The offer marks the beginning of what is expected to be a fierce battle for retail buyers among non-premium/prestige brands as the SMMT forecasts that registrations in 2007 will continue to fall.
In a second initiative aimed at retail buyers, Vauxhall waives the first 12 months of repayments on a finance deal for any Meriva or Astra, a Zafira Energy or a Vectra Exclusiv. A 25% deposit is required, and repayments for a further 30 months will be at 9.9% APR.
A number of carmakers, including Vauxhall, Ford, Renault, Nissan and Fiat, have said unprofitable daily rental fleet details have been scrapped during the past two years. They want to raise sales to private buyers, and so protect residual values.
Vauxhall’s new initiative is part of a programme to dislodge the Ford Fiesta as the UK’s best-selling B-sector model (Fiesta’s 2006 registrations totalled around 30,000 more than those of the outgoing Corsa).
The Vauxhall package is available to drivers aged 21-80 on the Corsa Club, or 23-80 on the sportier SXi variants. “Retail buyers are attracted by nearly-new cars at big savings,” says a Vauxhall spokesman.
“To counter that, we believe low-cost insurance will prove to be attractive. Research suggests that the high cost of insurance can be the final deterrent to some drivers – especially younger ones – who would like to buy a new car.”
Vauxhall says the savings for Corsa buyers can be more than £2,800 over three years for a 21-year old man with a Corsa 1.2 Club, living in central Luton and doing 10,000 miles per year. He would have three penalty points and be without a no-claims bonus.
Other examples cited by Vauxhall include a 57-year-old woman, with 35 years driving experience, who lives in rural Cheshire and drives 3,000 miles per year. Her annual premium could be £300.30, meaning three years of cover at £900.90.
The new Corsa is in the lowest insurance group, which has kept down the cost of the promotion.