Which is cheaper to maintain, BMW or Mercedes?

Which is cheaper to maintain BMW or Mercedes?

If you are in the market for a new car, you should consider more than just the upfront price of the car. Maintenance and repair fees can make a car that seems cheaper, actually be more expensive in the long run. So, let’s say you’re choosing between a BMW or Mercedes. Which one costs less to maintain?

Which is the car brand with cheaper maintenance costs: BMW or Mercedes-Benz

Generally, Mercedes is considered more reliable than BMW. BMWs cost approximately $5000 more in maintenance costs over a span of 10 years when compared to Mercedes. When you add Audi as a key competitor into the equation, results show Audi being somewhere in the middle of the two.

Maintenance costs of German luxury manufacturers

Prominent German car manufacturers, such as BMW, Mercedes, and Audi are made with luxury in mind. The result of which is the end product feeling luxurious and upmarket. Reliability and maintenance costs are not the primary goals compared to sportiness, luxury, or innovation.

These brands are highly complex as far as construction is considered. They offer many different features that are assembled in fairly tight car bodies and not as easy to get to compared to a more affordable brand.

As far as Mercedes and BMW are considered, BMW assembly techniques are more complex, which also increases the costs of maintenance compared to Mercedes.

More affordable brands tend to go a different route. Honda or Toyota, for example, spend most of their money on making cars reliable first and then try to do the best they can in offering a sporty or ”luxurious” experience.

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Engines and spare parts

Mercedes makes a huge variety of different cars. Current Mercedes offerings include vans and commercial automobiles which are built to last a long time. The same goes for the engines, and often Mercedes uses different power plants across the world. This results in an increase in reliable, fairly cheap engines.

BMW on the other hand offers engines made specifically for consumer automobiles. This means BMW engines are more tuned towards luxury and sporty driving, and have less of a priority on reliability and cross-platform compatibility.

The same can be said about spare parts. Mercedes approaches the entire spare part philosophy a bit differently. Mercedes promises to offer any part for any Mercedes model ever made. Also, Mercedes has a strict rule for part reduction for older models as time goes on, which in turn makes it easier to access the parts in question.

Furthermore, Mercedes sells more cars compared to BMW, which inherently means that aftermarket manufacturers of spare parts see Mercedes as a more profitable market compared to BMW. BMW parts are more scarce and harder to find, which in turn boosts the price.

Depreciation and target audience

It is a well-known fact that premium German brands depreciate like crazy. Depreciation is a key component when discussing buying a new car, but people rarely consider the effects of depreciation on car maintenance.

As far as depreciation goes, BMW depreciates a lot faster than Mercedes does. And the effects of which are higher maintenance and servicing costs.

When looking at the target audience for these two brands, it’s worth mentioning that Mercedes appeals to an older crowd compared to BMW. Market considerations such as these can also affect the maintenance and running costs of a specific car.

Older drivers are associated with more dignified driving manners.  They take care of their cars a lot better than younger drivers and are not keen on pushing the cars as much. All of which inherently results in cars being driven by older people being more dependable and better taken care of, thus lowering the maintenance costs.

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FAQ Section

Are German luxury car brands more expensive to maintain compared to British luxury car brands?

Not many other brands are ”luxurious” in the same way German and British brands are. Buying and maintaining these car brands is expensive, but it’s hard to compare maintenance prices when comparing the countries as a whole.

For example, a Jaguar, which is a British statement of luxury, does not boast the best reliability results. The effects of which are average annual repair costs of around $1,100, compared to Mercedes with a more acceptable $900 average. 

As far as SUVs are concerned, the most prominent British offering is definitely the mighty Range Rover. It’s a car with a long-lasting tradition spanning back to 1969, but it’s still not that reliable. A Range Rover requires regular service checks and the recommended intervals are every 5,000-7,000 miles.

On the other hand, a BMW X5’s recommended service interval is around every 10,000 miles. When considering buying used, most German brands offer more reliable and less costly automobiles when it comes to maintenance.

How can I lower the maintenance costs on my BMW or Mercedes?

While all this information may serve as a rough idea of how different the maintenance costs between these two brands are, it is worth mentioning how one can lower these costs as effectively as possible.

First and foremost, you should adopt a more careful driving manner. By doing so, you are able to extend the life of your brake pads, clutch, and tires. Coming to a stop more abruptly puts a higher strain on your brakes compared to a gentler deceleration.

You should also avoid keeping your foot on the clutch pedal while stationary as that can shorten the lifespan of the clutch. As far as BMW drivers are concerned, please resist the temptation of burning rubber.

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It is also useful to gather as much information about the car as you can. It might actually teach you how to do the smaller check-ups such as oil changes by yourself. And things such as these can save you a lot of time and money.

You should also use the best spare parts available. Parts such as these are made to resist wear and tear at an optimum degree and are designed for the vehicle in question.

Are BMW and Mercedes worth buying as they are high maintenance cars?

All cars require maintenance on a fairly regular basis. There are differences between a Toyota and a BMW when it comes to maintenance costs, and those are substantial differences. But, at the same time, the difference in the experience of actually using and owning the cars made by these two brands are even greater.

BMW, Mercedes, and Audi are the three most popular German luxury carmakers, and probably the world’s most popular as well. These three brands by themself sold more than 6 million cars in 2019. And there’s a reason for that.

Not many other brands can offer what these do before stepping into the fairly unattainable brands of Porsche, Bentley, and Rolls Royce. If luxury and comfort are your priorities, you are probably leaning towards the Mercedes brand. If you value sporty characteristics and performance-oriented driving, a BMW would suit you better. If you want a great all arounder than its Audi.

No matter what your wishes and usage scenarios are, one of these brands has a car that will suit your every need. Yes, they do come with ”more of everything”, and that’s including the joyous moments, and the not so many joyous bills associated with German luxury car ownership.

Which is cheaper to maintain BMW or Mercedes?

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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