[UPDATE] The difference between a maintenance plan, service plan and warranty plan: explained

[UPDATE] The difference between a maintenance plan, service plan and warranty plan: explained

Posted by Megan MacDonald on 12 Feb 2024

Suzuki XL6 - Lifestyle  Are warranties, service plans, and maintenance plans all the same thing? Definitely not! Each plan is different and covers specific aspects of your car upkeep. Let’s decode the differences together.

Estimated reading time:  4 minutes, 11 seconds


It’s no secret that taking your car for a service can be nerve-wracking, especially when things have gone wrong. Hearing your dealer throw out terms like warranty, maintenance plan, and service plan can be overwhelming when you’re already busy planning around not having your car for a period of time. 

They may sound like the same thing, but knowing the differences between these three and understanding what each plan does—and doesn’t—cover will help you better schedule, budget, and prepare for each service. 

We’re here to help you decode these terms so you can choose the best option to keep your baby driving like a dream. 

Let's start with breaking down the basics:


The manufacturers promise that your vehicle is not defective and won’t cause you problems—but they’ll cover the cost if it does.

Service plan

Covers the cost of basic services: labour costs and replacement of oils and filters. This is done at set intervals and does not cover wear and tear or part replacements.

Maintenance plan

Covers what your service plan and warranty don’t—mainly wear and tear.


All new vehicles come with a standard warranty valid for a certain amount of time. This is essentially the manufacturer’s promise that they have quality-checked the vehicle and are confident it won’t break down. It’s also the promise that if it does, they’ll cover the costs until the warranty expires. 

Make sure you read through your warranty and ask questions if you’re not sure about something. Some manufacturers will only cover certain things in their warranties, so make sure you read the fine print too. The good news is that a Suzuki warranty is bumper to bumper for its entire duration, so you don’t have to stress about potential gaps. 

You can also get an extended warranty for your vehicle if you’re planning on keeping it past the warranty. This will give you added peace of mind and protection before you have to pay out of pocket for services. 

Warranties, including extended warranties, don’t cover wear and tear or damage from improper operation of the vehicle. Read our e-book to learn how to extend the lifespan of your car.

Service Plan

Your service plan also comes standard with new vehicles and is valid for a certain period of time. These regular check-ups keep your car running smoothly so you can travel safely and help avoid unnecessary major repairs later down the road. They’re usually mandatory to keep your warranty valid.

Service plans will cover services done at set intervals, either based on a specific timeframe or mileage. Most Suzuki’s go for either annual services or a service every 15,000km, but this is dependent on your vehicle model, so always check with your dealer when test driving. Routine services will generally cover the labour costs, all necessary lubricants and oils, and replacement filters. They don’t cover any wear and tear damage or part replacement. Your dealer performing the service may flag any potential or existing problems that need repair (which is where your maintenance plan comes in).

Maintenance Plan

Your warranty and service plan don’t cover the most common cause of car repairs: wear and tear. Your maintenance plan will cover the big things your service plan doesn’t: brake pads, shock absorbers, battery replacements, globes, wiper blades, and so on. In fact, it will cover every part of your car except your tyres. 

Maintenance plans are particularly useful if you plan on driving more than usual and/or will be doing long-distance trips. The older a car gets, the more you should consider getting a maintenance plan. 

The alternative is budgeting for repairs and services not covered by your service plan, however, the unexpected happens, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Major damage due to improper operation and reckless driving aren’t covered under any of these plans, and repairs of damage caused by accidents should be done through your car insurance

In a nutshell, warranties are initially provided by the manufacturer to cover defects and repairs within a specified timeframe, service plans focus on regular upkeep to prevent issues, and maintenance plans provide extended coverage for repairs and replacements beyond the warranty period.

While each of these plans has its own benefits and specific use for coverage; every car—and driver—is different, and it’s important to evaluate your individual needs (and your car’s needs) so you’re getting the coverage you need. If you’re not sure when the time comes for a service, don’t be afraid to ask!

At Suzuki, we care about your car just as much as you do. We’ll walk (or rather drive) this journey alongside you and your Suzuki so that your car gets the service standard you both deserve!

Visit our Car Services, Car Care And Vehicle Maintenance page for more in-depth and comprehensive advice on caring for your car.


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Topics: Buying a car, Aftersales Service

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