Vauxhall has announced that if will give what it calls a ‘lifetime’ warranty on its entire new car range. Every Vauxhall registered for the road from August 1 qualifies for the cover, which extends until the vehicle has covered 100,000 miles irrespective of the age at which this happens.

What it means is that any part of the engine, gearbox, drive system, steering, brakes and electrics that fails will be replaced for free, excluding items you’d expect to wear out such as brake pads and exhausts. The announcement is a big move for Vauxhall although it does have ‘strings’ attached.

The chief one is that the offer is given only to the first owner. So if you buy a nearly-new or even pre-registered Vauxhall, the offer won’t transfer to you, although the company is to announce a scheme for second owners to purchase cover.

The offer also depends on owners having the car inspected by a Vauxhall dealer every year. The inspection won’t be charged for, however. You'll also need to stick to the car's recommended servicing schedule and use the correct parts and oils. The current new-car warranty cover lasting three years will apply as before.

The announcement comes as other car makers move to strengthen their warranty cover. Earlier this year Toyota extended its warranty from three to five years across its ranger of cars, a decision doubtless made to improve the make’s image after a huge safety-related recall of vehicles.

Kia has also extended the seven-year/100,000-mile warranty it offered on its Cee’d hatchback to its entire range, making it the best offered by any make. Hyundai, meanwhile, continues to offer a five-year warranty on all its cars.