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Motoreasy targets 3-6 parc

Car care specialist Motoreasy has sold more than 1,500 memberships to a new scheme offering motorists fixed cost annual maintenance cover. The package is aimed at the three- to six-year-old vehicle parc and has a target of 25,000 members by 2006.

By rolling an annual service, MoT, warranty and breakdown assistance into one interest-free monthly payment, Motoreasy says it can deliver savings of between 27% and 36% compared with average annual maintenance bills, using a network of more than 650 Castrol approved specialists and independent garages.

It quotes a £34.99 (£420 p.a.) monthly fee for vehicles with engine sizes up to 1.4-litre, £44.99 (£547.50) for 1,401cc-2000, and £59.99 (£820) for cars over 2,001cc.

Managing director David Gerrans says most motorists underestimate by at least half the real costs of running an older car. “People tend to think only about fuel, tax and insurance when considering their motoring costs,” he says. “But analysis shows a third of cars aged five to six years old will suffer a mechanical failure compared with one in four of those aged three to four years.”

Motoreasy’s comparison figures are based on average franchised dealer service costs on a selection of 14 different cars and include average warranty costs from Warranty Direct, Warranty Wise and a dealer priced warranty as well average standard AA/RAC breakdown and European cover.

From these, it claims the annual cost of keeping a three-year-plus VW Golf on the road would be more than £760 on average, but that Motoreasy could reduce this to £540 a year – a saving of 30%. Its scheme – in partnership with Castrol, AXA Assistance and Warranty Direct – also includes MoT insurance of up to £500 on qualifying parts and a re-test within 14 days, as well as legal assistance, uninsured loss recovery, windscreen call-out and tyre assistance.

Most manufacturers offer fixed maintenance packages on new cars, but few extend the offer after 36 months. Motoreasy says that even where a carmaker does offer longer maintenance packages, they are not as comprehensive.

“While the product is offered to owners of cars up to 11 years old, the majority of business is expected to be concentrated on vehicles in the three- to six-year-old parc,” says Gerrans. “This represents more than a third of the UK car parc and a fifth of used car sales – invariably the second family car.”

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