Are car maintenance plan contracts worth it?

By David Sholicar

It is now commonplace in purchasing a car to be offered a service plan via either a one-off payment or a monthly schedule covering a number of services.

Mechanic talking to customer

The aim is to avoid a large bill when it comes to an MOT or a service. In some cases, they may work well for you, but there are alternative approaches to the manufacturer's service plans.

Benefits of a service plan

You can fix the costs at the time of purchase, future-proofing against any rise in the costs of labour or parts. By agreeing to a dealership-sold manufacturer’s plan, you will have the work carried out by the dealer and have recommended parts fitted. A recognised dealer’s stamp in your service record may be seen as an advantage.


The pricing of these plans is not as transparent as it could be. Some manufacturers offer a fixed fee for any cars in their range, but more frequently you will have to examine tailored plans for different fuel types and vehicles. There may also be different periods of cover on offer such as three-year or five-year plans. As a result, these agreements can cost from as little as £100 to many times that for a luxury car.

The local garage alternative

In our experience using a local garage you can trust can be a better bet. Using a franchised dealer is almost always more expensive and very often, service plans will only cover the basics such as filter and oil changes. Wearable components will almost always cost more and independent garages may be more cost-effective.

For example, at Protyre, our years of experience tell us that there may be issues which you may not have noticed. How often do you check your tyres? It is not only tread wear which can be an issue; your tyres can incur other damage. Furthermore, having access to quality brands, such as; Pirelli, Falken, Bridgestone or Sumitomo offers a range of options which routinely goes beyond those on offer at a main dealer.

Are car maintenance plans worth it?

Always remember that service plans are designed to get you to return to the dealership. Most main dealerships make relatively little margin on selling cars and rely upon servicing to drive profits.

 If you are concerned about surprise costs, Protyre can offer a service plan, enabling you to spread the cost of servicing. We always use manufacturer approved parts so your warranty will be protected and we have a large network of garages nationally, staffed by expert technicians with experience in working on most models.

Finally, your mileage will also be a major consideration since many cars have variable service intervals. Why not contact your local Protyre garage for further information and advice. We think you will be pleasantly surprised. Our team of experts can also offer a range of free vehicle checks which may identify any potential issues before they become an expensive problem.

 You can find your nearest Protyre garage using the search function here on the site.

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About the author

Article Author Photo
By David Sholicar
David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and expertise is dealing with the DVSA and MOT’s for Protyre. As the Authorised Examiner Designate Manager ( AEDM ) David deals with applications for changes to the many Vehicle Testing Stations ( VTS’s) including managing the growth of the Number of MOT testing stations that Protyre operate, allocating MOT tester roles, and monitoring the MOT Test logs to ensure that Protyre MOT standards are maintained as the best in the industry.
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