Toyota Capped-Price Manufacturer Service Review
Wednesday, 9 January 2019
Ford and Holden have duked it out over the hearts and minds of Australians for generations, but Japanese automotive titan Toyota remains the country’s top-selling auto brand.
Their HiLux is currently Australia’s best-selling vehicle (the first non-passenger car to top the overall sales charts) and has been our top commercial vehicle for 20 straight years.
The Corolla has been sold in Australia for a remarkable 50 years and was Australia’s favourite passenger car for the past five.
The brand itself has topped national sales charts for more than 15 years; Toyotas account for almost one in five new cars sold here.
Oh what a feeling! indeed.
Apologies for the cheesy segue, but the company’s ubiquitous tagline – introduced in 1983 – is also worth a mention.
At the time, the slogan marked a significant pivot from car marketing focused on the car itself (It’s shiny! It’s powerful!) to a focus on the consumer.
The line was imported from the US; it debuted there in 1979 and was retired in 1985 to make way for Who could ask for anything more?
But Toyota Australia gave replacing the line a big “yeah nah” and have stuck with it to this day, setting a 35-year record for the most durable slogan in the history of corporate Australia.
The Toyota Service Advantage?
Toyota has a great reputation for reliability (the HiLux is even marketed as “unbreakable”), but offers a capped-price service plan that lags behind industry benchmarks.
Their Toyota Service Advantage program is based on a three-year warranty and logbook services every 10,000kms or six months, whichever comes first.
The program offers genuine Toyota parts and promises to get your pride and joy serviced within 90 minutes each time, all within a capped, predetermined price – there are no surprise costs for labour, fluids or other overages.
Different Toyota models have slightly different service intervals.
While most sit within the 10,000kms/six months category, the Toyota 86, for example, is marked for every nine months/15,000kms over three years, while the Camry gets five years of capped servicing with an interval of every 12 months/15,000kms.
Accessing the Toyota Service Advantage is easy: book online at toyota.com.au or use the myToyota app. Pricing is all broken down by make and model – full transparency.
However, having to detour your new Toyota to the workshop on their tight six month / 10,000km turnaround (most manufacturers are happy to see you every 15,000kms / 12 months) does puts owners at a disadvantage.
It’s simple math – new Toyota owners are covered by a capped-price manufacturer service plan for a much shorter period than drivers of most other market-leading brands.
For example, the Corolla Sedan is covered – like the majority of Toyota’s range – for the first six services over three years (or 60,000km). After that you’re on your own, while Holden Barina and Mazda 3 Sedan owners stay covered.
But having said that, Toyota has a phenomenal market share built on reliability and quality.
You don’t dominate car sales for so long without doing something right, so there’s perhaps an intangible trade-off for consumers here: Toyota’s brand and resale value, offset by their weaker capped-price service offering.
As usual, AutoGuru recommends shopping around for any car servicing.
Booking a service with a qualified, independent mechanic will not void your warranty.
The sooner this durable urban myth dies, the sooner we can stop repeating ourselves!
AutoGuru can help you quickly and easily find an affordable local mechanic to complete the next service on your Toyota.
You’re quite literally just a few clicks away from seeing instant quotes and a hassle-free online booking experience, let’s do it!
Sam Cleveland is a Queensland writer and media producer.
He was the foundation editor of the award-winning MBGC – the Mercedes-Benz Gold Coast magazine.
For Motorline BMW, he wrote and directed Continue to Drive with composer Timothy Fairless, a cinema ad that was added to the National Film & Sound Archive.
His association with luxury European manufacturers goes back to his first cars: a trio of (t)rusty 1970s Volvos.