When you buy a new or used car from a dealer, you may have the opportunity to purchase a pre-paid maintenance plan. These plans, offered for new and used cars without a factory-backed maintenance plan, cover the scheduled maintenance laid out in the owner's manual, for a specific amount of time/mileage.
To determine whether one of these plans is right for you, consider the following pros and cons.
- Locked-in maintenance costs. Paying for maintenance in advance means that service costs won't go up in the years to come. This is a huge perk if you intend to bring your car in for service often.
- Discounted prices. Because of the nature of pre-paid maintenance plans, dealers (like Patty Peck Honda) may offer the coveted maintenance services at discounted prices for those who have purchased the plans. It's a win-win for everyone, as buyers get to save money, and both they and the dealership's service team get to cultivate a continuing relationship every time the vehicle is brought in for service.
- They make life easier. Knowing that maintenance is paid for and included brings peace of mind, as well as saves time whenever your vehicle is in need of service. Dealers will also notify you whenever you're in need of regular service, so there's no need to overthink anything.
- Modern cars don't require much maintenance. We can't say if this is truly a con or not. For the purpose of buying a pre-paid plan, it means that you may be spending more money on services you potentially won't ever have to use. That, paired with the fact that most pre-paid plans don't cover wear-and-tear items, can leave you feeling like you invested more than you needed to.
- Longer service intervals. Sometimes the service schedule is different than the one the vehicle manufacturer recommends. For example, the manufacturer might suggest an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, but a pre-paid maintenance plan might call for one every 10,000 miles. If you are driving your vehicle often, you may not be able to follow these guidelines (and, thus, have to pay extra for services you require outside the plan).
Take into account these pros and cons, and your own personal needs and preferences, before you decide on a pre-paid maintenance plan. You can also talk to any one of our knowledgeable service staff here at Patty Peck Honda to figure out which option is the best fit for you and your car.