Should I purchase a prepay maintenance plan for my vehicle? Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our mission is to help you make better financial decisions by offering financial calculators and interactive tools as well as publishing authentic and objective content, by enabling users to conduct studies and compare data for free and help you make financial decisions with confidence. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers such as, but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make Money The deals that are displayed on this website are provided by companies that pay us. This compensation could affect how and when products are featured on the site, such as for instance, the order in which they may be listed within the categories of listing, except where prohibited by law. This applies to our mortgage or home equity, and also other home loan products. This compensation, however, does have no impact on the content we publish or the reviews you see on this site. We do not cover the universe of companies or financial deals that might be open to you. SHARE Westend61/Getty images
3 min read Read Published March 13, 2023
Authored by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers with the details of borrowing money to purchase an automobile. Edited by Helen Wilbers Edited by Helen Wilbers is editing for Bankrate from late 2022. He is a firm believer in transparent reporting that helps readers confidently get deals and make best decisions for their financials. He specializes in auto and small business loans. The Bankrate guarantee
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This compensation could impact how, where and in what order products are displayed within the categories of listing in the event that they are not permitted by law. We also offer mortgage home equity, mortgage and other products for home loans. Other factors, such as our own website rules and whether the product is available within the area you reside in or is within your personal credit score could also affect how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service. Dealerships will offer prepaid car maintenance plans like extended warranties, credit insurance, as well as anti-theft tools. They are not necessarily an ideal deal. However, the best method to determine whether a pre-paid maintenance plan is the best option is to study the expected maintenance costs, and then examine them against the cost you’re given. If you’re planning to apply the prepaid maintenance plan to your auto loan it might make more sense to save a savings account for where you earn, not pay, interest. What is a prepaid car maintenance plan? Prepaid car maintenance plans provide the scheduled maintenance and anticipated maintenance. Contrary to the other types of plans , they only cover preventative maintenance like tire rotations and . The warranty of the manufacturer or extended warranty will still provide for unexpected repairs. A prepaid maintenance plan may enter the discussion when buying a new vehicle that doesn’t include scheduled maintenance for cars built into the retail price or when that the manufacturer no longer covers. Either way, be sure to inquire whether the plan you are offered can be utilized at an independent mechanic’s workshop or if it is limited to services in the dealer. A lot of these plans will only permit service at the dealer selling the plan, limiting your options for future maintenance. Depending on the prepaid maintenance plan you are looking at, maintenance could be restricted to certain intervals (for instance, oil change only cover every 10,000 miles). Certain prepaid plans offer services once a calendar year or every six months. Depending on how often you travel, you could need additional paid maintenance on the car. Several manufacturers — such as Jaguar, Toyota, BMW, Volvo, MINI and Land Rover — offer Prepaid maintenance plans. Some of these factory plans also come with wear-and-tear products, such as windshield wiper blades or brake pads. However, others don’t. Therefore, it’s important to do your research prior to heading to the showroom. Are prepaid maintenance plans worth the price? Like many aspects of buying a car making the calculations prior to going to the dealer is the key to saving money. Check the cost of the plan to the estimated cost of the expenses that are scheduled or out of pocket during the covered period. The owner’s manual should detail the types of maintenance you’ll need as well as the time you’ll require it. Contact the service manager of your dealer and ask for a breakdown of scheduled maintenance expenses. Also, you can consider the cost of maintenance, insurance and other costs. If the estimated cost for regular maintenance for your brand new vehicle for the first 30000 miles is $400, and you are paying $880 for the service, then a prepay maintenance plan for your car is not worth it. If you are paying $250 for the plan you’ll can save money. You could strike a balance but remember that if you’re able to include the prepaid maintenance plan part of your loan, calculate how much you’ll pay in interest alongside the maintenance fee to estimate the total cost. The pros and cons of plan to maintain your car prepaid Don’t simply sign up to an prepaid maintenance program. Before you set foot in a dealership, know the maintenance fees expected for the vehicles you’re considering. Keep these pros and cons in mind as you make a deal. Pros Prices for covered services are locked in and not changed by inflation. You may be able transfer the plan if you decide to sell your vehicle. The residual value of leased vehicles may increase with a prepaid maintenance plan. Costs prepaid can be discounted in comparison to regular maintenance costs. Manufacturer-backed plans are usually covered by affiliated dealerships, regardless of where they are located. Cons Service intervals may not be as specified in the owner’s manual. Prepaid maintenance plans can be more expensive than the actual expense of maintaining. In most instances, you need to have your car fixed at the place that you bought your car from. Most wear-and-tear issues are not covered. It is possible to include coverage that is unnecessary or is already part of an extended warranties. The bottom line Prepaid maintenance plans can be negotiated — so don’t just agree to the cost that is offered by the finance office of the dealership. If you know the potential cost of regular maintenance, you’ll be able to plan ahead and avoid the hassle of making a decision about when and where you will drive your vehicle. However, it’s not the ideal choice when you already have a reliable body shop or mechanic, or do not plan on staying within the region where you purchased your car. If you incorporate a prepaid maintenance plan into your auto loan, you could pay more in interest than the maintenance will be worth. Be aware of the interest rate on your loan, and don’t hesitate to . If you want to determine whether a prepay maintenance plan can benefit you, take the time to study the expected cost and compare them with what the dealership provides.
This article is written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is a specialist in helping readers in navigating the details of borrowing money to purchase a car. Edited by Helen Wilbers Edited by Helen Wilbers Editing for Bankrate since the end of 2022. He is a firm believer in transparent reporting that allows readers to confidently land deals and make the best choices for their money. He specializes in small and auto loans. Related Articles Auto Loans 5 minutes read in Mar 03, 2023 Auto 6 min read March 02, 2023 Auto Loans 3 min read Oct 13, 2022. Auto Loans 4 minutes read Aug 22 2022
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