What is the cost of ownership for BMW and Mercedes Benz?

In this article, we’ll find out the answers to the following questions: what is the cost of ownership for a Mercedes Benz and BMW car?  Is Mercedes Benz more reliable than BMW? and lastly how to reduce the cost of ownership? 

What is the cost of ownership for BMW and Mercedes Benz?

The cost of ownership for a BMW and Mercedes Benz cars can be between 1000 to 2000 USD. The cost of ownership for a vehicle is the estimated value required for maintenance and operation of a vehicle for a duration of 5 years.  

Although the price of the vehicle is a one-time payment for most of the customers, some do select finance options provided by the dealership or third-party organisations. Regardless of the fact that if you are the owner and the vehicle is still paying off the loan, the following are the expenses for owning a premium car from Mercedes Benz and BMW.

  • Periodic maintenance

The periodic maintenance for a vehicle is specified by its manufacturer, in the case of Mercedes Benz and BMW, the maintenance schedule is once every year or after completing 10,000 miles; whichever comes early. During periodic maintenance, the engine oil and oil filters are replaced. If the maintenance is carried out by an authorised dealership then a complete vehicle inspection is also performed. Based on the inspection report. The dealership may generate a vehicle health card and provide an additional estimate for additional jobs.

If the vehicle is not used properly by the customer then the number of additional jobs and its estimate can increase. For example, if the customer is performing frequent heavy braking operations then components like brake pads may need replacement.

  • Fuel consumption

The cost of fuel plays a huge role in estimating the cost of ownership of the vehicle. Petrol prices are increasing globally so naturally, a petrol engine powered vehicle will cost more to run than a diesel-powered car. 

Mercedes Benz makes the most advanced diesel engines, OM656 and OM654 are the latest families of diesel engines. It is powering all the Mercedes Benz models that are available with diesel engines. BMW also has good diesel engines but the models with diesel engines are not popular as refinement levels are very poor compared to the petrol engines.

  • Wear and tear parts

Wear and tear parts include parts that are under a constant state of friction which creates wear and tear. Some of the wear and tear parts on the vehicles are tyres, brake pads, brake discs, suspension joints and filters. Mercedes Benz and BMW recommended the tires be replaced after 3 years or if the tread depth has reached near the thread limit indicator. 

Brake pads and brake discs usually last for 20,000 miles. Mercedes Benz rear axle brake pads are known to last only for 12,000 to 15,000 miles as the models have rear-wheel drive. Suspension parts like control arms, ball joints and shock absorbers are covered under warranty but if there is any accidental damage, then the warranty claim can be rejected.

  • Insurance

Mercedes Benz and BMW are very expensive cars. Hence, it is imperative to have vehicle insurance preferably with an engine cover. Engine protection is not included in a standard vehicle insurance plan; customers must pay more for additional engine coverage. The engine coverage can cover the cost of the engine if the vehicle gets flooded and there is hydrostatic damage to the moving parts of the engine.

The estimated insurance cost for Mercedes Benz and BMW is more compared to the average car. The cost also varies according to the market and the age of the driver. For a Mercedes Benz C Class, annual insurance can cost between 1500 USD to 2000 USD based on the model and year. 

The cost of insurance for BMW is also similar although it can be higher if the driver is below 20 years old. The Mercedes AMG and BMW M powers cars are high-performance versions of standard cars but because the repairs and parts cost are expensive, insurance cost is also high.

  • Depreciation

Depreciation is a reduction in the value of a car over time. Cars lose their value as the age and mileage increase, also carmakers introduce new car models which further increases the pace of depreciation for the older models. Mercedes Benz cars depreciate very faster compared to BMW as Mercedes Benz introduces a facelift model within 4 years.

Monthly instalments

Buying a luxury car from BMW or Mercedes Benz is a huge expense and therefore both the companies offer various finance options so that more customers can buy or upgrade their existing models. Finance schemes usually include taking out a loan and then paying monthly instalments along with a predefined rate of interest.

The monthly instalments can be up to 5 years in duration or until the vehicle is completely paid off by the customer. Mercedes Benz and BMW offer flexible monthly instalments but they still add up to the overall cost of ownership of the car.

Unexpected repairs

include vehicle breakdowns, accidental damage or electrical malfunction in the onboard electrical system of the car. The vehicle is covered under a standard warranty and any breakdowns that occurred due to manufacturing faults are not charged to the customer. However, if the standard warranty is over then unexpected repairs like engine oil leaks or suspension noise can cost up to 2000 USD for Mercedes Benz and BMW.

The following table summarises the overall cost of ownership for Mercedes Benz and BMW cars annually. The prices are representative and they vary according to the market and model.

CompanyMercedes BenzBMW
service1000 – 1200 USD1000- 1700 USD
insurance2000 – 4000 USD2500 – 4500 USD
deprecation87 %  after 1 year91 % after 1 year

How to reduce the cost of ownership for Mercedes Benz and BMW cars? 

The cost of ownership can be reduced by following the ways

  • Leasing

Leasing a Mercedes Benz or BMW car is one of the popular methods to reduce the ownership cost. Customers can make a contract with a dealership and lease a vehicle, only monthly instalments must be paid to the dealerships and it is significantly lower than the monthly instalment if the customer decides to buy it.

The duration of the contract depends on the available model and the dealership but it gives customers the freedom to either return the car to the dealership at the end of the contract or lease a newer model.

There are tax savings when customers pay the monthly instalments for leasing as sales tax is not levied upon the leased cars.

  • Maintenance

Mercedes Benz and BMW cars need periodic maintenance once a year. However, customers can keep the vehicle in good condition and reduce any additional jobs that can be needed if the vehicle is used in poor operating conditions. 

Manufacturers specify the break-in period for a new car which should be followed and it is also a good practice to wait a few minutes after cold starting the car.

  • Driving style

The driving style of the customer has great influence over the wear and tear of the suspension and brake components. Parts like brake pads, brake disc, wiper blades and suspension support bearings are not covered under warranty. They are considered consumables. Therefore the diving style should be smooth so that the parts don’t reach the wear limit too quickly.

  • Extended warranties and service packager.

Extended warranties can be purchased for up to 6 years and they usually cover any unexpected cost of repair once the standard warranty of the vehicle is over. Prepaid service packages can significantly reduce the ownership cost if the vehicle covers more than 10000 miles within a year. It locks the service cost at the time of purchasing the package and both the companies offer great benefits on the packages such as quick turnaround times and no additional cost for consumable parts.

Other articles about  BMW you may be interested in

Which is Better: BMW X6 or Mercedes Benz GLE coupe?

Which is the best BMW, Mercedes Benz or the Porsche?

BMW 3 Series or Mercedes Benz C Class?


The cost of ownership of Mercedes Benz and BMW cars is certainly high but they also offer great comfort and luxury. Mercedes Benz Benz even has a Mercedes Maybach 

sub-brand which makes more luxurious models based on standard models.


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