I wonder if the demise of Vauxhall’s 100,000-mile ‘lifetime’ new car warranty could provoke a ‘domino effect’, prompting other manufacturers to turn their back on promised long-term cover?
Several original equipment manufacturers provide protection beyond the traditional three-year warranty period, promising comprehensive cover for mechanical mishaps for up to 10 years in some cases.
But you have to question the quality of cover provided directly by manufacturers for cars over three-years old.
Protection quickly tapers off and small print loopholes can render policies useless as mileage and age increase.
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 about new car warranties. 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.
Vauxhall has blamed its decision on the rise of PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) and other tempting financing offers, which now account for 65 per cent of new car sales.
After three years, most buyers simply choose to replace their car with a new one, rolling the finance deal over into a new three-year period.