After buying a car, you find yourself making a lot of decisions regarding its care and service. It won’t be long before you are given the opportunity to sign up for a service agreement program. Considering the average annual repair cost for cars is $652, most drivers will do anything possible to reduce this expense.
In this guide, we define the meaning of a service agreement program. We talk about the scams that are out there and help you determine if a legitimate program can save you money. We also answer your top questions so you are no longer in the dark.
What Is A Service Agreement Program?
A service agreement program is made between a car owner and a provider. It’s a binding contract that lets the owner get repairs for the vehicle at no extra cost or for an agreed-upon deductible. The cost and terms vary depending on the car type, the provider and the level of care provided.
Sometimes, it’s the dealership offering the service agreement to the customer. On the other hand, drivers can also receive unsolicited offers through the mail or can shop online for their own service.
Is A SAP Service Agreement Program Notice Letter Legit Or A Scam?
Car warranty scams are rampant throughout the country. Every day, more people are swindled out of money because of these practices. Whether you receive a pink letter in the mail telling you that your car warranty is expired or you answer a telemarketing call, it’s important to be wary of these services.
There’s actually an SAP Service Agreement Program company based out of Illinois. As you can see from the Better Business Bureau rating, this company is anything but legitimate. With an “F” rating, it would make sense that this company would be shut down, but they aren’t.
So, how can you protect yourself from these car warranty scams? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Read the car warranty scam guidance from the FCC.
- Don’t give out personal information to a caller, such as your social security number, driver’s license number, bank account info or credit card number.
- Screen your phone calls. Only answer the calls that come from numbers you recognize.
- Even if the number appears credible, be wary. It’s easy to spoof numbers these days. Call the company back and make sure it’s legitimate before proceeding.
- Report any fraudulent activity with the FCC.
- Sign up your phone number with the national Do Not Call Registry. This should prevent most spamming phone calls.
The best defense you have against any scam is to trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Trust your gut and protect yourself at any cost.
RELATED: Motor Vehicle Service Notification – Is It A Scam Or Legit?
Do You Need A Service Agreement Program?
There’s no regulation requiring you to have a service agreement for car repairs. When your factory warranty ends, you can go about driving your car without any repercussions. The letters and calls you get are only attempting to solicit your business and make you feel like you need protection.
If your car breaks, you can pay out of pocket for the repairs without going through any company. Better yet, if you can perform the repairs on your own, there’s no reason to get a mechanic involved.
When Do You Need A Service Agreement Program?
The service agreement program may be right for some people, while it’s absolutely wrong for others. The only way to determine your need for this protection is to ask yourself a few questions.
1. How Long Will You Own the Car?
If you are buying a brand-new car, it comes with a factory bumper-to-bumper warranty. Many of these last for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. If you only plan to drive the car while it is covered by a factory warranty, the added service agreement program may be useless to you.
However, if you plan to keep the vehicle and drive it until it dies, this warranty protection might be beneficial. Evaluate your options to see what coverage you can get after the factory warranty expires.
2. Will You Use the Service Agreement?
Most service agreements only cover broken components. It’s not going to be good for maintenance jobs, such as oil changes or brake replacements. If the majority of the service you get is maintenance-related, this program might not be right for you.
It also won’t benefit you if you perform your own repairs. The service agreement isn’t going to pay you for your labor, so you are better off passing on the coverage.
3. Do You Have Money for Car Repairs?
If you are strapped for cash, paying for a car repair could break you. By living paycheck to paycheck, you could dramatically hurt your family if a car repair had to come before groceries or the electric bill. In this case, it might be better to sign a repair contract.
On the other hand, if you have a savings or are willing to put money away for repairs, this might be a better option. Instead of paying for something you may not need, you can prepare yourself for the problems that occur, just in case.
4. Can the Warranty Be Purchased Later?
It’s not always wise to sign up for a service agreement immediately after buying a new car. You wouldn’t put money out for anything else that you can’t use for three years, so why do it this time? It can be tempting to put the plan into your monthly payments from the dealership, but there’s no reason to pay interest on top of the regular service amount.
It’s much easier to sign up for a plan later when it’s needed. It also won’t be as difficult to part with the money at that time. The other benefit to waiting is that you can shop around at various providers to see where you can find the best deal.
5. Will You Pay More in Repairs Than the Warranty?
This is the most important question, but it’s hard to gauge. The service agreement is helpful in the worst-case scenario, but how often does that really happen? If everyone was getting their money out of the warranty, these companies would no longer be in business.
Evaluate the cost of the service agreement to the average repair cost. If you are spending $1,200 for protection but only need $600 in repairs, you’ve wasted a lot of money.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a service agreement program?
The service agreement program is a binding contract made between a provider and a car owner. It pays for the covered repairs on a vehicle at no additional cost. However, there’s an upfront cost to start the plan and there could be an agreed-upon deductible at the time of service.
Is SAP service activation legit?
If you get the SAP through a dealership or other reputable provider, it’s completely legitimate. Sadly, most of the car warranty letters and phone calls you receive are not legitimate. Avoid getting involved with these companies or you could be scammed.
Why do you need a service agreement?
If you don’t have the money to pay for car repairs and your vehicle is out of warranty, you may benefit from a service agreement. Read through the fine print carefully to figure out what’s covered and what your role is in the contract.
What is required in a service agreement?
Every company sets its own rules regarding car warranties and service agreements. You will be required to pay for the service at the beginning of the contract or at least put money down. You may also be required to keep the car maintained at your own expense to keep the vehicle from breaking down prematurely.
The service agreement program isn’t for everyone, but we recognize that it can be valuable in some situations. We encourage you to explore your options, as we have seen many people have a lot of success with reputable warranty programs.
On the other hand, we also know many people have been scammed by trusting the wrong providers. Therefore, we urge you to use extreme caution as you make your decision.
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