Used van sector moving towards 12-month warranties as standard

Used van dealers are now leading their car counterparts when it comes to offering longer standard warranties, according to the RAC Dealer Network.

Many used light commercial vehicles are today being provided with a 12-month warranty while the car market is still in the process of moving towards six months, reported Sean Kent, RAC sales director at Assurant, which partners with the RAC in providing and administering warranties and related solutions.

“The used vehicle sector as a whole has been moving towards providing longer warranties as standard for many years, mainly driven by the need to build an increasingly convincing overall proposition for customers,” he said.

“However – and certainly within the 1,400 members of our dealer network – we have shifted over the last couple of years into a situation where van dealers are taking the initiative. This is being done to meet the specific requirements and expectations of LCV buyers.

“These people very much see their vehicle as a tool, something that they rely on every day. A longer warranty being offered as standard by the dealer is a vote of confidence in the reliability and overall quality of the vehicle, as well as a concrete means of support.

“Car buyers tend to place this level of protection a little further down their list of priorities. While the warranty remains the number one factor among the different elements of a used car proposition, according to research we have undertaken, the daily reliability of the vehicle is important rather than crucial. It is a question of priorities. Hence the shorter warranties.”

Kent added that he expected the van market to move towards making 12 month warranties the norm in the medium-term and that it would be surprising if the car market didn’t eventually become similarly aligned.

“In the used vehicle sector, a situation tends to develop where a sufficient number of dealers offer a longer warranty as standard and a tipping point is reached, resulting in the majority of the market following suit. We are currently in that situation with vans moving to 12 months and cars increasing to six.”

Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a freelance journalist and former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK's biggest selling truck magazine. He writes for both The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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