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Maintenance contracts for lease vehicles: yes or no?

When someone drives off the showroom floor in a brand-new vehicle, the last thing on their mind is buying new tyres or waiting beside the road for a breakdown truck. However, these things could soon be realities that driver has to face, and so the question inevitably arises of whether a maintenance contract is a good idea or not.

Cost versus benefits
Financial gurus will tell you that the only way to decide whether such a contract is worthwhile is to compare the long-term benefits with the monthly cost of the cover provided. One should, therefore, calculate how much servicing and repairs will cost over the contract period, then compare it with the cost of the maintenance contract. If buying maintenance cover works out cheaper, it’s a good deal. If it works out to be more expensive, steer clear.

Certainty vs uncertainty
While the above is a perfectly logical approach, it has one major flaw - it doesn’t take into account future uncertainty. While it’s possible to roughly calculate how long the average tyre will last, it is not so easy with more expensive parts such as turbos, cam belts and cooling systems.

A maintenance contract makes it possible to budget with 100 per cent certainty for the future running costs of a vehicle, including the cost of servicing, MOTs and preventative maintenance such as checking wheel alignment and brakes. Most maintenance packages will even include replacement tyres with puncture repair.

Exceptions usually include windscreens and consumables like top up oil and Adblue - things that won’t really break the bank. However, most contracts exclude expenses caused by irresponsible driving.

It isn’t all about money; knowing that one’s vehicle will regularly be checked according to the manufacturer’s safety standards provides great peace of mind. This is as true for a family where mum or dad regularly runs the kids to school as it is for a business that provides leased vehicles to employees.

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Posted on 5th July 2017 at 5:15 PM

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