BMW Maintenance Cost and Coverage Plans (2024)

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BMW Ultimate Care Plan Coverage

BMW Ultimate Care is a free maintenance program only available to the original owner. It covers scheduled maintenance for the first 3 years or 36,000 miles. In other words, you shouldn’t have to worry about BMW maintenance costs until after Ultimate Care has ended. Here’s what’s included:

  • 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

After Ultimate Care is over, you’ll have to budget for maintenance and repairs. 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:

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. Be aware that BMW could deny a warranty claim if you perform maintenance incorrectly, as damage from improper maintenance isn’t covered.

Repair Costs: BMW 3 Series Vs. 5 Series Vs. X5

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 compare a few different BMW models, because not all vehicles have the same costs. Below, you can see that the 5 Series costs more to maintain than the 3 Series, and the X5 maintenance is even more expensive than that. You can also see RepairPal’s reliability rating for each model.

In the luxury realm, BMW is about average for repair and maintenance costs. You just have to be prepared to pay more for these things than you would with a standard consumer brand.

BMW Vs. Other Luxury And Performance Models

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, Mercedes C-Class, Ford Mustang, Dodge Charger, and Lexus IS. Like before, we’ll look at RepairPal data for each model.

In this comparison you can see that BMW, Audi, and Mercedes have the highest repair and maintenance costs. The Ford Mustang is up there as well, with an annual cost of $709. Dodge follows while Nissan and Lexus are the cheapest to maintain and repair. Overall, European luxury brands tend to have higher ownership costs than alternative performance or luxury choices in American and Asian brands.

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.

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.

Our team of researchers launched a survey in December 2023 to better understand drivers’ experiences with extended car warranties from manufacturers. When we polled BMW drivers, an impressive 97 percent of drivers expressed some level of satisfaction with their plans, whether moderately or very satisfied.

One driver with an undisclosed BMW that was new upon purchasing the warranty said, “I am completely satisfied with my coverage, don’t really have any complaints about [it]… Everything is in order. I only had to [file a claim] once in four years, but it was nothing really.”

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. While BMW provides 3 years/36,000 miles of maintenance, its factory warranty lasts for 4 years/36,000 miles. If you go with factory extended coverage, you’ll have to purchase a plan before the 4-year/50,000-mile factory warranty 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 CarShield offer a number of different coverage options, from basic powertrain security to more comprehensive plans. Our team mystery shopped with these providers and more than 40 other independent extended warranty companies. We found average monthly rates to be between $120 and $135 across the industry’s most popular makes and models, including BMWs. 

Our team surveyed 1,000 car warranty customers in 2021 from across the country on their experiences. About 41 percent said an extended warranty is worth it, while another 45 percent said it depends on the situation, and the remainder said it was not worth it. Compare the top BMW extended warranty options below to help lower your out-of-pocket vehicle ownership costs.

Methodology

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.

*Data accurate at time of publication.

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