Car Maintenance Plan, Service Plan, Or Car Warranty. What's The Difference?
Photo Cred: Supplied | On File

Car maintenance plan, a service plan, and a car warranty. What are the differences, and which elements often get confused?


Johannesburg, South Africa (27 August 2021) – To put it simply, a car warranty, a car service plan, and a maintenance plan are different types of cover for various vehicle functions and parts that make the car operate.

  • Manufacturer/Extended Warranty Plans: Designed to cover unexpected failure or breakage of car parts as well as electrical components and can be provided by the manufacturer or a third party.
  • Service/Maintenance Plans: generally Covers elements guaranteed to become worn through normal wear and tear and vehicle use, along with a more comprehensive covered parts list on a maintenance plan.

All new cars come with a manufacturer warranty, which is a promise from the manufacturer that the car is of good quality and the parts won’t fail. However, as the car gets older, parts get weaker or worn down and present a higher risk of breakage, so manufacturers limit the time or kilometres that their warranty is valid. Different manufacturers will have different warranty limits, so this is where you’ll see, for example, a 5 year/150,000km warranty limit on mechanical parts or specific warranty limits on the paint, body, or battery.

Once these limits are exceeded, the components are no longer covered. At this point, the driver may choose to extend their motor warranty through the manufacturer or through a third-party extended motor warranty provider, like 

Car Maintenance Plan, Service Plan, Or Car Warranty. What's The Difference?
Photo Cred: Supplied | On File

A service plan is a separate policy to the manufacturer’s warranty or an extended warranty. A service plan pays the full cost of a scheduled motor service which maintains elements that are guaranteed to wear down during normal use. It generally includes things like spark plugs, tyre rotations, filters, and fluid changes. Like a warranty plan, manufacturers limit their service plans to a length of time or kilometres driven.

A maintenance plan covers everything a service plan covers but is more comprehensive in nature. It also covers parts not covered by a service plan, for example brake pads or wiper blades.

  1. How do these tie in with car insurance? Do they overlap? What does car insurance cover beyond what the above three cover?

A warranty or service/maintenance plan complements car insurance and can’t be used as a replacement for car insurance. 

You can think of it as cover for internal vs. external risks – while a warranty or service/maintenance plan covers the car’s internal mechanics, car insurance will cover external risks like accidental damage, theft, fire and/or third party.

To ensure your car is fully covered, you want to have both comprehensive car insurance and a maintenance or warranty plan that keeps your car in top condition. Through a combination of these cover types, your car (and bank balance) will remain protected.

For an obligation free quote visit today. 

Dotsure Limited (Registration number 2006/000723/06) is a licensed non-life insurer and authorised financial services provider (FSP39925).

Sources: Advertorial |
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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