From this week, all new 3 and 5-series diesel models will be sold with free service and maintenance over three years or 60,000 miles.
Announced as the German company launches new ES versions of its 320d saloon and Touring models, the 'free motoring' deal is worth up to £3,100 and should help give heavy-oil motoring a better image, BMW GB claims.
A spokesman said: 'Sales of our diesel models are rising – they accounted for 25% of our total registrations last year, compared with 16% in 2001 – but we still feel these cars are our unsung heroes. While customers regard petrol-driven BMWs as ultimate driving machines, our brand is not generally associated with diesel power and we hope this will redress the balance. It will be available to private buyers, but we anticipate most reaction to come from the fleet sector.'
Based on national average labour rates, the free service and maintenance deal represents a benefit of more than £2,600 on the 3-series. The packages, the first to be offered free by BMW, will be transferable when cars change hands.
The spokesman added: 'This move is an extension of the TLC maintenance plan we offer for £100 with the MINI and the Concourse package that is a £500 option on the 7- series. As these are getting a take-up of 97% and 95% respectively, we feel this free offer should attract a lot of interest.
'We will monitor interest in the offer over the next six months and could decide to make it permanent.'