• Jennifer Snyder

What's the Benefit of a Vehicle Service Contract?

Updated: Jan 16, 2019

As I sit here surrounded by my family during the holidays I am reminded about the day I sold my dad a 2013 Nissan Rogue SV. I told him upfront, that if he ever wanted to purchase a car from me, he had to purchase a service contract on it. The reason being, I didn't want to sit around the dinner table with him on holidays or birthdays and listen to him complain about something that wasn't working quite right or seemed "off". He agreed and included the service contract in his financing so it was only $30 per month additional. He has never purchased a vehicle service contract before and he said he never would because he didn't see the benefit. Famous last words.

I sold him that car in 2014 and since then, he has had over $5,000 in repairs covered under the service contract. One time it was the AC compressor, another time it was the remote sensor in the door handle, another time it was something with the engine. My dad doesn't even bother to call me to tell me something is wrong. Instead he calls me to tell me that he's driving a shiny new Rogue because his Rogue is in the shop getting repaired. How much did he have to pay for each visit? $100. That's it. That includes his car rental, diagnostics, tax, that was it. He is a believer in the benefit of a service contract now.

My parents are on a fixed income. An expensive repair (meaning anything more expensive than an oil change) would be a burden to them. I myself am on a fixed income for the most part. Who isn't? When considering a vehicle service contract (VSC) think about this, if you were to have a $800 repair tomorrow and then a month or two later A $1200 repair, would you have the cash available? I always have to ask people when they are sitting in front of me "Wouldn't it be easier to pay a small monthly amount like my dad did over the term of his loan and only have to pay out $100 per visit? Would you really want to throw it on your credit card with an APR of 17.99%? Would you really want to draw from an IRA or emergency savings account you've spent so much time to build up".

When your getting ready to make that next vehicle purchase, consider it. There are different levels of coverages available. Ask about them. Find the one that fits you best and makes you most comfortable. Buy smart and be informed of your options. Your self will thank you down the road.

Estimated repair costs for common issues

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