One of the most read articles I have posted over the past few years is on McLaren Maintenance Costs. As it’s been a couple of years now since that original article was posted, I thought it would be worthwhile posting an update. I have always tried to be quite religious with annual services which I’m sure has helped finance better lives for quite a few very talented mechanics. In addition, any issues that come to light during these annual pilgrimages to the service center get taken care of right away. My philosophy has always been that small problems only grow into big problems. In general it is much less expensive to take care of things immediately than to wait. As a reference point, when evaluating the relative cost of annual maintenance costs (I define maintenance as annual servicing cost plus replacement of wear & tear items), I take into account the original list price and not our acquisition cost. A car that cost $250,000 new is always going to have $250,000 car type service costs regardless of what your post depreciation acquisition cost is 5 or 10 years later. Unfortunately, unlike a car, service costs don’t depreciate over time, if anything they move in the opposite direction as more of a car’s components wear out and need to be replaced.
I have listed the models in the order in which we acquired them. For the sake of simplicity, I have kept the maintenance costs in the currencies they were incurred in.
McLaren 12Cs – We owned three 12Cs over a 3-year period. While on paper this sounds a bit daft, there is a logical explanation to it that involves two moves and three countries during that period (Our McLaren History). Across the three 12C’s in the 3 years, we only had one bill for an annual service. The invoice came to £3,265 and included £1,530 for the hardware upgrade from the less than useful 1st generation IRIS infotainment system to the 2nd generation. This is one case where I still believe McLaren got it wrong. IRIS was a £5,320 option that was substandard at best and should have been replaced free of change for all owners of early 12C’s. We did take our final LHD 12C Spider in for service but right after we dropped it off, we got the offer to trade it in for a 650S Spider so I never did see the invoice.
McLaren P1 – We owned the P1 for a bit under two years. During that time, we had it service once at a cost of $2,880 which seemed quite reasonable given the value of the car. The P1 also made two other trips back to the service center. The first was for a replacement of the IRIS infotainment system done under warrantee and the second was a recall notice for the front hood latch. To date though, the P1 is the only car we have sold due to fear of a large six figure maintenance bill (P1 Farewell) if the hybrid battery had failed.
McLaren 650S Spider – The 650S Spider has been with us for 6 1/2 years now. For most of this time, it served as my daily driver. The first four services were done by the excellent team at McLaren Dallas. These bills were: 1st service $1,410, 2nd service $2,275, 3rd service $1,836, & the 4th service $5,570 which included $2,100 for four new tires and $880 for the alignment. Four years of driving around on Dallas’ horrible roads definitely took its toll. If I take out the tires and alignment, the service costs have averaged $2,027 per year which is less than what the Ferrari 16M or 599 GTB rang up during a similar period in the same location. The next several services have been handled by the equally outstanding team at McLaren Boston. The 5th year service was $2,195 and 6th year ran $2,674. This year for the 1st time we had a few extra issues that needed to be addressed separately from the annual service. The high rear brake light failed at a cost of $915, all four suspension accumulators needed to be replaced for $3,785, and we ordered a new set of $422 key fobs after the one that I had been using regularly for the past several years started to fail. In addition, the left hand menu stalk stopped function properly and needed to be replaced at a cost of $1,898. The total covering both service and parts for the 6 plus years is $22,980.
McLaren 675LT Spider – The 675LT Spider is 5 ½ years old now. During this period, it has been our road trip car of choice, so it’s done plenty of long trips. The 675LT Spider has also spent the majority of its life in the mountains of Montana enjoying some of the more challenging roads in the US. The first two annual services were done by McLaren Dallas and ran: 1st service $1,755 and the 2nd service $2,405. The 3rd and subsequent services have all been done by McLaren Boston. #3 ran $1,700 and the 4th $2,671. In addition, we had to replace the windshield in September 2019 at a cost of $5,610, and one new tire in 2020 $567 after a large construction nail put an end to its predecessor. The 5 year total is $14,708 making it a bit of a bargain so far compared to the 650S Spider despite being a Limited Edition car.
McLaren 720S – We owned the 720S Coupe for just under two years and had it serviced twice at costs of 1stservice $1,625 & 2nd service $2,925 which is in line with the bills for the other models. These were the only two times the 720S went back to the service center. In a departure for our normal practice of waiting for late production cars, the 720S Coupe was a fairly early build but had none of the early build issues many supercars are famous for.
McLaren Senna: We have had this Ultimate Series McLaren for 2 ½ years now. During this time, it’s been serviced twice. The first service ran $1,770 and the second was free of charge courtesy of McLaren. The Senna has also been back to the McLaren service center a few times for recalls and to have a couple of leaky accumulators replaced under warrantee.
McLaren 720S Spider – This McLaren was with us for just over a year and a half before it was traded in for the soon to arrive 765LT Spider. During its time in our ownership, it was serviced once by McLaren Boston for $1,773. It also went back once to McLaren Boston for a recall and one other time to have a faulty roof sensor replaced under warrantee.
Overall, while the McLarens are not inexpensive to run, by supercar standards they are far from unreasonable. The annual maintenance costs are very consistent across the range and highly predictable which helps with budgeting. The P1 is the only McLaren to fall outside of this normal service range, which given the complexity of the car is to be expected. So far we have been fortunate to avoid any major “wear & tear” bills, like gearboxes, that can generate the big hits to the wallet. The biggest one so far has been needing to replace all four accumulators on the 650S Spider. My guess is the first four years of its life that were spent trundling around on horrible Dallas roads are mostly to blame for the accumulators’ untimely demise. In comparison to the Ferraris, the McLarens have been a bit less expensive overall. To put it in a bit of perspective, the total for nearly a decade of ownership across 9 different McLarens is less than the cost of rebuilding an engine on a Ferrari F40.
Thoughts and comments? Please see the comments section below.
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Thanks for sharing this honest and detailed account… a real boon to those of us considering (someday) maybe being able to afford a ‘used’ McLaren.
Would buying a used (say 7-8 year old) McLaren 720S / 650S or similar with good maintenance and relatively low miles… still be safer (maintenance or repair cost risk wise) getting an extended warranty? Knowing that the purchaser would have not much, if any, self repair skills beyond maybe the very basics?
Beautiful stable of rides you’ve had.