With prepaid maintenance plans, you can enjoy several discounts on regular maintenance, reduce the headache dealing with fixed prices, and not worry about your next scheduled maintenance because you'll be notified. On the other hand, these plans might not be worth it to brand new vehicle owners, and you'll be limited to get repairs done at a dealership service department only.
One of the common plans that a dealership might offer you is called the prepaid maintenance plan. This plan is not the same as the extended service or warranty plans. It is usually offered for used cars or brand-new vehicles that do not have any original manufacturer's make this plan.
Depending on the vehicle's owner’s manual and the selected timeline, the prepaid plan covers all scheduled maintenance. But, the coverage time depends heavily on your selected plan and can be based on several years or a mileage threshold.
Although the prepaid maintenance plan provides many advantages, it also comes with its own drawbacks. Thus, before you accept an offer from the dealership for a prepaid maintenance plan, it's important to evaluate the major adventures and advantages and determine whether it works for you or not.
This article provides you with all you need to know about “what are the pros and cons of prepaid maintenance?”
What is prepaid maintenance?
Prepaid maintenance is a specific plan focused on covering costs related to frequent maintenance mentioned in the vehicle owner’s manual. Dealerships usually offer these plans on brand new vehicles or on used vehicles sold by the dealership itself.
The prepaid maintenance is something you can pay for months without worrying about surprise us all scheduled maintenance, but you are not prepared for.
Prepaid maintenance covers old schedule maintenance is but not anything that has to do with tear and wear. So, for example, if your brake pad breaks or the windshield wipers are not working properly, you can't get them covered under the prepaid maintenance plan.
Thus, before obtaining a preparedness plan, it's recommended that you understand all the terms and make sure that it is covering what you're looking for instead of spending a lot of money on it.
What are the main pros of prepaid maintenance plans?
Whether you purchased a new or used vehicle, you will have to do some certain maintenance is as specified in your vehicle's owner’s manual. For example, you will have to replace the filters, change the oil, or rotate the tires at some point in your vehicle's lifetime.
Since most of this type of maintenance is not covered under any extended warranty, many drivers evaluate whether it's worth obtaining a prepaid maintenance plan or not. Let's take a closer look at some of the common pros you'll get when obtaining a prepaid maintenance plan:
- Advantages of maintenance discounts
One of the first things you will enjoy when obtaining a prepaid maintenance plan is their discounts. Since dealerships intend to maintain their relationship with their customers, hopefully, they can purchase more vehicles in the future; they usually provide prepaid means plans with many discounts.
- Less fixed costs
When a driver knows that he has a backup of maintenance to take care of ongoing problems, he doesn't have to worry about impacting the budgets because the prices are spread among all the months.
Thus, by obtaining a prepaid maintenance plan, you don't have to worry about a high budget because everything has been taken care of and you should have peace in your mind when it comes to the scheduled maintenance is in your vehicle's owner manual.
Keep in mind that you must pay some interest for maintenance costs across the month as well.
- Less headache
When a driver has a prepaid maintenance plan, he doesn't have to worry about tracking when the vehicle is due for certain maintenance. This is because the dealership can take care of that and remind the driver that his vehicle is due for an oil change.
In addition to the Peace of Mind and less headache, drivers won't miss any important maintenance time because they have someone to remind them. Therefore, it's less to deal with measure complicated problems due to missing important scheduled maintenance.
What are the main cons of prepaid maintenance plans? Is it worth buying prepaid maintenance?
Although the prepaid maintenance plans come with many great features and less headache, it also still has its own drawbacks keeping many drivers away from seeking such a plan.
Let's see a closer look at some of the common cons of prepaid maintenance plans:
- Limited to the dealerships service department
One of the biggest limitations of obtaining a prepaid maintenance plan is that you are only limited to the dealership service department. This means that you will only get your vehicles scheduled maintenance at the dealership no matter how busy they are.
It also means that you'll have to accept whatever hourly rates and other costs they might offer you. In most scenarios, the hourly rate of dealership employees is much higher than those of an independent shop. Thus, although you will save a lot by obtaining some of the discounts provided by the dealership, if you do the math, you might end up paying much more than what you will pay at an independent shop.
- It might not be worth it for modern cars
When you purchase a modern vehicle, it's not expected that you will need a lot of maintenance. Most likely, the maintenance will be limited to some minor oil changes and rotation. Therefore, it's very important to evaluate the situation and confirm whether it's worth obtaining a prepaid maintenance plan for a new vehicle or not.
Keep in mind that most prepaid maintenance plans do not cover any repairs related to wear and tear, which means that you will end up paying for a whole plan just to change the oil.
- Not following manufacturer service intervals
Another common issue about prepaid maintenance plans is that they do not follow the same frequency of maintenance requested by the manufacturer.
For example, your prepaid plan might say that you can do an oil change once every 10,000 miles. However, the manufacturer might ask you to perform an oil change once every 4000 miles if you have a heavy-duty car and once every 7500 miles if you have a light-duty vehicle.
Thus, it can become a concern where many inexperienced drivers might feel uncomfortable not changing the vehicle's oil if specified by the manufacturer just because the prepaid plan does not want to pay for it.
Therefore, before obtaining a prepaid means plant, it's recommended that you read the terms carefully and compare those terms to what's specified new vehicles owner’s manual, especially regarding frequency.
Can you cancel prepaid maintenance?
If you purchased prepaid maintenance and thought that it's not worth it, you can cancel it and get a full refund if the cancellation happens in the first 30 days and they did not pay for any services.
However, if some services were covered under the prepaid maintenance plan within the 30 days’ timeframe, you might need to refer to your dealership and get additional details about your responsibilities and any penalties or fees to cancel the prepaid business plan.
What is the difference between maintenance and warranty?
There is a very common misconception that prepaid maintenance plans are the same as warranties. However, that's not the case.
Prepaid maintenance plans cover these scheduled regular maintenances mentioned in the new vehicle owner’s manual. For example, these plans cover oil change, tire rotation, tune-ups, filter change, etc.
On the other hand, warranties are those coming with brand new vehicles and covering some component damage is replacements. Usually, warranties do not cover any regular maintenance is, and that's why the dealership will offer you a prepaid maintenance plan when purchasing your new vehicle because they know for sure that those are not covered under what the manufacturer is providing you of the warranty.
Keep in mind that even the extended warranty is not the same as the prepaid maintenance plan because it's almost the same as the manufacturer warranty that focuses on covering just damage is in components.
What is the difference between a maintenance plan and a Service plan?
Maintenance plans on service plans are very similar. However, there is a slight difference between the two you need to be aware of before seeking any of them.
The Service plan refers to a plan that covers most schedule services within a certain timeframe, usually the first couple of years of ownership. For example, your Service plan will cover all basic scheduled madness like replacing many of your vehicle’s fluids like the gearbox oil, the transmission fluid, the coolant, brake fluid, etc. It also covers additional items like fuel filters, spark plugs, tire rotation, etc.
While it might sound that the maintenance plan is almost the same as a Service plan, there is some difference. The maintenance plan also covers everything mentioned in the Service plan. However, some maintenance plans might also cover things related to minor wear and tear. For example, some maintenance plans might cover the steering, brake pads, battery, exhaust, and even the engine.
The nice thing about both the maintenance and the service plans is that you don't have to worry about fixed prices, and you can split all these basic scheduled maintenances among months and take care of a certain monthly payment that doesn't change and doesn't have any surprises to you across the year.
How much does a Prepaid maintenance plan cost?
There is no fixed price for a prepaid business plan costs because it differs significantly depending on your vehicle's brand, condition, and the dealership itself, along with your geographical location.
For example, if you're looking for a prepaid plan for a brand-new vehicle, it will be different than another prepaid maintenance plan for someone who's purchasing a used car. Also, your state might be a big variable in determining the prepaid minute's plan costs because some states might have certain higher taxes than others, which affects the overall bill.
Prepaid maintenance plans are specific plans focused on taking care of any regular maintenance schedule in your vehicle's owner’s manual.
These plans provide drivers with many advantages like enjoying the discounts on regular maintenance services, having less headache dealing with hi fixed prices. But, on the other hand, prepaid plans may not be the best option for you if you don't like to have your vehicle fixed at the dealership, you own a new vehicle that doesn't need a lot of maintenance, and you're concerned about the frequency of scheduled maintenance in the prepaid maintenance plan.
If your biggest issue about avoiding prepaid fitness plans has to do with the tear and where you're experiencing with your vehicle, you might need to evaluate whether it's worth continuing driving the vehicle or not. For example, the vehicle might have some major issues requiring many maintenances and frequent visits to the repair shop to get fixed. If that's the case, it might be worth selling your car to Cash Cars Buyer instead and using the money towards a better vehicle.
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