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Service contracts


Tel_man
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2 minutes ago, Tel_man said:

Taking delivery of my new Corolla 1.8 Hatch in March (I  hope), and wondering about setting up a service contract. Anyone got any experience of Toyota servicing contract, price, value for money etc.?

Had a Lexus one for last 10 years. A No Brainer in my opinion for a sizeable investment.

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I think the contract I was offered was just the total price of two minor services and one major service at that time, spread over 30 months.

No discount for, in effect, paying slightly in advance but price fixed, which with inflation high and interest rates low made it worth considering.

Only other incentive was free puncture repairs and screen wash top ups which may be of very little value if you don't live right next door to the dealer!

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1 minute ago, Geoff W said:

I think the contract I was offered was just the total price of two minor services and one major service at that time, spread over 30 months.

No discount for, in effect, paying slightly in advance but price fixed, which with inflation high and interest rates low made it worth considering.

Only other incentive was free puncture repairs and screen wash top ups which may be of very little value if you don't live right next door to the dealer!

And it aids cash flow,by smoothing out the peaks and troughs of Bills.

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5 minutes ago, Geoff W said:

I think the contract I was offered was just the total price of two minor services and one major service at that time, spread over 30 months.

No discount for, in effect, paying slightly in advance but price fixed, which with inflation high and interest rates low made it worth considering.

Only other incentive was free puncture repairs and screen wash top ups which may be of very little value if you don't live right next door to the dealer!

Puncture repairs are always free at any Toyota centre for any Toyota cars

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9 minutes ago, Woofwoof said:

Puncture repairs are always free at any Toyota centre for any Toyota cars

They didn't tell me that when I signed up! I did claim the screen wash top up once when I was passing by anyway. The service manager looked embarrassed and said they had no facility to do that in the car park (I assume they don't own a watering can) and told me that I would have to wait until they could move the car into their workshop. I protested and went away with two free bottles of concentrate to put in by myself!

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29 minutes ago, Geoff W said:

No discount for, in effect, paying slightly in advance but price fixed, which with inflation high and interest rates low made it worth considering.

The subject of service plans was something I went over with the Toyota garage, I couldn't see any real advantage to it, especially since I had to sign up for either 15k km per year, or 20k km per year. At the time it looked like we run at about 17k km per year. The disadvantage I see to Toyota service intervals, is that > 15k km per year means services more frequently than yearly. Swings and roundabouts, I suppose, because when I was doing 10k km per year with the previous car I felt that I was servicing  too frequently.

There was no discount and if I did more km I would run out the Service contract before I finished paying for it. Finally the garage manager said he saw no interest in it whilst the car was under contract, and that the only interest came signing up for it at the end of the 3 year guarantee period. IMO, he hadn't figured in the "Relax" guarantee. I can't see why it would be worth buying the guarantee extension of up to 3 years when there is Relax.

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39 minutes ago, john p williams said:

And it aids cash flow,by smoothing out the peaks and troughs of Bills.

Yes, it does, but you can do the same thing by having a savings account, and for the annual bills you put aside either 1/12 or 1/10 maybe to give some leeway, every month, then you pull out what you need to pay those annual bills, like car insurance, services, holidays and W.H.Y. 

it does help if you can manage a spreadsheet, it makes everything easier.

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39 minutes ago, Woofwoof said:

Puncture repairs are always free at any Toyota centre for any Toyota cars

Even my 13 year old Avensis that has never seen the inside of a garage since I have owned it and gets tyres fitted elsewhere?

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The two main advantages of a service contract/plan are:

1). You spread the servicing costs over the period of the plan, and,

2). You fix the servicing costs for the duration of the plan - avoiding any price rises.

Depending on the dealer, you may be offered other incentives such as a discount on parts and labour for any work outside of the contract/plan. Some dealer groups offer their own service plans, which may be cheaper yet still satisfy Toyota's service requirements.

Plus, depending on the age of the vehicle, or how long you intend to keep it, additional items such as MOTs can be included (which again fixes your costs).

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I got my Corolla nearly 2 years ago now. I managed to get a £60 discount on the service plan because I complained that the vehicle didn't have a space saver wheel when I took delivery. So if there is anything you don't like when your Corolla arrives it's always worth haggling over something else, like a service plan.

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I opted for the service plan and noticed that the price of services went up a couple of weeks later, never mind any year on year cost increases, so taking out the plan was a no-brainer really.  Like to haggle?  It's a case of if you don't ask you definitely don't get so see what they are prepared to offer as a sweetener, nothing ventured, nothing gained etc.

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TBH aside from being shielded from sneaky price rises, which usually get announced, there isn't any major benefit to service contracts unless you're the sort of person who's really bad at managing your finances and needs to have have enforced small regular payments.

I prefer paying per service as it means I'm not tied to a particular dealer garage, should my patience finally run out...

 

2 hours ago, Stivino said:

Even my 13 year old Avensis that has never seen the inside of a garage since I have owned it and gets tyres fitted elsewhere?

Yup! Absolutely! They would be happy to fix your puncture for free even then!

You just need to make sure you book it in 2 weeks in advance and be prepared to wait several hours... :laugh: 

 

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18 minutes ago, Cyker said:

You just need to make sure you book it in 2 weeks in advance and be prepared to wait several hours... :laugh: 

I think I can manage without that service, a mate of mine is a mobile tyre fitter and I always get it done on the spot and for free. 😊

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47 minutes ago, Cyker said:

TBH aside from being shielded from sneaky price rises, which usually get announced, there isn't any major benefit to service contracts unless you're the sort of person who's really bad at managing your finances and needs to have have enforced small regular payments.

I prefer paying per service as it means I'm not tied to a particular dealer garage, should my patience finally run out...

Go on, I'll bite😉  That's a bit of a sweeping statement/generalisation implying the only benefit is for poor money managers.  Here's my own view, don't buy what you can't afford to run in the first place, which includes all servicing/maintenance (either service plan or pay as you go), insurance, putting fuel in it, oh and don't forget the depreciation cost.  

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We've had service plans on our last 10 new cars - the current Hyundai came with a free 3 year service plan as part of the deal. Prior to these 10, on our 11th and 12th new cars, we had 2 years free servicing from the manufacturer. 

The service plans we've paid for, have all been negotiated down from the first offer.

For us, rather than being poor money managers, it is the convenience of knowing what our service costs are for the next however many years, and we have yet to have problems with the dealers we've used.

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Many thanks for all the responses everyone. On balance it seems that a contract is maybe worth having, depending on what I might be able to negotiate when the time comes. I will give it a go and see what happens. Thanks again 👍

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2 hours ago, Cyker said:

TBH aside from being shielded from sneaky price rises, which usually get announced, there isn't any major benefit to service contracts unless you're the sort of person who's really bad at managing your finances and needs to have have enforced small regular payments.

I prefer paying per service as it means I'm not tied to a particular dealer garage, should my patience finally run out...

 

Yup! Absolutely! They would be happy to fix your puncture for free even then!

You just need to make sure you book it in 2 weeks in advance and be prepared to wait several hours... :laugh: 

And you get free tea out of a vending machine..

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10 hours ago, Stivino said:

I think I can manage without that service, a mate of mine is a mobile tyre fitter and I always get it done on the spot and for free. 😊

Always nice to get mate’s rates!

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I just booked my major service (covered by three year plan) and got the usual sales pitch for extras that weren’t included:

£40 to disinfect the air con. Is this seriously recommended every 12 months and if it is why isn’t it part of the service?

£40 to clean the fuel system - same questions.

As far as I know, the former is just spraying an aerosol I could buy at Halfords into the ventilation air intakes and the latter is just emptying a can of fuel additive into the petrol tank.

As usual I declined both. Is this just the dealer making easy money? What do other folks do? 

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14 minutes ago, Geoff W said:

I just booked my major service (covered by three year plan) and got the usual sales pitch for extras that weren’t included:

£40 to disinfect the air con. Is this seriously recommended every 12 months and if it is why isn’t it part of the service?

£40 to clean the fuel system - same questions.

As far as I know, the former is just spraying an aerosol I could buy at Halfords into the ventilation air intakes and the latter is just emptying a can of fuel additive into the petrol tank.

As usual I declined both. Is this just the dealer making easy money? What do other folks do? 

Ask your dealer

it could be like you say or it could be to change the cabin air filter and engine air and fuel filter

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Unless you have an issue with the air con, decline. If it is used regularly (we leave ours on all the time) should be OK.

Fuel additive - could do it yourself.

Both are your choice.

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2 hours ago, Woofwoof said:

Ask your dealer

it could be like you say or it could be to change the cabin air filter and engine air and fuel filter

The engine air and fuel filter are part of the scheduled services at the relevant intervals. The cabin filter is checked as part of the service and only replaced (chargeable) if necessary.

 

1 hour ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

Unless you have an issue with the air con, decline. If it is used regularly (we leave ours on all the time) should be OK.

Fuel additive - could do it yourself.

Both are your choice.

Precisely.  Not sure either are necessary. STP auto air con cleaner is £7.49. Halfords own brand is £4.99. This seems to be a bit of a con to me. I also don’t like the sales pitch which implies that only an irresponsible car owner would decline!

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12 minutes ago, Geoff W said:

The engine air and fuel filter are part of the scheduled services at the relevant intervals. The cabin filter is checked as part of the service and only replaced (chargeable) if necessary.

 

Precisely.  Not sure either are necessary. STP auto air con cleaner is £7.49. Halfords own brand is £4.99. This seems to be a bit of a con to me. I also don’t like the sales pitch which implies that only an irresponsible car owner would decline!

Welcome to car dealers

even at 1 dealer I’ve found some ppl are better than others

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To me it's a con.

A few cars ago I bought a year old car, which came with a three year warranty.  At its first service, which was free, they tried to sell me an air con service.  I replied that it was a new car which they supplied with a recent PDI and a 3 year warranty so why would it need the air con serviced?

Oh, sorry sir, we've made a mistake, was the reply.

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