Often overlooked by many new car owners is the cost of car servicing. Many tend to focus on other expenses like fuel, insurance, and registration when calculating their overall cost. Even more worrying, many Aussies don’t know what servicing entails and how much servicing their rides costs.
Car Servicing & Why It Matters
Cars require regular maintenance and servicing based on the manufacturer’s standards. While car servicing is often a hidden cost in owning a car, it is a major undertaking on your part to ensure that your car functions and runs efficiently without any issues.
The process also cuts down on how much you spend fixing any catastrophic problem that arises by preventing that problem from emerging in the first place. Think of it as a preventative measure – that’s always better than cure.
The cost of servicing your car can range from affordable to costly, depending on its servicing requirements. In the past, the cost of servicing rides varied widely as there were no specific guidelines to determine that cost. Fortunately, that is no longer the case. Today, almost all manufacturers have capped price servicing for new car owners to regulate the cost incurred.
Car Servicing Costs: How Much Should You Pay?
It is no secret that many car owners in Australia have a fear of getting overcharged by their mechanics. Up until recently, the cost of servicing rides varied widely. Today, almost all manufacturers have capped price and menu-based servicing to new car owners that help regulate the cost incurred.
The capped price servicing outlines the limit on how much a service can cost at a given time. It also highlights the individual components used in every minor and major service. By doing this, the price of servicing helps you understand what you're paying for. If you feel that you’re being overcharged for scheduled servicing, you can refer to this pricing service online.
Luxury car manufacturers have a slightly different scheme called pre-paid servicing. This scheme is prevalent today, especially overseas. It can be purchased simultaneously with the car, or the period before the first scheduled service.
Factors Affecting Car Servicing Costs
It is hard to establish an average car service cost as it is always fluctuating. The main factors determining your servicing cost are your car make & model, the complexity & type of service required (often based on mileage), and the mechanic you use. With this in consideration, you can expect to shell out between $180 and $2,000 to service your ride.
Make and model of your car
Cars are made differently, and it goes without saying that service costs will vary depending on the model you own. The capped price servicing introduced in 2014 helps you understand how much you’ll incur on different scheduled services. The validity period of capped-price servicing schemes will vary from one carmaker to another.
Here’s a table detailing how long the schemes last for the different car makes.
Opel, Mercedes-Benz, Isuzu, Subaru, Toyota, Renault, HSV, and Audi
Jaguar, Honda, Porsche, Peugeot, BMW, Suzuki, and Volvo
More than 5 years
Citroen, Nissan, Kia, and Volkswagen
Hyundai, Ford, and Mazda
The mechanic you use
Auto dealers and mechanic shops charge varying prices for their services. Those closer to the capital, for instance, charge higher. To avoid inconvenience, it is a good idea to get in touch with your mechanic in advance and request an estimated price before driving to the shop. You can also make comparisons between different mechanics and settle on an affordable and convenient option.
Type of service (based on mileage)
The type of service your ride requires mostly hinges on the mileage or kilometres your car has travelled. Major services will cost more than minor ones. Note that the higher the car’s mileage is, the higher its service cost will be. As the car ages, it requires additional repairs, and maintenance becomes more costly. Mileage above 60,000 km is usually regarded as major servicing hence will likely set you back more.
‘Does the car servicing cost vary depending on my state?’ This is a question frequently asked by many Aussie motorists. The short answer is ‘Yes, your state/territory influences the price you pay.’ The reason for this is that the repairs involved have varying standard charges based on your location. The fee charged for changing spark plugs in Canberra is different from that charged in Esperance.
The higher cost of living in the capital cities makes car maintenance costs in these areas high. Canberra, Perth, and Darwin have the highest weekly cost of servicing a car on average. Sydney and Melbourne are up there as well.
Which Option Is Better: Dealership or Private Mechanic?
In cases where servicing outside a manufacturer's dealer network doesn’t nullify your warranty, it can be cheaper to use a private mechanic. In addition to lowering the servicing cost, this option affords you a more personable experience. If you have a reliable and trusted mechanic, then it’s an option you can take.
However, there are a couple of things you need to consider before making the decision. Many automakers cut down their capped-price servicing plans making them just as affordable. The important thing here is to ensure that you are familiar with the benefits and drawbacks of both options.
Stay tuned for more tips and informative pieces from Carpart.com.au! Also feel free to take advantage of its handy tools, such as the Request-a-Part tool for locating auto parts and the Directory for locating automotive professionals.
By Sam O.