Car maintenance: are you protected?

Last updated on 12th December, 2017 at 04:27 pm

You’ve just bought a new car… but what happens if something goes wrong? Mechanical or electrical breakdowns can prove costly, so be informed about the different ways you can look after the maintenance of your vehicle.

If you’re driving a new or relatively new model car, you usually get a warranty with the vehicle and often either a service or maintenance plan. It’s important to know the difference between a vehicle warranty, a motor plan and a maintenance or service plan, as this will help you budget for future maintenance costs, as well as help you figure out who to call when you get stuck.

Manufacturer’s warranty

Most vehicle manufacturers will provide a warranty on a new vehicle that should cover any manufacturing defects to the original components, mechanical or electrical, for a certain period after the purchase date of your vehicle. Warranties may differ from one manufacturer to another, but on average, the warranty period is usually for three to five years, or for a specific kilometre distance. Warranties usually cover repair costs to parts such as the gearbox, water-cooling system or head gasket, and other large parts in the motor engine.

Service plan

A service plan will cover the cost of routine car services, usually annually or when a particular mileage is reached, including labour costs. Items that are covered in the cost of a routine service include air filters, oil filters, fuel filters, spark plugs, coolants and lubricants such as oil. Any other repairs required will be for the vehicle owner’s account.

Maintenance plan

A maintenance plan covers the cost of your regular service (including labour) as well as the cost of repairs to parts caused by wear and tear. It provides cover for parts such as brake pads and brake discs, shocks absorbers, the car’s battery, windscreen wipers, globes and fuses. A maintenance plan is more extensive than a service plan and the optimal option, especially if it’s only a minimal additional cost when purchasing a vehicle.

Motor plan

A motor plan combines the benefits of a service plan and maintenance plan in one package, offering the vehicle owner more benefits. In some cases it may also include a warranty. Keeping your car properly maintained and serviced at the correct intervals can help to reduce the unnecessary cost of repairs and unscheduled maintenance. It is, however, important to note that a vehicle warranty, service or maintenance plan will not cover you for any damage to your vehicle in the event of an accident. You would still need to ensure that you have an insurance policy to cover your vehicle against accidental loss or damage caused to your vehicle in the event of an accident.

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