Game to play Golf
Volkswagen gets competitive — finally — on servicing costs
THE imminent arrival of the new Golf has triggered the overdue introduction of capped-price servicing at Volkswagen.
More than five years after Toyota slashed the unpredictable costs of routine new-car servicing with a fixedprice plan, VW is finally joining everyone from Nissan to Ford, Holden, Hyundai and Kia.
VW says there has been no customer pressure to make the move and denies it has lost any sales to rivals because it could not give certainty on servicing.
Yet Carsguide has fielded hundreds of customer complaints about Volkswagen servicing.
‘‘ We have had a lot of negative coverage in the media,’’ VW spokesman Karl Gehling says.
The Volkswagen program covers all of its passenger models and runs for six years, doubling the deal in its newcar warranty.
Unlike some brands, which set the service intervals at six months or put the dearest servicing just outside of the capped period, VW says its deal is transparent.
‘‘ We always said what we were looking at. There was work to do to ensure we had the right package and we wanted to make sure we offered a very competitive product,’’ says Gehling.
‘‘ It runs for six years and gives a very comprehensive coverage for any owners, well beyond the normal warranty period.’’
Volkswagen says it has been working on the program for more than 18 months and, having trialled it on the Up city car from October, is confident it has the right package.
‘‘ We’re not subsiding it. That’s the accurate representation of our running costs,’’ says Gehling.
First-year or 15,000km services start at $280 for the Up and $519 for a V8 turbo diesel Touareg. At the other end, the figures for 90,000km or 72 months are $391 and $988 respectively.
Showroom shoppers can even calculate the service costs through the coverage period, which range from $2440 for the Up to $4091 for an AWD Touareg V6 diesel.
‘‘ There are no hidden costs,’’ says Gehling. ‘‘ And we give people a guarantee, not just on the purchase price, but also the running costs for the first six years.’’