Kelley Blue Book: Buying a car? Consider these that offer free maintenance

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There are many ways to tempt you to buy a new car. There’s the chance to one-up your friends with the latest features, that intoxicating “new car smell,” big rebates and incentives to cut your purchase price, even 0% financing. But these days some automakers have added one more: complimentary maintenance.

Fewer manufacturers offer complimentary maintenance than in the past, but you can still find this perk if you know where to look. And in some cases, even though the automaker may not provide complimentary maintenance and service on a national scale, some individual dealers offer free maintenance visits if you buy a new car from them.  

Also see: The 10 best new car models of 2020

What to look for

Most of these programs, like warranties, have time and mileage limitations, as in “2-years/24,000 miles, whichever comes first.” Unless otherwise stated, they only cover new vehicles that have been purchased from a franchised dealer.  And, of course, these programs can change (or be discontinued) at any time.  The best thing is to confirm that the program is still in place at the dealer when you purchase.

Be sure to read: The best times to buy a new car

These programs may not seem like much, but they can be a tiebreaker between comparable brands when it comes to buying. Alec Gutierrez, Director of Product Management at Kelley Blue Book, says “if you’re cross-shopping, say, an Audi or Mercedes-Benz without free maintenance with a BMW that has free service, BMW’s plan could sway you.”

Complimentary maintenance programs
  • Alfa Romeo: Covers first service, up to 1 year/10,000 miles.
  • BMW: BMW Ultimate Care covers scheduled maintenance for 3 yeas/36,000 miles (whichever comes first)-Program is nontransferable.
  • Buick: Experience Buick Protection Program includes one complimentary maintenance visit.
  • Cadillac: Cadillac Premium Care Maintenance covers one complimentary service visit during the first year/12,000 miles (whichever comes first), including oil change, tire rotation, engine air cleaner filter replacement and passenger compartment air filter replacement.
  • Chevrolet: All vehicles get one oil and oil filter change – plus tire rotations according to the vehicle’s maintenance schedule – within the first year. Corvette gets two maintenance visits within the first 12 months. Bolt EV doesn’t have any oil to change but you still get a complimentary tire rotation and inspection in the first 12 months. 
  • Genesis: All vehicles get complimentary normally scheduled maintenance for 3 years or 36,000 miles. This includes engine oil and filter replacement, tire rotation, air cleaner filter replacement and climate control air filter replacement. 
  • GMC: GMC Pro Grade Protection covers one maintenance visit (oil change and tire rotation) within the first year. 
  • Hyundai: The Korean automaker HYMTF, +0.80%   gives 3-year free maintenance on all 2020 models. It covers regularly scheduled oil changes and tire rotation.
  • Jaguar: Jaguar Elitecare provides the industry-longest complimentary maintenance program: all regularly scheduled maintenance for 5 years/60,000 miles.
  • Jeep: New Jeep buyers are enrolled in the Jeep Wave program, which depending on the model, is for either 1 or 2 years. One-year enrollees enjoy two oil changes and two tire rotations; two-year enrollees get four of each. 
  • Lexus: The first and second scheduled maintenance visits are covered, at 6 months/5,000 miles and 12 months/10,000 miles.
  • Lincoln: Lincoln Black Label vehicles come with a 4-year/50,000-mile premium maintenance plan, covering recommended service and wear items, including complimentary pickup and delivery within 50 miles. The program also includes carwashes and annual detailing. Only on Black Label vehicles
  • Mini: All scheduled maintenance for 3 years/36,000 miles
  • Ram: Ram Care on “select RAM vehicles” includes a 2-year membership and includes 4 oil changes and 4 tire rotations.
  • Subaru: In certain regions, Subaru offers the “Maintain the Love”  program with complimentary scheduled maintenance for 2 years/24,000 miles. Only available in certain regions, see the dealerships for specific details.
  • Toyota: The Toyota TM, -2.70%   Care no-cost scheduled maintenance plan covers 2 years/25,000 miles whichever comes first. It also includes 2 years/unlimited miles roadside assistance.
  • Volvo: Covers first three services (at 10,000, 20,000 and 30,000 miles) within the first 3 years.

Finally, even if the new car you’re interested in doesn’t offer free maintenance, you can always include prepaid maintenance when you finance. This isn’t necessarily the cheapest option if you break it down service by service, but many people like that they don’t have to shop around for scheduled services – or think about where to have them done.

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