The servicing, maintaining and repairing your vehicle can bring unexpected costs that you haven’t budgeted for, but leasing can help you control these costs, if only by virtue of the fact that you’ll usually be driving a car that’s covered by a warranty. If you want a little more financial security, though, or you’re planning on a lease contract that’s longer than the vehicle’s warranty period, you can opt for a lease which includes maintenance.
Servicing and Maintenance
Regular maintenance and servicing should be carried out by a franchised dealer or an authorised agent according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and the vehicle service record must be stamped at each service. Failure to do this could lead to some big costs at the end of your lease, so don’t just assume the service record has been stamped; double check. In addition, any defects or damage that occurs during normal vehicle usage should be rectified as soon as practically possible. This will ensure that the potential consequential damage is minimised.
This varies from dealer to dealer, but generally maintenance packages will include annual servicing and any warranty work necessary. Beware, though, that consumables such as brakes, tyres, windscreen wipers and the like may not be covered. Some dealers, however, may offer more comprehensive packages which include tyres or windscreen repairs. If you want to know more about the maintenance included with a specific deal, you should contact the advertiser.
How does it work?
A maintenance contract takes care of all the hard work in arranging a service and/or MOT from start to finish. Working on behalf of the driver, the dedicated maintenance team will make all arrangements, booking the vehicle in with a local approved supplier and then liaising with them to ensure all the work required is carried out in a prompt and timely manner. Most maintenance contracts also include:
- Free service booking and management service
- Free collection and delivery from your home or work address
- Free wash and vac (dependent upon finance provider)
- Regular progress updates on repairs
- Preferential booking times with urgent repairs prioritised
- Downtime managed to a minimum
- Accredited garages including dedicated LCV networks (often available out of normal working hours)
- Courtesy car upon request (dependent upon finance provider)
What are the benefits?
A maintenance contracts allows drivers to gain maximum value from their contract with minimal downtime. Fixing the costs at the start of the agreement can also save unexpected maintenance costs and offer peace of mind in the long term.
Key benefits include:
- Planned fixed monthly cost
- No unexpected maintenance costs
- Protection from rising inflation costs
- Dedicated qualified technical team to deal with any problematic vehicles
- VAT is 100% recoverable on the maintenance element of your contract for VAT registered businesses.
What are the exclusions?
Policies vary from provider to provider but as a general rule, the following exclusions apply:
- Repairs or replacements due to driver error or driver induced faults (e.g. lack of regular maintenance/servicing)
- Damage sustained in a road traffic accident or caused by malicious damage or vandalism
- Replacement due to theft
- Paintwork and body damage not deemed to be ‘fair wear and tear’
- Cases subject to an insurance claim or where fraud is suspected
- Missing, stolen or broken items e.g. bent aerials, missing hub caps
- Vandalised and stolen wheels and/or tyres
- The cost of winter tyres or other such tyre ‘upgrades’ (available as optional extra)
- Excessive tyre replacements due to punctures
- Damaged windscreen and/or glass replacement (available as optional extra)
- Lubricant and fluid top ups between service intervals (e.g. oil and screenwash top ups)
- A relief vehicle is not guaranteed, unless you have selected this option on your contract.
Can I upgrade my Maintenance Contract?
You can upgrade your maintenance contracts to include additional optional services such as roadside assistance and travel breakdown cover if needed.
For an additional cost, the following can be added onto the contract:
- Roadside Assistance Cover 24/7 365 days a yearFree European Travel Breakdown Assistance
- Free of charge 24hr replacement vehicle
- At home and roadside attendance
- Repair or Recovery to onward destination
- Onward travel e.g. train, taxi and air fares including accommodation for up to 8 passengers
- Repatriation back to UK
- Onward travel including accommodation
- Communications and Translation Service
- Foreign Travel Documentation Service valid for 12 months (subject to document fee)
Please be aware that if you choose not to take out a maintenance contract with your lease vehicle, you will be responsible for all maintenance and servicing costs for the vehicle throughout the duration of your contract. This includes ensuring that all tyres are of a legal standard at all times.