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Prius Prepaid Maintenance Contract vs Pay-As-You-Go

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Posted by baumgrenze on May 18, 2007, 6:59 pm

I'm confused. I'm trying to get a sense of what the cost of
maintenance covered by a Toyota Prius Prepaid Maintenance Contract
would be if I purchased it "as required" rather than "prepaid."

Has anyone seen such an analysis anywhere?

I find I drive 12,000 - 13,000 per year.



Posted by Jean B. on May 20, 2007, 1:05 am

baumgrenze wrote:

Beware.  I mused about that at my dealership, and they said
"oh, that would only cover $0 per visit"--as in, *I* would
have to pay the rest.  That doesn't seem right to me, and I
have intended to look into it.

Jean B.

Posted by mrv@kluge.net on May 23, 2007, 12:51 am

If it is worth it to you to purchase the prepaid maintenance plan,
depends: if you already have a roadside assistance plan, need
reminders for services or cannot budget ahead of time for regular
services, the cost of the plan that you manage to haggle down the
price upon, if the plan is good at every Toyota dealer or just your
local one, and what the standard service (mainly labor) rates are in
your area.

How low can you negotiate the Toyota Prepaid Maintenance plan?  (try
calling several dealer's finance departments for rates, and/or try
some of the known Prius-friendly discounted extended warranty (Toyota
Extra Care) dealers and ask what they'll offer the Prepaid Maintenance
plan for (hint: see vfaq.net )).

What are the dealer labor rates in your area?  (Call around to your
local dealers, and ask them what the going rates are for an oil change/
tire rotation, a 5,000 mile Prius service (for comparison of added
charges), a 15,000 mile Prius service, a 30,000 mile Prius service,
etc. and do the sums.)

Will your local dealer perform only the required services as in the
Prius Passport to Performance (scheduled maintenance guide, viewable
at http://smg.toyotapartsandservice.com/  ), or will they like to tack
on extra unneeded servicing (at your added cost)?

(For an example of how different dealers can offer the same services
for varied pricing or bundle other services into their X-mile
services: when I called 4 local metrowest Boston MA dealers for
pricing for my 2001 Prius' 60,000 mile service and a 4-wheel tire
alignment back in Nov. 2005, the results were:
dealer 1: $95, though they suggest an additional tire balance ($5)
and a 4-wheel alignment ($9.95) at that service, if you choose to do
dealer 2: $99.95 which includes a 4 wheel alignment (subtract $9.95
if you don't need the alignment)
dealer 3: $80, and an additional $9.95 for a 4-wheel alignment
dealer 4: $65, and an additional $8 (!) for a 4-wheel alignment

Don't forget that the Toyota Prepaid Maintenance plan also includes
24hr Roadside Assistance (short towing distance, flat tire changeouts,
fuel delivery, lockout service, etc.), so factor that into your pay as
you go calculations as well.  (Do you already have roadside assistance
through an auto club or your insurance that would be duplicated by the
Prepaid Maintenance plan?)

You can view the MSRP of the Toyota plans (so don't pay any more than
that!  note that you can haggle for something much less than MSRP) and
view more info on them at:

*IF* you are going for one of the offered plans, I'd suggest the
Premium plan over the Classic plan, as the Premium plan includes the
tire rotations at each service (which you'd have to pay for under the
Classic Plan), and the Premium plan also includes the 15,000 mile-
increments larger services.

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