Auto 101

The pros and cons of prepaid maintenance

By May 27, 2020 No Comments

A big pain point for most car owners is maintenance. New or used, you’ll face a service date and expenses associated with the required things to do to keep your car running well. This can include oil changes, filter replacements, and tire rotation.

Unlike car warranty which covers repair and replacement of vehicle components, a car maintenance plan covers the cost of regular maintenance and service costs.


  • Prepaid maintenance plan locks in costs of your scheduled services from the date of purchase. This keeps you from price increases in the future.
  • Routine service that is already paid for also means avoiding delays in necessary maintenance.


  • Only the selling dealership can perform services for you, which limits your flexibility, making it the only place you can go to for service. For example, if you move during your coverage period, you will no longer be able to take advantage of the plan.
  • Most cars only need significant service at 15,000kms intervals. However, if you drive in harsh conditions (extreme heat or cold, or with frequent stop and go traffic), your recommended oil changes may be every 2,000 kms.
  • Most plans do not cover normal car wear and tear. Such as brake pads or windshield wipers. It also won’t cover mechanical components that are typically covered in an extended warranty.

To help you better decide if a prepaid maintenance plan is right for you, here are some considerations:

  1. Is the convenience of not paying as you go more important to you?
  2. What other coverage plans (such as wear and tear) or extended warranty do you plan on purchasing?
  3. Will prepaying give you peace of mind?
  4. Will scheduled maintenance help you better maintain your car?

Make sure you price out service items you’ll need, verify coverage, and weigh the convenience of the service you want offered against the costs. You can speak to a service manager or a service advisor at your dealership to understand what each service will cost you.