RAC Cars News


Vauxhall Removes Its New Car Lifetime Warranty

By raccars Published

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Vauxhall's existing policy of providing a 100,000 mile warranty with its new cars is to be reduced because, the company claims, its consumers' needs have changed. The much vaunted warranty applied to 100,000 miles over an unlimited period of time for the car's first owner, but from January next year, will be replaced by the three year or 60,000 mile warranty, transferable between owners, which is more traditional among other manufacturers.

The lifetime warranty policy will continue to apply to cars sold while it was in effect, but new Vauxhalls bought from January 2015 will not be offered the same deal. The complete car Vauxhall line up is affected, plus the Corsavan and the Combo.

Warranties for the Movano and Vivaro panel vans are now for 100,000 miles or three years and the Ampera will fall under the new scheme for the car as a whole, while retaining its eight year battery warranty.

The lifetime warranty programme, while it sounded generous, could not be transferred with ownership, applying to the car's first buyer only. If the car was sold, new owners were only covered by a 60,000 mile and three year policy. The new policy is transferable with ownership, with first and all subsequent owners receiving the same deal.

It's not been a good week for Vauxhall, which only days ago was forced to issue a recall notice for 3,000 Corsa and Adam cars and the Corsavan, after a faulty steering component was identified. Owners were advised not to drive their cars until the company could perform a safety check.

Vauxhall's explanation for the demise of the lifetime warranty scheme, which has only been active since 2010, is that the changing landscape of car ownership means such a policy no longer makes good business sense. More prosaically, having invested €4 billion into new powertrain technology, the company can no longer afford it.

More than half of new car sales in the UK are now arranged through finance deals, with 60% through PCP leasing. Under these schemes, customers return the car after three years, so Vauxhall claims a long term warranty is fairly redundant in these circumstances. Unfortunately, the new three year scheme looks rather stingy next to the seven year warranty offered by Kia, five year warranties offered by Hyundai and Toyota and the four year deal offered by Renault. However, as Ford and the VW Group work with three year warranties, Vauxhall is presumably aiming to remain consistent with its closest rivals.

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