Understanding Capped Price Servicing

Learn about capped price servicing and determine if it is right for you compared to independent mechanics.
Published on December 7th, 2020
  Written by 
Adrian Edlington
Adrian Edlington is PR & Communications Manager at Savvy. With a keen interest in personal finance, car loans, the mortgage industry, cost of living pressures, electric vehicles and renewable technology, Adrian's research includes conducting primary data surveys and analysis of up-to-the-minute secondary Australian data sources. His work on behalf of Savvy has been featured on ABC.net.au The Conversation, the Sydney Morning Herald, AFR, News.com.au, The Age, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, SBS On The Money, 7News, Car Expert, Which Car, Drive.com.au and more. In his spare time, Adrian enjoys mountain biking and business podcasts.
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   Reviewed by 
Bill Tsouvalas


Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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In Australia, car ownership comes with its fair share of responsibilities, one of which is maintaining your vehicle through regular servicing. However, the costs associated with this can leave car owners in a financial hole. This is where capped price servicing comes into play, offering peace of mind and cost certainty for drivers across the country. In this blog, we'll delve into the ins and outs of capped price servicing, exploring what it is as well as its benefits and drawbacks.

What is capped price servicing and how does it work?

Capped price servicing, also known as fixed price servicing, is a program offered by many car manufacturers and dealerships in Australia. Essentially, it means that the cost of scheduled servicing for your vehicle is capped at a predetermined price for a set period, typically covering the first few years of ownership or a certain number of kilometres, whichever comes first.

When you purchase a new vehicle from a participating manufacturer or dealership, you'll often have the option to include capped price servicing as part of your purchase agreement. Alternatively, you may be able to opt into the program at a later stage. Once enrolled, you'll receive a schedule outlining the services required for your vehicle at specific intervals, such as every 6 months or 10,000 kilometres.

The capped price for each service is fixed and transparent, providing you with clarity on the costs associated with maintaining your car. This means no unexpected surprises when it comes time to visit the service centre.

Many car makers brands offer capped price servicing on their vehicles, including Toyota, Mazda and Mitsubishi. However, price, duration and what is covered will vary between suppliers and may change over time, so it is important to check with the brand to understand what exactly the scheme covers.

What are the benefits of capped price servicing?

Capped price servicing can offer car owners a number of benefits:

  • Cost certainty: one of the most significant advantages of capped price servicing is the assurance of knowing exactly how much each service will cost. This helps you budget effectively and avoid any unforeseen expenses.
  • Peace of mind: with capped price servicing, you can rest easy knowing that your vehicle is being maintained to the manufacturer's standards without breaking the bank. This can alleviate stress and make car ownership a more enjoyable experience.
  • Quality service: participating dealerships and service centres adhere to strict guidelines set by the manufacturer, ensuring that your vehicle receives the highest standard of care. This can prolong the lifespan of your car and help maintain its resale value.
  • Nationwide coverage: capped price servicing is widely available across Australia, regardless of where you purchased your vehicle. This means you can access quality servicing no matter where you are located.
  • Warranty compliance: regularly servicing your car according to the manufacturer's recommendations with genuine parts is crucial for maintaining your vehicle's warranty.

What are the potential drawbacks of capped price servicing?

While capped price servicing offers numerous benefits, there are a few factors to consider before enrolling:

  • Exclusions: some wear and tear items may not be covered under capped price servicing, such as brake pads, wiper blades and tyres. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully to understand what is and isn't included.
  • Potentially higher costs: capped price servicing plans might seem more expensive upfront compared to independent mechanics, especially for basic services. However, the use of genuine parts and factory-trained technicians can justify the cost for some car owners.
  • Limited flexibility: you’re restricted to servicing your car at authorised dealerships participating in the manufacturer's capped price servicing scheme. Independent mechanics typically offer more flexibility in terms of servicing options and parts used.

Key considerations before choosing capped price servicing

Before signing up for capped price servicing, there are several factors to weigh up:

  • Driving habits: if you're a high-mileage driver, the potential fuel savings and longer lifespan offered by capped price servicing might make it a worthwhile investment.
  • Budget: compare the upfront cost of capped price servicing plans with quotes from independent mechanics for similar services to determine the most cost-effective option for your needs.
  • Convenience: if convenience and peace of mind with genuine parts and qualified technicians are priorities, capped price servicing offers a straightforward solution.

To make the most of your capped price servicing plan, it’s important to:

  • Read the fine print: carefully review the terms and conditions of your chosen plan to understand what is included and any exclusions.
  • Service on time: missing scheduled services within the timeframe can void your warranty and potentially affect the resale value of your car.
  • Keep records: maintain a record of all your completed services for future reference and warranty purposes.
  • Ask questions: ask dealership service advisors about specific procedures, parts used and any additional costs beyond the capped price servicing plan.

Should I choose capped price servicing or an independent mechanic?

The choice between capped price servicing and independent mechanics depends on your priorities and budget. Here's a simplified comparison:

Feature Capped price servicing Independent mechanics
Potentially higher upfront cost, but the price is set
Can be cheaper for basic services, but costs can vary depending on labour rates and parts used
Convenient and straightforward; no need to negotiate prices or get quotes
May require more research and comparison shopping to find a reputable mechanic
Predefined costs for each service
Costs may not be clear upfront, with quotes needed
Ensures warranty compliance by using genuine parts and authorised dealerships
May require verification that parts used comply with warranty requirements
Technicians are generally trained for your specific car model
Expertise can vary depending on the mechanic
Limited to authorised dealerships participating in the program
More flexibility in terms of servicing options and parts used - though be aware of potential warranty implications
Quality of parts
Uses genuine parts manufactured by the carmaker or specifically approved for your vehicle model
Parts quality can vary depending on the mechanic; ensure they use parts that meet manufacturer specifications

Capped price servicing offers Australian car owners a convenient way to maintain and manage the cost of their vehicle. However, servicing is just one of the expenses to consider when buying a new car. A vehicle is a big investment. If you want to spread the cost, Savvy’s car loan comparison service can help. We can compare offers from dozens of lenders to find the most suitable loan tailored to your needs and budget. Get started today!

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