BMW i4 review: running costs & insurance
Though the i4 is pretty expensive to buy, reasonable insurance, low tax and strong residuals mean the savings quickly stack up
|Annual company-car tax cost (20%/40%)
BMWs have never been cheap cars to buy and that’s certainly the case for its electric models – but the i4 will be cheap to run. Its insurance ratings are about the same as for a similarly powerful petrol BMW, there’s no road tax (VED) to pay until 2025 and company-car Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) bills will be a fraction of what they would be for a diesel or petrol-engined equivalent. Servicing is also cheaper and less frequent than for a combustion-engined BMW.
BMW i4 insurance group
It may seem a bit counterintuitive, but the cheaper eDrive35 is actually more expensive to insure than the mid-spec eDrive40, with each occupying groups 38 and 35-36 respectively. Neither is actually that bad when you consider that the equivalent (but less powerful) petrol-engined 430i Gran Coupe starts in group 34. The big jump up to group 43 for the i4 M50 is reflective of that model’s significantly higher power output.
Like all new BMWs sold in the UK, the i4 is covered by a three-year manufacturer warranty, with no mileage limit during that time. BMW’s ‘i’ electric-car warranty also includes BMW Mobile Care and protection for the car’s high-voltage battery for up to eight years or 100,000 miles.
As with all electric cars, BMW i4 servicing will be pleasingly affordable. The car only needs attention every two years or 20,000 miles, whichever comes first. BMW offers inclusive service plans for the i4 that start from £460 and include all service and maintenance work that you might need.
As mentioned, the BMW i4 is a pretty expensive car, so private buyers will be glad to hear it’ll retain anything between 53 and 60% of its value over three years and 36,000 miles – base models fare the best in this regard. A comparable Tesla Model 3 will only, at best, hold onto roughly 50% of its value over the same period – no doubt as a result of the model’s recent price cut.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe electric equivalent to the BMW 3 Series offers performance and refinement, plus technology and superb build quality
- 2Range, battery & chargingClaimed range figures are promising, but making the most of the i4's performance will see the numbers tumbling
- 3Running costs & insurance - currently readingThough the i4 is pretty expensive to buy, reasonable insurance, low tax and strong residuals mean the savings quickly stack up
- 4Performance, motor & driveEven the entry-level i4 is quick, but the range-topping M50 boasts supersaloon-like performance; both handle superbly in the best BMW tradition
- 5Interior, dashboard & infotainmentInterior quality and layout are both excellent, and BMW's infotainment system is incredibly responsive - if a little confusing at times
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityBoot space is very close to that of the petrol 4 Series, but rear-seat passengers might feel the squeeze
- 7Reliability & safety ratingBMW has been building reliable electric cars for some time, but on the safety front the i4 only scored four out of five in Euro NCAP crash-testing