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Audi vs BMW vs Mercedes: Which costs the most to maintain?

Stephen Wright, 11 months ago

10 min read

  • Advice
  • Repair
IMG 5272

Three German car manufacturing powerhouses – but which costs the most to maintain? There’s only one way to find out. Compare their repair prices of course!

Audi is the most expensive brand to repair

Audi A3

Audi tops the list once more with an average quote of £182.94. Saying that the gap between Audi and BMW is minimal although looking at our graph Mercedes-Benz is the clear winner when it comes to cost with Mercedes-Benz 24 per cent cheaper than Audi and 20 per cent cheaper than BMW. 

Audi vs BMW vs Mercedes Car Repair Cost 2018

The story is much the same when it comes to looking at repairs on specific models

Audi vs BMW vs Mercedes Cost 2018 aver. cost per model across all repairs

The A3, A4 and A6 repairs are all more expensive than their BMW and Mercedes equivalents.

The biggest gap comes when you compare the Mercedes-Benz C-Class with the Audi A4 – with the Audi A4 proving to be 39 per cent more expensive. The news isn’t much better for the Audi A4 when comparing it with the BMW 3-Series – which comes in 28 per cent cheaper.


Brakes and exhausts are similarly priced as are servicing and MOTs

Bmw vs audi vs mercedes 2018 costs aver. cost per car repair type

If you change your car fairly regularly then you most likely will not be paying over the odds to maintain your Audi as routine work does not differ in price by much. Audi are in fact cheapest for steering and suspension work and electrical and batteries. In comparison Mercedes-Benz are the most expensive for electrical and battery work, coming in 17 per cent more expensive than Audi.


Individual repair types throw up some interesting facts though

It’s not all bad news for Audi drivers. Audi are actually the cheapest for a cambelt change (£369.92), compared to Mercedes-Benz £475.54) and BMW (£826.22), who tend to use a timing chain instead of a cambelt, and while more reliable, tend to be more expensive to change.

Mercedes-Benz were also the most expensive when it came to clutch replacements with Mercedes-Benz coming in at £670.58 on average compared to BMW at £544.85 and Audi at £578.39. 

Audi are back to form through on gearbox repairs, proving the most expensive of the three prestige brands, whether it’s a manual gearbox (£567.73), auto gearbox (£428.68) or a reconditioned gearbox (£744.60).


Higher repair bills for the Audi only really kick in after five years 

Audi A4

As you can imagine repair work such as cambelt, clutch, gearbox and fuel pump replacements aren’t needed when a car is only a few years old – our data reflects that. The work taken place in the first few years only differs by a few pounds.

The gap appears between the three marques becomes apparent after the five year mark when Audi repair costs leap and the gap is at its most obvious up to eight years. Audi are around £75 more expensive than Mercedes -Benz as this point and around £25 more expensive than BMW. 

There is in general a decrease in repair costs after eight years for both BMW and Mercedes-Benz. This is generally for several reasons

  • They cover fewer miles

  • They may be more mechanically simple, requiring less labour time during the repair

  • Owners are often more willing to ‘live with’ certain faults or imperfections for longer, or are more likely to turn to non-OEM parts (or even reconditioned ones)

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