Confusing fixed-price servicing

Confusion surrounds the service plan of a reader's Audi A1\. Worried that he could be voiding his warranty, he contacted Helpdesk to get to the bottom of the situation...

Confusing fixed-price servicing

Aaron Shade chose an Audi A1 to tackle his 150-mile daily commute. He leased the car through Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS) and also selected a £350 fixed-price servicing package to avoid any nasty surprises down the line.

In less than a year, Aaron’s A1 had covered more than 20,000 miles and the service light came on. He took the car into his local dealership, Bedford Audi, for its first service.

When Aaron looked at the invoice he saw that an Audi Variable service had been carried out. Concerned that this wasn’t what he’d paid for he went back to the welcome letter he had received from Audi.

It said that on the 50,000-mile service package that he’d chosen he was entitled to: five oil changes, an inspection service, two brake fluid changes, two dust filter changes, two pollen filter changes, an air filter change and a fuel filter change. It also included a reminder that any damage caused to the car as a result of neglecting service requirements would be charged to Aaron.

At the rate the A1 was accumulating miles, Aaron realised that there was no way he could get all these things done within 50,000 miles. Worried, he got in touch with his dealer to see which plan he was on. The dealer couldn’t give Aaron the original sales invoice, so he contacted Helpdesk for some advice.

We agreed with Aaron that it wasn’t clear which plan his car was on. All the literature he had referred to an Audi fixed-price service plan. After some online research, we discovered that there are two types of service plan: the Flexible Service Regime costing £250 and the Fixed Service Regime, priced at £450. The Flexible Service Regime is recommended for those doing more than 10,000 miles a year while the Fixed Service Regime is for those doing less than 10,000. Aaron should be on the Flexible Service Regime but why was he charged £350, not £250?

We got in touch with VWFS. A spokesman said Aaron was on the Flexible Service Regime and agreed that the letters he’d had were confusing. He was offered an upgrade to the Fixed Service Regime and told that this might be best because of the stop-start nature of his commute.

Aaron is back on the road and can be sure his A1 is looked after.

What if this happens to you?

  • Get in writing what you are entitled to and what your obligations are.
  • Keep track of your mileage and ensure you get the car serviced on time and according to the schedule.

We've prepared lots of useful advice, including a full guide on warranties that could help you with either a new or used car.

If you need our help, email us at with a few details and we'll be in touch.