This might fall into the über-obvious “Duh!” category of information that might be interesting, but doesn’t pertain to most BMW owners, unless they happen to be driving M cars or a certain BMW i model. Unfortunately, it also puts some BMWs into the same category as a few supercars or ultraluxurious vehicles—and in this case, that’s not a good thing.
According to AutoGuide.com, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) studied the repair costs of passenger cars needing crash repairs in 2014 through 2016. The resulting list identified the most expensive cars to crash.
The BMW M4 made the list at number 9 out of 10, primarily because of its crash frequency of 10.0 and a claim severity of $13,499. In case you’re wondering where the M4’s fraternal twin, the BMW M3 ended up, it followed the M4 in the number 8 spot. Makes sense. The M3 had a lower claim frequency of 8.0, but it costs more to fix at $16,866. So you M4 people need to be more careful and M3 drivers should not follow M4s so closely.
Skipping two places to number 6 is the BMW M6 Coupe. What is it with these coupe drivers? The M6’s claim frequency was 8.6, but claim severity was the highest of all the BMW M cars on the list at $17,436. The M6 Coupe is no longer in production so perhaps on the next list, it can be replaced with a non-Bavarian car.
Seeing three M cars on the list is not surprising, given that some M owners may get overly enthuiastic. Remember: “With great power comes great responsibility.” However the most expensive BMW to crash was not a BMW M product, but rather a BMW i car. And yes, it’s another coupe: the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. The I8 experienced a lower claim frequency of 7.7, but the claim severity was the highest of any BMW at $21,588. Not surprising when you consider the carbon fiber and electronics and two motors and all.
The IIHC’s category of claim frequency shows the number of crash reports per 100 insured vehicle years. Claim severity is average loss per claim.
While it may seem that BMW is playing into the stereotype that they are expensive to repair, remember that almost none of these repairs would be necessary if the driver avoided the accident in the first place; so let’s see what we can do about that. And while BMW did take four spots on the top ten list, other exotics and high-performance cars were right there with them, including the Maserati Ghibli at #10; the Audi RS7 at #7; the Maserati GranTurismo at #5; the Bentley Continental GTC in third place; the Bentley Continental Flying Spur in second, and the Bentley Continental GT in first place, with a claim frequency of 7.1 but a claim severity of $35,744.
By the way, if you’re looking for BMW on the “cheapest cars to crash list,” don’t bother. Better you should find a nice Ram 1500 pickup or a SmartforTwo Electric.
Given those choices, we’ll take our chances with the M cars and just try to drive a little smarter on our own.—Scott Blazey