Skoda is dipping its toe into the water of longer warranties, extending its standard five-year coverage to seven years in Victoria.
The Kia-matching coverage is currently a trial, as Skoda investigates the customer response to a longer warranty.
“Only for Victoria, and only during that phase [stage four] of the lockdown, if a customer is willing to commit to a purchase and take delivery whenever it is safe to do so, then the customers receive a seven-year factory warranty and a three-year service pack,” Skoda Australia director Michael Irmer told CarExpert.
“Our warranty offer in Victoria is a bit of a test,” he said.
“We discussed it a bit with our retailers… we said ‘we can do either a free service pack or we can run a test with the seven-year warranty’, and the dealers were actually swaying towards the three-year service pack,” Mr Irmer said.
“We have later on agreed with the dealer body that we will do a combination as a test how the acceptance is in the market.”
Mr Irmer didn’t commit to making the trial Victorian offer permanent, arguing “we have to see the results first”.
Skoda introduced its five-year warranty as a trial in the lead-up to its permanent introduction in 2017.
The Czech brand’s move to five years of coverage preceded the leap to a longer coverage period by much of the mainstream market.
Five years is now the norm for Australia’s best-selling brands, while even luxury brand Mercedes-Benz has since adopted the five-year warranty – although premium rivals BMW and Audi haven’t yet moved from their three-year terms.
Kia is currently the standard-setter when it comes to warranty in Australia, with a seven-year offering that’s since been matched by challenger brands SsangYong and MG.
Brands such as Holden, Honda and Mitsubishi have previously used a seven-year warranty as a promotion, though the latter two haven’t yet committed to making the more comprehensive coverage permanent.