Why a BMW M5 is Priced Lower Than an M3 in Ireland


As the sole European member of the Motor1 team, I often find myself reminding my American colleagues of the benefits they have when it comes to buying new cars. Despite differences in taxes and regulations, it’s interesting to compare how the cost of vehicles can vary between countries. This article will delve into the pricing discrepancies of BMW M3 and M5 models in Ireland, shedding light on how factors like emissions and vehicle registration taxes can affect the final price tag.

Exploring the Price Discrepancy in Ireland:

The BMW M3 sold in Ireland comes with a hefty price tag of €151,675, which is approximately $163,000 when converted to US dollars. On the other hand, the newly unveiled M5 is priced at €137,055, or $147,400. Despite the M5 being larger and heavier than the M3, it’s interesting to note that it is priced lower. This unusual pricing scenario is primarily attributed to the Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) system in Ireland, which is based on CO2 emissions.

The Impact of CO2 Emissions on Vehicle Pricing:

The latest BMW M5, thanks to its plug-in hybrid setup, emits only 37 g/km of CO2 in the combined WLTP cycle. This places it in the lowest tax bracket where the VRT accounts for only seven percent of the car’s value. In contrast, the M3 emits 228 g/km due to its non-electrified six-cylinder engine, placing it in the highest tax bracket with a VRT of 41 percent. This significant difference in CO2 emissions directly affects the final price of the vehicles, showcasing the importance of emissions regulations in the automotive industry.

The Rise of Plug-In Hybrids in the Market:

The pricing gap between the M3 and M5 highlights the growing trend towards plug-in hybrid vehicles in the automotive market. Manufacturers are now prioritizing electrified options to meet emissions regulations and provide customers with more tax-friendly choices. The lower CO2 emissions of plug-in hybrids result in reduced taxes and ultimately lead to more competitive pricing compared to traditional gasoline-powered models. This shift towards electrification is evident in BMW’s lineup, with the M5 benefiting from its plug-in hybrid technology.

Challenges with Fuel Consumption Numbers:

Apart from emissions regulations, the quoted fuel consumption numbers for the M3 and M5 models also raise questions. Despite the M5 being larger and heavier, it boasts impressive fuel efficiency figures, requiring only 1.7 liters per 100 kilometers. In contrast, the M3 needs 10.1 liters per 100 kilometers, showcasing a significant difference in fuel consumption between the two models. This disparity in fuel efficiency can be attributed to various factors, including engine size, weight, and drivetrain configuration.

Considerations for Potential Buyers:

For consumers in Ireland looking to purchase a high-performance BMW model, the pricing and tax implications should be carefully considered. While the M5 may seem like a more affordable option compared to the M3, factors such as driving preferences, emissions regulations, and fuel efficiency should all play a role in the decision-making process. Ultimately, each model offers unique characteristics and specifications that cater to different preferences, highlighting the importance of thorough research and evaluation before making a purchase.

In conclusion, the pricing differences between the BMW M3 and M5 models in Ireland shed light on the impact of emissions regulations and vehicle taxation on the automotive industry. As the market continues to evolve towards electrification, consumers should consider a range of factors when choosing a vehicle, including emissions, fuel efficiency, and overall cost. By understanding the complexities of vehicle pricing and regulations, buyers can make informed decisions that align with their preferences and priorities in the ever-changing automotive landscape.

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