Porsche Cars GB recently launched a Porsche menu-price servicing website, aimed at filling excess OPC workshop capacity by bringing in owners of older Porsche models. Prices start at £265 for an oil change on a 986 Boxster, rising to £550 for a major service on a Panamera Diesel.
‘Major Service’ (oil & filter, pollen and air filter plus inspection) costs £395 on a 996 Carrera, which seems to compare favourably versus a major service at Porsche service specialists, JZM Porsche. The JZM Porsche service website shows a set price of £499 including VAT for a 24,000-mile major service on a 996 C2. Until you learn that plug change is not included on the Porsche site, while the JZM price includes plugs. Add that job and a few other bits, and the independent has the edge.
“We’ll beat any official Porsche price on like-for-like servicing or parts replacement,” assures JZM Porsche MD, Steve McHale. “As a five-time winner of the UK Porsche Award for ‘Best Independent Porsche Service Garage’, customers trust us to maintain their Porsche for an affordable price.”
McHale cites a replacement 996 clutch costing £895 at JZM Porsche, versus £1100 at Porsche, and is not alone in questioning the costs. “Some of the prices do make you wonder,” says Steve. “Brake fluid change on 987 Boxster costs twice the price of 986, but the job is the same. Customers have been quoted £250 to change auto transmission fluid and filter, whereas we charge £90. £900 for 996 C2 front discs and pads from Porsche? I don’t know who would pay that on a simple 996.”
I’d love to send my Cayenne S into Porsche for a service, and kudos to Porsche for putting service prices online, but at £450 for an oil and filter change/minor service versus £295 for a Cayenne service at JZM Porsche, it’s a no-brainer for me to stay with independents.
No doubt some owners will give the service a try, as fresh Porsche stamps in the service book never looks bad, but decades spent amongst UK independent specialists has taught me that their service and value can’t be matched by manufacturers, and saving thousands of pounds on servicing over many years of ownership is impossible for ordinary guys like me to resist.
Whatever the choice, I’d like to see more detail on what’s included in service prices from official dealers and independents alike. It’s always worth shopping around and knowing exactly what’s included in an advertised menu service price. Give your garage a call and ask them what your cash buys before booking your car in – I’ll be doing just that when the Cayenne needs new oil, before maybe deciding to do it myself!