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Capped-price servicing is one of the current buzz phrases doing the rounds in the local new car market but what does it mean and who’s on-board?

The basic premise of capped-price servicing programs is to alleviate consumer doubt and hesitation towards their vehicle’s regular scheduled servicing through the life, or the first three to five years anyway, of the car.

Ford Falcon - Engine Bay

This is done by manufacturers openly declaring a price ceiling for each of the scheduled individual services for the allotted time period of the servicing program.

These time frames vary from brand to brand but are usually spread across three to five years giving new car buyers added piece of mind and another fixed financial factor to take into consideration outside of a vehicle’s initial purchase price.

Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart TC-SST - Odometer

The first brand to introduce a capped-price servicing scheme was Toyota back in January of 2008.

Toyota Service Advantage gave new eligible Toyota buyers a fixed-price plan for each standard scheduled service for the first three years of vehicle ownership or 60,000km. The first cars covered were the Yaris, Prius, Camry, Aurion, TRD Aurion, Corolla, Kluger, RAV4, RAV V6, Tarago, Avensis and LandCruiser 200 series.

After Toyota got the capped-price servicing ball going, Mitsubishi released its own program in January 2010, covering the first four years of ownership or 60,000km.

Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart TC-SST - Engine Bay

Nissan then followed suit in December that same year, offering buyers capped-price servicing for six years or 120,000km under its myNissan program.

Ford was next, unveiling its myFord capped-price servicing plan across all models in July 2011. The plan was made available for all Ford’s built from 2007, stretching to six years and 105,000km and included 12 months myFord Standard Roadside Assistance.

myFord

Local rival, Holden, was next to join the team launching HoldenWise capped-price servicing across a range of vehicles in April 2012, ahead of a wave of late comers including Korean sister brands Hyundai, with Hyundai iCare, and Kia, with Kia Connect, in July.

Opel Astra GTC - Wheel

Most recently, Opel introduced its own Service Plus program this August to become the first of the European brands – which have a reputation for some of the higher servicing costs – to offer capped-price servicing. Volkswagen is understood to be considering following suit.

Capped Price Table

Capped-price servicing breakdown featured first in the CarAdvice iPad magazine app that can be downloaded free every month.


  • Nmrenwick

    Ahhh, Renault. Pretty sure they had it before Opel. 

    • Tex

      Correct, but the capped price servicing varied per campaign.

    • Chevrons

      Likewise Peugeot offered it before Opel, but it may be a limited offer?

  • Wile E Coyote

    I thought BMW had some sort of cap arrangement available? 

    • Sam

       BMW is offering FREE SERVICING for the first 3 years I believe in certain models.  That a pretty good saving I think.

      • Adfgsfds

        That promo by BMW ended last month.

        Volvo is running the same promo on S60/V60 as long as they are delivered by the end of this month (not sure what would stop them from “delaying” a ordered car).

  • Dudeface

    This article doesn’t really give much information – the dollar values are pretty meaningless when you don’t take into consideration things like the service intervals required to remain eligible for the capped price (eg. Toyota may seem cheap at $130 but required every 6 months compared to 12 months for others). Also including what is covered by the capped price and what is not etc..

    • Blueberry

      Toyota require usually require between 9 months and 12 months

  • F1MotoGP

    Opel Corsa is $249 pa, Toyota Yaris $130 x 2 = $260 pa. People should really compare service cost it is for 6,12 or 24 months. Toyota looks cheap but you visit the dealer every 6 months compared to Opel which once a year or at 15,000km which ever comes first.

    • Guest

      Comparing service cost for 6, 12 or 24 months is true for people travelling relatively low km’s (e.g. 15,000km/year). But for people travelling above average km’s (e.g. 25,000km), this comparison may not represent reality.

      Please correct me, if I’m wrong. Opel service interval is 15,000km/1 year & Toyota service interval is 10,000km/6 months. If I do 30,000km a year, it will cost me $390 p.a. for Toyota or $498 p.a. for Opel.

      • Sydlocal

        The Toyota service intervals are all over the place now. Any post Jan 09 Aus built Toyota and the 86 are 9 months/15,000km. Which is intersting considering the Australian built Toyotas before then were 12 months/15,000km. All other Toyotas are 6 months/10,000km. What is strange though is that Mazda for example have 12 months/20,000km intervals in just about every other country in the world yet have 6 month/10,000km here in Australia. Go figure…
        Then there is the “conditional” intervals on Euros like BMW and M-B which can have over 18 months/25,000km between servicings.

        • Guest2

           You are correct that post Jan’09 ” AUSTRALIAN BUILT TOYOTA” which is the camry its 9 months/15,000. The other cars still have the 6 months /10,000. IT IS ONE OF THE ANNOYING aspect of driving a current model prius as I have to go to get it serviced 3 times per year. I hope it changes with all the new models they introduce in future.

      • Luke Brinsmead

        Yeah but not many people do 30,000 a year, I’m lucky if I do half that.

  • John West

    Thanks for this article CA, but I agree that more info is required based on service intervals as well as other fine print eg: I believe with the Toyota CPS if you miss one service or late getting it done you are no longer eligible for CPS and default back to what ever the dealer wants to charge you and the Nissan one actually back dated 6 years to include vehicles already sold where as most of the others only covered from the date of purchase.  

  • Jenny

    After having 6 years of VW Golf Mk5 & Mk6 servicing costs I have made a change. I was getting ripped off.( $600.00 for every second service)

    • Robin_Graves

      not bad considering it probably needed a new engine and gearbox every service.

      • tiddy

        lol

        • $29896495

          Yeah and that’s just the issue with this story, we all understand why, what we need to know is what is included, I bet any money that’s going to vary widely across the board. Anything outside what I suspect to be a narrow parameter will be extra. Then you’ll have the unscrupulous dealers who won’t to do a full service to make money on the back end from the manufacturer. Happened a lot with the Daewoo free service.

    • Luke Brinsmead

      I researched the WHOLE cost of ownership using NRMA’s operating costs calculator before buying my new Golf. It compared very favourably to similar cars in it’s class.

  • Peter

    Still all a rip off for a basic oil change if they even do that ? Have done all my services for over thirty
    years myself on all the cars own by my family. Has been up to 10 cars mainly Mazdas,Hondas and Toyotas.and have had no warranty issues.

    • Guest

       You can do a oil and filter change for $25 if you’re going down that level. These are for cars under warranty and if you aren’t a qualified mechanic, then even if you’ve done exactly what’s needed in the service, the warranty is void. Say you as a manufacturer of widgets, wouldn’t warranty your widgets if it was serviced by “non qualified” people. It does make business sense that way without even considering the financial aspect.

      • Peter

         If you used the correct oil and filter warranty is not void -would have to be proven
        that what you did was the cause of ploblem.

        • Robin_Graves

          uh-uh, you’d have to prove the work was done by a qualified mechanic and all consumables were as per manufacturers spec.  Good luck with that in court if you are not a trade qualified mechanic and have all the proof of purchase of the correct parts.

          • Guest

            Exactly!

            Would Peter trust me if I said you had a clean bill of health whilst not being a doctor?

          • Peter

             Have been involved in the car industry for over forty years-
            running workshops and parts departments and have seen
            what goes on at some dealers .I am not a qualified mechanic but have learnt to do my own basic services on all cars own by my family.All cars have been brought new
            and have not been taken back to dealer from new and nothing has needed to be done under warranty.This includes a BMW 320  5 years old.Mazda 6 and 3 -9 and
            8 years old ,3 Honda Civics up to 12 years old and 3 Mazda 323.

          • Scout392

            More than qualified mechanic must also be knowlagable on the car they working on.

  • John

    Why no mention of the best car servicing deal, that from Ferrari, all free for the first 7 years from purchase and transferrable to the next owner

  • Phil

    Nissan’s $88 fee is for the Electric Leaf. Their cheapest service of their cheapest petrol car (Micra) is about around $250 (for only a 6 monthly service) and they’ve actually be, by far the most expensive overall in that list.

  • Guest

    For those who work in the top 500-1000 business (in the BRW magazine), most prestige brands (e.g. BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo etc) offer corporate program which provides complimentary service for the first 3-5 years.

    • Welkee

       Own a Lexus IS250.  Free service for first 5 years.  Work for myself.  Very happy

  • Luke Brinsmead

    $435 for a Golf service is a bit too expensive, VW should cap it at $400 for a general service.

    • Golfmother

      First service $335 12months or 15,000k , whats to whinge about cant afford it dont buy .

      Still waiting for the explosion robin .

      • Dom

        Try owning one for more than 3years and then you’ll get your “explosion”

        • craig

          I’ve owned a Golf GTi for 5.5 years and done 55,000km and haven’t had any problems other than a squeaky back seat at times, and a CD player that was replaced under warranty. Not perfect but there has been no expensive problems and I’ve only had normal servicing.

          • Dom

            Tempting fate Craig….ditch the Golf while there is still time!

      • F1MotoGP

         From Carservice website:
        Total Cost over 60mth, 5 years, All automatic, Does not include extra repairs, just logbook quotes.
        Honda CRV $2954, VW Tiguan 125TSI $2543, Subaru Impreza 2.0 DOHC $4999

        • Phil

          Here’s a few more, to put those figures into perspective. From Carservice website:Total Cost over 60mth, 5 years, All automatic, Does not include extra repairs, just logbook quotes.Kia Sportage 2.4 4X4 $1948, Mitsubishi Outlander $1936, Nissan Dualis 2.0 4X4 $3694.

          • Hung Low

            Obviously do not service at Nissan dealerships then. Nissan, Hyundai, Subaru dealer servicing is an absolute rip off.

      • Luke Brinsmead

        I suppose every dealer’s maintenance charges are different, irrespective of brand of car.

  • TG

    CA writes: “The first brand to introduce a capped-price servicing scheme was Toyota back in January of 2008.”

    Incorrect. Toyota first introduced capped price servicing in mid-2006 when the 40 series Camry was released, and it was $100 per service back then.

  • Scout392

    I assume the cheap cost of the service is paid for via less discount when buying the car.

    Just like low interset finance

  • SamR

    The capped price servicing would not include consumables I imagine.

    That means for all the Euro cars the added cost of new brake pads and rotors every second year and incredible replacement prices from the dealer.

  • Afadasdf

    Capped price servicing at $1,224 and $940. Yeah bring it on.

  • Brenton

    Not even interested in capped price servicing when the cost of engine oil is more than double the price,when you can buy the same oil at a very much lower price.
    Example my Holden Commodore oil change six & half cost was $82 plus at a dealer 
    which should have been @ $7.00 per litre.
    There is always a catch in these dealer offers, be careful.

  • Jacob

    What was the first country to get Capped Price Servicing? 

    Surely its not an Aussie innovation. 

  • http://www.ooyyo.com.au/ Brian L. Gilman

    Don’t really care who was the first to bring in this capped price… Point is i hope it sticks around as it makes buying a new car all the more pleasing… Some brands are cheaper for servicing than others though.

  • Luke Brinsmead

    So much for the “well known” VW high servicing costs.

  • ken

    Toyota cap price servicing is a scam. If is only log book servicing and for most things the log book only says to inspect things like inspect breaks, inspect wipers, inspect ball joints, inspect suspension. If you have to actually get any service work done like adjust the breaks or change wiper blades then they charge you extra for it at Toyota prices. I just payed my $210 for a caped price Toyota Prado service and they charged me an extra $48 to adjust the hand break, an extra $135 for a wheel alignment and extra $290 for tires (the car has only done 20,000km). So my $210 cap price service cost me $731, this it is not cap price servicing.

    • $29896495

      If there was no wear on your tyres, what did they do? Rotate them? What’s with the wheel alignment, – I take it from what you are saying, you didn’t destroy a tyre against a kerb and the vehicle tracked straight?

      • Ken

        I did nothing to the tires, never hit anything or took the car off road. The vehicle tracked straight. The Toyota dealer (Downtown Toyota) said my rear tires were worn out and because I was getting new tires I would need a wheel alignment. Basically the Dunlop tires that come with the Prado only lasted 20,000km. Something fishy going on but alas Toyota don’t care – Toyota customer experience call center said I should talk to the the Toyota dealer and the Toyota’s dealer said I should talk to Toyota. I could go around in circles for years, better to cut my losses and from now on just use my regular mechanic rather than the Toyota cap price mechanic.

        • ken

          Rang up the main office for the dealership and they investigated my complaint. In the end the local dealership payed back the money for the brake adjustment, paid back half the money for wheel alignment (the car did not need a wheel alignment) and paid back the money for one of the two tires they replaced. It is great that the main dealership was on my side as I am a good customer owning two toyota’s. I am still wary about cap price servicing.

    • Phil

      I agree, just had a 45000km service done on my pajero. An itemised invoice showed that the total cost for the service all oils and labor inclusive,was $166.00 LESS than the capped price of $580.00! What does the dealership do? Add a capped price fee of $166.00 to make things balance. Guessing the Xmas beers are on me!

  • KJ

    My new Toyota Rav is due for its first $170 cap price service. In 6 months the car has only driven 2,000km and I know the brakes, tire pressure, tires, etc are good as I check these weekly. . The cap price only does what is in the log book and you pay extra for anything else. I checked the log book and it only needs a few simple inspections. So I opened the bonnet and read out the checks to my 9 year old son and he did the inspections. Pink liquid in the engine coolant bottle is on the full line – Yes, Oil on the dip stick is on the full line – Yes, Brake fluid in the clear container is on the full line – Yes. Blinkers, horn and lights work – Yes. Time to do the inspections = less than 5mins. At twelve months I’ll get my local mechanic to do a service which I expect will cost a lot less than $170 just to do the log book checks. Cap price servicing is not servicing, it is log book inspections only, and looking through the list of inspections I cant see how it adds up to $170.