Best Extended Warranty for BMW

BMW - Manufacturer Extended Warranty Overview

Like most manufacturers, BMW offers extended vehicle warranties. BMW offers these warranties to buyers of new cars, those who purchase used, and those who purchase a certified pre-owned (CPO) BMW. Like many manufacturers, BMW offers a variety of levels of coverage and also a variety of time periods for that coverage.

Based on Car Talks’ research of extended vehicle warranties offered by manufacturers, we have found that BMW’s plans offer a bit more coverage in some plans than do its competitors. For example, the induction system is covered by all plans.

Repair TypePlatinumGoldPowertrain Plus
EngineFullFullPartial
TransmissionFullFullPartial
Final Drive Assy.FullFullPartial
Transfer Case (AWD)FullFullFull
ElectricalFullPartialPartial
CoolingFullFullPartial
FuelFullFullPartial
InductionFullFullFull
Steering & BrakesFullFullNone
Interior and ExteriorPartialPartialNone
HVACFullFullNone
InfotainmentFullNoneNone

BMW offers three plans. Platinum, Gold, and Powertrain Plus. BMW tries hard to make it clear which plan covers what breakdown in its online literature. Like all plans, BMW’s is an “exclusionary coverage” program. That means it only covers what it says it does, and not one lock-washer more. Be sure to read the full description of BMW’s plan offerings before making your selection.

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Among BMW’s plans, there are two choices a shopper will make. First, the duration. For new and used buyers who purchase before the new car limited warranty expires, BMW offers plans that extend the coverage from the standard 4-years, 50,000-miles to five, six, or seven years, and either 75,000 miles or 100,000 miles. Be aware that the years are the total age of the vehicle, not the number added to the original four-year warranty.

BMW also offers to extend the certified pre-owned contracts of CPO vehicle owners either at the time of purchase or before the CPO warranty expires. It is important to understand that a CPO vehicle already comes with an extended warranty. That is the primary reason that shoppers pay the added premium for such vehicles, rather than just buy a used vehicle. BMW offers to add one or two years to the CPO warranty coverage. We suggest considering this closely and comparing the already included coverage side by side to see if there is added value.

The other advantage here is the shop that’s going to be performing the work. If your BMW breaks down, you want BMW parts and technicians to work on the vehicle. That is what BMW provides.

Specs / Key Features

  • Simple plan options.
  • Administered by BMW directly.
  • Work performed by BMW dealers using only BMW part.

Third-Party Extended Warranty Providers for BMWs

Third-party warranties are an option for any make or model vehicle. These plans are offered by companies who profit by selling used vehicle owners a plan that they know will cost them more on average than the cost of any repairs.

Pros and Cons of Third-Party Warranties

  • Can be purchased for used BMWs outside of the 4-year 50K new car warranty window.
  • More choices of plans.
  • Option to use your own local mechanic if you prefer to.
  • Double-secret plan offerings only the company can make sense of.
  • Will the company still be in business when you need them?

Endurance

Endurance is one of the most well-known extended vehicle warranty companies. Endurance administers the policies it sells to vehicle owners, so you won’t be dealing with a surprise provider you have never heard of when you need to use the policy. Overall ratings for Endurance are better than average. You can read our full review of Endurance here.

CARCHEX

CARCHEX is known as one of the more flexible third-party car warranty companies which is helpful for older model owners. CARCHEX acts as a broker and sells plans that are administered by others. This enables CARCHEX to offer a wider range of plan options. CARCHEX has very good overall ratings, including an A+ rating from BBB. You can read our full review of CARCHEX here.

Sample Costs for BMW Repairs

The chart below is taken from CarComplaints.com and reflects BMW owner-reported problems.

ModelRepairCost
X5Engine Overheating (60,500 miles)$2,100
X5Dashboard Cluster Lost Power (85,00 miles)$1,900
325Steering Wheel Fault (86,100 miles)$600
325AC Evap failure (55,000 miles)$1,100
X3Broken Timing Chain Guide (84,000 miles)$6,800

What is covered by a BMW extended warranty?

BMW’s Platinum plan is very similar to the new car comprehensive warranty. It covers pretty much everything a warranty would cover. The Gold plan seems to hit the traditional worries. The Powertrain warranty includes just the engine, transmission and drive systems.

What is not covered by a BMW extended warranty

This is an “exclusionary coverage” policy, so anything that’s not on the contract’s list is not covered. BMW’s plans do not include normal wear items like tires. These BMW plans are also not a pre-paid maintenance plan. You will still pay for oil changes, filters, and services for other normal wear items. Take careful note that the Gold and Powertrain Plus warranties do not cover infotainment systems. J.D. Power and Associates has found in both short-term and longer-term surveys of owners that infotainment systems are the single largest category of vehicle failures. Do you really want to buy an extended warranty that does not cover the most likely failure?

Do I need an extended warranty on my BMW?

The short answer is “maybe.” The long answer is more complicated. BMW is a relatively low-volume manufacturer of premium vehicles. Some of its vehicles, like the i8, are basically custom-made near supercars. Others, like the 3 Series line, are more mainstream.

Ask yourself two questions:

  • Is this a vehicle that I’m going to keep past the original warranty? If the answer is “no,” then an extended warranty isn’t much good to you.
  • Do I have the money to cover an expensive repair after the warranty is up? A failed transmission can easily run into $5,000, but the likelihood of it happening between the end of the original warranty and 100,000 miles is exceedingly rare. But if you don’t have the money to pay for a repair like that, you’d be much better off folding the cost of the warranty into your original car loan.

What Does a BMW Extended Warranty Cost?

If only there were one simple answer! Unfortunately, BMWs can range in prices from a $20K used 3 Series still under the original warranty, to a $160,000 new i8. That massive spread in prices means the warranty costs are all over the map. Examples we found when doing searches for BMW extended warranty costs ranged from under $1,000 to over $6,000.

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FAQ

Is it worth buying BMW extended warranty?

It really depends on whether you have the money to cover a large repair. If your transmission falls out at 74,000 miles, you’re going to wish you had the warranty. If it doesn’t and you’ve paid thousands of dollars for a warranty, you’re going to wish you had that money back.

What is included in the BMW extended warranty?

BMW offers three levels of coverage from basic powertrain to comprehensive.

Can you finance BMW extended warranty?

Yes. Financing is available from third-party providers, and new car and CPO buyers can include the cost in their financing package.

Can I buy an extended warranty after I purchase my BMW?

Yes. BMW will sell any owner of a BMW vehicle an extended warranty plan within the period of the initial 4-year, 50K warranty period. After that has expired, BMW does not offer extended warranties. However, it does also offer to extend the included warranty on its CPO vehicles.

What alternatives to BMW’s plans are there?

Third-party warranty companies can serve many owners’ needs. In particular, we found Endurance and CARCHEX to have higher than average ratings.

Is my BMW Warranty Transferable?

Yes. A BMW warranty can be transferred to a private party and also be canceled for a prorated refund. There is a small transaction fee for either.

Editor's note and disclaimer: Car Talk is supported by our fans, readers and listeners. When you click on some of the links on our website, we may receive referral compensation. However, you should know that the recommendations we make are based on our independent editorial review and analyses.

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