Car Warranty vs. Service Plan vs. Maintenance Plan?
Your guide to maintaining your car and knowing the difference between a maintenance plan, a car warranty, and a service plan.
Published: Wednesday, December 28th 2016
So, you’re in the process of buying a new car. Naturally, this shiny new vehicle comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. But, does the purchase price also include a service or maintenance plan?
These are basic questions you’d no doubt be sure to enquire about before signing on the sometimes-dreaded dotted line.
Make sure you have a deeper understanding of the differences between the various plans and contracts long before something goes bang.
What Is a Car Warranty?
A car warranty is, typically, a standard feature on new cars sold in South Africa. It provides cover against manufacturing defects that cause your vehicle to fail. If the automaker agrees that the problem is indeed due to defects in components or workmanship, then the problem will be resolved at no cost to you.
Of course, there is always fine-print. For instance, Hyundai Automotive South Africa’s recently launched seven-year or 200 000 km warranty covers a great deal. This includes all internal engine parts, all internal transmission and gearbox parts, all drive lines and final drives, and the front and rear suspension hub bearings.
But, dig deeper and you’ll notice that the clutch plate is covered for just one year, or 20 000 km. The audio system is only covered for three years or 60 000 km. This excludes the speakers, which aren’t covered at all. And the battery is covered for two years or 40 000 km.
What Is An Extended Motor Warranty?
Many manufacturers also offer the option of an extended warranty. The same logic applies here, make sure you know exactly what is and isn’t part of the deal.
A motor warranty is designed to help car owners when their car unexpectedly breaks down and needs urgent and costly repairs. Most insurance companies also conveniently offer 24/7 roadside assistance so you are never left stranded.
CLICK BELOW to read three reasons why you need an extended motor warranty.
Be warned, automotive warranties in South Africa are easily voided. Most commonly through the fitment of (unapproved) aftermarket parts.
Consider an extended motor warranty if your:
- Car is a non-commercial passenger car
- Warranty has expired
- Car is less than 10 years old
- Distance travelled is less than 200 000 km (depending on your provider)
- Car is not used for commercial purposes or racing
What Is a Service Plan?
Many new vehicles sold in South Africa come standard with service plans. Although, a fair number of the most basic entry-level options do not. They are, however, often available at an additional cost.
A service plan covers all of the costs associated with the vehicle’s scheduled services, as per the owner’s manual, at an approved dealership. This includes parts, consumables, and labour, as well as the likes of oil, various filters, and spark plugs.
It’s important to note that the replacement of wear-and-tear items (also known as “friction components”) - such as brake pads, clutches, tyres, and wiper blades - are not covered by a service plan.
Remember, your motor warranty won't cover you in the event of a car accident. CLICK BELOW to compare car insurance quotes.
What Is a Maintenance Plan?
A maintenance plan is designed to offer more peace of mind. Such a contract generally covers everything a service plan does, as well as numerous additional items.
Renault South Africa’s maintenance plan, for instance, adds brake pads, brake discs, brake linings, shock absorbers, wipers, the battery, clutch, exhaust system, globes, fuses, air-conditioner belts, and much more. But, this particular plan excludes all warranty related items, top-up oils, all glass, tyres, paintwork, body, and any damage that comes about as a result of “driver abuse”.
And, be warned, the plans do indeed vary between the various manufacturers. They’re not all the same length nor do they provide the same value. This means you have to be sure to read the fine-print, regardless of how tedious it may seem.
Finally, the most important piece of advice you should take from this article, ask for as much information as possible when looking to buy a new car, and take the time to read and understand every word of the fine-print.