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Warrantywise Top !0 Reliablity Index - BMW 3 Series Score Card.
Reliability Index score out of 100
Average repair cost
Most regular repair request
Average age at repair
7 years
Average mileage at repair
72,631 miles

Known for performance and quality, and accounting for 1/5th of all BMW cars currently on UK roads1, it isn’t a shock to see the BMW 3 Series is one of the most popular cars in the UK. It is the first BMW to enter the most popular used cars list, with Vauxhall and Ford dominating the top half. The 3 Series has secured the 7th spot in the top 10 list, with a total of 155,100 sales in 2023 [2], but how reliable is it? 

What does the Reliability Index data say?

To give motorists insight into the BMW 3 Series’ reliability, we scored it against our index criteria, and it scored a very respectable 65 out of 100. Interestingly, this is a higher score than the Vauxhall Astra, Ford Focus, and Volkswagen Golf – all of which were more popular than the BMW 3 Series in 2023. The BMW does come with a higher price tag, so you’d expect it to achieve a higher reliability score than other used cars. 

According to our data, the most regular BMW 3 Series repair request area is the suspension. Signs of a faulty suspension include pulling when driving, difficulty steering, and oily shock absorbers. Suspension faults can be serious, and repairs can be complex and costly, so safeguarding yourself with an extended warranty* could offer some peace of mind.

What is the average age of the BMW 3 Series when faults occur?

Our data shows that the average age of the BMW 3 Series at the time of requested repairs is 7 years. This is very similar to the majority of the cars on the SMMT list, albeit it is technically the lowest out of the group.

What is the average mileage of the BMW 3 Series when faults occur?

The average mileage at the time of requested repairs is 72,631 miles. As we’ve discussed, most cars function efficiently between 50,000 – 80,000 miles [3]. The 3 BMW Series sits at the higher end of this benchmark, indicating that it could be reliable. However, no car is immune to sudden faults, so it’s better to save yourself from the stress of repairs by protecting yourself with an extended warranty*.

What are the running costs of the BMW 3 Series

Our index data found that the average cost of a BMW repair request is £1,307, and the highest repair request we’ve received is £12,655. Repairing a luxury car like a BMW can sometimes be more expensive than repairing a budget model, as the higher-quality parts will be more expensive. Something to keep in mind before you buy.

It is a dependable executive car that’s versatile, comfortable, and fun to drive. The 3 Series comes with numerous engine options, so fuel economy is hard to estimate, but the average mpg is 28-59 combined. Most models fall between insurance groups 25 and 39, which is fairly high, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good deal – just make sure to do your research. 

The prices of the 3 Series vary widely. They start at a relatively affordable range for models like the basic 320i or 320d, but they can go up significantly for more high-performance options like the M340i or M340d. The M3, especially with its supercar-like speed, falls into the upper end of the price spectrum. A used 3 Series BMW can set you back anywhere between £6k to north of £40k depending on the age and model. If you want luxury and style you have to pay for it! So be sure to protect your investment with an extended warranty.

How practical is the BMW 3 series?

It’s no surprise that the BMW 3 Series is so popular. It offers a good amount of storage throughout the cabin, which is handy for families or regular business travellers. The 3 Series also provides a generous amount of leg and head room. While it’s quite a low car to get into, the rear doors are quite big, and there’s a good amount of headroom and legroom. A fifth passenger will struggle in the middle seat due to the transmission tunnel, but that’s not unusual for a mid-size executive car of this kind

In terms of boot space, there’s enough room for some medium-sized suitcases, a folded down buggy, and a bit of food shopping – again making the 3 Series a very practical option. The rear seats also fold down easily, should you need even more space for lots of large luggage or transporting furniture

Is it worth buying?

Although the BMW 3 Series is a fantastic car, the high potential repair costs are definitely something to be aware of. Should you opt for a 3 Series, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to protect yourself with an extended warranty*

With Warrantywise you’ll get unlimited repairs, 24/7 breakdown cover, car hire, onward travel and a UK based call centre as standard*. Check out our extended warranties for your BMW.


Warrantywise Reliability Index Scoring and Data: Rank is measured by repair request frequency, average vehicle age at the time of fault, average mileage and average labour time, from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2023, and includes vehicles between three and ten years old where there are a minimum of 250 cars on cover. Average repair costs collated over a period between 1 January 2020 and 30 September 2023. Since the sample was selected, Warrantywise has seen a significant rise in the price of labour and parts, which will impact future repair costs. All data used is from Warrantywise’s proprietary internal research. Warrantywise believes the information contained herein to be accurate at the time of release. However, the company may upload new or updated information if required and assumes that it is not liable for the accuracy of any information interpreted and used by the reader.

Warranty FAQ’s.

An extended car warranty from Warrantywise provides protection for your vehicle beyond the manufacturer’s warranty, shielding you from unexpected repair costs that can arise due to mechanical or electrical failures. With additional benefits including recovery, car hire and onward travel, to name but a few, our warranty gives you peace of mind, eliminating the stress and hassle associated with unforeseen repairs and expenses. With access to our network of approved repair centres, you can rely on professional and reliable repairs. By choosing Warrantywise, you can budget more effectively and avoid unexpected costs with cover you can be confident in.

Our retail plans are designed to provide the most comprehensive level of cover available for the age and mileage of your vehicle. We automatically select the most appropriate level of cover for your vehicle, which you can then tailor to meet your specific needs during the online quote process or by speaking with one of our team of warranty experts on 0800 001 4990, who will help you through the process.

At Warrantywise, we aim to make the repair process hassle-free for everyone. When you choose one of our Authorised Repairers, we will handle the settlement of the repair cost directly with them, eliminating the need for you to make any payments. In most cases, you will have nothing to pay at the time of repair. However, if you decide to use an alternative garage or repairer, you may be required to pay the bill in full following an authorised repair. Rest assured, once the repair is verified, we will promptly reimburse you directly for the covered expenses. Our aim is to provide convenience and financial peace of mind throughout the repair journey.

As long as your car has an up to date service history you don’t necessarily need to service the car before we put it on cover. However, if the vehicle doesn’t have evidence that the last service was performed at the correct time, then you will need to arrange to have the car serviced to the manufacturer’s recommendations before your warranty cover is effective. Please refer to Section G – Servicing your vehicle for full details.

No, you don’t have to have a car inspected before it can go on cover.

Our plans are available in lengths to suit your needs. From monthly cover to 12, 24 or 36 month plans.

You can choose to pay for your plan in full, over 4 month or PAYG (monthly pay as you go).

All Warrantywise plans come with a no question 30 day money back guarantee. You can cancel the plan at any time within the first 30 days and providing you have not requested that we meet the cost of any repairs, we will cancel the plan and refund your payment without deduction.

We always recommend using one of our Approved Repairers. These repair facilities undergo careful monitoring to guarantee the best workmanship and service quality. However, we understand that you may have a preferred garage in mind. If that’s the case, please ensure they are VAT registered and follow our provided ‘Repairs Procedure’ outlined in the plan booklet. It’s also crucial to verify that their labor rate aligns with your warranty schedule.

If, during a journey, your car suffers a breakdown within Great Britain you can telephone 0800 054 2174 (24h service) and we will arrange for an engineer to attend to provide roadside assistance and/or recovery to an Authorised Repairer or a Repairer of your choice. If your Vehicle suffers a breakdown whilst in the European Union, you will need to make your own recovery arrangements. We will reimburse you within our normal terms and limits for a validated repair

It is important to stop driving the vehicle immediately, and call our repairs team on 01254 355102. The lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 12pm. In the case of an emergency breakdown out of hours, please call 0800 054 2174. If you continue to drive after you suspect a fault, it could invalidate your warranty. Rest assured, we are here to assist you throughout the process.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘Electrical’ as: (1) concerned with, operating by, or producing electricity. This means it has to be powered by, use, or produce electricity in order to function. NB: There are some items listed under our Additions that are not included with the main cover.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘Mechanical’ as: (1) relating to or operated by a machine or machinery. (2) relating to physical forces or motion. This basically means it has to be a part that moves, is moved and/or is acted upon by something else that makes it do that motion. NB: There are some items listed under our Additions that are not included with the main cover.

If, during a journey, your Vehicle suffers a Breakdown within Great Britain you can telephone 0844 693 1910 (24h service) and we will arrange for an engineer to attend to provide roadside assistance and/or recovery to an Authorised Repairer or a Repairer of your choice. If your Vehicle suffers a breakdown whilst in the European Union, you will need to make your own recovery arrangements. We will reimburse you within our normal terms and limits for a validated repair.

If you need to pay for a hire car, because your vehicle is off the road with a valid warranty repair, you can be reimbursed for up 10 days for car hire, please refer to your plan book for the amount per day.

If you purchased your plan directly, then yes. If you sell your car, you can transfer the remainder of your warranty plan to your new vehicle. Depending on the make, age and mileage of your new car additional charges may apply. Call our admin team on 0800 001 4990 for full details.

We take complaints very seriously and all complaints are thoroughly investigated by our Customer Relations Team. Our commitment to customer satisfaction means that if you are dissatisfied with the initial response, we have an escalation process in place to address your concerns further. We value your feedback and strive to continuously improve our services, ensuring that your experience with Warrantywise is of the highest standard. For more information on the escalation process, please refer to our complaints page. And if we cannot resolve your complaint between ourselves, you can refer it to Edd China for consideration in his role as Final Arbiter.

All calls are answered directly from our UK offices by our knowledgeable and experienced customer advice teams. We take pride in providing exceptional customer service and ensuring that your enquiries and concerns are addressed promptly and efficiently. Our dedicated teams are here to assist you with any questions you may have, offering expert guidance and support.

Edd China fulfils the role of independent arbiter, this means he has the final say over any dispute that we cannot resolve between ourselves, subject of course to your statutory rights.

Quentin Willson was instrumental in working with Warrantywise from 2007 to 2023 to develop our extended warranty plans to ensure they are clear, transparent and comprehensive. In July 2023 he passed over the responsibility of final arbiter, on any issues we cannot resolve between ourselves, to Edd China who takes up the role and will use his ‘discretion’ to ensure a fair and equitable resolution on a case-by-case basis.

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*Please refer to specific plan terms and conditions.