Is an vehicle protection plan worth it?

Discussion in 'Prime Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Devron, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. Curlyone

    Curlyone Member

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    I do have a story when the extended warranty was worth it.

    I bought a CanAm Spyder RT the first year they came out (2010? I think). Since CanAm had only been building the spyders for 2 years, and the model I bought was the first year, I was pretty nervous being a "first adopter". It was an expensive machine to keep up with not even counting the issues that were covered by the 2 year warranty. I ended up using the extended warranty several times which more than paid for it. Also since the warranty was transferable I was able to get a better price when I sold it.

    That said, the Prime is a little different situation. Toyota has a really good track record for vehicle maintenance, and while the Prime is fairly new it's been around for 2-3 years. I did get a extended warranty mostly because I'm a terrible mechanic and it's worth the peace of mind for me.
     
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  2. bruceha_2000

    bruceha_2000 Senior Member

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    Looks like the Spyder came out in 2007, Leno got the first one.
    I probably would have gotten the EW in that case as well @Curlyone. Unknown manufacturer with a new product. I didn't get it with my 2004 Prius (Sept 2004) even though it was the first year for Gen II (started selling Sept 2003) because it was an evolutionary step from the Gen I and Toyota's reliability was as good then as it is now.
     
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  3. Larry F.

    Larry F. Junior Member

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    Extended warranty plans are high margin add-ons for dealers, and they love them. Consumer Reports and other reviewers say "Pass". You bought what one of my car buddies calls a "boring Toyota", because there is no drama in its maintenance requirements. Both of us also own BMW's, a little more dramatic. But fun! If you can cancel the coverage and get your money back, I would strongly urge you to do so. I also go for frequent fluid changes: 30K on the CVT, 2 years on brake fluid, etc. I've taken loads of cars over 200K with that approach. 35K on my Prime, 140K flawless operation on my Gen2.
     
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  4. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    It’s the cost of the electronics that keeps me up at night.
     
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  5. Larry F.

    Larry F. Junior Member

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    Have you had any after-warranty electronic failures?
     
  6. noonm

    noonm Senior Member

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    I think this is probably a fair assessment on average. However, if you want an alternative view, I did buy the Toyota VSA for my Prius Prime. My reasoning?
    • I want zero decision making about where to take my car. No matter where I am in the US, any repairs or maintenance are going to a Toyota dealer.
    • In the aughts, I was an early adopter of a hybrid (a honda civic one). It was hard to find a non-Honda dealer who could probably handle the hybrid components competently. I see plug-ins/EVs being in a similar situation now.
    • The roadside assistance/travel help coverage allowed me to cancel it wherever else I had it (mainly my insurance). Also, they will tow my car (if I ever need it) to the nearest Toyota service center rather than the cheapest mechanic.
    • Much of the scariest costs (think battery, hybrid components) are covered under the emission control warranty (thank you NJ for adopting the CA requirements). However, there are a few big items (think the touchscreen) not covered after the standard warranty expires.
    I would recommend shopping around. Basically, you can purchase a Toyota VSA up until your initial warranty expires from any dealer willing to sell it to you. After calling several dealers, I was able to find one who sold a Platinum VSA for $1395 on a zero-interest 24 month payment plan.

    Also, feel free to call up the Toyota Financial Service center and discuss any questions you have. That's what I did when I wanted to know what was covered under my warranty vs the VSA.

    Car repair and doctor bills are two of things I stress out most about, so given the chance to (almost) eliminate the hassle of one of them is worth it in my opinion.
     
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  7. Roy2001

    Roy2001 Active Member

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    Pocket the $1800 and be happy, don't buy it.
     
  8. PT Guy

    PT Guy Active Member

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    The last half of the last line from Curly says it all...peace of mind insurance. That's what you're really buying.

    Noon, your first three items don't relate to buying the extended warranty. You always have those options. The advantage of the roadside assistance from your insurance rather than the Toyota version is that you can have the car towed anywhere in the allowable radius, not just a dealer. Say you shred a tire...any tire store will sell you a new one, even on a Sunday, and that can save you time and money. If just the touchscreen is your concern, put a little money aside every month. Because you probably will not need a replacement, you'll most likely have that cash available to you when you sell this Prime.

    The extended warranty...VSA or any other...is priced to pay a commission to the sales person, a profit margin to the dealership, a profit margin to the underwriter, and hopefully enough to pay for a few repairs. You can self-insure only the final part and save money.
     
  9. Ralph skelley

    Ralph skelley Junior Member

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    I'm 80 yo and been through a lot of vehicles both privately and in business. The biggest expense I've ever had was $2500. for a new transmission in a Ford Van. I had lots of smaller expenses on VW's. I would never buy another one. Most of my family drives Toyotas and Hondas. I try to have my Prius serviced at private shops. The service at Toyota dealers are rip offs. I can honestly say that I am far ahead of the game on protection plans. I have never bought one.
    I believe there are more crooks than honest people and insurance companies are a haven for crooks. If a person can't afford an expensive repair, look at a less expensive vehicle and find a good independent repair shop.
     
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  10. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    Here's the Consumer Reports article on it: Extended Car Warranties: An Expensive Gamble - Consumer Reports

    Here's the important takeaway:
    I personally would never want to own a modern BMW or MB without some kind of warranty coverage. Too many expensive things to break that are over-engineered. I'd actually be more inclined to run a 458, Gallardo, or Huracan out of warranty (they have surprising reliability) than just about any AMG or E90/F-series M car.
     
  11. MrMimizu

    MrMimizu New Member

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    Hi all,

    Just picked up my Prius Prime on July 4.
    The dealership tried to sell me the ECP and wanted $1200CAD +tax for 3yr/80000km
    Said all maintenance covered for 3 years.
    When I went to pick up, the price was down to $1000+tax and I had to buy now or lose the free maintenance.
    Still said no. Didn't mention the fact that
    Then I found a guy on a local forum who can do $899+tax.

    The website states "For vehicles with 6 months/8,000 kilometre oil change intervals, you’ll enjoy 8 oil and filter services and one tire rotation† at absolutely no extra cost."

    That looks like it would cover 4 years not three.
    Based on the toyota.ca maintenance scheduler.
    I'd get
    FOUR service #1($60) which is pretty much just looking and a tire rotation
    TWO service #2($126) which is the same as #1 but oil change as well
    TWO service #3 ($176) which is #2 with a bunch of extra stuff thrown in.

    That brings me to $844 which is just a bit less than $899. Which then would make the ECP worth considering. $55 for the extras.

    Is it safe to assume all those services are paid for by the ECP? Technically, it just says oil and filter vs the full maintenance.
    Just wanted to see what everyone's experience is on this.
     
  12. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I do not know what they sell in Canada. Is it a prepaid maintenance contract that provides routine scheduled maintenance, not the so-called extended warranty which really is a vehicle repair insurance? For US owners, Toyota includes free 25k miles/2.5 years scheduled maintenance plan. That's first 5 maintenance visits to a dealer for free. But for $844 (CAD?), you have to do the math. If you do your maintenance DIY, I am almost certain it will be less than $844. Most of the scheduled maintenance is nothing but just tire rotation every 5K miles, and oil and filter change every 10K miles plus inspections. I don't remember if Canadian Prime maintenance schedule has an oil change every 5k miles like Gen3. Your 3 yrs/80K km will cover up to 50k miles, so it would be more than first 5 scheduled maintenance for the US equivalent. From what you have posted, it does not seem to be less than bringing your car to the same dealer for individual service. I think the dealer is just trying to rip you off.
     
    #32 Salamander_King, Jul 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  13. MrMimizu

    MrMimizu New Member

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    It's the extended warranty.
    Did a bit more asking and found that I'm covered for 3 years of maintenance with the plan. If I go to the dealership, It would cost me $609 which is $300 in savings over the cost of the plan..
    Canadian Prime is 10k miles oil change from the Toyota.ca website.
    For all my previous cars, I went to the dealership during the warranty period for the record keeping.
    They were all oil changes though.
    Never had a car where the service was just to inspect it.
    I can do that part and just pay for the oil changes. That makes my maintenance cost even lower.
    I think I'll pass on the ECP plan after all.
     
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  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    When someone's desperately trying to sell me something, I don't bother considering the merits, just shut 'em out.

    Especially if you're willing to do some DIY, it's pointless, just stick with the manufacturer's warranty, DIY what you can. I've never had a dealership oil change (with our 2010): did everything myself from day one.

    The only thing I had it in for (besides warranty/recall stuff) was an A/C recharge, and they tried their damnest to push the quoted price up on that.
     
  15. Pam 124

    Pam 124 New Member

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    We had bought a used 2011 Prius hatchback with low mileage. Almost bought a extended warranty for 4000 bucks. Did the math and bought a 2019 new Prius eco as I drive 300 miles a week so made sense. They exchanged the cars at the dealership. Did not buy any extras just the car
     
  16. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Humm? Without seeing the small prints on the contract, it is hard to judge what you were being offered by the dealer. The extended warranty usually covers mechanical repairs due to defective parts or workmanship beyond the regular warranty period. If your contract is only for the first 3 years, the regular manufacturer's warranty should cover bumper to bumper. You would not benefit anything from buying the plan you have described even though there may be some perks for free maintenance. What is your term of an extended warranty? Who is offering the services? Is it a third party company, the dealer, or TOYOTA?
     
  17. Larry F.

    Larry F. Junior Member

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    Consumer Reports (among other sources) says that automotive extended warranties are almost never a good investment. Period. If you choose to disagree with the experts, then at the very least, you would want a warranty from Toyota, NOT an individual dealer, and NOT a 3rd party. My families multiple Toyotas (including 4 Prius's) have been boringly reliable. I DO recommend more frequent fluid changes than the factory specifies, starting with tranny juice at 30K intervals. The first drain has consistently been dark and smelly, with subsequent drains (of RedLine synth) pretty and odorless. You decide.
     
  18. NSXT

    NSXT Member

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    Extended warranty is like buying life insurance/travel insurance ie: Peace of mind.

    I bought mine 7yrs/160k kms which included the 3 years service. Taking the service off the price ($800 over 3 years), the extended warranty price was not too bad for $$ value to get a peace of mind to me.

    Any electronic module like ECU is very costly. A Lexus 2014 NX300h fried ECU due to some abnormal start jump, it costs $4000k+labours to replace it because outside of warranty.

    You can read it here : NX300h fatal flaw in ECU - ClubLexus - Lexus Forum Discussion

    Toyota/Prime parts could be cheaper but they are still way beyond the actual extended warranty $$ value to replace it outside of warranty.

    Again, this is just me to have that kind of peace of mind. (I bought the car and not lease... if leasing it, I wouldn't bother since I will get a new car every 39 months).

    Reliability and reputation is one thing but anything can happen. Nobody can see the future when your prius will be rear-ended and total it, that is why Car's insurance is there for that ie: peace of mind :cool:
     
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  19. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    At least in the US, the "engine control computer" is already covered for 60 months or 60,000 miles. The "Engine control module" is covered for 8 years, 80,000 miles
     
  20. MrMimizu

    MrMimizu New Member

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    It was the Toyota ECP Platinum plan.
    My thought was it would be worth it if the cost of the maintenance was close to the cost of the plan. Considering that only the
    12 mo/16000km servicing is an oil change and the 6 month 8000km is just inspection, I'd only go in for the 16000 km oil change and do the
    inspections myself. Already do my own tire swaps so there's nothing worth them doing on the 8000km.
    This makes the plan very unattractive.
     
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