Regular automotive maintenance is essential to taking care of your substantial investment, as well as to safe driving and to preserving your warranty coverage — and many new cars offer it for free, at least through an initial period.
Related: Making Sense of New-Car Warranties
A break on the cost to maintain your new vehicle could be even more valuable. A study by AAA found that for 2019, the latest year available, average maintenance and repair costs per mile driven were up 8.9% versus 2018, with the highest costs borne by owners of increasingly popular SUVs and trucks.
What’s included in such complimentary maintenance programs varies widely. Some programs cover just one scheduled visit, while others include a few oil changes and tire rotations to all scheduled maintenance for several years. You have to read the fine print for the specific vehicle to be sure what you are getting or even if you are — some makers offer the free care only to buyers in certain markets or regions. The list below tallies automakers’ free service program. In addition, some dealers also have their own local offers. And some makers, such as Mercedes-Benz, offer prepaid plans that will cover all scheduled services for a choice of years at a price you can wrap into the cost of the vehicle.
Here are brands that offer some form of complimentary scheduled maintenance for their 2021 new vehicles (excluding exotic and hyper-luxury brands):
Alfa Romeo covers one scheduled maintenance visit if used within the first year and only for the Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV. The 4C Spider sports car is not covered by the offer.
BMW and Mini
BMW Group’s BMW and Mini brands cover three years or 36,000 miles of regularly scheduled maintenance for 2021 vehicles — for the original buyer only.
Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC
All new 2021 GM vehicles from the four U.S. brands come with a free first scheduled maintenance visit within one year.
Ford and Lincoln
These Ford Motor brands have nontraditional rewards plans linked to the brands’ apps — similar to other retail loyalty programs — that offer, in effect, a free maintenance plan. Points are earned with the vehicle purchase as well as with other spending at dealerships. Buyers of new or certified pre-owned vehicles get an initial bucket of rewards points that they can choose to use for free maintenance. The initial points for Fords vary by powertrain (gas, diesel, electric) and for Lincoln by trim levels. The 42,000 points that come with a new Ford gasoline-powered vehicle would, for example, cover the first three scheduled visits (such as through the 40,000-mile service period for a 2021 Explorer). Separately, buyers of Lincoln’s model-year 2021 premium-trim Black Label vehicles get an exclusive package of benefits that includes four free scheduled service visits within four years or 50,000 miles.
Hyundai and Genesis
Hyundai and its Genesis luxury brand offer three years or 36,000 miles of complimentary regularly scheduled maintenance for all 2021 models (excluding the Hyundai Nexo fuel-cell vehicle) for the original owner. The extension of the complimentary maintenance program to Hyundai-badged vehicles is new and started in February.
Jaguar is the top dog for complimentary maintenance. All Jaguars come with all scheduled maintenance visits covered for five years or 60,000 miles.
All trim levels of model-year 2021 Jeep vehicles get three scheduled maintenance visits if used within three years of purchase as well as a trip interruption benefit as part of the Jeep Wave loyalty program. Previously, the free services were limited to certain trim levels.
Kia provides three years or 37,500 miles of free scheduled maintenance for its upscale Cadenza and K900 sedans.
All new Lexus vehicles offer the first two scheduled maintenance visits complimentary up to one year or 10,000 miles.
The Volkswagen Group performance brand offers a complimentary first scheduled maintenance visit, which would be due by one year or 10,000 miles.
Most trim levels of model-year 2021 Ram pickup trucks get three free scheduled maintenance visits if used within two years as well as a trip interruption benefit — but the offer is good only for Ram buyers in Texas, an intensely competitive truck market.
Subaru offers two years or 24,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance for model-year 2021 vehicles, but only in certain markets, which are mostly in Sun Belt states where the primarily all-wheel-drive automaker has a smaller competitive presence. In other regions, Subaru does not offer free maintenance.
All Toyota vehicles come with two years or 25,000 miles of regularly scheduled free maintenance.
All 2021 Volkswagen models offer two years or 20,000 miles of regularly scheduled free maintenance.
Volvo includes complimentary maintenance for three years or 30,000 miles, which is basically the first three service visits.
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- Making Sense of Used-Car Warranties
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