SERVICE WITH A SMILE
HOW TO SHOP AROUND FOR THE BEST DEAL
New car servicing is huge business. Most dealers do little better than break even on new car sales, instead making their money on servicing, parts, finance and insurance. The Australian Automotive Dealer Association estimates that the gross profit margin on servicing at a dealership is 64 per cent. On new car sales, it’s 7.3 per cent.
In recent years car companies and dealers have won a lot of lucrative servicing business back from independent workshops by introducing so-called “capped price” servicing schemes.
Capped price servicing looks like a pretty simple, attractive proposition. You know in advance how much it will cost to service your car over a certain period.
Independent workshops claim it’s just a tactic to reduce competition, lure customers into overpriced servicing and increase the already big profits made by dealers’ service departments.
Depending upon how many kilometres you drive between services, some cars are thousands of dollars cheaper to service under capped price schemes than others. Service intervals also vary greatly between makes and models.
Some makers include fluids and filters in the capped servicing price, others charge extra when they are required.
We’ve compiled this guide to the capped price servicing schemes of Australia’s top 10 brands, with prices for popular models.
It’s important to note that even these prices can and will change over time, except where you elect to pay upfront for servicing over a specific period, which locks in the price for the duration.