A vehicle service centre on Shaikh Zayed Road. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Dubai: Authorised car dealers have rescheduled maintenance programmes following a recent ruling by the Ministry of Economy that comes into effect from January 1.

In September, the Ministry of Economy announced that all cars must be serviced at a minimum of every 10,000km instead of 5,000km, the service frequency that was commonly recommended by most car manufacturers.

According to the ruling, the manufacturers and authorised car dealers have until the end of this year to comply with the decision, which most service authorised providers say they have already implemented.

A spokesperson of Al Futtaim Motors said: “We have moved from 5,000km to 10,000km service intervals, a move that was very well received by our customers and is in fact a testament to our ability to continually adapt our offering to the market’s needs.”

The ministry arrived at the decision taking into consideration consumer interest, which is set to help motorists make considerable savings in service cost.

“We have already started offering service at 10,000km but there are many customers who continue to prefer 5,000km service. However, most customers seem happy with the shift as they save at least 15 per cent in service cost,” said Mohammad Asif, assistant service manager at Juma Al Majid Establishment, authorised dealer of Hyundai and Kia.

An average 5,000km service for most Japanese and Korean vehicles costs around Dh250 and according to Asif at 10,000km the service will cost around Dh400.

The customers will also benefit from the time saved visiting the service centre less frequently.

Speaking to Gulf News, a Nissan spokesperson said, starting from December 1, the Japanese automaker has been offering its customers an extended 10,000km service interval instead of the 5,000km interval, which is currently standard throughout the industry in the Middle East.

“This offers a greater flexibility and peace of mind while ensuring optimum safety and reliability of all vehicles. It also better value for money for customers,” said managing director of Nissan Middle East, Samir Cherfan.

He added that, as of December 1, all Nissan cars sold in the region will have periodic service intervals of either 10,000km or every six months, depending on which comes first.

However, motorists will have the option of getting their cars serviced at every 5,000km as per their requirement and usage patterns.

He said: “Most of us in the region live in extreme weather conditions and we have adapted to the heat, dust, humidity in our own way. Our cars operate in punishing environments and with that in mind, many of our customers might prefer to stick with their existing arrangements.”

Many experts have suggested that, contrary to the new ruling, the 5,000km frequency is most suited for vehicles considering the extreme weather conditions in the region.

Though, experts have conceded that due to modern technology and the availability of high quality synthetic oil the delayed service intervals may not be harmful.

Masoud Farooqi, a motorist who owns a Kia Cadenza said he spends Dh290 per 5,000km service and at 10,000km he pays around Dh470, making a saving of around Dh100.

“I would prefer a longer duration service any day. It means paying less and less of a headache, I am really happy with the move,” he said.

Most American automakers recommend engine service at 10,000km intervals, while European and German manufacturers prefer frequencies of 15,000 to 20,000km.

The 5,000km frequency is recommended mostly by Asian automakers, including Toyota, Nissan, and Hyundai.