Car sales is a competitive field. Whereas it used to be a visit to your friendly local dealer to help sort you out with a new motor, the twenty first century has seen a huge shift. Massive franchised dealers now dominate the car sales industry. However, when it comes to purchasing a new family car, a sporty little number or a vintage classic, it is still very much a buyers market. With the financial markets looking a little uncertain because of the impact of Brexit, car buyers are becoming more savvy when it comes to scouring the showrooms. They want a good deal, good service, and a reliable set of wheels.
The advent of service plans has been an attempt to reassure car buyers that reliability and customer service is still paramount for retailers. But are they all they’re cracked up to be? EMaC has partnered with Vauxhall to give those people looking at Vauxhall nearly new cars the chance to sign up to a plan called ‘Vauxhall Care.’ For between £19 and £22 a month, customers receive three years free servicing, the first MOT for the vehicle if needed, and extra roadside assistance should a breakdown occur. This extra peace of mind when undertaking the daily commute is an attempt by Vauxhall to provide a more comprehensive aftercare plan, and plenty of consumers have been taking them up on this offer. Alongside the usual warranty, the service plan is excellent value for money.
Honda also provides a service plan that aims to provide a better aftercare follow up schedule. While similar to that of Vauxhall’s there are some key differences. Read the small print, and you will soon see that if your Honda is fitted with a Service Reminder System, the service plan will not cover any interim service that may be required, even if this is just for an oil and filter change.
Mercedes Benz also provides their own service plan, but again, it seems to be lacking a little. From £29 a month, which is a little on the expensive side, you will receive three services (not three years free servicing) and the pricing is bespoke meaning the £29 a month quoted will only cover the bare minimum.
You could, of course, choose a third party care plan, like the good garages scheme or RAC to provide a service plan. Or you may want to risk it and not get one at all. A service can cost around £150 at a small generic garage with larger named dealerships costing much more. You may want to put the service plan money that you would be spending into a savings account and put this towards vehicle maintenance.
For ease, service plans are beneficial. They allow you to take your car to a garage, get it serviced, and not have to pay out on the day as everything is covered. Whether they actually save money, in the long run, is debatable. However, for peace of mind and simplicity, a service plan should not be ruled out of your car buying process.