Mitsubishi’s UK dealer network is the latest to offer a pre-paid discount servicing package.

Available to all new car buyers from this month, the scheme provides a 65-75% discount on a vehicle’s first three scheduled services, over up to three years or 37,500 miles. It covers labour and standard service parts, with customers paying only for additional work or components.

The package covers private, business and fleet vehicles and covers all models bar the current Lancer Evolution IX. Prices range from GBP100 –200 (roughly $US200-400).

“We anticipate a very high percentage of take-up for the new service plans, as there’s no doubt that it will save our customers money,” said Lance Bradley, director of sales and marketing for the Colt Car Company, Mitsubishi’s independent UK importer.

Colt expects most buyers to sign up for the discounted service plan when buying a new vehicle but they can still opt in within 30 days of the vehicle being registered.

Mitsubishi sees this initiative as a way of increasing customer loyalty, with owners returning to dealers regularly. It will also generate more frequent customer contact and the opportunity to develop long-term relationships, the importer said.

The scheme will be automatically transferred to a subsequent owner while valid.

BMW unit MINI was one of the pioneers of such servicing schemes here in the UK, using the innovative brand name TLC (for tender, loving care).

Car buyer advice magazines and websites here usually recommend buyers seek out second-hand Minis with the package and such cars generally attract a small price premium, trade sources say.