Hyundai will Take your Car Back (Most of the Time)
A Look at the Hyundai Assurance Program
In a life changing event, that is. Hyundai has begun to promote a new program that claims that “if you cannot make your payment because of a life changing event, we’ll allow you to return your vehicle and walk away from your loan obligation – and in most cases, we will cover most, if not all of the difference”. This program is good up to one year, post purchase, and at least two payments must be made in order for it to become effective. But is it a good deal?
What is a ‘Life Changing Event’ According to Hyundai?
According to Hyundai, it could be one of the following:
- involuntary job loss
- physical disability
- loss of license due to medical impairment
- personal bankruptcy if self-employed
- getting transferred overseas
- accidental death
Looking into this a bit further, the plan is managed by an auto dealer insurance and finance company called Walkaway. Hyundai appears to be the only automaker using this offer on a national level, but other automakers could potentially offer something similar through Walkaway or another provider. Hyundai has previously sold this program in Canada as an add-on insurance product for buyers and lessees. However, this time, it looks like Hyundai is footing the bill.
Thoughts on the Assurance Promotion
- I’m sure the Hyundai has run some numbers to see if this promotion makes sense for them financially. So any new sales that they wouldn’t have had from those overwhelmed by fear in the current economy and all of the free publicity that comes from it (sorry GM, Ford, and Chrysler) is an added bonus for them.
- I’d suggest reading all of the fine print before jumping at a promotion like this. The ‘and in most cases, we’ll cover most, if not all the difference’ line is incredibly vague. That’s two too many ‘mosts’ for my blood.
- It is a clever promotion, I must say, and I’d love to see U.S. automakers try something creative like this out. What have they got to lose? They might as well go out with a bang, right?
- I’ve driven a few Hyundai’s, I don’t like them. Buy American, not only to save your neighbor’s job, but because the quality these days is as good or better.
- From a personal finance perspective, if you are so concerned about potential negative equity from an auto purchase or lease that you are willing to make a purchase for re-assurance, you are probably getting the wrong car (or getting a car for the wrong reasons). There are plenty of great used vehicles out there that are depreciating at a much slower rate and are much cheaper than those just driven off the lot.
Your Thoughts on Hyundai Assurance?
- Does this promotion appeal to you at all?
- Would it make you switch from another automaker to Hyundai?
- Are you considering a new vehicle purchase or lease due to, or in spite of the current economy?