Canstar Blue’s 2021 review of dealership car servicing compares Ford, Mazda, Hyundai, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Kia, Nissan and Holden on customer satisfaction.
Getting a new car can be a lot of fun, but looking after your brand-new purchase can be anything but, with the upkeep and maintenance enough for some to avoid upgrading altogether. But, like driving, not paying attention can leave you in a dangerous spot, with getting your car serviced necessary to ensure that everything under the hood is working as it should be. But when it comes to getting your car serviced, is there a car dealership that does it better than others?
That’s what Canstar Blue has looked to find out, surveying 700 Australian adults who have recently booked in and used a dealership car servicing centre in the last two years, with their feedback reflected in the ratings table above. Brands were compared on important factors such as customer service, cost of parts, quality of car servicing, value for money, time taken and effectiveness of repairs, with brands that received the minimum 30 responses featured in our results.
In our inaugural dealership car servicing ratings, Ford has taken out the top spot, rating five stars for cost of parts, value for money, effectiveness of repairs and overall satisfaction. Read on to find out more below.
Canstar Blue’s 2021 review of dealership car servicing saw eight brands compared and rated in the following order for overall satisfaction:
While Ford may have parked in the top spot, the competition weren’t too far behind, with Mazda, Hyundai, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Kia all scoring four stars for overall satisfaction, with Nissan and Holden finishing on three stars overall.
In addition to its five star rating for overall satisfaction, Ford was the only brand to score top marks for cost of parts, with five stars for effectiveness of repair and value for money. There was also a number of other brands getting in on the five star action, with Mazda the only brand to score five stars for customer service, while also securing five stars for quality of car servicing and time taken, with Nissan also at the top for time taken. Toyota was the only other brand to score five stars for value for money, while Hyundai and Kia were both rated five stars for quality of car servicing and effectiveness of repairs.
Our survey found that respondents were paying over $380 for their car service at a dealership, meaning it’s no surprise why some people put it off for another day. And that’s what some survey respondents do, with 10% stating that they put off getting their car serviced because they’re worried about the cost. And in that 7% said that they tried to fix an issue with their cars by themselves, and it’s clear to see that some aren’t looking to spend big. On the other side of the coin, 65% stated that they get their car serviced strictly by the (log)book.
If you’re looking to book in your service, read on to find out what each car dealership brand has to offer.
Offering motorists a wide variety of vehicles, Ford also offers a number of servicing options to keep you on the road. Ford offers a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty on new car purchases, and offers car servicing from $299, although this may depend on what vehicle you drive, with a maximum of four services up to four years or 60,000km. If you’re worried about the cost, Ford has a Service Price Calculator available online to make sure you have enough budget to cover, with Ford also partnering with OpenPay to potentially help with payments.
In addition to traditional servicing, Ford can update your Sat-Nav, with Ford vehicles equipped with SYNC 2 and 3 models able to receive annual map updates during your service. If you’re worried about getting around when your car is in the shop, Ford also offer a Service Loan Car, although you’ll have to book that when you book your service, and it isn’t available at all dealership locations.
Ford also offer its National Roadside Assistance and Auto Club Lifestyle Membership, which offers a variety of benefits for when you get in a tricky situation. However, conditions apply to both roadside assistance and the Auto Club membership, with more information available via the Ford website.
With over 150 certified Mazda Service Dealerships available nationwide, Japanese brand Mazda offers a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, in addition to roadside assistance and insurance for those looking for a bit of additional peace of mind while out on the road. A Mazda Genuine Service includes looking at the standard areas, in addition to software updates, full checks via the Modular Diagnostic system, with only genuine parts used. Services can be booked online, or via the phone when you contact your local dealership.
Mazda also offer a Service Price Calculator to help take any surprise out of the bill, with a Service Pricing Guide also available to give you an idea of how much a new Mazda model may cost you when you plan on looking under the hood.
With over 100 locations around Australia, Hyundai servicing can be booked online, with a number of services and options available. Hyundai owners can opt for a Pre-Paid Servicing Plan, which allows you to lock in a servicing pricing when you buy your vehicle, with the Lifetime Service Plan also available for new owners.
Hyundai will give you your first service for free (at 1,500km or after one month, whichever comes first) to help ensure everything is working as it should be, with getting your vehicle serviced at a Hyundai Service centre qualifying you for an additional 12 months of included roadside assistance, up to 10 years. Hyundai will also update your Sat-Nav, with select Hyundai dealership locations offering a drop-off shuttle bus service, or free WiFi and a tea or coffee while you wait for your car to be serviced. And if you’re looking to keep an eye on your services and service history, Hyundai offer the myHyundai app, making it easy to keep on top of your services.
Toyota offers the Toyota Service Advantage, giving Toyota owners a fixed price for servicing for up to the first five years of ownership. The Toyota Service Advantage covers scheduled logbook servicing, engine oil and filter changes, brake inspection, tyre rotation, multi-point inspection, fluid level inspection and the use of Genuine Toyota Parts if anything needs replacing.
Additionally, you can also get a quote for your servicing if you’re outside the fixed-price servicing, with select Toyota dealership service locations offering Express Maintenance, giving you the option to wait while your vehicle is being serviced. New Toyota’s are covered with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, with Toyota offering to extend the engine and driveline warranty if you keep up your annual servicing schedule with them. Toyota also offers the myToyota app to help you keep a closer eye on your servicing schedule and history.
Japanese brand Mitsubishi looks to differentiate itself in the servicing market, offering a 10-year warranty and 10-year Capped Price Servicing through its Diamond Advantage. However, some conditions apply, with the Mitsubishi Standard New Car Warranty standing at 5-years/100,000km, with some new owners potentially eligible for the Extended New Car Warranty, which can be up to 10-years/200,000km if all scheduled services have been done at an authorised Mitsubishi Motors Dealer Network. Electric and hybrid models are similarly covered, with the one difference coming from the traction battery, which has an 8-year/160,000km warranty.
Mitsubishi Diamond Advantage also offers 12 months Auto Club Roadside Assist and Membership with all new Mitsubishi vehicles, with an additional 12 months added each time the vehicle is serviced under the Capped Price Service program for up to four years. Mitsubishi Genuine Parts covered by a 12-month or 20,000km warranty, giving additional peace of mind for those who have to get work done.
Offering a 7-year/unlimited kilometre warranty on new car purchases, Kia additionally offers a 7-year Capped Price Servicing on new models, with 12 months of Roadside Assistance available if you stick to your yearly servicing schedule. Kia also complimentary servicing on the first three months/3,000km, ensuring that you get off the line with no issues.
Kia servicing locations can be found online via the Kia website, with the ability to book online also available. You can also calculate the cost of your next service online, saving you from any cost anxiety, with Zip Pay also available to help with any payments.
Nissan offers the ability to book a service online, with a Servicing Price Guide also available to give you an overview of what costs to expect the next time you plan on dropping the car off. Alternatively, you can look to a Pre-Paid Maintenance Plan, which is a one-off payment when you buy a new Nissan vehicle, although it does exclude some models.
All new Nissan models come with five years of standard Roadside Assist, along with a five year unlimited kilometre warranty, provided you stick to your regular scheduling, with Nissan Genuine Parts coming with a 12 month/20,000km warranty. You can find out what to expect from a Nissan servicing in the Owner booklet, but you’ll also be treated to a complimentary clean as part of your service.
Despite the brand shutting up shop in 2020, parent-company General Motors said it will honour servicing and repairs for Holden models for a number of years down the road. With over 200 Certified Service Outlets around Australia, motorists can still book a service in for their Holden model, with Premium Capped Service available for vehicles under five years old, with a pricing guide also available via the Holden website.
Which dealership you drive into to get the nuts and bolts inspected will ultimately come down to a variety of factors, but the biggest one will likely be what type of car you drive. After all, there’s not much point taking your luxury European car brand to a dealership that sells primarily Japanese models, as the systems, parts and layout of the car varying between each brand to make them unique under the hood. And while you may have already bought the car, if you’re still in the market, looking at the servicing costs of your new ride may help you make the decision, and save you from running on empty further down the line. And if you’re still not sure, it’s best to read the fine print in the servicing guidelines, as there are plenty of terms and conditions that you should be aware of so that you don’t accidently void your new car warranty.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Content Projects Lead, Dean Heckscher. He’s our resident expert on all things automotive, health & fitness, streaming and more. Dean is also one of Canstar Blue’s customer research report producers, helping to turn complicated subjects into easily-digestible information for our readers. He’s passionate about helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services.
Photo Credits:Studio 72/shutterstock.com
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have had their car serviced in the last 2 years by a car dealership servicing centre. (Note: This does not include independent mechanics or motoring clubs such as NRMA or RAC) – in this case, 700 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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