According to a recent article by Wards Auto, an Atlanta Nissan dealership is doing well selling prepaid maintenance plans. The dealership, Town Center Nissan, is selling roughly one hundred and sixty maintenance plans a month and sees an average of 75% of plan holders renewing after the year is up. With numbers like that, dealerships and customers alike should be asking themselves about what prepaid maintenance plans can do for them.
At its essence, a prepaid maintenance plan is like a club subscription. By joining and paying a flat rate at the start of the plan, the customer is entitled to a variety of services. Though the services vary by dealership and plan, prepaid maintenance plans typically offer oil and filter changes, tire rotation, and mechanical checks. Some, like Toyota’s Auto Care and ToyotaCare Plus, throw 24-hour roadside assistance in as well. Others include fluid top offs. Almost all offer plans based on years and mileage, with services matching the projected wear-and-tear cars accrue during those stretches.
Customers might wonder whether these plans are worth it, especially since they’re often offered when purchasing a car, so many papers and expenses are being thrown at them all at once. That said, customers shouldn’t disregard plans off the bat. There are several benefits to their signing for one.
To start with, having a plan means enjoying an extra level of convenience later on. Since everything is already paid for, customers won’t need to wait in lines when they do require that oil change or tire rotation.
Additionally, having one could help preempt more significant, more expensive vehicular repairs later on. Many people forget or push off routine maintenance, often because they’re inconvenient. However, as already mentioned, a prepaid plan makes these routine procedures easier to handle. And having these procedures taken care of creates future convenience as a well-maintained car will need fewer repairs later on.
The one thing a car owner needs to keep in mind is the cost of a plan. Some plans are far more expensive than their car’s need. Customers should bear in mind that most plans are negotiable and can be adjusted to address their particular vehicle and driving practices.
This price negotiation shouldn’t deter dealerships from selling prepaid plans. For dealerships, there are several key benefits to offering prepaid maintenance plans. To start with, many plans provide incentives, which means a little extra cash for the salespeople. More importantly, however, prepaid maintenance is insurance for a dealership. These plans cover all the necessary maintenance procedures a car owner will need to take over a period of time. Without a plan, a car owner might be tempted to either skip a procedure, shop around for a better price, or just go to whoever is closest when the “check engine” light goes off. With a plan, the customer has already committed – and paid – to come to you. This means more repeat business and more face time. Ultimately, this will result in a win-win on both sides of the transaction.