Long-term test: Vauxhall Astra

Long-term test: Vauxhall Astra
Long-term test: Vauxhall Astra

17,500 miles in, and our trouble-free Astra has had its first service – complete with video

We’ve been running our Astra for nearly 12 months now. The car’s all-round usability and popularity as a runaround is reflected in the 17,500 mileage it’s accumulated in that time.

But, like all good things, the Astra’s time with us is coming to an end. Just as the question of a pre-departure service was being floated around the office, a message came up on the instrument display requesting an oil change. That was a slight surprise as the handbook told us that the first dealer visit wasn’t officially due until the 20,000 mile mark, still 2,500 miles away.

Anyway, the Astra was duly booked in at our local Vauxhall dealership in Richmond, and what wasn’t a surprise was the fact that no problems were found. While it was in and up on the ramp, the dealer took the chance to give our car some updates, including software upgrades for both and engine and the headlights.

Before we got the phone call to let us know that the car was ready, we were sent a dealer email. This contained a form setting out the results of the 35-point visual inspection that had been done as part of the service. Via an easy to understand traffic light colour code system, the form let us know whether any additional work was required. Normally these findings are kept secret until you walk into the dealership. Doing it this way lets an owner fully absorb any recommendations made by the technician in the less pressured environment of their own home.

Better yet, we were given a short headcam video that had been taken by the technician while he was checking the car over. We don’t expect to see it winning any prizes for production values, but the vid was a pretty cool way to let us see that all the checks were being carried out. It’s a clever touch.

Within minutes of us returning the electronic form, the dealer called back to ask us for a convenient collection time. The Astra didn’t need any extra work, so it was a simple matter paying the bill. The £159 fixed price seemed like a fair amount. All in all it was a very satisfactory dealer experience. Nice one Vauxhall.

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