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Perks for Car Owners Get More Extensive

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author photo by Autotrader April 2011

The old school benefit of complimentary floor mats seems almost miserly when compared to a free iPad with the purchase a Hyundai Equus (the company feels it's an easier way to read the owner's manual). The perks after purchase for car owners are more extensive than ever.

One of the most luxurious programs is Jaguar's Platinum Access Program, for 2011 XF, XJ or XK buyers, who receive gifts as well as access to travel, food, shopping and spa discounts. Plus, XFR and XKR owners gain free admission to the Jaguar Driving Academies.

Also on the glam end, Mercedes-Benz offers owners get exclusive access to events and promotions as well as hotel and dining discounts, plus a six-month subscription to Sirius Satellite radio and six months of mbrace, the company's safety, security, navigation and convenience service.

GM also offers safety, security and navigation through its OnStar service. Many GM (and Saab) vehicles come with a free OnStar subscription for up to one year. Cadillac also offers the OnStar smartphone application to track the car's diagnostics.

One of the most useful perks is free scheduled maintenance, meaning you don't pay anything when you come in for oil changes and other service that the manufacturer recommends. The extent of free maintenance depends on the company, typically ranging between one and five years or certain number of miles driven, whichever comes first. Ask your dealer if the car you're buying qualifies.

And while many new car dealers offer free loaner cars or rides while your car is being serviced, Hyundai is taking things a step further for buyers of the luxurious Equus. Owners simply contact their local dealer by phone or on the car's iPad, and the dealer will come pick up the vehicle and then return it once the service is complete. They'll even leave another vehicle behind while the Equus is in the shop.

What's the point of all these post-purchase benefits? They create customer loyalty and instill trust. Toyota started including factory-scheduled maintenance and roadside assistance last spring as a limited promotion. When 73 percent of customers said it improved their confidence in the brand, the company made it a standard feature for all new Toyotas and Scions. As benefits become more common, it's wise to ask dealers about owner incentives or negotiate to have them thrown in. And go ahead and ask for those floor mats if you want them, too.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Perks for Car Owners Get More Extensive - Autotrader