Video Blog: Is Capped Price Servicing a good idea.

Good afternoon everyone. Dannie from GDL Automotive doing another one of our video blogs. Today we’re going to discuss capped price servicing, which is a feature offered by dealers, and what that means for you as the customer. So capped price servicing is something that the dealerships have brought in, in recent years to try and combat the small independent workshops and to bring consumers back into the dealers. What this basically is, is you as the consumer know that your service costs will never exceed x amount of dollars, and that’s usually laid out to you in the contract when you purchase the vehicle. What is happening, which is borderline unethical in the automotive industry surrounding this, is lack of information being given to the customer at the time of purchasing the vehicle, particularly surrounding this capped price servicing and what is covered and what is not, so we’re going to try and clear that up for you to the best of our knowledge today. So basically capped price servicing means that your services are capped at x amount of dollars and will not exceed that. That only covers things that are deemed “serviceable” items by the dealership, and that’s a fairly loose terms that pretty much allows them to wheel out of anything they really want. Our understanding of serviceable items include the service, the oil and filter change, anything that’s in the routine maintenance category, so spark plugs, fuel filter and air filters all covered by this. And to our knowledge, most local dealerships have stuck to this. What capped price doesn’t cover is anything considered wear and tear on a car and anything that is classed as a repair rather than a service. Now that opens up a different debate, which is a whole nother video blog versus what’s a repair that should be a warranty item and what is not. But for the purposes of this video blog, we’re just going talk about reparis that aren’t covered by manufacturer’s warranty. Capped price servicing does not cover repairs that are not covered by manufacturer’s warranty. So if for whatever reason, you need additional work carried out to your vehicle on top of a service, that’s not covered in your capped price. Likewise, breaks and tyres are deemed wear and tear items and rightfully so. These items are not covered in your capped price service. So many consumers are taking their vehicles back to the dealerships, getting their service for $200, for argument’s sake, and surprised when the phone call comes to say you need four tyres, front and rear brakes and a cling on morphine device, your bill’s going to be $1800. Unfortunately, the dealer’s are within their rights to do this. They just haven’t informed the consumers at the point of sale that this is how it works. So there you have it. Capped price servicing pretty much only covers serviceable items. Anything else you’re still going to have to pay for. And in many cases, you would be financially better off if you stuck with your independent repairers rather than the dealer. 

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