WhoCanFixMyCar.com is the market leading online marketplace for car servicing and repairs. 2017 was the biggest year yet as we have now provided over 2,000,000 quotes to drivers, helping them find a great local garage. With this volume of quotes being provided through our website we are able to offer an unrivaled view on the UK car maintenance market and with that, we are able to open the lid on the true cost of maintaining your car.
We are taking another look at the question we have examined the past couple of years – How do the repairs bills for the German powerhouses BMW, Audi and Mercedes stack up?
Insight #1 Audi repairs remain the most expensive
Audi tops the list once more with an average quote of £182.94. However, that is 11% lower than last year where quotes for Audi repairs were on average £207.11.
The gap between Audi and BMW is minimal, but Mercedes comes out much cheaper. Mercedes was 24% cheaper than Audi and 20% cheaper than BMW. This could point to the emergence of Audi and BMW becoming the front-runners in the luxury car market and that brand power now coming into play in the aftermarket.
Insight #2 The story is much of the same when looking at volume models
The A3, A4 and A6 repairs are all more expensive than their BMW and Mercedes equivalents.
The biggest gap comes between the C-Class and A4 – the A4 is 39% more expensive! It doesn’t get much better when comparing to the 3-Series either which is still 28% cheaper than the A4.
With gaps that big you have to ask the question as to why you would opt for the A4 over either of its rivals. I am sure there will be some C-Class owners with smiles on their faces reading these stats.
Insight #3: Brakes and Exhausts are similarly priced as are Servicing and MOT
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 are the most expensive for Electrical and Batteries work, 17% more expensive than Audi.
Insight #4: Individual repair types show some interesting figures
Although Audi are actually the cheapest for a Cambelt Change (£369.92), compared to Mercedes (£475.54) and BMW (£826.22) which tend to use a Timing Chain instead of a Cambelt – these are more reliable but more expensive to change.
Reliability is the key difference here as there were 20 times more Audi Cambelt Change quotes requested in 2017 compared to BMW Timing Belt requests and a whopping 100 times more than Mercedes. Due to the volume of requests and the expense of a Cambelt Change, this is likely causing the overall maintenance costs to come out higher for Audi.
Mercedes Clutch Replacements were quoted at £670.58 on average compared to BMW at £544.85 and Audi at £578.39. Showing that although Mercedes tend to be the cheapest of the three brands, on bigger jobs they can be pricey.
Audi are the most expensive by far for Gearbox repairs on average across the three brands. Whether it is a manual gearbox (£567.73), auto gearbox (£428.68) or a reconditioned gearbox (£744.60).
Insight #4 The higher repair bills for Audi only start to pop up as they hit 5 years
As you can imagine repair work such as cambelt, clutch, gearbox and fuel pump replacements won’t be 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 at the 5 year mark, Audi repair costs leap and the gap is at its most obvious up to year 8. Audi are around £75 more expensive than Mercedes as this point and around £25 more expensive than BMW.
There is in general a decrease in repair costs after year 8 for both BMW and Mercedes. This is expected for a number of 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.)
So it is interesting that Audi repairs don’t drop off and are consistently more expensive. Maybe Audi drivers take more pride in their vehicles and ensure to maintain them for longer.
180,829 lines of data used in this report.