Auto service contracts: The complete lowdown

Over the last few years a new buzzword (or phrase, for that matter) has entered the automobile market; auto service contracts.

More and more companies are starting to offer such arrangements and suffice to say, they can make life for the typical vehicle owner much easier.

You only have to take a look at the huge number of Omega Auto Care Reviews to see how this industry is exploding. However, if you’re one of the many who doesn’t have all the answers in relation to these deals, here’s a summary to get you started.

What is an auto service contract?

Let’s start with a dictionary-esque definition of one of these arrangements.

In simple terms, you’ll be signing up to an agreement for certain repairs or services to be performed or paid for. In some circles it might be classed as an “extended warranty” but strictly speaking, this isn’t how federal law would view it.

There are now umpteen types of these agreements available but the general basis is that they are very much worth considering as soon as your manufacturer’s warranty expires. Additionally, some people might turn to one that provides more protection than the standard warranty.

Are you legally obliged to buy one?

While these contracts are surging in popularity, from a legal perspective you are not required to take one out.

What will a service contract cover you for?

Unfortunately, we don’t have all the answers for this question as different companies offer different arrangements. Something that we will say is that these service contracts aren’t going to protect you in every possible way and you’re unlikely to find one which is going to provide assistance for every type of repair.

A large number of service contracts won’t provide repairs for brakes and clutches although again, don’t be surprised if you find exceptions to the rule. Like all forms of coverage, if something isn’t listed the likelihood is that you won’t receive cover if the worst does happen.

You may have to be wary of the wording on some contracts as well. While some providers might cover mechanical breakdowns, at the same time they won’t repair a part which has been caused by standard wear and tear. As such, it’s a complicated business, but one that can be extremely helpful and still manages to save drivers considerable sums of money.

What sort of responsibilities will be placed on you?

Again, it’s a difficult question to answer as all plans vary. In general, you will be responsible for following all of the manufacturer’s maintenance requirements, such as changing the oil at the required periods and other such advice.

Something that you may have to be wary of is using independent garages for routine maintenance. While this might sound innocent enough, some auto service contracts do not allow it and will only accept the dealer working on the vehicle themselves. Unsurprisingly, making any serious alterations to the vehicle may also void the contract but again, each is different and this is a case where reading the small print is the best way forward.