New Land Rovers in Australia now come with a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty, while in the UK we have to make do with only three years (unlimited mileage).
The move illustrates the tough competition in Australia from other 4x4 and pickup/ute manufacturers, for whom long warranty periods are increasingly the norm. Ford (maker of the Ranger pickup) has an Australian warranty of five years, unlimited mileage, as does Nissan (which makes the Navara).
Toyota (of Hi-Lux and Land Cruiser fame) initiated the same in 2019, extending the guarantee to seven years if owners stick to the service schedule. Mitsubishi (maker of the L200 pickup) offers a similar scheme, but extends it to a full 10 years if the maintenance regime is stuck to.
In that context, the Defender – ‘designed for optimum durability’ – wasn’t going to cut it with a three-year warranty.
Intriguingly, Land Rover’s five-year Australian warranty includes Genuine accessories, if fitted to the vehicle at the time of purchase.
What’s the warranty situation in the UK?
Vehicle warranties in the UK are generally less impressive than in Australia, but there is a trend towards more generous offerings. Land Rover’s three-year UK warranty period is arguably starting to lag, although the unlimited mileage clause is a major string to its bow.
As of June 1, Toyota now offers a ‘service activated’ warranty called Toyota Relax. Similar to the Mitsubishi warranty in Australia, mentioned above, Toyota Relax extends the standard three-year warranty up to 10 years (but only 100k miles), so long as the owner follows the correct maintenance schedule at Toyota dealerships. It applies to new vehicles, and also existing ones. After the initial three-year warranty expires, the Relax warranty is ‘triggered’ for another 12 months each time the vehicle is serviced.
Buyers of the Mitsubishi L200 in the UK get a five-year / 62,500-mile warranty.
Nissan’s warranty for light commercials such as the Navarra (which will be axed in 2022) is five years / 100k miles, but for cars such as the Juke it’s three years / 60k miles, which is the same as Ford’s standard UK warranty.
Kia, Ssangyong and (Chinese-owned) MG warranties are all seven years.
Incidentally, Land Rover’s warranty in the USA is somewhere between that in the UK and Australia, standing at four years but only 50,000 miles. In Australia, the UK and the USA, the warranty against body corrosion is six years – the same as the UK (paintwork though, is only covered against defects for three years).
So will Land Rover increase its UK warranty period, like it has done in Australia? For now it’s being predictably tight-lipped on the subject, and has declined to comment.
Warranties are more complicated than the top-line figures. All manfacturers offer extended warranty packages, which we haven’t compared here. Land Rover's Extended Warranty in the UK can applied for up to 10 years.
Another murkier issue is the criteria by which claims are judged and payments made. JLR’s 2020 Annual Report briefly describes investigations made into ‘further reductions of […] warranty goodwill payments’, after a dramatic escalation of warranty costs peaking at £1.13bn for the financial year ending March 2020.
If there’s one thing to learn from all this, perhaps it’s that warranty terms are governed as much by competition between car makers as by the faith that each manufacturer has in the longevity of their vehicles.