Been doing a little bit of sniffing around looking into Vauxhall’s Lifetime Warranty today.
If you haven’t been following, the firm has introduced what amounts to an extension of a standard three-year, 60,000-mile mechanical warranty, so that if you buy a new Vauxhall today and keep it for perpetuity, it’ll still be covered by factory warranty when it’s 10, 15, even 20 years old – allowing for certain provisos.
Read the full story on Vauxhall's new warranty So what are the provisos? Well, the warranty's only good for 100,000 miles, you have to follow the manufacturer’s prescribed servicing schedule (who doesn’t these days?), and if you don’t have your car serviced at main dealer, you have to take it into your nearest Vauxhall service outlet once every twelve months for a free, 20-minute inspection. No problem there.
Question is, is it worth bothering? Well, on the face of it, the warranty does seem to be a reasonable one. It doesn’t cover everything on the car; cabin components, wiring, suspension bits and body panels aren’t covered, for example.
It doesn’t cover you against a knock-on failure of one part caused by the failure of something else; so if your radiator springs a leak and causes your head gasket to fail, Vauxhall will replace the radiator, but might argue about the engine damage. And it’s not transferable, so it won’t make your three-year-old Insignia worth any more.
But it does protect you against the unexpected and considerable cost of the failure of your Vauxhall’s major mechanicals – engine, gearbox, brakes, safety systems, major electronics and more – should they fail at, say, eight years and 90,000 miles. And I can think of plenty of Vauxhall owners who that might benefit.
And here’s the best bit. Knowing how dealers often wriggle their way out of warranty obligations, I rang up Vauxhall’s PR man to check if its “wear and tear” clause was watertight.
“What if a power steering pump, or a fuel injection system, or a catalyst fails at 90,000 miles,” I asked. “Could a dealer argue that such failures count as reasonable wear and tear, and get out of paying for the repair?”
“Absolutely not,” the answer came. “The wear and tear clause is there to cover service maintenance consumables only,” our man said. “Tyres, brakes, clutches, bushes, belts, plugs – anything that’s in the service schedule to be changed at some point. They’re the owner’s responsibility to pay for.”
So there you have it, Vauxhall owners. If you buy a new car this month, and something fails on it before 100,000 miles that’s not down in the service schedule to be changed, then it sounds like you’ve got all the justification you need for a claim.