For that—and in general for those with tight finances who'd rather not bet—the brand has just introduced the Hyundai Assurance Trade-In Value Guarantee. In short, it assures a particular value for the vehicle between 24 and 48 months of ownership—so that, if you're the type who only keeps a vehicle for a few years, you won't be in for any surprises.
No surprises, like a lease...but you own the car
2011 Hyundai Elantra
It's an interesting strategy, and combines some of the aspects of a lease—typically written to cover, essentially, a portion of a vehicle's depreciation—with actual vehicle ownership.
The highly successful Hyundai Assurance Program, which allowed buyers to return their cars, credit intact, if they lost their job, just expired at the end of March. Over 26 months, the program brought an uptick in sales at a very trying time for the industry, while only 350 customers took the company up on the deal to bring a vehicle back.
"Depreciation is the single highest cost of car ownership," said Hyundai Motor America president and CEO in a release about the new program. "While Hyundai's depreciation is now among the lowest in the industry, Assurance will remove many of the barriers and concerns about vehicle ownership."
The Trade-In Value Guarantee also will, Hyundai hopes, increase loyalty and bring customers back to the same dealership for their next vehicle. One other stipulation is that just as in most leases, the customer would be required to show proof of maintenance at an authorized Hyundai dealership. So it would help dealerships establish a regular relationship with the customer as well.
Hyundai resale values already showing strong
2011 Hyundai Elantra
The residual-value experts at ALG have named the 2011 Hyundai Elantra the winner in the compact segment for best residual value; in other words, several years along, it's expected to hold its value better than anything else in the class—including stalwarts like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. ALG has also pointed to Hyundai as one of the brands best poised to take advantage of its strengthened residual values with better leasing deals over the next several years.
The guarantee holds for all new cars that are sold at "participating U.S. Hyundai dealerships." We read that to mean that on an individual basis, dealerships can choose not to be part of this; so you should definitely ask and confirm before signing on the dotted line.
For more information on the program, visit Hyundai's consumer site.