How Long Do BMWs Last? The Complete Guide

BMW has been one of the world’s top car brands since it was formed in Bavaria in 1916. BMW produces millions of cars every year, selling them in most countries. These cars also last longer than many on the market, making them even more popular.

One question people have about BMWs involves how long BMWs last. The great news is that BMW vehicles can last for at least 15 years or 150,000 miles. They could even go for 200, 000 miles or more if you care for your BMW well enough.

How Many Miles Can a BMW Last?

On average, a BMW can last for 150,000 or more miles. But BMWs that undergo regular maintenance can last for 200,000 or more miles.

The timeframe for how long BMWs last goes well beyond the warranties BMW provides for its cars. These include a four-year, 50,000-mile limited warranty for new vehicles.

A BMW sports car driving down the road.

There’s no telling how far a BMW can go, Autotrader lists that a 1986 BMW 535i went for 560,000 miles, while a 2004 X5 went for 280,000 miles. Some of these vehicles might have undergone extensive repairs and restorations, but these vehicles are well-built and are capable of going further than most other vehicles.

How Can You Keep a Car Running That Long?

You can ensure your BMW will last as long as it can by maintaining it well. You can check your BMW’s tire pressure, oil level, and other factors each month to keep the vehicle moving. Regular checks can help ensure your vehicle is lubricated well and that its parts are running well to where your vehicle is less likely to experience any problems.

You’ll also need to follow a suitable BMW maintenance schedule to ensure the vehicle stays functional. Routine maintenance checks every 5,000 miles can help, but you’ll also require more in-depth reviews based on how many miles are on your vehicle. For example, a 90,000-mile check will entail removing and replacing the engine’s timing belt and hoses.

Using Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM parts is also essential, as these parts are certified by BMW. OEM parts are made by the same people who make parts for new BMW vehicles, so you can be assured these parts will work for your car.

Do BMWs Hold Their Value?

All vehicles start losing value after they are sold, and BMWs are no exception. A BMW can lose about half of its value four to five years after its sale. The drop in value starts to taper off about eight years after it is built, but a ten-year-old BMW could have about 20 percent of its value left.

BMWs lose their value for many reasons, including the supposed prestige that comes from owning a BMW. BMWs are often worth more money at the start because they are perceived as high-end vehicles that people are willing to pay more to purchase.

There’s also concern about new advancements and developments in the luxury car industry. As Garage Dreams writes, most luxury cars are purchased by people who have enough money to buy new cars. These same people also tend to trade in those cars when they find something more advanced or modern, making it where the car’s value depreciation rate can accelerate further.

A BMW owner uses the car’s app for assistance.

Another problem is that it costs more to maintain a BMW on average. The running costs can stay high even as the value of the vehicle drops, prompting a faster depreciation rate. Those costs will become worse after the warranty on your vehicle expires.

This factor is essential to review if you’re looking for a used BMW vehicle. But regardless of how old your BMW is, you can expect it to last a while.

How Many Years Do BMWs Last?

A BMW can last from 10 to 15 years in many situations. The number is based on current driving statistics and how often someone could use the vehicle.

The Federal Highway Administration writes that an average American will drive 14,000 miles a year. The actual amount someone drives can vary by state, with people in more rural states like New Mexico or Missouri driving close to 18,000 miles a year.

But some people may also have shorter commutes, or they might not drive every day. Your BMW will last longer if you drive it less often, but be sure you still stick to a regular maintenance schedule.

Are BMWs Reliable?

BMW vehicles are very reliable, with a 2018 Consumer Reports study putting BMW as one of the ten most reliable car brands. The measure means BMW vehicles can go further without experiencing mechanical issues. It is ranked well above other German manufacturers like Porsche, Volkswagen, and Mercedes-Benz.

BMW’s sedans are considered more reliable than other vehicles the company makes. The i3 electric vehicle, the 325i, the F40, and the M4 are among the more reliable BMW models, according to Hot Cars.

BMW is also always producing new features to ensure their vehicles remain more reliable. Some BMWs have new brake systems that are less sensitive to thermal stress, for example. BMW’s efforts in producing electric vehicles like the i4 and iX electric SUV also show how the company is always aiming to innovate.

What Will It Cost For You To Maintain Your BMW Each Year?

You can expect to spend more money to maintain a BMW when compared with other vehicles. Repair Pal writes that annual repair costs for a BMW are about $950 on average. The total is compared with the general industry average of $650 a year.

The total should not be surprising, given how BMWs are more expensive and have more intricate parts that require regular care. But the high cost may be concerning to some customers, although many people who buy BMWs are likely ones who are capable of affording them.

What Is High Mileage For a BMW?

While any BMW that reaches 150,000 miles or more can be considered a high-mileage vehicle, BMWs that have fewer miles can still be interpreted as high mileage.

Many used car dealers will decline to stock BMWs with 100,000 miles or more. Others might be even more selective and refuse to stock BMWs with 70,000 or more miles.

While some BMWs with 150,000 or more miles may be available on the used market, you’d be more likely to find them through online used car marketplaces. These vehicles may not be subject to extensive reviews. Critical information that might be to the detriment of a vehicle could be missing in some cases.

BMW auto technician inspecting a vehicle.

The BMW Certified Program is also valid only for late-model BMWs with less than 60,000 miles. The BMW Certified Program is a thorough inspection and testing system that helps confirm that a used BMW vehicle is safe to drive and is of good quality.

Warranty Consideration

BMWs can last well beyond the average warranty length for a BMW. The furthest BMW goes for warranties involves its Extended Service Contracts, which last for seven years or 100,000 miles.

You will be responsible for all your expenses in repairing or maintaining your BMW after your warranty or ESC expires. Anyone looking to purchase a BMW should know what they will spend on regular maintenance and repair costs, especially since your BMW can last for a while.

Some outside parties may also offer warranties on BMWs that are not affiliated with BMW, but these warranties may not provide the same amount of coverage. Always check the terms and conditions of any warranty you wish to follow before signing up, especially if you’re looking for something BMW hasn’t produced.

Do BMWs Break Down a Lot?

The last concern to see about BMWs involves whether they might break down. BMWs are more likely to break down if they don’t receive regular care. A BMW that reaches 100,000 miles will be more likely to require repair with Repair Pal writing that a driver is about twice as likely to visit a repair shop for unscheduled repairs as an average vehicle.

Repair Pal also says that about 15 percent of all BMW repairs are considered severe. This total is compared with 12 percent for other vehicles on average. A “severe” repair, according to Repair Pal, is an unexpected repair that is more critical to the vehicle’s operation, plus it may be more expensive than an average repair.

Your driving conditions and habits could factor into whether a BMW might break down. BMWs that go through rougher conditions, including in extreme weather and cases where the roads are treated with salt are more likely to repair repairs and further maintenance. But vehicles that aren’t used too often and are handled with care are less likely to need help.


BMWs can last for hundreds of thousands of miles, plus you can get your vehicle to work for about ten to fifteen years or even longer. But be sure when finding a BMW you know what to expect when maintaining it and when seeing how often it may require repair.

BMWs are exciting vehicles that can last a while and are very reliable, but they are only good as long as you keep them in check.

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About Matthew Webb

Hi, I am Matthew! I am a dedicated car nerd! During the day, I am a journalist, at night I enjoy working on my 2 project cars. I have been a car nerd all my life, and am excited to share my knowledge with you!

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