By on April 16, 2020

Volkswagen has decided to waive up to six months of payments for customers who lost their jobs due to the economic complications of the coronavirus pandemic. Of course, there’s a catch. Customers have to qualify for VW’s expansion of its “Community-Driven Promise” and must have recently purchased a new vehicle, though avenues exist to help existing customers who aren’t brazen enough to buy a new car after a viral outbreak.

The manufacturer previously said it would defer payments up to 90 days for existing Volkswagen Credit (VCI) customers affected by the economic crisis. While most automakers are trying to sweeten the pot while demand is down, deals and relief packages have rolled out pretty gradually. By contrast, VW seems to be doing quite a bit all at once — here’s how one goes about getting into those programs. 

To qualify for the deferments, customers need a decent credit history and must have lost their jobs within the first 90 days of taking ownership on a new VW model. They also must be the recipient of unemployment benefits and have to prove they were cut over economic reasons — throwing a fit and quitting won’t work. While the car could be purchased (not leased) anytime within a 12-month window, interested parties must also prove they’ve been employed full time for at least 12 weeks prior to their termination.

Those stipulations will probably limit the number of takers. But with many Americans out of work right now, VW may still find plenty of applicants. The ones that qualify will see VW waiving up to six months worth of payments, up to $750 per month.

Earlier in the month, the manufacturer launched its Community-Driven Promise initiative aimed at keeping VCI customers from defaulting. It includes deferments of up to 90 days, along with 72-month/zero-interest loans and lease extensions of up to six months. The program only lasts through the end of April, so those wondering if they’re eligible should hit up VW to see all available offers.

If Volkswagen isn’t your brand, most automakers’ financial arms are offering some form of payment relief — most of which expire within a similar time frame. Honda, Acura, Kia, Hyundai and Mitsubishi all have deferment deals of their own. Of course, you may be able to negotiate something with your own auto lender if you’re proactive and jobless. Just remember that interest will continue to accrue during the deferral period, likely leaving you paying more in the long term.

[Image: U.J. Alexander/Shutterstock]

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11 Comments on “Volkswagen Wants to Make Coronavirus Car Buying Less Terrifying...”

  • avatar

    Wouldn’t it be less terrifying for a consumer if VW had quality that would last past 40k miles without being a constant patient at a VW service facility?

    I’m not so sure that other brands are blaming customer angst on a virus.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    With interest rates at record lows, deferring payments for 6 months at 0.0% APR doesn’t really cost VW anything. But it puts the customer even more upside down throughout the term of the loan.

    A better incentive would be a price discount, but then VW would limit the starting point to be MSRP.

  • avatar

    I can only imagine those that reached for a new car and were living month to month before the crisis need every bit of help they can get.

    Mortgage and auto lenders have a very strong incentive to weather the storm and keep the status-quo but seeing auto-makers taking action for existing customers is good news.

  • avatar

    I have a leased car with VW up shortly. My intent is to buy it, as in (anecdote alert N=1), 3 years my ace of base Jetta S has had three oil changes and a tire rotation.

    No one answers the phone at VW Credit, so I can’t either get an extension or discuss a buyout.


    • 0 avatar

      Just read an interesting article on this – lease turn ins are a big problem everywhere. Dealerships either can’t do them due to sales being closed, or don’t WANT to do them because they have no place to put the cars. The lease companies aren’t equipped to do them themselves in most cases. We live in very odd and interesting times indeed!

      My 3yo GTI Sport has also been completely bulletproof – not a single issue. 3 oil changes, 3 tire rotations – and my dealer does the oil changes for cheap and the rotations for free. I already bought and paid it off though. This one is a keeper to rival my infamous 328! wagon, unless the MKVIII completely blows me away (seems unlikely).

      • 0 avatar

        Hilarious to read VW customers trumpeting how a 3 year old vehicle is bullet proof. Shouldn’t that be your expectation? That a car company that’s been around as long as VW would be able to make a car reliable enough to make it at least through one half of its warranty with no issues?

        Maybe you thought it couldn’t, hence the humblebrag. Funny either way.

      • 0 avatar

        So far though, I have not yet spotted any good online deals on lease turn ins…

  • avatar

    Unfortunately it does not work for me. First I paid cash for my last two new car purchases. And secondly I never owned VW to begin with.

    P.S. IMO if someone is living from paycheck to paycheck it may be not a good idea to buy a VW. Or Mercedes, or even Porsche (which is a rebadged VW).

    • 0 avatar

      And conversely, VWs are rebadged Porsches.

      Buying a car on a multi-year payment plan involves hoping that life just goes on fine and dandy, and nothing goes wrong.
      Then something like 9/11 or COVID-19 happens to upset the apple cart. Eventually something else will happen, such as North Korea sending a nuke to Japan or Hawaii.
      “Expect the unexpected” becomes a rule to live by.

      • 0 avatar

        In my life time bad thing happened with frightening regularity (usually once or twice in a decade. I can start with the collapse of Soviet Union, and I mean Collapse, like GD in 1930s in USA. Then there was the Asian financial crisis which meant you lost most of your savings. Then there was DotCom bust, the Great Recession, the Great COVID-19, COVID-20, COVID-21 and so on.

  • avatar

    Risking buying a VW is terrifying enough, for this past VW owner.

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