When you are looking for interesting information about cars, check out our blog! We strive to entertain and educate Truckee drivers about any and all auto repair related topics, and if you have any other questions, we encourage you to ask the auto mechanics at Quality Automotive Servicing.

Why to Not Buy the Pre-Purchased Maintenance Plan When Buying a New Car

Thinking about whether to invest in that pre-purchase maintenance plan when you buy a new car from the dealership? Before you sign on the dotted line, let's delve into what you might not see at first glance.

  1. Hidden Costs: While the dealership may promise a comprehensive maintenance plan, it's essential to know the quality of what you’re getting. Some dealerships might skimp by using lower-quality parts or opting for cheaper fluid alternatives to maximize profits. Additionally, inexperienced technicians used for these services could lead to catastrophic mistakes, like a recent situation that a  friend experienced when her oil drain plug was mis-threaded  resulting in a blown engine in the middle of Nevada.
  2. Inconsistent Service: Despite assurances, dealerships might not always follow through on the promised services. Instances of dealerships skipping recommended maintenance items, which you've paid for, have been reported. This can lead to issues in the future after the vehicle is out of warranty.
  3. Limited Inspections: Inadequate inspections could mean potential issues with your vehicle go unnoticed. Whether due to inexperienced staff or strategic delays until warranties expire, the dealership's failure to identify and address concerns promptly can impact your vehicle's reliability and safety.
  4. Financial Implications: Rolling the cost of the maintenance plan into your loan may seem convenient, but it comes with added interest expenses. This practice can inflate the overall cost of the plan, potentially leaving you paying more than the services are worth in the long run.
  5. Lack of Personalization: In a dealership setting, you're often passed between different departments, limiting the opportunity for a personalized service experience. Establishing a relationship with a single service provider who understands your vehicle's history and your specific needs can be challenging. If you have an emergency situation, plan on being just another car in the que.
  6. Alternative Options: Contrary to popular belief, you're not limited to dealership servicing. Independent shops equipped with the right expertise and backed by the Right to Repair Act have access to manufacturer specifications and can perform maintenance tasks competently. This alternative could provide comparable service quality at potentially lower costs.

How to Navigate Pre-Purchase Maintenance Plans: Approach the decision with a critical eye and be prepared to say “no” even when pressured by the salesman. Remember, this is a salesman and it’s his (her) job to get the most money out of you.  Remember, you have the right to choose where your vehicle is serviced, so explore alternative options before committing to a dealership plan.


Article Submitted by Quality Automotive Serving & German Import Garage of Truckee. Next week’s article. How to buy a used vehicle, negotiated a price and not get a lemon.