Cost of owning a BMW/Audi/Mercedes etc

28 posts in this topic

Posted

I currently own a dirt cheap 2003 Toyota Yaris. It's simple, and I don't give a crap about its appearance or performance.

I don't care much for cars normally. However, I've always wanted to own a BMW. The old saying in Canada was that the parts and maintenance were expensive because it's a foreign car, on top of the high purchase price. I didn't plan on having anything besides the most simple of cars over here, if I even drove one. But then I drove a BMW 1 Series Diesel 5-door in Ireland while on vacation. It was awesome. And that got me going again.

I looked at the purchase prices for used BMW 1 Series and they're all reasonable. But the question is to owners in Germany, considering they are technically a domestic car, how expensive are BMW/Mercedes/Audi cars to repair and maintain relative to something like my Yaris? Are oil changes expensive? Parts? Labour? Just looking for general owner opinions.

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Posted

They're a prestige brand so they're typically more expensive than Ford, Opel, Toyota, etc. The pricing reflects their desired image - you wouldn't want a cheap Rolex, would you? Parting with large amounts of cash is meant to make you feel special.

The 1-series is their base model so it's going to be cheap for a BMW but not cheap compared to base cars of other brands. And the 1-series is pokey in the back. That may or may not be an issue for you.

Have a browse.

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Posted

I drive a BMW (bought second hand) and so far I only had to bring it to the garage once in two years, it was the oxygen sensor (lambda sensor) and it was reasonable. As a coincidence my colleague had to replace as well the oxygen sensor in his Skoda and he paid almost the same for the part and I paid like 20 EUR more for labor. BMW has had a strong campaign in the last couple of years promoting that owning a BMW is not really much more expensive than owning other brands.

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Posted

That was our old Ford we don't own anymore. I had to replace the oxygen sensor on the BMW 2 weeks ago.

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Posted

Labour costs in a brand garage don't differ much. How could they. Whether you have a japanese car or a french, a german- it all happens in one place , one country, same salaries, rent costs etc.

An oil change - at any brand garage for a new (still under warranty ) car is a rip off. Parts- it all depends whether your car is a million seller or not.

If you have a second hand car which is a million seller and you have a free garage on hand ---- the difference in parts and work costs melts down pretty much.

Parts for my old million seller Mercedes mostly aren't more expensive than those for a VW Golf if bought on the free market. And even the part prices at Mercedes aren't as high as one might think.

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Posted

That was our old Ford we don't own anymore. I had to replace the oxygen sensor on the BMW 2 weeks ago.

Gotch... I thought that I had read it was an X3 Or X5...

Appologies.

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Posted

Naturally, as any car ages, you will normally start to pour money into it. I actually sold my 2008 BMW 120d (which had no issues, costed only 500€ per year to insure) and bought an even older BMW 320i cabrio...which, so far (with 165,000km) hasn't had any major problems).

I never had a BMW in the U.S. because it was so damn expensive to insure.

The 1 series is a GREAT car.

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Posted

Are not all BMW's rear wheel drive?

Enough to put me off them - Front wheel drive is so much better

on ice and snow.

I remember a sudden unexpected snow-fall in Sheffield years ago - the

rear wheel drive cars like the big Opels and BMW's were stuffed..

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I remember a sudden unexpected snow-fall in Sheffield years ago - the

rear wheel drive cars like the big Opels and BMW's were stuffed..

Thats why we have winter tyres in this country!

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Posted

the rear wheel drive cars like the big Opels and BMW's were stuffed..

We have a large BMW and it's fantastic in the snow.

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Posted

I've had a range of cars here over the last near 20 years & the servicing costs have varied quite extremely.

The BMW & Audi that I had were much more expensive to service than the VW I have now, even though the VW has the larger engine, bigger brakes etc.

I remember paying over 1k (in DM) every time for my BMW 328i way back in 1997 so God knows how much it would cost now.

YMMV!

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Posted

I have a 2004 Z4.

If anything goes wrong, or a service is due, getting it done at BMW is expensive, but if you dont sweat the "lückenlose Scheckheft" you can get it done at an independent for pretty much the same money as any car. Once youve got over any teething troubles, BMWs tend not to go wrong much.

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Posted

Are not all BMW's rear wheel drive?

No. The X-drive models (x1,x3,x5,x6 and anything with xd,xi) are AWD. It's the rest that are pretty crap in winter.

We have a large BMW and it's fantastic in the snow.

You've prob got an X5 or X6.

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Posted

Are not all BMW's rear wheel drive?

Enough to put me off them - Front wheel drive is so much better

on ice and snow.

I remember a sudden unexpected snow-fall in Sheffield years ago - the

rear wheel drive cars like the big Opels and BMW's were stuffed..

My BMW wagon has dynamic stability control. The bad winter that we had year before last was the last winter for my snow tires (they should have been replaced before that) and I couldn't make the car fishtail. I'm from upstate NY and I believe in the concept of, "you can't learn to regain control of your car if you don't practice by losing control (done safely in a big empty parking lot for example)."

The DSC system is really impressive. Only the wheel with traction gets power, and even the amount of power it gets is controlled by the computer. Each wheel has the brakes applied individually by the computer. I climb a lot of hills everyday and each one has stop signs, but I never have trouble merging into traffic (and they never plow here). This option is what really keeps me from trading this lemon in!

My car is in the shop again at the moment. I get raped nearly every time it goes in, for relatively minor shit. They order a part and stop working on it, then the part comes and they work on it and find a new part to order and stop working again... in the end I lose my car for at least a week every time and end up paying 1,000 Euro or more. I used to bring it to a regular shop, and they ran into something complicated and screwed it up real bad. Since then I've been bringing it to the BMW stealership, but this is the last time I do that. I can't even afford to trade it in because I've spent almost all of my new car budget on repairs.

However, my car is a 5 series with all of the options, which make it really complicated to fix. I'm guessing if you went with an "affordable" 1 series, it wouldn't have too much complicated stuff to worry about.

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Posted

If anything goes wrong, or a service is due, getting it done at BMW is expensive, but if you dont sweat the "lückenlose Scheckheft" you can get it done at an independent for pretty much the same money as any car.

Yeah, a friend of mine jokes that it doesn't cost any more to have a Mercedes serviced than any other car, once you deduct the €300 charge for driving onto the dealership lot.

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Posted

Proud owner of 914 Porsche,ha ha remember those? Ok I had a nice 325 BMW I total the car on the freeway in California spin twice hit a middle divider bounce back hit a truck and the car was still running but the hole car around was total, pars expensive,next,740il BMW huge car lots of power but lots of gas expensive insurance and parts, great car that was my Christine if you know what I mean,had too say good bye to it,now Mercedes Benz hum, Mercedes, is a good car but somehow I don't know I have a van and got lots of rust not happy with it, handles like a chariot out of control thinking on selling it soon, also have an Audi now you talking,for me this car so far is the best aluminum body ,so no rust it handles super in town or highway its so far the best next to the 740il beemer,so go figure,you got to drive test a few and take you pick you going to find lemons no matter what, good luck keep us posted on what you get.

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Posted

Thanks for the thoughtful replies, guys. The 1-series is of course the base model, but being a single young guy, I don't need anything super fancy. The 1-series seemed fancy enough compared to my previous vehicles. I'm planning on buying used and 4 or 5 years old. Not anytime soon, though. Probably in a year or so when I've solidified my new job and saved up some more cash.

On that topic, I may or may not need a loan. I've taken a look at my bank's financing offerings (Deutsche Bank), and it seems fairly similar to the Canadian system for loans. Is there anything special about car loans that is different from the loans in the US/Canada?

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Posted

Never go for the Deutsche Bank loan ,its expensive. Browse around in internet and you will find good offers!

I got one from Targo Bank for 3% or something (personal loan).

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Posted

If you're buying second hand, I'd get the car ADAC (or similar) checked, if you're not very familiar with these things. Unfortunately, even here in Toytowngermany there are more and more scams with cars (clocking mostly) taking place. Tread carefully :-)

As regards cost of ownership...depends on how much you can fix yourself. Parts for BMWs won't typically cost much more than for less prestigious brands, however...new external body parts cannot currently be sold in Germany by anyone other than the original manufacturer or their licenced agents! External body parts are all design registered/protected in Germany still, so no cheaper copies of that expensive BMW headlight if you crack the lens.

Internal parts cannot be design registered in this way, so brake pads etc. can be had spurious from ATU etc. and they are often made by the same company (or companies) that made them for the manufacturer in the first place, just cheaper.

I think motoring is going to get significantly more expensive here over the next 10 years as fuel costs go up and up, that would be my main concern really, not the cost of repairs, the cost of making the hing go!

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Posted

I actually used to be really comfortable working a lot on cars in Canada (oil changes, spark plugs, headlights, brakes, tires, sensors, anything electrical, a clutch once, etc), but that's when I had all the equipment. I brought nothing with me. Plus, I don't know if this is just my perception, but Germans don't seem to work on their cars like they do in NA. I don't think I've ever seen some one with the hood up in their driveway. Is this because they just aren't comfortable with it, or is it because they see working on a broken car as hmm... redneck or something? Are there laws restricting it besides not working on Sundays?

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Never go for the Deutsche Bank loan ,its expensive. Browse around in internet and you will find good offers!

I got one from Targo Bank for 3% or something (personal loan).

Good idea. The only reason I'm with DB right now is because I'm learning German and they have service in English. I was planning on searching for a better bank once I got settled.

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Posted

You've prob got an X5 or X6.

I couldn't care less aboout cars, I had to ask the boss for the exact model. It's a 1993 525iX Touring so, yes, it has 4WD. Old but reliable.

...Germans don't seem to work on their cars like they do in NA. I don't think I've ever seen some one with the hood up in their driveway. Is this because they just aren't comfortable with it, or is it because they see working on a broken car as hmm... redneck or something?

No, not redneck at all. I think it just depends where you live. We're in a quiet cul-de-sac with very patient neighbours and my husband does most of the repairs on our cars himself since he trained as an auto mechanic about a hundred years ago before choosing a different career path. We also have a Twingo and a VW Beetle that is older than I am so he is constantly fixing something either out on the street or in the driveway and no one seems to mind. Neighbours around the corner from us have four boys and when they were still at home it was all cars, all the time at their place.

If you lived in an apartment on a busy through street it would be a different matter. I don't know what the concrete laws are.

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I quite agree...

i do most of my own repairs...

When my neighbours see me working on the van, they usually come and offer their help. bring me coffee and generally show interest!

I suppose thats what come of being polite to all neighbours from the start!

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Posted

have an e46 - paid about €4000 for it, probably another €2000 in parts/repairs so far. owned it for 18 months now. stupid little things like the oil pressure sending unit -€100 (most cars in the states thst would be a $10 part). 3 out of 4 power windows have had to be fixed. bought a second key for it €120.

even more annoying - the little gutless wonder (it's a 316) gets no better gas mileage than my odyssey which is way bigger, way heavier, has a 2.5X bigger motor with the corresponding 2.5X more horsepower; same frikking mileage!

but other than that it's a fine car...

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