Taking the sting out of servicing
Imagine being able to get your car serviced at the best possible price without the risk of bill shock. And imagine having the entire process overseen by a team of experts who’ll make sure only essential work is carried out. It’s a familiar situation to any driver who’s signed up to Smartleasing’s long-standing Vehicle Maintenance Program (VMP).
“The Vehicle Maintenance Program is designed so that the costs of car servicing, repairs and tyre replacement are all included in a customer vehicle package,” explains Smartleasing’s leasing operations manager, Craig Adamson.
“It allows a customer to take their car into an approved service provider of their choice and pick it up once everything’s been completed. Everything in between happens through the Vehicle Management Program. It’s all about ensuring they don’t get hit with big one-off bills for the duration of the lease.”
The program (generally included as part of all lease packages) is based on predictions of car servicing and tyre replacement costs throughout the lease. Small payments are subsequently deducted from the customer’s pay every fortnight or month to cover those predicted costs when incurred. Craig says a cost buffer, designed to cover unexpected expenses such as brake-pad replacements, is also built in.
“Based on an understanding of what kind of car someone’s getting and how many kilometres they’ll be doing, we’re able to accurately ascertain what annual servicing costs are likely to be and build a budget accordingly,” he says.
“Thanks to available vehicle data, we know what cars need, what tyres and how often they need to be serviced based on kilometres driven.”
In the event of minor miscalculations or unforeseen circumstances, Craig says adjustments are made to the payment schedule.
“If we’ve found we haven’t budgeted enough, we might take an extra payment to compensate, but if we find we’ve budgeted too much, we can return that amount through the customer’s pay or roll the excess forward into a new lease.”
Craig says that arguably the biggest advantage of the Vehicle Maintenance Program is the cost oversight provided by Smartleasing’s expert team.
“We’ve got a team of seven dedicated maintenance controllers who act in an oversight role to make sure that the work done is necessary and properly charged,” Craig says.
“We understand how long a service for a particular car should take and have a rough estimate of what it should cost. But the biggest thing the controllers do is stop the unnecessary upsells that a dealership may try to include during a service. Our team is in there to stop that.”
Getting good deals
As you might expect, reduced servicing cost is another major benefit of the program, with savings made possible by Smartleasing’s extensive dealer network and the sheer volume of cars (more than 30,000) serviced as part of the program.
“In some instances, we’re able to negotiate a cheaper labour rate than what you’d be able to attain if you just walked in off the street,” says Craig. “So not only do we offer cost oversight, but we also drive the cost down, enabling better servicing rates and discounts. This means that customers are really getting the best value for money.”
When locating approved mechanics and service providers in their local area, customers simply visit smartleasing.com.au/servicemycar and consult the interactive map provided. It’s all about making life cheaper and more efficient, giving the customer peace of mind and time to enjoy life’s other adventures.
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