Warranty firm Warranty Direct believes Vauxhall’s withdrawal of its lifetime warranty on new Vauxhalls from January 2015 could lead to other carmakers pulling long-term warranties from the market.
The consumer warranty company says Vauxhall’s move may see the UK market move back towards the traditional three year warranty period – in contrast to current schemes that offer cover for up to a decade (or, in Vauxhall’s case, a lifetime).
Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “In many ways, it’s a shame for car buyers, but the reality is that the cover was never actually sufficient.
“The small print in all these longer warranties contains a number of caveats that can greatly limit their effectiveness long before the policy elapses.
“Vauxhall’s decision is sure to make other car makers think twice – an exodus from the market is possible because, if the cover is less comprehensive than that of aftermarket providers, the customer is not the winner.”
Warranty Direct also agrees with Vauxhall’s reasoning for pulling the lifetime warranty – PCP finance deals which account for 65% of new retail car sales. Buyers are increasingly simply replacing their car with a new one, rather than benefitting from the extended warranty they’ve effectively already paid for.
Kia, Hyundai: ‘no plans’ to withdraw cover
Both Kia and Hyundai disagree: when contacted by Motoring Research, a Hyundai spokesperson said the firm has no plans to alter its five-year unlimited mileage warranty scheme.
A Kia spokesperson told us that it was planning no changes to its seven-year 100,000 mile warranty either. “Our warranty is a statement of quality, reliability and commitment to customers – not a marketing ploy.
“When we introduced the warranty many people questioned whether we would stick to it. We stated clearly this was not a short-term move to attract attention, but a clear commitment to long-term customer care.
“Our view remains that the seven-year warranty across Europe is the right thing to do.”