Online Servicing Offers
What exactly are you getting for your money?
With the growing popularity of vehicle servicing offers on sites such as Group On, we decided it was time to do a bit of research into what exactly these offers included, after all they do look to be amazing value for money and we can see why many vehicle owners would be tempted by them.
There are many garages offering vehicle servicing offers on these sites from as little as £19, but we wanted to find out exactly what you got for this and what surcharges were hidden in the all important small print.
Here's an example of a currently available online deal:
Looking at what’s included, are you confused? Because we are!
First and foremost, the main thing we found in common with all these “servicing deals” is that in most cases they were actually advertising a basic oil and filter change with some safety checks included. Some deals included the oil and filter and some (as in the deal above) were a little more vague about what was included in the offer price. The safety checks sound great until you consider that many of these checks are offered as free safety checks in all of our branches, so what exactly are you paying for?
We initially set out to do a price comparison against the servicing on offer but found this to be impossible. The reason we couldn’t do this was because so many garages had surcharges listed in the fine print that didn’t state a value and were to “be discussed at consultation” – meaning that once a customer had purchased one of these offers online, they were tied into using the garage and may be subject to a hefty surcharge if it turned out that their vehicle needed more than what was included in the standard offer price.
In our professional opinion, most modern vehicles would fall into the category of needing over and above what was listed in the standard offers, due to factors such as:
- Offers only including 10/40 oil (unsuitable for modern vehicles, in fact we don’t even stock it anymore)– surcharges applied for higher grade oils, semi synthetic and fully synthetic – both of which we use as standard
- 4×4’s or specialist vehicles incurring a surcharge (specialist vehicle isn’t defined, how do you know if your vehicle falls into this category?!)
- Not including commercial vehicles or vans
- Offer only including up to 4 litres of oil – the vast majority of vehicles will need more and so surcharges will be added on
- Diagnostic surcharge – to switch the engine light off
- One garage even had a surcharge for the oil filter.
- 48 hour cancellation charge.
The elements that concerned us about these offers were that they didn’t include:
- Enough Oil for most vehicles
- The correct oil for most vehicles
- Service Book Stamp
- Service Light being turned off
All these vital elements which we would consider essential incurred a surcharge in all the offers we looked at. Comparing what’s on offer to what ETS does as standard in our basic, interim service, we include:
- Up to 7.5 litres of the recommended fully synthetic Castrol Oil for your vehicle
- OE quality replacement Oil Filter
- Service Light turned off as standard
- Service book updated and stamped
- Fixed price services – no need to buy an offer in advance and be tied into the purchase
We don’t believe in inflating our prices so we can then offer customers half price offers, we have always believed in providing fixed price, quality vehicle servicing with no hidden extras. As with most things in life, we can only conclude that if it looks too good to be true, it normally is.
Make sure you don’t end up getting a sub-standard service or worse, having to book in for another service when the first one isn’t done correctly by booking in with a reputable garage in the first place – one just like us!
Book you service online at any of our branches here