When you buy a car from a dealership, the dealership often includes some type of maintenance program to cover any service needed on the vehicle. What these maintenance programs actually cover and for how long they are in effect depends on the specific program. Dealerships may offer a program unique to them, or you may discover that many dealerships offer similar programs. Below, learn more about the different kinds of maintenance programs out there so you can go into your next car-buying experience informed.
Types of Coverage
The main difference between these types of programs is the amount of coverage that is offered. Programs may offer things like free tire rotations and a few oil changes, or they may go further and offer full maintenance coverage for several years.
Most of the better programs offer coverage for three to five years or from 36,000 to 60,000 miles. Each program is different, and some of the programs can seriously increase the value of the deal that you are getting on the vehicle. Although maintenance isn’t the only ownership cost to consider when you are buying car, it is something that you need to take into account.
Who Offers What?
Generally, purchasing a more expensive car or a new car may mean you gain access to better maintenance programs. But there are less expensive vehicles that still come with a maintenance program that covers most or all of the vehicle’s maintenance for a few years. Make sure you talk about the maintenance program that comes with your vehicle.
Do the Programs Really Matter?
While these programs are most likely not going to save you thousands of dollars, they may save you a few hundred bucks. Obviously, the better the program, the more you will save. But if you buy a new car and something major goes wrong, you may be able to get it fixed without paying a dime. Dealers include these programs because they know that the maintenance programs will look good to the customer, increasing the customer’s overall satisfaction and experience. Dealers also know that, with new cars and used cars in good condition, they will probably not have to perform much expensive maintenance, meaning they don’t lose too much money overall.
Maintenance Programs with Used Cars
Generally, used vehicles are not sold with any type of maintenance program, and, if they are, you will probably have to pay for it. If you look hard, you may be able to find some dealers that will offer a maintenance program with used vehicles
Hubler Automotive, one of the biggest dealers in the Indianapolis area, does offer a maintenance program for used vehicles called Driver Plus. It is a one-year program that includes three oil changes, car washes, and a few other services to keep your car in tune and running well.