Are pre-paid car maintenance plans worth the cost?

If you've bought a car recently, there's a good chance the dealer tried to sell you a pre-paid maintenance plan, but is it worth it?

This kind of plan is different than an extended warranty, which covers costs when something on your car breaks.

A pre-paid maintenance plan covers the services like oil changes, filter replacements, and rotating your tires.

The cost can be bundled into your auto loan, so you won't really feel the bump in price, but this means you'll be paying interest.

To avoid this, Consumer Reports advises you pay for the plan in full separately.

Make sure you read the fine print. Consumer Reports says some plans have restrictions, like where work can be done.

"Factory backed plans are typically honored at any dealership that sells the same brand of car that you bought. This is helpful if you move, but if you live far away from a dealership, this can be a hassle or if you have a local mechanic that you'd actually rather use," said car finance expert Mike Monticello.

Before you buy, also ask whether the plan can be transferred with the car, if you plan to sell the car before the plan expires.

You can check typical service costs here.
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