There's no doubt about it: purchasing a new vehicle that comes standard with a maintenance plan affords the buyer added peace of mind. Thing is, maintenance plans are often reserved for premium vehicles, and that makes them pretty uncommon on entry-level models.

So, we thought it'd be interesting to dig through the data and pick out the seven cheapest vehicles that come standard with a maintenance plan (as opposed to a service plan or indeed no added cover, aside from a warranty, at all). Of course, these models aren’t exactly cut-price, but we still found it a worthwhile exercise identifying the least expensive of the bunch.

Take note, too, that not all maintenance plans are created equal, with the all-important list of exclusions often differing slightly between manufacturers. In short, our advice would be to read the fine print of any agreement (before signing) to learn exactly what is covered (and, by implication, what isn’t)…

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the seven least expensive vehicles on South Africa’s new vehicle market that come standard with a maintenance plan.

1. Audi A1 3-door 1,0TFSI S: R288 500Audi A1

A new Audi A1 is on the way, but the outgoing generation is nevertheless still offered with a five-year/100 000 km maintenance plan, with maximum service intervals of 30 000 km. Audi SA says its standard Freeway Plan “absorbs all maintenance and service costs, with the exception of between-service top-up fluids, fuel, cracked or broken glass, and tyres”. The A1 is, of course, also available in five-door Sportback guise.

2. Mini One Hatch 3-door: R302 200

Mini OneThe facelifted Mini One hatchback, which is offered in both three- and five-door body styles, comes standard in South Africa with a three-year/75 000 km maintenance plan, with service intervals of 20 000 km. Interestingly, though, upgrading to a Mini Cooper results in a lengthier five-year/100 000 km plan. And, of course, more grunt from under the bonnet.

3. Abarth 595 1,4T: R327 900

Abarth 595Yes, another small hatchback. The Abarth 595’s maintenance plan covers three years or 100 000 km, with service intervals of 15 000 km. The fiery 595 is offered in manual and automatic guise, as well as with the option of a convertible roof.

4. Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1,4TB: R363 900

Alfa Romeo GiuliettaLike its FCA stablemate above, the Giulietta comes with a three-year/100 000 km maintenance plan, with service intervals of 15 000 km. Only one derivative in the four-strong local Giulietta range, however, comes in at under R400 000.

5. Subaru Impreza 2,0i: R373 000
Subaru Impreza

The Subaru Impreza ships standard with a three-year/75 000 km maintenance plan (with service intervals of 15 000 km), which the brand says handily includes Subaru Assist, a roadside service comprising emergency, legal and map assistance.

6. Volvo V40 T3 Kinetic: R380 500
Volvo V40

The cheapest Volvo you can buy in South Africa, the V40 in T3 Kinetic guise features the Swedish automaker’s full five-year/100 000 km maintenance plan as standard.

7. Subaru XV 2,0i: R393 000
Subaru XV

The XV shares its three-year/75 000 km plan with its Impreza sibling above, with all routine servicing (in accordance with the manufacturer’s handbook) as well as maintenance and mechanical repairs required as a result of “normal wear and tear” covered.

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