lexus IS
The 3 Series is one of the most popular BMW models. We decided to compare its maintenance and repair costs to models from a few other car brands: the Audi A4, Nissan 370Z, and Lexus IS. Like before, we’ll look at five-year costs for owning 2019 and 2015 models.
First, we’ll compare the 2019 BMW 330i, 2019 Audi A4, 2019 Nissan 370Z, and 2019 Lexus IS 300:
|Cost||BMW 330i||Audi A4||Nissan 370Z||Lexus IS 300|
|2019 Vehicle Price||$44,699||$44,752||$29,319||$36,616|
|2019 Vehicle Maintenance For Next 5 Years||$7,948||$7,344||$4,952||$7,973|
|2019 Vehicle Repairs For Next 5 Years||$2,609||$2,149||$677||$1,140|
For 2019 models, there’s not much difference between the BMW 330i and the Audi A4. The Lexus IS 300 is right up there for maintenance costs, but repairs are much cheaper. But the Nissan 370Z wins the battle with the cheapest maintenance and repairs.
Now, let’s look at the 2015 BMW 328i, 2015 Audi A4, 2015 Nissan 370Z, and 2015 Lexus IS 250:
|Cost||BMW 328i||Audi A4||Nissan 370Z||Lexus IS 250|
|2015 Vehicle Price||$15,924||$18,342||$20,529||$21,373|
|2015 Vehicle Maintenance For Next 5 Years||$10,700||$8,118||$7,244||$10,044|
|2015 Vehicle Repairs For Next 5 Years||$8,842||$7,291||$2,514||$3,208|
You’ll notice that ownership costs for BMW are the highest out of these models. In fact, YourMechanic found that BMW owners spend $17,800 over 10 years to maintain and repair their vehicles. That’s more than any other brand surveyed, including Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, and Audi. However, Porsche wasn’t included in the survey, and that brand actually gets a worse score from RepairPal for reliability: BMW scores 2.5 out of 5, while Porsche scores 2.0 out of 5.
You’ll also see that the Nissan and Lexus models are considerably cheaper to repair over time. While the 370Z is certainly a luxury sports car, Nissan isn’t a luxury brand. Plus, repairs are cheaper because it’s a Japanese car.
Lexus is a similar story. Lexus is the luxury division of Toyota, and many Lexus and Toyota vehicles share the same parts and engines. The Lexus IS 300 and 250 have their own engines that require premium fuel, but the LX, ES, and GX have the same engines as other Toyota models. Toyota is one of the most reliable brands, and Lexus vehicles share that benefit.
Comparing BMW’s maintenance costs to that of other brands is useful. On the other hand, we’re sure many owners would agree that there’s something electrifying about driving a high-performance BMW. It’s in a class all its own. Maybe you’ve sat in the driver’s seat and have decided that BMW 328i maintenance costs are worth it. Just don’t borrow against your house to pay for them.
Lastly, here’s how all these brands rank according to annual maintenance cost (via RepairPal):
- Nissan: $500
- Lexus: $551
- BMW: $968
- Audi: $987
How Can An Extended Warranty Help With These Costs?
There’s no question that you’ll pay a lot for oil changes and other standard maintenance items for a BMW. However, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for repairs when they come up.
BMW’s extended warranty options can cover up to 7 years/100,000 miles, but they are a bit expensive (the dealer does all repairs, of course). Plus, many BMW drivers take good care of their cars. You might find a car that’s in great condition with only a few miles but is past the warranty period. Once the factory warranty ends, you can’t add an extended warranty from BMW.
Besides dealer extended warranties, you can also get extended protection from third-party providers through vehicle service contracts. Many come with perks like roadside assistance and trip interruption benefits, as well. One main advantage is that third-party vehicle service contracts can extend to 200,000 miles and beyond.
Best Third-Party Warranty Providers For BMW Repairs
Those extra miles of coverage can be a lifesaver and can let you enjoy your BMW for a long time. If you go with factory extended coverage, you’ll have to purchase a plan before the 4-year/50,000-mile limit is up. But third-party providers allow you to add coverage at almost any point in time.
Even though you aren’t required to go to the dealer when you have a third-party plan, many companies will let you, if that’s what you want to do. That means you can still get BMW-certified technicians to work on your car.
Companies like Endurance, CARCHEX, and Protect My Car offer a number of different coverage options, from basic powertrain security to more comprehensive plans. The best thing about third-party providers is that you can get free quotes online without having to go in and talk with a dealership.
Our team surveyed 1,000 car warranty customers on their experiences. About 41 percent said an extended warranty is worth it, while another 45 percent said it depends on the situation. Compare the top BMW extended warranty options below to help lower your out-of-pocket vehicle ownership costs.
FAQ: BMW Maintenance Costs
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of extended auto warranty companies to formulate rankings of the best providers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Warranty providers with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of extended warranty plans available, coverage terms, and added benefits like roadside assistance.
- Cost: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of plans and vehicles. Companies with lower prices per year of coverage receive the best scores.
- Transparency: This score takes into account contract transparency and the availability of a money-back guarantee.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and perform our own shopper analysis to get a sense of the responsiveness and helpfulness of each warranty company.