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Prepaid servicing popular among Skoda owners

Around seven in 10 Australian Skoda customers now opt for prepaid servicing packages

2 Apr 2024

SKODA Australia customers are taking up the brand’s prepaid service pack offer in droves, with the Czech brand claiming to offer peace of mind for long-term ownership and potentially higher resale values as a result. 

The marque has previously offered a range of durations for its service packs, but with a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty now standard, the brand has shifted to seven-year packs for newly sold models. 
According to the company, paying ahead for maintenance in a bundle can save consumers hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the term while protecting against cost inflation.  
The service pack also ensures genuine parts are used, and roadside assistance is topped up with a further 12 months of cover after each scheduled service. 
Skoda Australia managing director Michael Irmer said customers will also potentially see an improvement to their resale value if they decide to sell the car with its fully transferable service cover and warranty before the end of the seven-year term. 
“At the moment we are reaching absolute ‘gold star’ performance with this program, from an intrinsic perspective, or ‘gold star’ attractiveness from a consumer perspective,” said Mr Irmer. 
“70 per cent, roughly, of our customers opt for prepaid service packages, and most of them for seven years. When we launched the program a couple of years ago, we’d never have thought it was going to get to this point. 
“But there is so much value in it for the customer. Not only that it is less expensive than the accumulated number of services over the course, which includes, also, a major service. But it is also locking in the prices for an incredibly long period of seven years,” he said. 
Other brands in the VW Group also offer similar forms of prepaid servicing, and rivals such as Hyundai now offer the choice to prepay as well. 
The added advantage for those paying off their car on finance is that the lump-sum servicing costs can be rolled into these repayments, lessening the burden later down the road and the discount for prepaying helps offset additional interest charges. 
However, critics of such schemes say global car-makers are attempting to cut out independent repairers – typically locally owned small businesses – for longer and longer in the face of moves by the federal government to level the playing field between dealership and aftermarket servicing with measures such as mandatory information sharing. 
Skoda’s current pricing for its seven-year new car service packs varies depending on the size and segment of the vehicle. The Fabia, Kamiq and Scala all have a cost of $2650, while the Octavia and Karoq cost $2750, and the flagship Superb and Kodiaq are $3350. 
Beyond that, the brand also offers a chance for existing service pack customers to “Top Up” their plans, with pricing available on the Skoda website. 
“The only thing you might ask, is ‘seven-year warranty, seven-year service pack, why would I want it so long? I might want to sell my car after five years’,” posited Mr Irmer.  
“Exactly, perfect. Exactly, then you need it, because when you sell the car, you put yourself in the shoes of the buyer of that used vehicle,” he claimed. 
“It’s nice to have the backing of the OEM, the reassurance of the warranty you have left, and if there was something the seller wasn’t telling you, you would be able to drop it in and, no questions asked, it gets fixed.  
“And what it will do, you will fetch a better price when selling it. We’re already seeing that – our residual values have been corrected for that,” said Mr Irmer. 
“We were one of the first, if not the first, to do it. And now you will find that on many brands. So obviously that has been seen, it has been watched and noticed – the dealers, they are multi-brand normally, and they tell the head office ‘that Skoda program really works well, you should do that as well’. 
“So it has been to the benefit of the entire Australian population, they’re now having this clarity and transparency overall,” he said. 

Skoda is the only European brand to offer a seven-year warranty in this market, and also the only brand with this form of service pack for that duration.

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