What’s the asterisk for? To qualify for this generous free-maintenance promotion, you must buy a specific car—a Ferrari starting at around $200K.
Purchase a 2012 Ferrari California, 458 Italia, or FF and the dealership with throw in free maintenance on the vehicle for seven years. Considering the sticker price of these vehicles ($200,000 and up), this is sorta like buying a house because the sellers include a free annual gutter cleaning service.
The Chicago Tribune highlights the new car buyer incentive, which would-be Ferrari owners may find interesting because the vehicles are not only ultra-pricey up front, but ultra-pricey to maintain:
When the price of an oil change hits four digits even the most well-heeled car owner can blanch.
The Ferrari offer covers all scheduled maintenance visits, either once a year or every 12,500 miles. The Trib is skeptical that Ferrari drivers would log in more than 12,500 miles annually—can’t picture this as a commuter car—so basically the promotion involves seven maintenance visits at no charge*.
What’s that asterisk for? Well, there’s no charge other than the price of the car—which again, is 200 grand.
But speaking of free vehicle maintenance programs, are any of these deals worth it? Ferrari’s not the only carmaker to offer such a service. Edmunds explains that these programs rarely ever wind up saving drivers money, “but there are reasons why they still may be appealing to car buyers.”
Why wouldn’t they save drivers some cash? Typically, these programs are offered for high-end luxury vehicles, and if good value is your main concern, you’d be better off buying a reliable, less expensive car, even if you have to pay for oil changes and whatnot. The free maintenance programs that were offered for less-expensive brands like Toyota and Volkswagen, on the other hand, typically don’t last long or cover all that much. Figure a few hundred bucks worth of value. Overall, Edmunds says, these programs are “hardly enough to make you choose one brand over another.”
So when would they ever seem worthwhile? They allow you to not worry about maintaining your new car, which might otherwise involve tracking the mileage and maintenance schedules, making appointments and driving into the dealership, or finding a trustworthy mechanic who’ll charge less than the dealership but still do top-notch work. Drivers will like these programs not necessarily because they make dollars-and-cents sort of sense, but because they bring with them peace of mind:
There is a genuine appeal to knowing that all you have to do is bring your car in at the proper mileage interval and the service department will take care of the rest.