Should I purchase a prepay maintenance plan for my car? Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our aim is to assist you make better financial decisions by providing you with interactive financial calculators and tools that provide objective and original content. We also allow you to conduct research and compare information for free and help you make financial decisions with confidence. Bankrate has agreements with issuers, including but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn money The products that appear on this site come from companies that pay us. This compensation could affect how and where products appear on the site, such as for instance, the order in which they appear within the listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law. This applies to our mortgage or home equity, and also other home loan products. But this compensation does affect the content we publish or the reviews you read on this site. We do not include the vast array of companies or financial offers that may be accessible to you. SHARE Westend61/Getty images
3 minutes read. Published March 13, 2023
Writer: Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers with the ways and pitfalls of borrowing money to purchase an automobile. Edited by Helen Wilbers Edited by Helen Wilbers is editing for Bankrate from late 2022. He values clear reports that help readers successfully find deals and make the best decisions for their financials. He specializes in small and auto loans. The Bankrate promise
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We receive compensation for placement of sponsored products and services, or when you click on specific links on our site. Therefore, this compensation may affect the way, location and when products are listed in the event that they are not permitted by law. We also offer mortgage or home equity products, as well as other home loan products. Other elements, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether or not a product is available in your region or within your self-selected credit score range could also affect how and where products appear on this website. We strive to offer the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include specific information on every credit or financial product or service. Dealerships offer prepaid auto maintenance plans like warranty extensions, insurance for credit and anti-theft devices. They are not necessarily an ideal deal. However, the best method to determine whether a prepaid maintenance program is the right choice is to research expected maintenance costs — then examine them against the cost you’re given. If you plan to add the prepaid maintenance plan your auto loan it might make more sense to keep an account in savings where you earn, and not pay, interest. What is a prepay car maintenance plan? Prepaid car maintenance plans provide scheduled and expected maintenance. Unlike , they only cover preventative maintenance like tire rotations and . The warranty provided by the manufacturer or extended warranty will still be able to cover any the unexpected repair. A maintenance plan that is prepaid could be discussed when purchasing new vehicles that don’t include scheduled car maintenance into the retail price or when the manufacturer doesn’t cover. Whatever the case, you should be certain to inquire if the plan offered is able to be used at an independent mechanic’s shop , or the plan is restricted to services from the dealers. Many such plans only allow service at the dealer selling the plan, limiting your options to future maintenance. Depending on the prepaid maintenance plan you are considering, maintenance might be limited to specific intervals (for instance, oil changes only cover every 10,000 miles). Certain prepaid plans offer services once a calendar year, or every six months, which means that based on how often you drive, 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 cover wear and tear items, such as windshield wiper blades as well as brake pads. However, certain plans don’t. It’s critical to research before heading to the showroom. Are these maintenance plans worth the cost? Like many aspects of the buying process making the calculations prior to going to the dealer is essential to saving money. Check the cost of the insurance plan against the estimated cost of expenses that are scheduled or out of pocket during the covered period. The owner’s manual will list the types of maintenance you’ll need as well as when you’ll need it. Contact the dealer’s service manager and ask for details of maintenance costs. It is also worth considering the cost of insurance, maintenance and other expenses. If the estimated cost for scheduled maintenance of your new car’s first thirty-three miles is $400 and you’re paying an amount of $800, a prepaid maintenance plan for your vehicle is not worth the money. If you’re willing to pay $250 for the plan, you save money. You can strike a balance but remember: If you include the plan for prepaid maintenance as part of your loan, calculate how much you’ll pay in interest alongside the maintenance fee to estimate the total price. There are pros and cons to plan to maintain your car prepaid Do not just sign up for an prepaid maintenance program. Before you step foot into a dealer, be aware of the expected maintenance costs for the vehicle you’re interested in. Be sure to keep the pros and cons while you’re negotiating. Pros Costs for covered services are locked in and not changed by inflation. You may be able to transfer the plan when you decide to sell your vehicle. The residual value of leased vehicles might increase with a prepay maintenance plan. Prepaid costs may be discounted when compared to the normal maintenance cost. Plans that are backed by the manufacturer are typically covered by affiliated dealerships, regardless of location. Cons Service intervals may not correspond to those in the owner’s manual. Prepaid maintenance plans can cost more than the actual cost of maintenance. In most cases, you must get serviced at the dealership which you bought the vehicle from. The most common wear and tear items are not covered. It is possible to include coverage that is unnecessary or is already part of an the extended warranty. The bottom line Prepaid maintenance plans are negotiable — so don’t just agree to the cost provided by the finance department of the dealership. If you’re aware of the costs of regular maintenance, you’ll be able to plan ahead and avoid the stress of deciding when and where to take your vehicle. However, it’s not the ideal choice if you already have a reliable mechanic or body shop or are not planning to remain in the area where you purchased your car. Also, if you include the maintenance plan you have prepaid into your auto loan and you are able to pay more in interest than what the maintenance will be worth. Be mindful of your interest rate on your loan, and don’t hesitate to . If you want to determine whether a prepay maintenance plan will benefit you, you should take the time to study the expected cost and compare them with what the dealership provides.
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 taking out loans to purchase a car. Edited by Helen Wilbers Edited by Helen Wilbers is editing for Bankrate since late 2022. He is a firm believer in the clarity of reporting that can help readers successfully get deals and make most informed decisions regarding their financial situation. He specializes in small and auto loans. Related articles: Auto Loans 5 min read Mar 03 2023 Auto 6 minutes read on Mar 02 2023 auto Loans 3 min read Oct 13, 2022 Automobile Loans 4 min read Aug 22 2022
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