For first-time car buyers or motorists who may not have much experience with vehicle ownership, servicing your car correctly and at the right time can be a daunting process. Especially if you have multiple experienced drivers trying to tell you what would be best in terms of keeping your car healthy, it can be overwhelming.
Combine this with the misinformation in the public space designed to make car systems seem more complicated than they are, it can be hard to figure out exactly what you need. You might have also heard about service plans that you can get for your car that covers you for services over a set period. Mercedes service plans, for example, look after your car for parts and labour and all you need to do is select and pay for the timespan you want your car covered.
In this article, we’ll go through five of the myths that are the most prevalent around service plans and debunk them so you can feel more at ease when figuring out what to book your car in for.
MYTH 1: You won’t save any money with a service plan
A big issue currently facing motoring right now is the increase in the cost of parts, as well as repairs and servicing thanks to world events having a huge impact on their production and the supply chain. In fact, there were even reports in late 2022 that there were increases upwards of 90%.
This is where a service plan can be an attractive option. Depending on how long you’re covered by your plan, your price is fixed within that timeframe, so you won’t get hit by any price increases. On top of that, if you decide on monthly payments rather than an upfront lump sum, you don’t pay any interest. This means that you could save a lot more overall by paying for a plan against paying for individual services.
MYTH 2: Service plans are only for new cars and for only that car
Service plans can be bought at any point during the ownership of your car, so you don’t have to buy one directly when you first buy your vehicle. You can also set up a service plan for a used car if you buy one from an independent seller or approved used dealership.
If you come to a point where you want to sell your car or if you need a change, you have a few options for what to do next. Cancelling an active plan will normally result in your remaining balance being returned to you, or you can sell the plan to a new potential buyer if you’re selling privately. Alternatively, if you’re moving to a car of the same brand, you may have the option of transferring your plan to your new vehicle.
MYTH 3: Credit checks and agreements are required to get one
As service plans aren’t regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), they’re not credit agreements. Checks aren’t required when setting up a plan, so you’ll be able to cancel your plan at any point while active and receive a refund for any leftover budget within it.
MYTH 4: Service plans can be bought in replacement of extended warranties
Don’t fall into the trap that with a plan in place you can go without an extended warranty. The two are not interchangeable and work best when both are active on your car, as the service plan will make sure the maintenance of your vehicle is kept up so if you do need to claim on your warranty, you’ll know that you’re covered for any manufacturer defects.
MYTH 5: All service plans cover all maintenance needed
This isn’t true, as each service plan is different and covers different things. The first important thing to note is that car parts that experience frequent wear and tear are not maintained under service plans, meaning tyres, brakes, and wipers aren’t covered.
Plans will often separate maintenance into minor and major categories, with minor services focusing on things like oil, oil filters, and pollen filters being replaced. Major services tend to extend to brake fluid and fuel filter changes on top of oil and pollen replacements.
No matter what car you drive, it’s always a good idea to have a service plan in place, if not just for the added safety of mind. With the cost of used cars going up and waiting lists for new cars rising as well, it’s becoming more important for motorists to look after their current vehicles to avoid breakdowns or additional charges.