Extended Service Plan (ESP) - Is it worth it?

ChiliPepper

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Dec 3, 2022
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Cottonwood Heights, UT
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Ford Bronco Raptor
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Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
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27 yrs SAR, Wilderness EMT, retired
During the sign-off of your new BRaptor, you are going to get to experience an "up-sell" for a variety of aftermarket products. You are going to be forced to decide on the spot yes/no to the laundry list, so buyer beware and do your homework. Two of the most popular up-sells are the extended service and maintenance plans. The website below has prices that are typically lower that said "dealer" plans. Download the plan brochures and take with you to the signing. There are other aftermarket websites, this is just an example; I am not affiliated or promoting them in any way.
IMHO, if you are half-way knowledgeable with tools, then the MPs are not worth it these days (too expensive). Back in the day, I was able to get a MP for $200, which covered only oil changes and tire rotation for 6 years or 24 visits. Given that an oil change and filter cost $35+, it was easy math to say yes. However, that same plan today costs $2700. Sure parts costs have increased, but is it worth it? Let's look at what the DIY cost would be:
  • Oil (7.5 qts, 5w-30; Pennzoil Premium - full syn) = $66
  • Filter (FL2062; Motorcraft) = $10
  • Tire Rotation = self
  • Labor = self, 1.5 hrs
Hence, a MP should be no more than $228-$304 per year for 3-4 visits/year. A 6y/24 visit plan should be less than $1850. If not, then the DIY approach would be my choice. Each person will have to decide for themselves what their time and energy is worth. I'm retired so labor comes cheap. How do you know/verify if the dealer is using your preferred oil? Mine is Pennzoil premium full synthetic for the 3.0L EcoBoost GTDI engine. Ditch the maintenance plan and do your own oil change and rotation. The exercise will do you good and it'll help you to get know your BRaptor better.
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I'm still on the fence about the ESP. The website above "seems" to have reasonable prices and options. Given the cost of repair parts, the plan might pay for itself after 1-2 visits. Labor and parts add up fast. A single front strut replacement is over $1000.

The Ford warranty of 3y/36k miles is lame. My Jeep warranty is the same with a 5y/100k miles for the powertrain. Assuming 15k miles/yr, then a 7y/100k with a $100 deductible for PremiumCare seems like the best option. You'd have to have a least 5 visits in the same period to justify the $0 or $50 deductible. Each person will have to decide for themselves what options best suit their estimated driving and risk level.

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IMO, the price delta between PremiumCare and ExtraCare is very small (at 7y/100k) and doesn't justify losing the electronic coverage.


So, what are your thoughts?
Did you get an ESP or MP?
If so, which plan?
How did your cost measure up?



Bonus Tip #1
If you are still waiting for delivery of your BRaptor and are not interested in any up-sell, then put this in writing on your order. This will stop the salesperson in their tracks.
“Do not add anything on the RO for the PDI.”
RO = repair order
PDI = pre-delivery inspection

Bonus Tip #2
See attached Owner Checklist for Delivery (OCD)
 

Attachments

  • Bronco Owner Checklist for Delivery (OCD).pdf
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My dealer who is also a personal freind, advised me to wait to purchase the Ford ESP until the 3rd year which I'm planning. He also commented the advantage of purchasing at delivery is it can be added into the vehicle financing. Disadvantage is I'll being paying cash for the ESP and if I remember correctly there is a risk of the ESP price increasing.

Here is a thread on the Ford ESP and what members were considering prior to Bronco Raptors builds.

 
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  • #3
Follow-up . . .

You probably already know this stuff, but just in case, I wrote it down to refresh my memory. Heck, we are all making a very large purchase and should go into it eyes wide open.

Sale Negotiations
  • Negotiation cost of new vehicle independent of anything else. Invoice + options + profit.
  • Negotiation trade-in price of old vehicle independent of anything else.
  • Negotiation financing of new vehicle independent of anything else.
  • Dealer profit margin happens between invoice and final sales cost:
Invoice ----- MSRP ----- ADM ----- Add-Ons ----- Final Cost ----- Taxes ----- Total
  • A 2023 Bronco Raptor has an invoice price of $72,793 and a MSRP of $75,375. That is a 3.55% dealer profit. The same delta applies to any options you may choose.

During the signing process:
  • Reject the premise that “it’s already on the vehicle”. If they put it on, then they can take it off. Offer to help them take it off. Hopefully you already used the Do not add anything on the RO for the PDI clause.
  • Don’t get caught in the time consuming “I have to go talk to my manager.”
    • It is a stall tactic to wear you down.
    • A vehicle purchase should not take more than 30-60 minutes; maybe two hours if you follow the attached checklist in the previous post.
    • Ask for the manager to sit in the meeting so a decision can be made immediately instead of the back and forth.
  • Don’t tell the salesperson you are paying cash until AFTER you have negotiated every aspect and get into the finance office. Cash is not king like it was a decade ago.

Specific line items on your Sales Order (if it is taxable, it is negotiable):
  1. Sales tax - required, state dependent
  2. Registration - required
  3. Title - required
  4. License - required
  5. Property Tax - required, state dependent
  6. Emissions – required, county dependent
  7. Documentation Fee - negotiable
    1. May be capped by state ($50-$75)
    2. May not remove, but vehicle price can be reduced to offset (typically a hard sell)
  8. Dealer accessories - negotiable
  9. Market adjustment (ADM) - negotiable
  10. Reconditioning Fee - reject, dealer is paid by Ford to do this work
  11. Stock Fees - reject - your COVP/DORA was a retail order not a stock order
  12. Dealer Prep Fee - reject – same as #10
  13. Full tank of gas Fee - reject – required to come full as part of sale; part of #7
  14. Advertising Fees - reject – their overheard, which you are already paying for
  15. Delivery/Destination Fee - reject – included in MSRP
  16. Credit Life Insurance - reject – a stupidity fee, protects the dealer not you
  17. Vehicle enhancement pkg - reject – offer to help take it off the vehicle
  18. Glass Etching Fee - reject – can buy on Amazon for $15 if you really want it
  19. Processing or eFile Fee - reject – same as #5
  20. GAP Insurance - reject – a stupidity fee, do your finances before buying
  21. Common Add-ons
    1. Theft protection (Lo Jack) - reject – unless you want it
    2. Tint - reject – unless you want extra tint (typically better options available by 3rd party)
    3. Paint protection - reject (ask them to prove that it helps, can you can see it?; consider a wrap)
    4. Interior protection - reject, only costs $10
    5. Nitrogen in tires - reject – a stupidity fee, regular air has 78% Nitrogen
    6. Extended warranties - reject – unless you want it (see above post)
    7. Maintenance plan - reject – unless you want it (see above post)
If the sales guy won’t negotiate, wait until you get to financing office and request a copy of the contract for the add-on. If the contract says “optional” or “not required for purchase”, then reject it and do not sign (if you don’t want it). Negotiate to remove or only pay dealer cost at maximum if there is an impasse.

Sales people are trained that it takes five NOs before they get a yes. As a customer, you should expect the same 5 NOs to get the negotiation started. Are you prepared to walk away? Or are you prepared to pay through the nose?

Only pay for what you need/want.
 
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This is thoughtful...thanks for the write up. A couple things:
- The Fords that I'm familiar with have a similar structure to the Jeep you quoted wherein the powertrain is covered longer. I believe it's 5yr/60k miles on the BRap.
- While I'm a decent wrench and like DIY stuff, I also find value in having the guys the shop have a look at the vehicles every so often as they have a far-better trained eye than I do...especially for stuff that are new / recurrent problems for similar vehicles. My dealer works on many GT350's / Raptors / etc and I value having them take a look. I think this is especially important for vehicles that are going to be treated to some harsh conditions. While I try to exhibit a huge amount of 'mechanical empathy,' I do tend to drive them hard. It helps that I have a very good relationship with them and I know that their best folks are assigned to my vehicles.
- Speaking of relationships: yes, Flood Ford (and others) will give you better prices for the same product (eg. a Ford ESP)...where you spend you dollars is a matter of preference.
- Generally, I've never found the math to work in my favor for the service plans...even without doing any DIY. They just never seems to pencil for me.
- I'm a fan of Ford's ESP's but I don't buy them when the car is new. You can buy them at any point during (and slightly past) your factory warranty. I wait until I see a few things...if the vehicle's a keeper, how much I'm using it, what it's reliability is like for the time I've owned it, etc...then I decide if / what ESP to buy.
- Ford's ESP's are both cancelable, at any time, for a pro-rated refund and transferrable for a very small fee. I've always found that when selling used versions of vehicles like these outside their original warranty period, having the ESP gives the buyer a huge amount of comfort that you've done the right things for the vehicle...it makes them more likely to buy and with a premium. If they don't see the value in keeping it, I cancel for the pro-rated refund.
- I always get the Premiumcare...especially because of the electronics...those can be the most expensive repairs (electrical gremlins can sometimes take lots of tech hours to track down)
- JUst a note: the average new car dealer in the US makes zero profit selling new cars (when their overall expense structure is properly allocated to the various departments)...that's per NADA and, in my experience working with even the best Ford dealers from around the country, accurate. 'F&I' (finance and insurance) is a considerable profit center for the dealership...including marking up finance rates (as anyone in a 'broker' situation would do) and selling programs such as these. I take a less-cynical view that most about car dealers and believe they should make reasonable profits just like any other business as long as they're delivering something of value.
 
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My dealer who is also a personal freind, advised me to wait to purchase the Ford ESP until the 3rd year which I'm planning. He also commented the advantage of purchasing at delivery is it can be added into the vehicle financing. Disadvantage is I'll being paying cash for the ESP and if I remember correctly there is a risk of the ESP price increasing.

Here is a thread on the Ford ESP and what members were considering prior to Bronco Raptors builds.

Geez, I missed that in my search. Guess I wasn't using the right key words.

You want to merge these two threads?
 
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My dealer who is also a personal freind, advised me to wait to purchase the Ford ESP until the 3rd year which I'm planning. He also commented the advantage of purchasing at delivery is it can be added into the vehicle financing. Disadvantage is I'll being paying cash for the ESP and if I remember correctly there is a risk of the ESP price increasing.

Here is a thread on the Ford ESP and what members were considering prior to Bronco Raptors builds.

exactly. also in my long-winded reply.
 
I just bought Maintenance and Service on my new Raptor. Had both on my Badlands, and when I traded it in, I canceled the plans and got a pro-rated return. I got 10yrs 100k for $2200 with a $100 deductible. On the Maintenance plan I bought 8yrs 75k with synthetic oil with 5k intervals for $1960. Used ford points I had and made both plans more reasonable too. Upfront sucks, but not having out of pocket costs for 8yrs and 10yrs for major issues.

Peace of mind to 100k with brakes, shocks, belts, components, etc and Synthetic oil, filters wipers and tire rotations every 5k seemed worth it. I get 15 service appts and full synthetic oil changes approach 100 bucks as is. Add in tire rotations and the other stuff, it seemed like a break even over time, even though I know it favors the dealer based on their costs.
 
Geez, I missed that in my search. Guess I wasn't using the key words.

You want to merge these two threads?
No problem, I remembered the thread but took myself a while to locate, it was buried deep in the history. Very good useful info by both you and @fuhrius. Thanks to both of you!
 
I love how dealers try to sell you the maintenance, extended warranty, et all at the last possible moment before driving off in your car. Very, very clever.

I bought both, but not from my very greedy dealer. Dealer quoted well over $5k for each (7/8yr, 100k) started to bargain on my first no than you. And I continued to decline. I bought from Flood, but could have easily gone with Granger or a couple others. All on line, super easy to compare plans, terms and costs within a seller and across sellers.
Bottom line I ended up with:
ESP Contract: PremiumCARE
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$100 Deductible
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10 years
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125000 miles
Options:
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First Day Rental: No(Deleted)
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Enhanced Rental: No
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Lighting: No(Deleted)
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Key Services: Yes
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Commercial: No
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Snowplow: No
Points Redeemed:42000
Price:$3290 before points deducted
Contract: PremiumMaintenance
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10 Years
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125000 Miles
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7500 interval
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17 visits
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Synthetic Blend
Price:$2465

Paid cash (for vehicle too) and FordPass points (a couple easy clicks) for both. Good reasons to go either way depending on your situatiom.

The “cost to wait until expiry is $100r $125, once you cross the 12 month threshold plus any price increases that occur between now and then. At worst is a free loan less the $100ish and price increases saved. I’d rather have it done with. Another judgment call.

I went for $100 deductible. I did same payout Calc as above and bet I wouldnt go over X times. This one’s a crapshoot but a $100 deductible isn’t a problem to scrape up if I need it.

reasons why I bought the warranty. 1) It’s a first year model, it’s the most expensive model of Bronco and the warranty is priced the same if you buy a base as it is for Raptor. its like getting group life insurance rates but have several significant pre existing conditions. 2) all parts and service are going up and (I believe) inflation is going to cruise above the low rates we enjoyed before for a couple more years. 3) Raptor parts as points out above have a premium on them easy to run a bill . 4) you can always cash out the warranty later on pro rata basis if I don’t keep the car, can transfer it too, but makes sale negotiation more complex

reasons for service: 1) parts and service going up. 2) I’m lazy sometimes and letting someone else deal with oil and schlepping 37”s from spot to spot sounds good to me. Besides I can just rock up, turnover the car, read the news, trade some stocks and the cars back in an hour or so. 3)includes wear and tear items like brakes, wipers, oil, etc that I’m going to use over 10yr/125k. I don’t think I can lose that badly.

all judgment calls, but in my judgment this was the right approach for me.
 
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