Some say it isn’t possible to put a price on performance. The average BMW maintenance cost is certainly higher than that of other brands, but is it worth it to own the “ultimate driving machine”?
In this article, we’ll look at scheduled maintenance costs along with average costs for common BMW repairs. We’ll also see how routine service and extended warranty coverage can both help reduce your annual BMW maintenance cost.
Our team has reviewed the best extended auto warranty providers on the market and ranked them on things like price and customer service. If you’re thinking about extending coverage for repairs on your BMW, get multiple free quotes from leading providers to find the best deal.
Best Extended Warranty Companies
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Table of contents
How Much Does BMW Maintenance Cost?
Let’s get right to the point: BMWs are expensive to maintain. According to RepairPal, the average annual BMW maintenance cost is $968, which includes routine services and mechanical repairs. This is significantly higher than the industry average of $652 per year. BMW owners tend to visit the repair shop about twice as often as the industry average. They are also slightly more likely to encounter severe repairs than owners of other vehicles.
So, if BMW maintenance costs so much, why do people love the cars? Well, it has a lot to do with performance and comfort. A BMW isn’t just basic transportation that gets you from point A to point B. The German automaker claims it builds the “ultimate driving machine,” after all, not the cheapest daily commuter.
Still, reliability is definitely an important thing to consider. RepairPal gives BMW 2.5 out of 5.0 stars and ranks it 30th out of 32 car brands. Let's see how a few popular BMW models rank for reliability:
RepairPal Reliability Rating
Average Annual BMW
3.0 out of 5.0
2.0 out of 5.0
3.0 out of 5.0
2.5 out of 5.0
BMW Service Schedule and Common Repairs
The maintenance schedule for BMWs model years 2005 and earlier are based on two types of services. Service 1 happens every 10,000 miles and includes an engine oil change plus an inspection. Service 2 happens every 30,000 miles and includes changing the spark plugs, plus a more thorough inspection.
Today, BMW vehicles use a condition-based system monitored by computers. The same basic pattern applies, but the system lets you know when to get service and which part needs attention, which can help you save on your yearly BMW maintenance cost. Here’s an overview of the current BMW maintenance schedule:
BMW Maintenance Cost*
Every 10,000 miles
Change oil and oil filter
$112 to $141
Every 20,000 miles
Change air filter and remote key batteries
$210 to $280
Every 30,000 miles
Replace spark plugs
$471 to $540
Every 50,000 miles
Change rear axle differential fluid and transfer case fluid
$93 to $107
Replace oxygen sensor
$1,474 to $1,585
*Repair costs sourced from RepairPal.
If you’ve looked at other vehicles’ service schedules, you might think a spark plug replacement every 30,000 miles is excessive. With BMW, that’s just the way it is.
The computer system also lets you know when to check the brake pads, brake fluid, engine coolant, transmission, steering, and more. Some models have specialty parts that need attention at different intervals, like the carbon-ceramic brakes on M4, M5, and M8 models. Your BMW maintenance costs will vary depending on what your car’s computer recommends.
Common BMW Repairs
Beyond routine services, mechanical repairs also factor into your annual BMW maintenance cost. Here are a few repairs drivers commonly encounter on popular models and what they cost, according to RepairPal:
BMW Maintenance Cost
Fuel injector replacement
$1,001 to $1,201
$559 to $769
Suspension ball joint replacement
$214 to $261
Air conditioning evaporator replacement
$1,616 to $2,012
How to Reduce BMW Maintenance Costs
You probably already knew that BMWs would be expensive to maintain. But, if you want a BMW, it's a price you’ll have to pay. Fortunately, there are ways you can keep your average BMW maintenance cost on the lower end of the spectrum.
The most important thing is to visit your mechanic when your vehicle needs service. By keeping up on the regular service schedule, you can spot problems early and avoid larger repairs down the road.
All BMWs from 2017 on come with 3 years/36,000 miles of free maintenance, called BMW Ultimate Care. This covers everything outlined in the service schedule, including the first spark-plug change. You also have the option to extend BMW Ultimate Care up to 7 years/125,000 miles for a fee. There are a few plans that cover different levels of maintenance.
BMW Extended Warranty Options
Besides regularly maintaining a BMW, having an extended warranty can also help you stay within budget and make your BMW maintenance cost more predictable. You can get an extended warranty from BMW or from an independent warranty provider.
There are three BMW extended warranty plans to choose from, which can cover your vehicle up to 100,000 miles. The plans require you to visit your dealership for repairs. While that may sound like a good thing, it can actually cost more in the long run if you end up having to pay for non-covered components in conjunction with a covered repair. You also have less freedom to choose your preferred mechanic in this situation.
On the other hand, independent providers let you go to any licensed repair shop for coverage. Third-party plans can cover up to 200,000 or even 250,000 miles, and they typically come with perks like roadside assistance and rental car coverage.
Leading providers cover the repairs we mentioned above, like suspension ball joint and starter replacements, as well. At the end of the day, a third-party extended warranty can be an economical way of covering repairs on your BMW.
Recommendations for Extended Auto Warranties
Not all extended vehicle service contracts are created equal, so it's important to get multiple quotes and compare coverage. We've reviewed all of the top providers in the industry and recommend checking out Endurance and Protect My Car.
Endurance: Best Coverage
After comparing multiple providers, we ranked Endurance as the best overall option for extended warranty coverage. Endurance has been around since 2006 and can cover vehicles up to 200,000 miles. The company is a direct provider, which means there’s no middleman to slow down the claims process.
Drivers have positive experiences with Endurance on the whole and give the company a 4.2 out of 5.0-star rating on Trustpilot with over 2,000 reviews. Endurance’s six warranty options come with an impressive list of benefits like roadside assistance, repair financing loans, identity theft protection, and free tire replacements. Endurance also has a plan that combines routine maintenance and mechanical breakdown coverage.
Learn more about this provider in our Endurance warranty review, and get a free quote from Endurance below.
Endurance is our pick for best coverage with its comprehensive warranty options.
Protect My Car: Best Financing
Another great option for BMW drivers is Protect My Car. This provider offers three standard plans that can cover up to 125,000 miles. Protect My Car has been in business since 2005 and has a 4.64 out of 5-star rating from customers on the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
In addition to standard extended warranties, Protect My Car offers Ambassador Maintenance Plans that combine coverage for repairs and standard maintenance. These plans cover a certain percentage of each repair plus normal maintenance items like oil changes and tire rotations.
Find out more in our Protect My Car review, and click below to get a free, personalized quote from this provider.
Protect My Car is our pick for best long-term financing.
Q & A
Is the BMW maintenance plan worth it?
The BMW Ultimate Care maintenance plan could be worth it if you live near a BMW dealership and want to prepay for service to keep things simple. On the other hand, you can save some money on BMW maintenance costs in the long run by taking your BMW to a reputable European auto shop for maintenance instead.
How much does it cost to do an oil change on a BMW?
According to RepairPal, an oil change on a BMW 3 Series can cost between $183 and $205. In general, you can expect to pay between $100 and $200, depending on the vehicle and where you go for service.
Are BMWs reliable cars?
BMW ranks below most other manufacturers for reliability. In fact, RepairPal puts BMW in 30th place out of 32 brands. BMWs are powerful, fun to drive, and comfortable, but ownership costs are high. You should be prepared to pay about $1,000 per year on average for BMW maintenance costs and repairs.
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.How much is BMW service cost? ›
|Interim Service Plus MOT||from £140.00||from £209.00|
|Full Service||from £199.00||from £266.00|
|Full Service Plus MOT||from £229.00||from £296.00|
BMW 3 Series
Despite being expensive, it is one of the best low-maintenance luxury cars in India.
High Ownership Costs (Con)
You'll also pay more for labor and your synthetic oil change. At the end of the day, BMWs are a the top of the list of most expensive cars to maintain . When you are buying a used BMW you need to consider that these cars have a ton of complicated electronics.
Like most imports, BMWs cost more to maintain and service, as well, their parts and repair methods coming from across an ocean. Although you should expect a certain level of dependability from day one, all cars have parts designed to wear out, so maintenance and repair fees will eventually become inevitable.How often does a BMW need an oil change? ›
Under normal driving conditions, your BMW should only need an oil change about every 10,000 miles. However, if you have unusual driving habits, like taking your vehicle to the track, or lots of city driving, you may need an oil change sooner.Do I need to service my BMW every year? ›
When your BMW needs a service can depend on the mileage it's done, or after a certain time – every 10,000 miles, for example, or once a year. But now, it's even easier than ever to manage your BMW service schedule.
FROM ONLY £129* INC. VAT. Our trained BMW technicians will inspect your vehicle's fluid levels and change the oil of your vehicle, dependent on what is required.Why is BMW maintenance so high? ›
BMWs have high-performance engines that require specialist knowledge and equipment to service properly. Consequently, the labor costs involved with maintaining them are rather high. The cost of ownership and service will differ depending on what model you're driving and the BMW service center you're visiting.
BMWs cost a lot to maintain
According to Your Mechanic, BMWs are easily the most expensive car brand to maintain. It's not even a close contest. BMW is in first place, with an average maintenance cost over 10 years of $17,800.
|Popular Models||X7, X1, XM, X5, i7|
|Most Expensive||BMW XM(Rs. 2.60 Cr)|
|Affordable Model||BMW 2 Series(Rs. 43.50 Lakh)|
|Upcoming Models||BMW iX1, BMW M3, BMW X6, BMW i5, BMW 5 Series 2024|
|Fuel Type||Petrol, Diesel, Electric|
Despite popular belief, not every BMW needs to be serviced at the same mileage milestone. However, BMW does recommend that you get a service every year or if you drive your car a lot, every 10,000 miles.Is 60000 mile service worth it? ›
There are certain items that MUST be inspected or changed in order for your vehicle to continue having a long and healthy lifespan. If you don't take care of your vehicle's 60,000 mile service, don't be surprised if you find yourself with an inoperable vehicle on the side of the road…and that's not a fun experience.Why is 60K service expensive? ›
The 60,000 mile (60K) service is an extremely important service interval. It will include all of the maintenance items of a 30,000 mile (30K) service and a bit more. There are often very vital services that are needed at this interval and the financial impact of ignoring this important service can be extremely high.Do BMW cars last long? ›
Most BMW automobiles are built to last over 200,000 miles or 250,000 miles with the proper maintenance. Some owners have reported keeping their BMW vehicles running over 300,000 miles, though this is the exception.How long should a BMW car last? ›
With the right kind of care, you can expect your vehicle to last for 200,000 to 250,000 miles—or even longer! Maintenance and care are key factors that determine a vehicle's long-term longevity, but as the aforementioned studies show, you can expect every BMW to deliver above-average results.Is BMW a good long term car? ›
BMW received excellent reliability ratings for 2022 and 2023
The 2020 BMW 4 Series and BMW 3 Series both ranked among the top three most dependable compact premium cars, with the 4 Series scoring the top spot.
A complete transmission failure is very expensive to fix because there are multiple components that will have suffered damage. You can often avoid needing a whole new transmission by paying careful attention to warning signs of a problem.