Vauxhall, the British arm of General Motors, has decided its lifetime warranty should go the way of Gary Glitter’s pants and Madonna’s American accent. Starting on January 2015, new Vauxhall customers will receive a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty instead.
Vauxhall Chairman Tim Tozer said the automaker made the change because so many retail customers are choosing to buy on PCP (Personal Contract Purchase, which is much like a lease). “In today’s market, 65 percent of retail sales are supported by a finance package and within that, over 60% are PCPs … This has dramatically changed ownership patterns resulting in fewer customers retaining their cars beyond three years … [thus it] “no longer makes business sense to invest in 100,000 mile warranty cover.”
Vauxhall launched its lifetime/100,000-mile warranty in August 2010 with Vauxhall executive Duncan Aldred saying, “We have confidence in the quality of our products and we want our customers to benefit from that confidence too.” The 100,000-mile restriction did raise questions how ‘lifetime’ the warranty actually was, not to mention it wasn’t transferrable – subsequent owners received a three-year, 60,000-mile equivalent. Owners were also required to stay with Vauxhall dealers for routine maintenance.
After Vauxhall’s warranty downgrade, now it is Kia that can claim that it has the longest new car warranty in the UK with its seven-year/100,000-mile package.