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Old 3rd June 2013, 10:42   #16
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

This is going to be a long post!

Without getting in to numbers here is the deal about car ownership. There is regular servicing cost and then there are things going wrong with parts, accidents, etc.

The regular servicing cost will be more or less the same across the range. Even if there is 20-30% difference, it is not going to make any difference in absolute cost of service. Is there a lot of difference between avg service cost per year of Rs 25,000 vs Rs 50,000 for a car that costs Rs.50L+? Yeah one is cheaper but you are paying Rs.1.25L extra for a 5-year period. Not a big deal in my opinion. So I would leave out the regular servicing costs altogether when you consider cost of ownership. Of course, assuming that the dealer is not trying to charge you for services that are not required (wheel alignment, scanning, polishing, premature replacement of consumables, etc.)

The so-called pre-paid service packages are neither good nor bad. Having used them, I wouldn't really bother with them next time. The pre-paid packages will protect you from dealer trying to charge you for jobs that are not required because he can only carry out recommended/approved jobs on your car. If you compare the bills of a BMW car with BSI and without you will be able to see what I mean. The bills are really cheap with BSI - they clean and replace the filters!! And BSI doesn't include wheel-alignment, car-washing and bunch of other things. The only good thing about BSI is it covers the longest period (5 yrs) compared to the competition. So will a service pkg save you money? Yes but only by cutting down the jobs required which can be a bad thing if you intend to keep the car for longer than 5 yrs. So that is about the regular servicing. My point is that regular servicing doesn't influence cost of ownership that much with or without service package.

Then comes the unplanned costs - part failures and accidents. This is where things can really differ. Not having a proper warranty coverage or insurance coverage can be a disaster. We had to replace the transmission on our 5-series after an accident and BMW secure covered the entire 8L. Regular insurance doesn't cover engine+transmission failures as they are considered "consequential damage" (whatever it means) so these are the type of things that can really tilt the scales. The same logic can be applied for extended warranty. So cars that offer the maximum duration of warranty and comprehensive insurance will be the cheapest to maintain. BMW offers 5yrs of ext.warranty and others offer 4 years. As per the insurance, I guess you can buy Bajaj-drive-assure like products for up to 5 years of age.

Where does it leave us? It is not as simple as saying one is cheaper to own than the other based on the cost of oil + filter change. I feel regular servicing would be nearly the same for all these cars. A combination of reliability and extended warranty duration will keep your unplanned part failure costs to minimum. Safe driving and good insurance coverage will keep your accidental costs to minimum. In other words, the cars are comparable in service costs, ext.warranty (4 vs 5 yrs) and comprehensive insurance. What differentiates them: reliability and dealership.

Long post and an useless answer: "it depends" :-)


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Originally Posted by Bluebeem View Post
Agree !

Recently went through the trouble of reading each line and paragraph of the BSI deals. The kind of coverage they give is simply amazing !

Over and above the regular "warranty extension" stuff on the parts in the BSI, they provide free roadside assistance to you if you're within a 100 km of any bmw showroom or within 100km of the cities they have listed If you have a Broken down car/fiat tire, they will send a flatbed truck for the car. In case of immobilization A taxi for you and your family and if needed - pay for stay at a nearby hotel for your entire family. All this will be free of charge !

http://www.bmw.in/in/en/owners/servi...e_advanced.pdf

Amazing stuff !
You are mixing BSI and BMW Secure. All that assistance stuff comes from BMW Secure and it is not really any different from what you get from a regular Bajaj Drive assure like packages. And it was a lousy deal that I experienced during my 5 series transmission job. They cover just 100Km taxi. They don't compensate you while the car is waiting for parts which as 90% of the time in most EU cars. And lot of such things.

BSI doesn't cover wheel alignment, wheel balancing, rotation, car wash, etc. Mercedes service package covers all this and more. It is the most comprehensive but unfortunately it is only for 3 years and it is tied to the dealer (not transferable across the dealers). With merc you can buy service pkg and warranty separately which is a good flexibility to have. With BMW you can't buy just ext.warranty which sucks because if you use you car sparingly you don't need service pkg.

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Originally Posted by Bluebeem View Post
Hey Maky,

Can't give you a percentage as such. But I'll give you an example. Cousin bought a C class few years back. Mercedes promised that the services will cost 18-20k. His first service cost him 25k approx. and subsequently all services have cost him between 35-45k. When this was discussed with the management they maintained that the "service" still costs 18k, the rest of costs were "preventive" part replacements.
A BMW service will cost you between 18-20k and only the major service will cost you 55-60k which happens every 45-50000 Kms depending on your driving style.

The thing to keep in mind is that BMW is the only company that gives you the option of capping this expense at 2.57 lacs for 5 years. BMW is the only company that includes all your service costs also within their extended warranty program. Other brands will make you pay extra for warranty only, plus you'll have to pay for services separately. So with a BSI ultimate for 5 years/60000 Kms you have the guarantee that you will not spend anything more than 2.57 lacs on the car. I can most certainly guarantee that in 5 years you will end up spending that much on that car anyway. This is obviously the best case scenario where you've seen no shutdowns/breakdowns/faults for 5 years.

Take for example, somebody on the forum has started a thread wherein their BMW 520d transmission broke down after hittin a bump on the road. The cost of repair - 7 lacs! He paid 5k - presumably the cost of alignment and balancing. In a merc or Audi, you'd have to pay 7 lacs !
Any Bajaj dsrive-assure like insurance would have covered that transmission breakdown. BMW Secure is no special except that you don't have to deal with insurance directly. Only BSI "ultimate" gives ext.warranty, they have cheaper BSI packages. Also as explained in my prev post, prepaid service is neither good nor bad. Ext.warranty is the real useful part of BSI but you can get this only by paying steep price for BSI "ultimate".

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Originally Posted by Froyo View Post
My parents got a 520d this new year eve. Went to the dealer last week to replace engine oil. There's no first service as such because it's condition based service. The service adviser quoted Rs. 33k after reading the key fob. Which included changing engine oil and filter, A/C filter and wheel alignment and balancing. It was about Rs 8k for wheel alignment and Rs 8k for the A/C filter.

Honestly I don't believe wheel alignment was needed. In the west, it is generally done after 30,000 km or when the car pulls in one direction. But the SA was recommending it every 10k km. They also made a mistake of leaving the used A/C filters in the trunk. There wasn't much dust. I could feel a thin layer of soot like substance but it didn't really look like it reached the end of its life. Could've lasted at least another 5k km.

I may not be entirely right about the A/C micro filters but wheel alignment every 10k is excessive. I'm not sure how often do other brands recommend wheel alignment in India. Note that wheel alignment isn't included in any BSI package, neither is the A/C filter.

This doesn't include the cost of cleaning interiors and waxing/polishing that you need to get done regularly.
This is what I was referring to in my post. Please compare the service bill of any BMW car covered with BSI and you would be amazed how much extra job work was done on your car in comparison.
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Old 3rd June 2013, 11:31   #17
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
This is what I was referring to in my post. Please compare the service bill of any BMW car covered with BSI and you would be amazed how much extra job work was done on your car in comparison.
Hey androdev,

Couldn't agree more. The overall cost of ownership isn't going to be that much different. Any difference might also get offset by the initial cost of the car. For example, the E-Class might be slightly more expensive to service than a 5 series, but we're getting crazy discount on it.

Another issue that has been bugging me was wheel alignment. Do indian roads really require that frequent alignment? There's a 3 fold difference in the interval (10k vs 30k). And the cost of alignment too isn't much different considering cheaper labor in India.

I'm still not able to figure out if the dealer ripped me off or it was necessary. Haven't owned cars in India before so would appreciate your input?
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Old 3rd June 2013, 12:30   #18
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Froyo View Post
Hey androdev,

Couldn't agree more. The overall cost of ownership isn't going to be that much different. Any difference might also get offset by the initial cost of the car. For example, the E-Class might be slightly more expensive to service than a 5 series, but we're getting crazy discount on it.

Another issue that has been bugging me was wheel alignment. Do indian roads really require that frequent alignment? There's a 3 fold difference in the interval (10k vs 30k). And the cost of alignment too isn't much different considering cheaper labor in India.

I'm still not able to figure out if the dealer ripped me off or it was necessary. Haven't owned cars in India before so would appreciate your input?
Wheel alignment/balancing, scanning-service, polishing/cleaning are three things they routinely add to your bill in most dealerships. These things are pure labour costs to the dealer and manufacture won't take exception to doing these things prematurely, etc. So it is a good way to make some extra money for the dealer.

Use discretion and don't accept any service unless not having such service affects warranty. I was shocked when they cleaned my filter instead of replacing. So that tells you how much of the service is really needed for these cars. I completed 15K in two years and no wheel jobs so far. They have not asked me also, my guess is that they don't bother BSI customers with extra services because the customer obviously asks why he should pay on top of BSI, etc.

Coming back to Indian roads, etc. well, when you see the kind of vehicles that ply here.. a BMW can run forever on original tires and factory alignment. Jokes apart, I decline any chargeable service and give in only if the service guy convinces me. Don't also get minor scratches, etc. repaired - they just accumulate by next service.
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Old 4th June 2013, 10:53   #19
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Confirmed news from my BMW Dealer.


The prices for BSI are being hiked by 22% approximately on 15th June.

The Longer haul BSI Ultimate packages of 1,20,000km and above may be discontinued altogether for some models.
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Old 21st June 2013, 19:25   #20
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Originally Posted by Bluebeem View Post
Confirmed news from my BMW Dealer.

The prices for BSI are being hiked by 22% approximately on 15th June.

The Longer haul BSI Ultimate packages of 1,20,000km and above may be discontinued altogether for some models.
BSI ULTIMATE Has been discontinued entirely.

IMO this will be a huge setback to BMW. And obviously the customers.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 12:00   #21
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

With the exchange rates going completely haywire in a period of few weeks, it obviously makes business sense not to offer long terms packages. I would not be surprised if all the luxury car makers increase prices by at least 5-15% in a couple of months once their old stock is sold off.

Therefore I would look at these long term service packages as also a good hedge against changing economic conditions.

Last edited by sandeep108 : 22nd June 2013 at 12:01.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 15:55   #22
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

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Originally Posted by Bluebeem View Post
BSI ULTIMATE Has been discontinued entirely.

IMO this will be a huge setback to BMW. And obviously the customers.
From what I hear there is nothing of this sort. Do double check.

It would be stupid on BMWs part to stop this, since this is one of the main reasons BMW was at no 1 till recently. They might have raised the prices but I doubt the would stop it.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 16:15   #23
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Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post

From what I hear there is nothing of this sort. Do double check.

It would be stupid on BMWs part to stop this, since this is one of the main reasons BMW was at no 1 till recently. They might have raised the prices but I doubt the would stop it.
Spoke to the dealer. BMW has discontinued BSI Ultimate. Has brought in extended warranty packages in its place excluding some wear n tear parts like break discs.

Other BSI prices have been increased by 22%.

So speak to your dealer and tell me. Even I can't fully believe it. It's too stupid for BMW to do this.
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Old 18th July 2013, 11:20   #24
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeep108 View Post
With the exchange rates going completely haywire in a period of few weeks, it obviously makes business sense not to offer long terms packages. I would not be surprised if all the luxury car makers increase prices by at least 5-15% in a couple of months once their old stock is sold off.
A couple of days ago, I was told by Jaguar SA that they are hiking their XF model price to 5 lacs more from this August and he told that the same would be the situation with even Audi, Mercedes and BMW. Reason being the higher dollar-rupee exchange rate.

This just pushed off my plans of buying a luxury saloon in the next couple of months.

I wonder if these guys reduce the prices again even if the rupee value increases in the international markets in future.
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Old 14th August 2013, 22:18   #25
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebeem View Post
Spoke to the dealer. BMW has discontinued BSI Ultimate. Has brought in extended warranty packages in its place excluding some wear n tear parts like break discs.

Other BSI prices have been increased by 22%.

So speak to your dealer and tell me. Even I can't fully believe it. It's too stupid for BMW to do this.
Yes, this is true. BMW now offers BSI basic, plus and a separate extended warranty package. However, wasn't BSI ultimate the same as having a BSI plus and extended warranty package? Haven't gone through the mail sent by the BMW service in charge thoroughly so not sure of the terms and conditions.
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Old 14th August 2013, 22:38   #26
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Originally Posted by 275BHP View Post

Yes, this is true. BMW now offers BSI basic, plus and a separate extended warranty package. However, wasn't BSI ultimate the same as having a BSI plus and extended warranty package? Haven't gone through the mail sent by the BMW service in charge thoroughly so not sure of the terms and conditions.
The Key takeaway here is that there are certain running wear n tear parts like break discs, break pads, wiper blades, certain fluids etc that aren't covered in either the extended warranty nor the BSI plus. All these were completely covered in BSI ULTIMATE.

Do check on this. I haven't had the time to go through the details of what parts are excluded either.
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Old 18th October 2013, 17:07   #27
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

Can anyone confirm the costs of maintaining the C class, 3 series and the A4 for 1 year/10000 kms? New cars with the basic 2/3 year warranty on them.
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Old 18th October 2013, 19:11   #28
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

Also what is the real deal behind BSI now? I am looking to pick up the 3 series, and BSI and the promise that I won't need to spend more than that was a big factor in that decision. But according to the posts above they seem to have changed a lot of stuff and now brakes etc are not covered under BSI, even though the cost of the package has been increased?

Also any idea on the servicing costs of a VOLVO?
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Old 18th October 2013, 19:53   #29
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Also what is the real deal behind BSI now? I am looking to pick up the 3 series, and BSI and the promise that I won't need to spend more than that was a big factor in that decision. But according to the posts above they seem to have changed a lot of stuff and now brakes etc are not covered under BSI, even though the cost of the package has been increased?
Have a look at this as well:
http://www.team-bhp.com/news/mercede...ice-initiative
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Old 18th October 2013, 20:40   #30
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Also what is the real deal behind BSI now? I am looking to pick up the 3 series, and BSI and the promise that I won't need to spend more than that was a big factor in that decision. But according to the posts above they seem to have changed a lot of stuff and now brakes etc are not covered under BSI, even though the cost of the package has been increased?

Also any idea on the servicing costs of a VOLVO?
BSI Ultimate is now called Service plus. Someone in BMW told me its just a name change, but on viewing their site it says Service plus covers everything Ultimate does, but the warranty does not get extended. So it covers all consumables, and even wear and tear parts like brake pads, etc.

But then again I don't know if the above is applicable in India, or it was actually just a name change.
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