The real cost of car ownership in New Zealand (and anywhere else) is high. It’s because it already includes maintenance and repair. In Kiwi country, basic car service costs $150, according to AA Motoring.
Because of this, some may do it by themselves to save the trip and expense. In many instances, it may not be the most brilliant idea for the following reasons:
1. Some Cars Need a Specific Kind of Love
Premium vehicles, such as Ferrari or Jaguar, are pricey for a variety of reasons. For one, their manufacturers do not mass-produce them. Fiat Chrysler produced fewer than 40,000 units of Maserati in 2018. Compare that to Toyota, which sold over 5 million vehicles within the same period.
Second, luxury cars seem unique since they feature components not found anywhere else. For example, only a few shops carry a comprehensive line of Jaguar parts in NZ. Servicing these vehicles DIY can cause headaches. It is challenging to find the parts and expensive to buy or import them unless someone does so by bulk.
2. Car Owners Can Void Their Warranty
Competition in the automotive industry is fierce. It explains why manufacturers release new or upgraded models each year. They also attract buyers through different types of warranty.
In general, a warranty lasts for a period of years or maximum mileage, whichever comes first. Toyota vehicles, for instance, have a manufacturer’s guarantee that covers three years or 10,000 kilometers.
This warranty already includes regular servicing of vehicles and replacement of defective parts. Some kinds of guarantee are more comprehensive. Mitsubishi provides different terms depending on whether the car runs on petrol or diesel. It may also offer roadside assistance. Some car owners may also get extended warranty. If they decide to sell the unit, they may transfer it to the dealership or the new driver.
Like other warranties, however, those of vehicles come with terms and conditions. Usually, one of these is for drivers not to perform repair and maintenance by themselves. Otherwise, if something happens to the vehicle, these manufacturers can assume it is the owner’s mistake. In the end, the individual voids their car warranty.
3. DIY Servicing May Lead to Rounds of Warrant of Fitness Inspection
New Zealand is one of the countries that do not make car insurance mandatory. Instead, it performs a warrant of fitness (WoF) inspection. In this process, a certified expert will check the vehicle for roadworthiness.
While the check does not cover everything in the car, it is still comprehensive. If the vehicle fails this test, then it cannot travel unless the owner modifies or makes the changes. Then, it will mean another round of inspections.
These days, New Zealand car owners can refer to online WoF checklists, but they can be basic. Letting a professional service centre check it is still ideal. They can detect problems many drivers often overlook. The car will also receive a more thorough checkup, so it is in tiptop shape if it ends up on the road.
These points do not mean drivers cannot do anything anymore. They can still perform basic maintenance, such as checking tire tread depth or lubrication. But unless one is an expert, it is best to leave the job to those with experience and knowledge. It prevents owners from making costly mistakes and warranty void.