The Difference Between A Service Plan, A Warranty And A Maintenance Plan


Jade Poole from I Write Words


If you’re confused when it comes to the difference between these 3 things, then don’t worry, because you are not alone. To make your life a little easier, we have a simple explanation right here…

If you are in the market for a new or nearly new car, then your car is probably still under warranty, it might also have a service plan or a maintenance plan. These plans help to protect you from repair costs. The same way that car insurance helps protect you from the costs of emergencies.

But there are a few differences between these forms of vehicle protection plans…

The difference between the 3

What is a warranty?

The first place to start is to define what a warranty is.

A warranty is your car manufacturer’s promise to you that the car you are buying will not break or cause you any problems. And if something goes wrong, then the manufacturer will cover the costs.

It’s basically a stamp of approval from your manufacturer.

However, in order to keep your warranty intact, all maintenance work, repairs and services have to be done by approved dealer workshops. This means that you can’t just go to some backward mechanic.

The majority of car manufacturers will offer a general warranty to cover the cost of mechanical repairs of your car if something malfunctions or goes wrong within a given timeframe or mileage.

Keep in mind that warranties do not include general wear and tear, damage from natural disasters such as fire, hail, environmental damage such as stone chips or cracked windscreens and damage that occurs as a result of you not looking after your car or from an accident.

That’s where comprehensive car insurance comes in. Insurance will help protect you from costs associated with accidents, fire and theft.

What is a service plan?

A service plan will cover the costs involved in the regular servicing of your vehicle, as outlined by your manufacturer.

Keep in mind that a service plan is not always comprehensive. This means that if your car is making a weird noise and needs to be fixed, then this is likely not to be included in your service plan if your warranty has expired.

Things like spark plugs and air filters are included in a service plan, but other components such as brake linings, brake pads or V-belts are not included.

Your car’s services are outlined in your car’s manual. This shows what needs to be replaced at what mileage.

Read: 5 signs your car might need a service - we asked our local mechanic

What is a maintenance plan?

This is basically a super service plan.

It will cover everything from the costs of parts and labour and also the replacement sots of items that are worn down due to wear and tear or items that are damaged.

A maintenance plan includes wiper blades, globes, fuses and brake pads. It will also include items such as the engine, clutch, gearbox, exhaust system and electrical components.

A maintenance plan does not include alignment, windscreens or tyres. The majority of luxury cars will come with a standard maintenance plan that covers 4 to 6 years of driving.

Most manufacturers will also give you as the buyer the option to upgrade your service plan to a maintenance plan at an extra cost. But you need to ask yourself if you really need it.

This will depend on how long you intend on driving the car for and the cost of the car. More expensive cars have more expensive parts, in this scenario, a maintenance plan is a great idea.

If your car already has a warranty and service plan, and if your budget allows for it, then you might want to consider upgrading to a maintenance plan as this will ensure that the majority of expenses such as mechanical breakage, wear and tear and services are covered.

What is an extended warranty?

This applies to second-hand cars whose warranty is about to expire.

Once the manufacturer warranty has expired, you can purchase an extended warranty, service or maintenance plan.

The general type of extended warranty plan will include cover for unexpected mechanical and electrical issues, but it will not include maintenance or service work.

This is the kind of cover you will need if you want help affording problems such as engine and gearbox failures that are really expensive to fix. This is especially necessary for older luxury cars.

Don’t forget to insure your car

Now that you have a good understanding of the differences between the above terms, you need to make sure you insure your car against unexpected costs such as accidents and theft.

At Oneplan, we let you choose how much cover you want based on the price you can afford. Giving you total control over your insurance policy.

Yours in uncomplicated car insurance,


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