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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Just wondering what other Holden Volt owners are thinking of doing with their cars. Our lease is up at the end of the year, and I'm thinking of selling it while it's still got the extended factory warranty and electric component warranty on it. Having to travel a couple of hours to get it serviced now is also part of the thinking, particularly if something goes wrong.

It's a shame, as we love the car and it's been without any faults apart from the tyre pressure monitors which are all about to be replaced under warranty, and it's worked out really well for us. I guess the big issue is the unknowns of any future servicing costs, since they sold so few of them here. It's a tough choice as it's got so many positives.

The cars seem to sell quite well on carsales, and for good reason I suppose. If I was travelling within the battery range each day and could pick one up between $25-$30k, it would be a good move. I thought about maybe going to one of the new Leaf's with the bigger battery when they come out, not sure. I also had a look at the new Camry Hybrid and it was quite impressive as well.


I've been looking for information on what type of big repairs people ended up facing that have more miles on their cars than I do (135k), but I'm really not seeing much at all. The vehicle seems to be quite well made, so it could realistically go for ages yet without anything major happening.


No doubt someone else might be chewing this over as well. I'd appreciate any views. Particularly if anyone has had to pay for any big repairs out of the new car warranty period.

regards,

craby
 

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I think that I may be missing something. You say that your lease is up at the end of the year, but, then you talk about selling the car. Do you own the car or are you leasing the car? If you are leasing, then the car is returned to the lessor at the end of the lease. Or, you might be allowed to buy the car from the lessor at the price stated in the lease.
 

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Well I bought a Volt that came off lease. I looked at the service history and didn't see anything noteworthy. There's was still time/mileage left on the Voltec warranty so I figured I'm covered for a couple of years in terms of severe battery degradation.

It was still a gamble in my mind and I think for a lot of people. That's why in the States at least, the resale value of EVs is relatively low. My wife and I buy used cars rather than new and keep them a long time. We try to pay the cars off quickly and for most of our marriage, we haven't had car payments. I hope that strategy will continue to be a sound one with the Volt. We prefer to use our money for travel and experiences rather than spend it on vehicles and other material things. Some people have enough money to do both. :)

So I think it depends on your situation, your financial goals etc. Technology is moving fast in the world of EVs so if you're comfortable with the lease payments, then I think it makes sense to let this one go and then lease another car so you won't have to worry about major repairs and take advantage of the advancements that have been made in the last few years. If you'd really like not to have those lease payments, or at least smaller loan payments, then holding on the Volt at least for a couple of years seems like a viable option.
 
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A well made/designed car will continue to be a well made/designed car twenty years from now. Sparkie apparently is the mileage leader at 440,000 miles. I tend to keep my cars a long time. TR7 Spider (38 years old), '71 Javelin (18 years), '88 Toyota Station Wagon 4X4 (30 years), '91 Integra (27 years, just sold). There are others I had for a short time before selling them for what ever reason but wish I hadn't. I'm in the same boat where servicing for the Volt is an hour away (local Chevy dealer isn't a Volt one). If you can buy it off lease for a good price, I'd buy it, you know the previous owner (you) and it's service history (if any). The exception would be if you had extra money lying around that you don't know what to do with and wanted something newer/different. When I was looking for a PHEV, only Volt filled the bill. EV's don't have the infrastructure yet, PHEV's all start and stop a cold engine for assist except for Clarity but it doesn't have the mode control the Volt has, Pacifica too big. The only thing that would be better would be a 4X4 CUV (smaller) with the Volt controls and drive method. I don't want a hybrid with just a bigger battery and electric motor. Outlander was interesting with electric motors for front and rear with ICE connected in parallel or serial but you still ended up with a cold ICE motor starting and stopping.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi jbakerjonathon,

My lease is one of those novated types where I have a small payout at the end and can do with the car as I wish when I'm finished. Basically I'll own it outright in a couple of months, so I'm thinking about all of this now.
 

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Hi jbakerjonathon,

My lease is one of those novated types where I have a small payout at the end and can do with the car as I wish when I'm finished. Basically I'll own it outright in a couple of months, so I'm thinking about all of this now.
I wouldn't call that a lease - I'd call it a car loan with a balloon payment for the final payment. Personally if the car has been treating you well I'd keep it, but I do understand the concern about the distance to the nearest Holden dealership and the fact that it appears GM is gutting Holden.
 

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I'd be very reluctant to keep any car that I can't service locally. Particularly one like a Volt. Sure it may not need much, but even if a small thing goes wrong, you will have a real headache on your hands.
 

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What are your options if it breaks down? Use a tow-equipped vehicle and a dolly to tow it for 2 hours to a service facility? That means a full day of travel to drop it off and pick it up again, plus gas and 2 dolly rentals. If you owned something else, could you get it repaired locally? That would make me want to sell it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Barry,

After Holden pulled the car from sale, they reduced all of the service centres. I used to have one 20 minutes from me, but now I have to drive into the city which is almost 2 hours away, more if the traffic if heavy. That's the only location anywhere near me now, and once we're there it burns a whole day just to get a standard service done as they won't do fast servicing on the car (despite the fact it seems to have virtually nothing done at each service anyway). The wife has spent the entire day sitting in the dealership with our small kids for what was supposed to be a 2 hour job etc, so it's not going down well. 30 minutes from me there's a whole range of other car manufacturers that have dealerships and service departments, so I'm spoiled for choice, and they're right near the shops, movies etc. I've always had the view that the cheapest car is the car you own, but it's the unknown costs and the availability of parts that is the big question. So far most parts seem to be available locally and can be brought in within a few days, but I remember when I broke the windscreen, it took 3 weeks to get it replaced.

I've really had to fight to get the extended warranty honoured as the dealership that does the servicing now didn't sell me the car and Holden has been funny about it, but apparently it's going to be honoured now. It only took 6 months to sort that out. If we lived close to the dealership I'd keep it until it fell apart as I really like the car, and I'm still looking to keep it if I can .

I was hoping to hear from more Holden buyers about their longer term experience, but maybe everyone is going okay so far as well. I might just ring Holden and see what they can tell me about any repair costs that have come up so I can make a more informed decision on parts availability and repair costs. If I find out anything on that front I'll do an update.

regards,
 

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Did you ever decide what to do with your Holden Volt? I've been dreaming of owning a Volt/Ampera since they were new, and the car would be perfect for our circumstances. We're getting ready to head back to New Zealand in the next few months, and it's a truly nutty proposition, but I was thinking of picking up a Vauxhall Ampera in the UK and bringing it with us. Last I looked at the registration data, it would be the only Ampera in the country, complementing just a few other Volts that were sold "NZ new."

But, like you, I know I'll be on my own servicing the car. The nearest certified service centre would be Schofield Holden in Auckland--three hours away from where we'll be. I rang them and they said they'd be happy to work on the car, but it would have to be a last resort. Fixing a stator bearing or most part-replaceable electronics items I can manage on my own, and I can import parts from the USA if necessary, but if a battery segment turns, it might exceed the value of the car to source and install a replacement.

It's upsetting--I really love the car, but I've been reading these forums and though they seemed to be outstandingly reliable in their first five years on the road, it seems that the trouble is starting to really crop up on the older cars. Earlier in the year I nearly did a deal on an Ampera, but scared myself at the last minute and backed out. I'd hate to lay down £10K on the car, then pay another 2.500€ to ship it to the other side of the planet and then be stuck with a repair that exceeds that amount.

I'd pay more for something newer, but there still really isn't anything comparable on the market, unfortunately...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi,

Sorry for the late reply, I haven't logged in for a bit. At this stage we're still tossing up whether or not we'll sell the car. The extended warranty is still current for another 3+ years yet, and we've still got a couple of years on the battery warranty as well. Looking at the Volt stats, there's people with far greater mileage than what we have still on the current battery. We were thinking of waiting until the Australian price of the tesla model 3 and the upgraded Leaf come out, and whether or not there will be any fast charging infrastructure built over the next 12 months nearer to where we live. We could do EV only, but the 5th seat is what we were really after. For example, the wife and kids went to see a movie with one of the girls friends and her mum yesterday, but they all had to pile into their car instead of ours, since we only have 4 seats. That sort of situation is popping up more regularly now, so it may be the case that we just wait until the LEAF/Model 3 come out, look at what they offer and then make the decision.

While the car is still under warranty and is so cheap to run, it's still going to be the better option than getting a new car. We might just bail on it when there's a year on the electrical warranty left so there would be some incentive for a new buyer, and then make a move on something else. I just wish that they'd brought the Bolt or the second Volt out, and I'm hoping that the new Leaf or the Tesla 3 aren't ridiculously priced so they could at least be an option.

As for you, I know they sold a few Volts in NZ, so there must be at least one service centre there that still works on them, which sounds like Schofield. You're right about getting parts and doing some of the work yourself. It would just be better if we all knew how much the battery bank would be to be replace out here as this is the great unknown, and the ongoing concern of being gouged or put into a no-win scenario and having to walk away from the car if the price was excessive is always lingering in the background.

We love our car as well. It's just a shame it wasn't better supported or marketed appropriately out here. From memory the price of the Volt in NZ was ridiculously high. They don't come up very often for sale here either, but when they do they sell fast from what I've seen.

The only thing that I would draw comfort from is the fact that the cars seem to be really well built and, at least my experience has been, that not much if anything goes wrong with it. Apart from some dodgy tyre monitors that are now fixed, it hasn't had a spanner on it in 5 years and 136,000km's. But you're right, there's always the possibility and that's what we keep thinking about too. Like I said, fortunately we have the warranty still, but I'd say for sure it'll be sold before that expires.

Thinking seriously about it, if that Auckland dealership doesn't service the cars anymore, you'll be screwed. That's a pretty big gamble, and we're facing that as well as the dealership we use is the only one in range for us, and if they stop working on the cars we'll be in a bad situation. And as much as we like our car, there's newer more modern alternatives coming onto the market, so there will be choices to make in due course. You could bring that car out though and have trouble free motoring for ages. Realistically it's about $25,000 AUD all up to bring it to NZ so that would still be a cheap car if you got one with low miles on it.

It's a tough choice. If the cars were newer I'd probably so go for it, but if you're getting to the end of the battery warranty, it would be a big call.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi again,

I thought I'd post an update on how I'm going with this. The lease is up at the start of January, so I'm getting more serious about weighing up the options. The residual is $14k from memory.

We went to look at Toyota Camry hybrids today and checked a few dealerships. Most didn't want anything to do with the car despite it being in great condition, and when they ended up getting back to us from the auction houses, the best they would offer is $5000. The car has 142,000 on it, still has the extended factory warranty and the remainder of the battery warranty. It looks like going private is probably the best option, but realistically I may as well just keep it for another year or two and trade it for whatever I can get then. I usually keep my cars long term so selling something with 250k on it and getting $4000 isn't new to me.


On the bright side, it means I get to keep driving an excellent car for a couple of years, and it also means I get to wait a bit for the new Leaf, Tesla 3, Hyundai's etc etc to get established here and then I can make a decision whether or not I go the full EV route or just get a normal ICE car again.

So if you're in Australia and have any different advice or experience, I'd be happy to hear it. Otherwise that's my news.

regards,

craby
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi,

Just another quick update, the lease company has offered to buy it for $9500. Since the traction battery warranty is almost out due to our mileage, I guess I do have a decision to make. I thought $5k for a trade seemed a bit low, since Leaf's are going for 3-5 times that. I might have to see what I can get for it privately. If I could be confident that I wouldn't get massively gouged if there's a problem with the traction battery, I'd keep it since it's been a really reliable car and a great drive.

Decisions...

regards,
 
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