Maintenance Costs – The McLarens 2021 Update

I do get a lot of questions about supercar maintenance costs.  Personally, I have tended to view this as a highly dangerous topic to document given Mrs. SSO does read all the articles I post.  However, having taken the risk last year without any serious repercussions, and as we have completed another service cycle, I thought an update would be in order.  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 and it is much less expensive to take care of things immediately than to wait.  As a reference point, when evaluating the 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 you might be able to buy it for 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 with age and need to be replaced.

In order by date of acquisition here is our McLaren maintenance cost history.  For the sake of simplicity, I have kept the 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.  I do regret having let it go and would love to get another one at some point in the future.

McLaren 650S Spider – The 650S Spider has been with us almost 6 years now.  From delivery up until today, it has served as my daily driver.  The bills to date are: 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.  The first four services were all done by McLaren Dallas and they were terrific to deal with.  Year 5 saw us decamp from Texas and move back up to the Northeast.  The last service was completed by McLaren Boston, who have been just as great to deal with as McLaren Dallas was.   The year 5 service cost was very much in line with the year’s 2 and 3 at $2,196.  It turns out that the roads up here are no more friendly to 650S tires, and a large nail led to a $610 bill for a right rear replacement shortly after the last service.  If I take out the tires and alignment, the service costs have averaged $2,061 per year which is less than what the Ferrari 16M or 599 GTB rang up during a similar period.  Its next service is due shortly.  


McLaren 675LT Spider – The 675LT Spider is nearing four 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 four annual service so far have run: 1st service $1,755, 2nd service $2,405, 3rd service $1,700, and the 4th $2,671.  As per the 650S Spider, the first several were completed by McLaren Dallas and the last one was done by McLaren Boston.  In addition, we had to replace the windshield in September 2019 at a cost of $5,610.  Despite being a Limited Edition car, the LT has been no more expensive to run than the 650S Spider.

McLaren 720S Coupe – 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.  The costs are very much 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.


McLaren 720S Spider – We have owned the 720S Spider for a year and a half now.  It’s been serviced once at a cost of $1,773.  The 720S Spider has also been back to the service center once for a minor issue with the air conditioning and once to replace a misbehaving electric module for the roof.  The 720S Spider is now putting pressure on the 675LT Spider as the road car of choice.

McLaren Senna – We have owned the Senna for a bit under two years. During that time, we had it service once by McLaren Boston at a cost of $1,770.  This seems quite reasonable for a car of its complexity and was just over half the cost of the P1’s first service.  In fact, the Senna’s first annual service was no more expensive than the 1st annual services on the other McLarens.  The Senna’s also had two recalls which were promptly taken care of. 


I’m not sure what conclusions to draw from this exercise other than McLarens are not inexpensive but also are they are not unreasonable to run.  The annual maintenance costs seem very consistent across the range from 12C through to the Senna with the P1 being just a bit more.  So far, we have been fortunate to avoid any major “wear & tear” bills other that can generate the big hits to the wallet.  In comparison to the Ferraris, the McLarens have been a bit less expensive overall.  However, I’m not going to add them all up as that just seems counterproductive.

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May 2021


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One Thought on Maintenance Costs – The McLarens 2021 Update
    howard easton
    14 Jul 2021

    An interesting read. The maintenance costs are significantly higher than they would be for the family car, and since consumables such as oil cost exactly the same, I guess we are paying for the overheads of some very high end dealerships. The cost of the coffee, the canapes, and the hotel standard toilets has to be recovered somewhow.

    But the most interesting part of the report is the absence of reliability horror stories. No gearbox replacements at £35k a time. No resprays because of corrosion. No interminable electronics issues. Reassuring given the comments you read on forums.

    Maybe I will buy one.


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