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Is The Audi Service Plan Worth It?

Vehicle Maintenance, Vehicle Tips, Car Buying Tips, Money

By Jack Lightner | 10/10/19 7:00 AM | 0 minutes to read

The Audi Service Plan (more commonly known as Audi Care) is something we get asked about a lot. Chances are though, unless you REALLY like the peace of mind, the Audi Service Plan is probably not worth it, as I’ll show you in a second.

With that being said, it’s not because maintenance isn’t important. It’s an issue of cost. The Audi Service Plan will have you paying more money than you would otherwise spend 

To illustrate this point, let me take you back a few (I wish) years.

When I was in High School, I remember the envy I felt when I saw my best friend James’ 16th birthday present.

It was (what looked to be) a mint condition Audi A4, with black trimmed leather seats and a custom silver paint job. His parents smiled

It was a beautiful car.

Over the next couple of years, we took that car for joyrides nearly every day, as there wasn’t much else to do in our small town on the weekends save for hiking, camping, and fishing.

The car got a lot of use.

But it didn’t get a lot of service.

Being a broke high schooler, James was part of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” school of vehicle maintenance.

Which would later come back to bite him in the ass, when he finally got the money to take it in to the shop, only to find out he was on the hook for about $1,000 in service that he hadn’t done.

Whoops.

Audi has earned a reputation as being expensive to maintain and repair, as evidenced by it ranking 5th of 20 major car brands in repair expenses needed over 10 years, according to YourMechanic.com.

So how do you avoid ending up in the same situation?

Enter the AudiCare.

If you’re reading this, I’m willing to bet you haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Hopefully I can help you make the right decision.

So let’s begin!

What Is Audi Care?

AudiCare is a pre-paid maintenance package from Audi USA which allows you to lock in a fixed maintenance costs for your Audi. Audi Care can be purchased on any 2009 or newer Audi.

Getting one of the AudiCare packages allows you to pay ahead for the scheduled service that Audi recommends you perform on your car every 10,000 miles.

This includes oil changes and topping off any other fluids that appear low. There’s also “visual inspections” which is the equivalent of your mechanic giving the car a look, which most mechanics will do for free.

Audi cites benefits like:

  • Saving on maintenance versus buying them separately
  • Paying ahead of time saves on inflation costs
  • Scheduled maintenance keeps you in line with Audi’s service guidelines
  • Ensures your vehicle is maintained by Audi factory technicians who only use Audi certified parts
  • Accepted at authorized dealers in the US

If you do decide that you want to get an Audi Care policy, you’ll be able to choose from several prepaid packages depending on what your model year is, along with your mileage.

You’ll be able to choose from:

  • 2010-2016
  • 2017-2019
  • 2020+

Any maintenance you do on this plan must be performed by an authorized Audi dealer, and you can buy an Audi Care package individually provided your Audi meets the age and mileage requirements for the plan you’re looking for.

What Does The Audi Care Service Plan Cover?

The Audi Care service plan covers a variety of basic services. Consider the below a non-exhaustive list.

Fluids

  • Oil
  • Brake Fluid
  • Coolant
  • Power Steering Fluid*
  • Washer Fluid*

Filters/Mechanical Parts

  • Dust/Pollen Filter
  • Oil Filter
  • Spark Plugs
  • Belts and Tensioners*
  • Washers*
  • Wiper Blades*

Checks

  • Axles
  • Battery
  • Continuously Variable Transmission
  • Cooling System
  • Driveshaft Boots
  • Engine Compartment
  • Exhaust
  • Lights
  • Road Test
  • Transmission
  • Underbody

*additional costs apply that aren’t covered in the Audi Care policy.

In my opinion, the list of maintenance is underwhelming, especially when you consider that many of these services, even simple ones like the power steering fluid, cost extra.

Considering how easy it is to do something like checking your power steering fluid, you’d think they wouldn’t charge you extra.

But they do.

Maybe I’m in the wrong line of work.

Hey Audi, you hiring?

What does Audi Care Cost?

2010-2016

Package

Cost (A3/S3), A3 e-tron, Audi Q3

A8/S8, R8

Everything Else

35/45k Package

$799

$1,249

$879

45/55k Package

$799

$1,249

$879

55/65k Package

$799

$1,249

$879

65/75k Package

$799

$1,249

$879

75/85k Package

$799

$1,249

$879

 

2017-2019

Package

Cost (A3/S3), A3 e-tron, Audi Q3

A8/S8, R8

Everything Else

20k/30k/40k/50k Package

$799

$1,349

$999

35/45k Package

$799

$1,249

$879

45/55k Package

$799

$1,249

$879

55/65k Package

$799

$1,249

$879

65/75k Package

$799

$1,249

$879

75/85k Package

$799

$1,249

$879

 

2020+

Package

Cost (A3/S3), A3 e-tron, Audi Q3

A8/S8, R8

Everything Else

20k/30k/40k/50k Package

$799

$1,349

$999

35/45k Package

$799

$1,249

$879

45/55k Package

$799

$1,249

$879

55/65k Package

$799

$1,249

$879

65/75k Package

$799

$1,249

$879

75/85k Package

$799

$1,249

$879

 

These prices are the base that Audi sets – in reality, you’ll also have to pay any applicable state taxes. Your local Audi dealer does have the final say on these prices as well.

Audi Care is also not refundable or transferable, except if you live in California. The coverage you buy will stay with your vehicle for the life of the contract. 

Is Audi Care Worth It?

To figure out if Audi Care is worth it, I’ve gone ahead and picked the most common Audi model from each pricing class, and year section.

For this example, I’ll assume you only get reasonable services (oil, spark plugs, etc), and compare it against the national average for the cost of the repair.

Sound good?

A3:

The Package: 20/30/40/50k service

What You’ll (Likely) Get: 4 oil changes, 1-2 sets of spark plugs

What The Plan Costs: $799 dollars

What The Total Service Should Cost: 4 Oil Changes ($100 each) + 2 Spark Plug Replacements ($125 each) = $650

Verdict: You lose at least $150 dollars. Not worth it.

Mind you, I’m being “generous” with the spark plugs here.  Audi’s vehicle manual wants you to change your spark plugs every 35,000 miles or 3 years.

Realistically though, with today’s driving technology, your spark plugs will last upwards of 50,000 miles or longer, even if you choose to follow Audi’s recommendation, which is always good.

You can probably guess what this means for the other packages.

The Package: 35/45k+

What You’ll (Likely) Get: 2 oil changes, 1 set of spark plugs

What the Plan Costs: $799

What The Total Service Should Cost: 2 Oil Changes ($100 each) + 1 Spark Plug Replacement ($125) = $325

Verdict: It’s a great deal…for Audi. Your loss of $474 is their gain! Ahhh, I love giving charitable gifts to rich corporations that don’t need my money.

Mind you, changing the oil on your Audi isn’t as hard as you might think.

Your Audi dealer will likely use a pump to change it, but you can do it yourself in about 15 minutes.

A8

The Package: 20/30/40/50k service

What You’ll (Likely) Get: 4 oil changes, 1-2 sets of spark plugs

What The Plan Costs: $1,249-$1,349 dollars

What The Total Service Should Cost: 4 Oil Changes ($100 each) + 2 Spark Plug Replacements ($125 each) = $650

Verdict: You donate between $599 and $699 to Audi.

The major cost with the Audi Oil change isn’t the labor, it’s the 8 quarts of synthetic oil you have to use in order to completely flush everything out.

The 8 quarts plus the oil filter will run you about $75 dollars per oil change.

The Package: 35/45k+

What You’ll (Likely) Get: 2 oil changes, 1 set of spark plugs

What the Plan Costs: $1,249

What The Total Service Should Cost: 2 Oil Changes ($100 each) + 1 Spark Plug Replacement ($125) = $325

Verdict: Like getting your pockets picked in Paris (which is surprisingly common), you’ll lose between $924-$1,024.

Now that’s a professional level shakedown. I really hope Audi is hiring.

Just in case you want to do you’re A8’s oil yourself

A4

The Package: 20/30/40/50k service

What You’ll (Likely) Get: 4 oil changes, 1-2 sets of spark plugs

What The Plan Costs: Between $879-$999

What The Total Service Should Cost: 4 Oil Changes ($100 each) + 2 Spark Plug Replacements ($125 each) = $650

Verdict: The house always wins…and you lose between $229-$349.

Nothing to see here. Let’s move on.

The Package: 35/45k+

What You’ll (Likely) Get: 2 oil changes, 1 set of spark plugs

What the Plan Costs: $879

What The Total Service Should Cost: 2 Oil Changes ($100 each) + 1 Spark Plug Replacement ($125) = $325

Verdict: Your pocketbook is going to end up around $229 dollars lighter.

The Verdict: Not Worth It

If you’re going to get one of the Audi Care plans, the only plan that will remotely come close to being a fair value is the 20/30/40/50k plan.

You’ll lose a little bit on the balance, but it might be worth it for you if you value having a dealership do the service, even though any ASE certified mechanic will be able to do the service for you.

That's probably why Audi makes the pre-payment non-refundable. 

My suggestion with any service agreement like this is to always consider your options. For basics like changing the oil, its not as hard to do yourself as you might think.

If you’re looking to get your Audi serviced, look around for an ASE certified mechanic and get an estimate on what it’ll cost to get the services mentioned in the Audi Care. I think you’ll be surprised how much you’ll save by taking it to a mechanic.

You Know What Is Worth It? An Extended Warranty For Your Audi From Protect My Car

Do your maintenance, and you’ll break down less.

That’s just a fact.

But breakdowns still happen, and Audi isn’t known for being cheap.  

We recently paid a 2010 Audi A5 repair totaling $6,633.18. Guess how much he paid?

$221.67.

Yes, I’m completely serious. That’s the cost of his first month’s payment, plus his down payment.

Verdict: It’s a good deal.

I mean, I do hope that your Audi doesn’t break down right after getting a policy, but if it does, we’ll cover you.

So here’s my two cents about how you can save two cents: get a free extended warranty quote for your Audi.

Just follow the link below and see if it’s worth it for you.

Unlike Audi, we don’t need a sales pitch. So come get your free quote today and start saving on auto repairs.

Yes, cover me!

 

 

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