What is a maintenance package?

When you take out a lease on a car, leasing providers will give you the option to take out a maintenance package. This will be a set fee added onto your monthly lease payments or can be paid separately.

It can give you peace of mind when it comes to common wear and tear issues which can occur from normal use throughout your lease contract. Wondering whether you should get a maintenance package with your deal? And how much will it cost?

Read our guide below to find out all you need to know.

Each leasing provider will have its own list of what’s included in a maintenance package, but the most common features are:

Items that are generally included:

  • Servicing – check-up costs, along with anything that needs repairing or replacing for example exhausts, tyres, brakes and wipers.
  • All repairable/replaceable parts considered ‘fair wear and tear’ - such as brake pads, disks, light bulbs, batteries, exhausts, belts, wiper blades, alternators and starter motors.
  • Mechanical/electrical repairs.
  • MOT – lease cars are new, so don’t require a MOT for the first three years, but after this they need to be tested once a year. A maintenance package covers the cost of having a MOT if your agreement is longer than 36 months.
  • Breakdown recovery – 24-hour assistance for the duration of your contract.
  • Oil – level checks and top-ups as and when they’re required.
  • Replacement tyres - that aren’t down to driver error.
  • Car pick up/drop off to your home - no hassle!

While a maintenance package has you covered for wear and tear problems mentioned above, there are a few things which you should be aware of.

The following won’t be part of the package:

  • Vandalised or stolen parts or accessories.
  • Vehicle repair work for damage caused by an accident.
  • Damage caused by misfuelling.
  • Broken or missing items.
  • Body and paintwork damage which exceeds normal wear and tear.

What is Fair Wear and Tear?

Leasing providers often refer to the BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association) Fair Wear and Tear Guidelines when inspecting their cars at the end of a contract with you.

You should be given a copy of the guide as a reference alongside your contract when you lease, if not, then ask for it. The guidelines don’t require the car to be in brand new condition, but they do give you a good picture of what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to maintaining the car. When it comes to returning your car to the lease provider, any excessive wear and tear can be a financial burden - which a maintenance package can take care of.

So, should I get a maintenance package or not?

If you do a large amount of mileage e.g. 30,000+ per annum, then a maintenance package can be a sensible option. The more miles you do means there’s a higher chance of wear and tear on your car. By taking out a maintenance package, you’re protecting yourself from potential charges for exceeding wear and tear, which could end up costing more than the maintenance option.

On the other hand, the maintenance package may not be affordable on top of your monthly lease payments. If this is the case, and your lease agreement is 3 years or less, then it’s probably not worth adding the package on (but please do your own analysis!).

All brand-new cars are covered by manufacturer warranty, which will cover you for unexpected mechanical or electrical problems. So, if you can follow basic maintenance measures such as; oil checks and driving in a manner which keeps the car damage free, a maintenance package might not be required.

If you are unsure, you can always be given a quote with maintenance cover included, and how much it costs without. However, remember you need to keep the car in good condition, which includes routine servicing and repairs.

TIP: Manufacturer warranty will cover you for 3 years or up to 60,000 miles (whichever comes first), so make sure you check you lease deal falls within these limitations if you don’t go for a maintenance package.