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Subaru poised to join capped-price servicing set

Know what you’ll pay: Subaru will make an announcement regarding capped-price servicing within months, says MD Nick Senior.

Holdout Subaru poised to introduce capped-price servicing before end of 2014

Subaru logo26 Mar 2014

By MIKE COSTELLO

SUBARU Australia is expected to announce in the next few months that it will join the growing list of brands to offer capped-price servicing on its new vehicles.

At present, the Japanese all-wheel-drive specialist is the sole top-ten sales brand in Australia without such a scheme, after fellow holdout Mazda introduced a market-leading Service Select policy in January this year.

The exception is Subaru’s BRZ sportscar, which is covered by a three-years/60,000km capped-price plan. To get a service quote on other Subarus, owners need to fill out a form online or contact a dealership.

Capped-price servicing standardises the cost of a scheduled vehicle service charged by the brand’s dealer network over a given period, thereby giving customers more peace-of-mind over what they can be expected to pay regardless of which service centre they visit.

As well as the other nine top-selling brands in Australia – Toyota (which started the movement in 2008), Mazda, Holden, Hyundai, Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Volkswagen and Honda – companies such as Kia, Suzuki, Renault, Peugeot and Skoda also offer similar plans.

Speaking with GoAuto at this week’s fourth-generation WRX launch in Tasmania, Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior said capped-price servicing was on the agenda of local distributor Inchcape.

“Obviously its an area that we’ve looked at, we’ve had the benefit of being able to look at what everyone else is doing, and in the short- to mid-term we’ll be announcing something about capped-price servicing,” he said.

Mr Senior said the announcement would be made within a matter of months, and that the company had spoken with its 106-dealer network about the plan.

Inchcape owns and operates six Subaru service centres in New South Wales.

“They’re positive about the guidelines... most of the network see that as inevitable that we move to capped servicing some time in the future,” he said.

There are as yet no details on the expected Subaru capped-price plan, in terms of the cost per vehicle and how many services are covered. The terms vary across the brands, from three years to lifetime coverage. Naturally, more expensive cars also usually cost more to service.

Meantime, Ford Australia last week boosted its “myFord” plan from six years or 105,000km to seven years or 135,000km, whichever falls first (see story linked below).

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