Skoda has upgraded its warranty offering today from three to five years on private, general fleet and government vehicles, while carrying over the already strong unlimited-kilometre coverage.
Vehicles purchased for commercial use also get a five year warranty, but with a 150,000-kilometre limit.
The leap to five years of warranty protection in Australia was first made by Hyundai in 1998, joined by Mitsubishi in 2005 and Kia in 2007. Hyundai was also the first to add unlimited-kilometre coverage, in 2007, while Kia extended its warranty to seven years in 2015.
But, while a handful of other brands now also offer five years - six in Citroen's case - most still offer a three-year deal.
As others do, Skoda had previously offered an extended warranty as a cost option, with its Care Pack building on the prepaid three-year/45,000km and five-year/75,000 Service Pack by bundling in an additional two years of warranty coverage.
The Service Pack will continue as an option, but the extended warranty of the Care Pack - which, like the Service Pack, varied in price depending on the Skoda model purchased - is now a standard feature across the range with no change to RRP on any model.
“Given that some 50 per cent of our customers were going for the optional extended warranty, it was logical that we add it to all models as standard,” Skoda Australia managing director, Michael Irmer said.
Although not the first brand - or even the first out of Europe - to extend standard warranty protection to five years, Skoda will likely be looking to this upgrade as another point of difference - even in comparison to its own stablemate, Volkswagen, which continues with a three-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty.
It is likely Volkswagen Group Australia will be monitoring the interest in Skoda's new warranty offering, with a view to potentially extending the Volkswagen brand's terms to match. For now, however, the company is not ready to talk on what its plans might be.
Speaking with CarAdvice today, Paul Pottinger, communications manager for Volkswagen and Skoda in Australia, said: "There's no discussion around that at the moment."
"Of course, Volkswagen Group Australia would not deny one of its brands, in this case Skoda, a competitive advantage in the market."
Skoda's five-year upgrade is not retroactive, applying only from today.