The maintenance costs for BMW, Audi and Mercedes have been revealed using thousands of quotes submitted on WhoCanFixMyCar.com. There has been an update this report was first published, see the 2018 update here. If you need quotes for a service or repair click the button below.

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WhoCanFixMyCar.com is the UK’s number one car servicing and repairs website. This month alone, 7,500 member garages, mechanics and dealerships will submit over 35,000 quotes for drivers whose cars need attention. This gives an unrivalled view on the UK’s car maintenance market: when it comes to looking after your car, our data reveals all!

Using all-new data, we’re re-examining the key question we first asked in 2014: BMW, Audi, Mercedes – how do repair bills stack up?

Audi Maintenance Costs are the most pricey

For the second time, our data shows Audi repairs to be pricier...

…12% pricier than the average across the three brands, to be precise, and fully 26% higher than the average Mercedes repair estimate.

audi maintenance costs compared

So, it’s a concerning stat for owners and fans of the Ingolstadt-based brand, particularly with the results so consistent with our 2014 study, which showed a 15% increase vs average and a 31% hike compared to Mercedes. But what is it that causes the difference across the three brands? Let’s find out.

Audi A3, A4, A5 maintenance costs are higher than their BMW and Mercedes counterparts

#2: again, the trend is consistent across volume models

Fascinatingly, the trend doesn’t vary across the core model categories – whether A3, A4 or A6, there’s a clear pattern: repair quotes are higher than the equivalent BMW or Mercedes.

Mercedes should also be applauded here, consistently registering the lowest estimated repair bill against their two greatest rivals. That said, A-Class estimates are higher than one might expect – almost identical to the E-Class.

But what is it about these brands the causes repair bills to differ? We dived into the nuts and bolts to find out.

Audi routine service and repair work is often cheaper. Non-routine work is more expensive.

Digging into the detail, the story becomes clear: all three brands record comparable average quote pricing for the most regularly required work, such as servicing, new batteries, braking and exhaust system (in which Audi quotes are actually the lowest) as shown below.

prices for routine work are comparable - the discrepancies lie in more ‘involved’ repairs

However, the real gaps open up when requesting less-frequent repair types, such as clutch replacement, cambelt replacement, issues with central locking and the like.

For example:

  • The average transmission repair quote (most commonly clutch-related) was £94 dearer on an Audi than a Mercedes
  • Within the ‘Engine and Cooling’ category, both Water Pump Replacement and Fuel Pump Replacement showed Audi repair quotes to be 18% higher than the class average
  • The trend within these less-frequent repair categories can be seen below.

non routine repair shows a consistienct pricing trend

So, should drivers simply accept that higher maintenance bills for less-frequent repair types are par for the course when buying into the Audi brand? Not quite…

Old Audi models cost most to maintain

higher bills are limited to older Audi models

Understandably, repair work such as replacement cambelts, clutches, water-pumps and fuel pumps tend not to afflict a car in the first few years of its life, and our data reflects that perfectly: where the car is under 6 years old, service and maintenance quotes vary between the three brands by just a few pounds.

A noticeable, and consistent, gap only opens up beyond a car’s sixth birthday. At this stage, garages’ quotes for Audi repair work trend around £50 above Mercedes, and £25 above BMW.

Interestingly we always see that repair quotes tend to get cheaper – for all brands – as a car gets into ‘old age’ (say, beyond 12 years old), for a few 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 there you have it! As BMW, Audi and Mercedes models get older and require more ‘non-routine’ work, so Audi bills will trend highest, with Mercedes costs trending lower (some might say, surprisingly so.)

However, drivers of younger Audis, or of older Audis in need of servicing, brake or exhaust work, shouldn’t worry – they won’t find themselves won’t be out of pocket.

A final note on methodology: every month at WhoCanFixMyCar.com, 14,000 drivers use us to find a great local garage or dealership, receiving over 35,000 quotes in the process. As a result we have an unrivalled nationwide, multi-brand, multi-repair type insight into vehicle reliability trends. For this analysis, we included quotes from all outlet types, but set a minimum- and maximum-quote threshold, in order to discount any obvious outliers within the data, leaving 23,000 rows of data specific to these three brands over the past 12 months.

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