Service Plan vs Maintenance Plan
What’s the difference?
Service plan versus maintenance plan versus warranty.
What’s the difference?
One of the great things about buying a new car is that it will come with a warranty, which vary from two years to seven, usually with a limit to the amount of mileage too. Some cars also come with either a service plan or a maintenance plan. But what’s the difference between the three?
A Warranty covers unexpected breakdowns on your vehicle, as long as the breakdown is due to a manufacturing defect.
In essence, if you have correctly maintained your vehicle, which means that you have stuck to the prescribed service intervals and had your vehicle serviced at an franchise service centre (i.e. the dealership or a manufacturer-approved service centre), the manufacturer will repair any vehicle failure. As with an insurance cover (because a warranty is essentially a form of insurance), the cover will fall away if there was any fault due to driver error or third-party actions. Similarly, warranties don’t cover things like vehicle damage caused by accidents, such as a chipped windscreen – that is for the comprehensive insurance to fix.
So, if your car breaks and you and nobody else did anything wrong, and your car was correctly serviced, the manufacturer will foot the bill.
Warranties exclude regular wear and tear items, such as brakes, tyres and clutch material.
Toyota vehicles generally come with a 3-year/100 000km warranty, while new Lexus vehicles are given a 7-year/105 000km warranty (except Lexus LX models which are given a 7 year / 100 000km warranty.)
A Service Plan is a basic cover that covers the costs of your vehicle’s services, according to the manufacturer’s service schedule. They cover ONLY planned servicing parts and labour, but if anything extra needs to be done during a service that is not part of the planned schedule it is for the owner’s account. The scheduled servicing normally covers the vehicle’s fluids and filters, and items such as spark plugs.
Not all cars have service plans, and service plans also differ in terms of length and mileage covered, or the number of services covered.
As an example, a Toyota Yaris has a 3 services/45 000km service plan. This means that the first three services are paid for by the dealership. The service interval, or how often services need to be performed, is every 12 months or 15 000km.
A Toyota Corolla has a 6-services/90 000km service plan, as another example.
A Maintenance Plan is a comprehensive service plan. In addition to all scheduled services, a maintenance plan covers items that are worn out due to wear and tear, such as brake pads and wiper blades, as well as major items such as the clutch and gearbox.
As with service plans, maintenance plans are fixed for a set period. As an example, a new Lexus comes with a 7-year/105 000km maintenance plan (except Lexus LX models which are given a 7 year / 100 000km maintenance plan.)
Cars that don’t come with a standard service plan can often be bought with an optional one built into the purchase price. The advantage of this is that the running costs for the vehicle are fixed for the duration of the service plan.
Also, there is often an option to extend a service plan, maintenance plan or warranty when you buy a car either new or within the existing plan or warranty.
At Automark, if you buy a Toyota Certified vehicle it comes with a Complimentary 1 year/50 000km Warranty (conditions apply), and an extended genuine warranty is available as an option. Likewise, all Automark Certified vehicles have the option of an extended genuine warranty.