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BMW 3-Series running costs and reliability

2019 onwards (change model)
Running costs rating: 4 out of 54.0

Written by Keith Adams Published: 27 January 2023 Updated: 3 March 2023

Miles per pound (mpp)

Low figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only, and typical current fuel or electricity costs.
Petrol engines 5.0 - 6.5 mpp
Diesel engines 5.6 - 8.0 mpp
What is miles per pound?

Fuel economy

Low figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only.
Petrol engines 34 - 44.1 mpg
Diesel engines 44.1 - 62.8 mpg
View mpg & specs for any version
  • Efficient diesel engines
  • 330e plug-in hybrid is cost-effective
  • Petrols surprisingly frugal too

What are the running costs?

As you’d expect for a premium-badged saloon, the 3 Series is pricey, and likely to have higher-than-average servicing costs with more expensive replacement parts. But its efficient engines mean this is often compensated by excellent fuel economy, while strong resale values ensure this BMW should still be worth plenty when you come to sell it on – which in turn leads to competitive leasing and monthly finance costs.

Most of the diesel models, and particularly the popular 320d, should easily be capable of a real-world 50mpg – though expect more like 40mpg from the most powerful all-wheel drive versions. The latest diesel 3 Series also come with mild-hybrid technology as standard, which improves fuel economy further still.

The conventional petrol engines aren’t that far behind these days; drive carefully, and the 320i might crack 40mpg, though the 330i is more likely to return mid-30s. Again, xDrive has a modest impact on this, but all 2022 facelift versions of the 3 Series come with an eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission as standard, which helps.

Want the lowest 3 Series running costs? Then the 330e plug-hybrid is by far the best option – as long as you’re able to make maximum use of its electric-only driving range. This is as much as 37 miles on paper, but if you get much over 25 miles in real life you’re doing very well. Either way, being able to switch off the petrol engine for big chunks of time can certainly deliver impressive mpg. We have a full separate BMW 330e review if you need more details.

View detailed mpg and CO2 figures on our BMW 3 Series specs pages

BMW 3 Series saloon review (2023)
BMW 3 Series saloon review (2023)

Servicing and warranty

BMW has 150 dealers in the UK with most towns and cities being covered. Customer service is generally rated highly in industry surveys such as those conducted by JD Power.

BMW servicing isn’t based on mileage, but on condition – the car will tell you when it needs a service. Service plans are available to help manage the cost. How much you pay depends on the model.

All BMWs are covered by a three-year unlimited mileage warranty.


  • BMW 3 Series reliability well established
  • Most reliable car in 2021 FN50 survey
  • There have been some safety recalls

The 3 Series has a good reputation for reliability. For instance, it was rated the most reliable car in the 2022 Fleet News FN50 survey, which is based on real-world usage among some of the largest fleets in the UK. Our BMW 3 Series owners’ reviews section offers real-world impressions, and gives you the chance to leave your own feedback.

The current model uses some new technology which we’ve found to be patchy in operation – such as disconnecting phone connections randomly and even when you come to a stop – but software updates should sort this out in time.

This car has been subject to a few recalls, which you can see in full detail on the vehicle recall check website. These have mostly affected only small numbers of vehicles and are related to production issues; if buying a used BMW 3 Series it’s worth checking all the recall work has been completed, however.

Ongoing running costs

Road tax £180 - £570
Insurance group 24 - 42
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