We run several Hyundai cars…

They’re nice cars, built well, have a 5-year warranty and are reasonably priced.

We got them through West Riding Hyundai in Colne (also in Manchester & Bolton) who have been clever in making us sticky. Making sure we’ll come back to them for service.

Hyundai operate service plans. Based on your expected mileage they give you a discounted service rate over the warranty life of the vehicle, and then you pay for it in a monthly subscription.

So, when you bring it to them for service, unless it needs consumable parts like tyres, breaks & pads, your service feels like it’s free, as your small monthly subscription charge covers it.

It’s a clever way for them to maintain customer loyalty & is something we do with our printer technology and internet office phone solutions too.

But it got me thinking why independent car repair garages don’t do something similar. Surely it doesn’t just have to be new cars that qualify for a discounted rate service plan, does it?

I’m sure most cars serviced at independent garages are out of warranty. But you can still work out a plan that covers the service & the parts required for the service. Any other work or parts are extra.

You could have a basic plan to cover the service & then a premium plan, where the customer paid a little bit more which went into a savings pot to pay for any extra work over the life of the plan.

Let’s say your transactional price for an annual 10,000-mile service is (including service parts) £150.

Why not provide a 3-year service plan for £396.00 (£54 discount) & let customers pay £11 a month or even, offer a 5-year plan for say £600.00 (£150 discount) & let customers pay £10 a month.

Doing this gains customer loyalty for the full period they’re on a service plan & means, you’ll also pick up all the extra work along the way too.

A further way to lock that customer in, would be the premium service plan, where they can save up monthly for any extra items like breaks, tyres or any other repairs.

Let’s say, on a premium plan they paid £20 a month over 5-years. £10 would pay for the annual service and the other £10 would go towards any other costs.

And when they come to the end of their service plan, sign them on another one. Service plans are transferable too, so if they change vehicles, you’ll keep their custom.

You’ll need to create a system to manage it. But surely, it’s worth some thought?