Different vehicles have different service intervals. Most services are dynamic and specific to the way you drive and/or that specific vehicle. An Audi R8 will have a different service schedule to a Volkswagen Golf for example.
You are generally required to take a vehicle for a service once a year, or depending on mileage.
Why is servicing important?
Two vehicles. Same Sector.
Volkswagen Golf: 24m service interval [or] every 10,000 miles
Mercedes A-Class: 12m service interval [or] every 15,500 miles
We can see the problem straight away, one of these vehicles requires servicing once a year, the other every two years. One of these vehicles would be considered a “premium” brand, the other less so.
On paper, there are a lot of factors to consider when leasing, and the one that is missed the most is the service interval. If your lifestyle only requires you to do 10,000 miles over 24 months, the Golf would be the safest bet. Both will do the same job amicably, but one vehicle will cost you more long term if you don’t research the service interval. This becomes especially important if you decide to maintain the vehicle yourself.
Let’s do two real-world examples:
36 months @ 20,000 miles per year.
Volkswagen total services: 6
Mercedes total services: 4
24 months @ 5,000 miles per year.
Volkswagen total services: 1
Mercedes total services: 2
See what I’m saying? If you are maintaining these vehicles yourself, one is better than the other depending on how you use the vehicle. It is still vitally important even if you aren’t maintaining yourself, as the cost will be calculated by the leasing company accordingly.
This particular subject probably goes under the radar when it comes to choosing your next car. However, this is one of the most important aspects of vehicle leasing that consumers generally don’t know about.
Most leasing companies offer service and maintenance packages on all the vehicles they lease, and the important thing to note is that the service cost is not generic to all vehicles. i.e. a Toyota may cost less to service than a Land Rover. The cost is calculated based on the frequency of services, either by year or by mileage. It is also dependant on in-house yearly servicing vs manufacturer servicing.
Tip: Although the servicing interval is vitally important when it comes to selecting your vehicle, be aware that most leasing companies will put vehicles through a yearly service anyway for liability and safety purposes (especially minibuses). But it is always a good thing to check the service interval of the vehicle you want. Especially if you are looking at a few vehicles in the same sector.