What is Capped Price Servicing?
Let’s be honest about one thing: Owning a vehicle can be costly. Apart from the cash that you need to shell out for its purchase or down payment and monthly repayments if you’re taking out a car loan, you also have to pay for regular maintenance and repairs along the way.
Car manufacturers understand this that is why apart from the limited-time warranty, they also offer programs to curb service pricing. One of these programs is capped price servicing (CPS).
Capped price servicing or fixed price servicing is a servicing program offered by most car manufacturers that sets a maximum price a dealer can charge for a particular service. The maximum cost of each scheduled service is also revealed beforehand rather than after the servicing is performed.
This scheme helps vehicle owners budget for the upcoming expenses and avoid bill shock. Before this program was introduced, dealers could charge any price they liked for servicing, sometimes costing a lot of money from car owners, especially those who did not shop around for servicing rates.
How does capped price servicing work?
In a capped price servicing scheme, the car manufacturer provides a transparent servicing program that details the servicing schedules and the maximum cost of each servicing.
The determined servicing schedules may cover a limited period of usually around the warranty period of three to six years or for the lifetime of the vehicle. The maximum amount of time recommended between servicing varies from one brand to another and is based on a number of months or a kilometre reading.
Some manufacturers may schedule the servicing every six months or 10,000km of mileage while others may set a 12-month service interval or a 15,000km mileage, whichever comes first.
The types of services required, including car parts and labour, are also laid out. Some include key fluids, others don’t. The cost of each service also varies among car makes and models.
What services are included in the servicing program and for how long these services remain transparent depends entirely on the manufacturer’s discretion. For instance, Toyota customers are entitled to the capped price servicing program for three years while Volkswagen customers enjoy it for the first six years of vehicle ownership.
Even if you know the types of servicing needed and the price of each one, it is smart to check the current pricing before the scheduled date. The manufacturers can also change the price of some parts of their capped price servicing program, including the labour rate or the cost of parts.
As mentioned earlier, the capped price servicing scheme helps car owners avoid bill shock and rip-offs by knowing exactly what each service will involve and for how much.
Apart from this, the car owners can also prepay the servicing costs at the time of vehicle purchase and bundle them into the finance deal.
Other Servicing Programs
Apart from capped price servicing, some manufacturers also provide pre-paid and free servicing programs.
Prepaid service plans lock in pricing years in advance. However, it usually ties the car owner to a particular dealership.
Prepaid servicing can be bought during the car purchase or at any time before the car’s first scheduled service.
Yes, they exist. However, they are usually offered during sales events. Most of the time, they are also exclusive to a few high-end models. Ferrari, for instance, offers free car servicing for seven years, Jaguar has free servicing for XJ, F-Type, I-Pace for five years; while Range Rover has free servicing on full-size Range Rover.
What Servicing Programs are Car Manufacturers Offering?
Now that you have more ideas about servicing programs and capped price servicing and other servicing programs, let’s proceed to the exciting part: knowing what the leading carmakers in Australia are offering.
Here it goes:
Alfa Romeo: Available for all models from 2016 and newer, it covers the first three years of ownership of 150,000km mileage.
Ford: The carmaker provides an online calculator that issues a service quote that’s valid for 30 days. This works with all of its vehicles built from 2007 onward.
Holden. One of the best capped price servicing schemes around, it covers all vehicles sold in Australia. Simply visit the company’s website to check how much your next service will cost.
Honda: All car models listed on its website can be checked for the basic service costs for each scheduled service over the first five years. The base price doesn't include the adaptive items, like spark plugs and brake fluid.
Hyundai: Offering a lifetime capped price servicing scheme, car owners can get a servicing quote online and can prepay or pay-off the servicing costs in monthly instalments.
Isuzu: It has a capped price servicing scheme for all cars from 2015. MY2019 and newer models are covered for seven years.
Kia: Its capped price servicing scheme runs for seven years, which is the same length as its warranty period.
Lexus: Under its Encore Owner Benefits Program, its capped price servicing program is only available on models delivered from January 1, 2020, and covers three years of ownership.
Mazda: Through its Mazda Service Select, the company increases the service intervals to 12 months and introduces a lifetime capped price servicing program. Simply type in your registration or VIN details on their website to check how much each service will cost.
Mercedez-Benz: Its capped price servicing scheme is available for models from 2015 and newer and covers up to 3 years or 75,000km mileage.
Mitsubishi: Its capped price service program runs for the first four years of ownership for models bought before 2017 and three years for newer models.
Nissan: Under its Service Certainty program, the capped price servicing covers six years of ownership regardless of whether your vehicle requires servicing every six or 12 months. Do note that the program doesn't cover the cost of brake fluid.
Subaru: Its capped price servicing program covers three years of ownership or the first 75,00km. BRZ owners, however, are covered for 60,000km only.
Toyota: First to introduce the fixed price servicing scheme through its Toyota Service Advantage, its program caps the annual service costs between $280 and $720 and covers the first three or four years of ownership.
Volkswagen: Its program covers every new passenger vehicle sold over the first six years of ownership.