I’ve owned the car for just a short while but after some of the investments and works, I might be probably able to tell you, how costly an M5 can be. This info is already known thanks to various BMW communities and websites, but some basic intro should be here too.
Let me start by saying that most BMW M parts will be more expensive than parts for regular models. On the other hand, E39 M5 is now pretty old car and BMW has some discount scheme. Because I’m a pedantic freak, I have insisted on using original parts (with only small exceptions), so the info below can be slightly influenced. Had I chosen alternative suppliers or aftermarket stuff, or had I done most of the work myself, I could have saved a lot more. On the other hand, I stick with the rule of investing 100% possible to get 100% quality, which means I have chosen the best way for me. The way I could and wanted to afford.
So, how costly can an M5 be?
Not that bad. Of course it’s still lot of money. With regards to a legendary status of the car, it could be even worse. Plus, many of the costs are one-time only (or you are likely to spend similar amounts every other year or so :). Here is a quick list (outlined in EUR, before discount kicked in), just to give you a hint…
- New tire set – Michelin typically – 670€.
- New OEM brake set – discs and pads – 1000€.
- New OEM front shocks – 450€.
- New OEM wishbones – rear – 450€.
- Motorex oils are usually more expensive – engine 155€, transmission 60€, differential 40€.
- Wiper set – 240€.
- Engine belts – 185€.
- New OEM Style65 rims – 3000€.
- New timing chain set for the engine – 2800€.
- + labor.
On the positive side, many of the used parts can be sold which will improve the balance.
The rule of thumb says that you should have at least 50 % of the purchase price as a reserve for the first repair or basic maintenace. And yes, this rule is vitaly important to the M5. Originally I have calculated that the initial maintenance would cost anything between 2000-3000€. But during the process, there were those small calls like: “We have to buy new clips, it’s only a few euros..” or “I would recommend changing this, it’s a cheap item…” So the totals were a bit more than expected. But hey, when you love the car…
The text above is mainly to set some financial expectations for potential M5 buyers. Especially if they run on tight budget and if they think that expenses end with the purchase. Yes, those people still exist. Well let me tell you, the financial stream is not going to end with paying the purchase price. Not at all. On the opposite.
Few years back, I have calculated costs estimates for having an M5 in my garage. And the results came to 3700€/year considering driving for only 6.000 kilometers/season, tires to be changed every other year, oil every year and the car would be fully insured. For the petrol costs, I’ve used the average price and average consumption of 15 litres per 100 km. And after my short M5 ownership, I can confirm I wasn’t mistaken that much.
Not to forget – to get at least some price estimates, there are several online resources for BMW parts, typically RealOEM, where you can find basically all parts per each model, including prices and part numbers for easier ordering.
The M5 is not a cheap thrill, however it is highly rewarding and it’s real fun. With great portion of character, power and good-old solid engineering behind the performance and driving pleasure.