Owning a Subaru can be a joy – who doesn’t love the safety, reliability and all-weather capability of these popular vehicles? But keeping your Subaru running smoothly does require regular maintenance. Subaru offers prepaid maintenance plans to cover required services for 2-8 years/20k-80k miles.
But are they really worth the upfront investment?
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick take: For most drivers, the prepaid plans end up costing more than just paying for services as needed. However, they can provide convenience and price protection if you plan to own the car long-term.
Understanding Subaru’s Prepaid Coverage Options
Subaru’s prepaid maintenance plans offer owners the convenience of having their vehicle’s routine maintenance needs covered upfront. This can provide peace of mind knowing that regular maintenance services, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid checks, are taken care of without any additional out-of-pocket expenses.
However, it is important to understand the different coverage options available and what exactly is included (and excluded) in each plan.
The Different Plans Available
Subaru offers a range of prepaid maintenance plans that cater to the different needs of their customers. These plans typically vary in terms of the duration of coverage and the specific services included.
Common options may include basic plans that cover essential maintenance services for a specific period, as well as more comprehensive plans that include additional services like brake inspections, air filter replacements, and even coverage for wear and tear items.
It is recommended to carefully review the details of each plan to determine which one aligns best with your vehicle’s maintenance requirements and your budget. Subaru’s official website provides a comprehensive breakdown of the different plan options, allowing you to compare and make an informed decision.
What’s Included (and Excluded)
Each prepaid maintenance plan offered by Subaru comes with its own set of inclusions and exclusions. Generally, routine maintenance services such as oil changes, tire rotations, and multi-point inspections are covered.
However, it is important to note that major repairs, parts replacements, and damages resulting from accidents or neglect are typically not included.
It is also worth noting that certain wear and tear items, such as brake pads and wiper blades, may or may not be covered depending on the specific plan. It is important to carefully review the terms and conditions of the plan and reach out to a Subaru representative if you have any questions or concerns.
Crunching the Upfront Cost Numbers
One of the key factors to consider when evaluating whether Subaru’s prepaid maintenance plan is worth the cost is the upfront price. These plans often require a one-time payment or may be bundled into the overall cost of the vehicle.
While the upfront cost may seem significant, it is important to consider the potential savings in the long run.
By opting for a prepaid maintenance plan, owners can potentially save money on routine maintenance services over the course of their ownership. Additionally, having a prepaid plan can help ensure that maintenance tasks are not skipped or delayed, which can lead to more costly repairs down the line.
It is recommended to calculate the estimated cost of routine maintenance services over the expected ownership period and compare it to the cost of the prepaid plan. This analysis can help determine if the upfront cost is justified by the potential long-term savings and convenience offered by the plan.
When Prepaid Maintenance Is Worth the Cost
Subaru’s prepaid maintenance plan offers several benefits that make it worth considering for certain car owners. Here are a few scenarios where the cost of the plan can be justified:
For Original Owners Who Keep the Car Long-Term
If you are the original owner of the Subaru and plan to keep it for a significant period of time, the prepaid maintenance plan can save you money in the long run. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections, are essential for keeping your vehicle running smoothly and preventing major mechanical issues.
By prepaying for these services, you can ensure that they are done at the recommended intervals, prolonging the life of your Subaru and potentially avoiding costly repairs down the line.
According to a study conducted by Consumer Reports, regular maintenance can add up to significant savings over the life of a vehicle. They found that properly maintaining a car can save owners up to 25% on repair costs compared to those who neglect maintenance.
For Buyers Seeking Predictable Costs
Prepaid maintenance plans provide a sense of financial security for buyers who prefer predictable costs. With the plan, you know exactly how much you will be spending on maintenance for a set period of time, typically three to five years.
This can be particularly beneficial for budget-conscious individuals who want to avoid unexpected expenses.
In addition, the prepaid maintenance plan may help increase the resale value of your Subaru. Potential buyers may be more inclined to purchase a vehicle that comes with a comprehensive maintenance plan, as it demonstrates that the car has been well taken care of and reduces the risk of future issues.
If You Don’t Want the Hassle of Scheduling
For those who lead busy lives and don’t have the time or desire to schedule regular maintenance appointments, the prepaid maintenance plan can be a convenient option. With the plan, you don’t have to worry about remembering to book appointments or finding a trusted service center.
The prepaid plan typically covers all recommended maintenance services and can be easily arranged with your local Subaru dealership.
Ultimately, the decision of whether the prepaid maintenance plan is worth the cost depends on your individual circumstances and preferences. It’s important to carefully consider your vehicle ownership goals, budget, and convenience needs before making a decision.
Drawbacks to Consider Before Buying a Plan
May Pay More Than Paying as Needed
While Subaru’s prepaid maintenance plan offers convenience and peace of mind, it may not always be the most cost-effective option. If you are someone who diligently follows the recommended maintenance schedule and only pays for services as they are needed, you might find that the prepaid plan ends up costing you more in the long run.
It’s essential to compare the total cost of the plan with the average cost of individual services to determine if it’s worth the investment.
Resale Value If You Sell Early
If you plan on selling your Subaru before the prepaid maintenance plan expires, it’s important to consider how it will affect the resale value. Some potential buyers may not see the added value in a prepaid plan and may be unwilling to pay extra for it.
This could potentially result in a lower resale value for your vehicle. However, if you plan on keeping your Subaru for the duration of the prepaid plan, this drawback may not be a significant concern for you.
Can’t Transfer to New Owner
Another drawback to consider is that Subaru’s prepaid maintenance plan is non-transferable. If you decide to sell your vehicle before the plan expires, you won’t be able to transfer the remaining benefits to the new owner.
This means that you won’t be able to recoup any of the costs associated with the plan. However, if you plan on keeping your Subaru for the long term, this drawback may not affect you.
It’s important to carefully evaluate your individual needs and circumstances before deciding whether Subaru’s prepaid maintenance plan is worth the cost. Consider factors such as your driving habits, how long you plan on keeping your vehicle, and whether you prefer the convenience of a prepaid plan or the flexibility of paying for services as needed.
Taking the time to weigh the pros and cons will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals and priorities.
Subaru’s prepaid maintenance plans provide convenience and predictable costs if you plan to own your vehicle long-term. But for many buyers, the extra upfront expenditure ends up being greater than just paying for services as needed.
Look closely at what’s included, consider your intended ownership timeline, and weigh the pros and cons before deciding. For hassle-free maintenance, prepaid coverage has some advantages, but it’s not the right choice for everyone.