The new scheme, called HoldenWise, is applicable to all new Holdens purchased from the start of April, fixing costs for a vehicle’s first four scheduled services for the first three years or up to 60,000km.
The costs start at $185 for models such as the Barina Spark, Barina city car and the majority of Commodore models, rising to $395 for the Captiva diesel SUV and upcoming Colorado diesel ute.
Diesel variants are consistently more expensive than their petrol equivalents. The Cruze diesel, for example, has a capped price of $335 compared with $185 for petrol versions of the locally built small car.
In the Captiva range, there’s a $150 difference between the petrol and diesel models - $245 versus $395.
LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) variants of the Commodore sedan, wagon and ute also reveal that alternative fuels to petrol can have high running costs despite being cheaper to fill up.
All LPG Holdens cost $265 per scheduled service - $80 more than petrol counterparts.
Holden says the diesel service pricing is a result of the higher associated costs with the compression-ignition engines. Diesel engines essentially need more TLC from servicing departments because of the need for more stringent filtration for the fuel and engine oil in response to their tendency to produce significantly more soot and oil contaminants than petrol engines.
“[Holdenwise will] provided greater consistency, certainty and transparency of servicing costs throughout the first three years of ownership,” Holden said in its media release.
Toyota was the first manufacturer locally to introduce capped-price servicing in Australia, with Ford introducing its own scheme in July 2011.
Some of Ford’s pricing is more expensive than Holden’s – a Falcon six-cylinder model, for example, costs $255 compared with $185 for the equivalent Commodore – though Ford adds 12 months roadside assistance, while its scheme also covers models dating back to 2007 and for up to six years or 105,000km.
Other manufacturers offering capped-price servicing in Australia include Mitsubishi and Nissan.
Mitsubishi also offers longer warranties – five years or 130,000 for vehicles and 10 years or 160,000 for the engines.