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Are Pre-Paid Maitenance Plans Worth Buying?

Many dealers have begun selling Pre-paid Maintenance Plans in recent years.

This basically covers all of your regularly scheduled maintenance, up to a certain mileage - usually 3 years/36,000 miles. It includes oil and filter changes, tire rotation, and mechanical checks.

The plans do not include normal wear and tear items such as brake pads or tires.

In most cases, it's not worth purchasing these pre-paid plans unless you really like the convenience and peace of mind of not having to budget for maintenance down the road.

First of all, most people will end up skipping or missing at least one scheduled maintenance interval - and dealers count on this as extra profit since it's already paid for up front.

If you're considering purchasing one of these plans, you should see exactly what's included and what it would cost if you paid out of pocket each time you brought your car in for maintenance.

If there isn't a decent savings involved, you should just pass on it.

Keep in mind that this plan is completely negotiable. Whatever the dealer quotes you, knock off half and counter-offer with that as your starting bid.

3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum Money

The key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:

Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted Network

Select the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Select Vehicle to Get Local Pricing

Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirect

TrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.

Step 3 Complete my Checklist

Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan

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About The Author

Gregg Fidan Gregg Fidan is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.
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