Used Vauxhall Insignia (Mk1, 2008-2017) review - What should you look out for?

Although the Insignia feels robustly built, owners report it’s far from being the most reliable car in its class

The top-spec models might feel quite upmarket, but the Vauxhall Insignia remains a mainstream product. As values tumble, owners will be more likely to miss recommended service intervals and take shortcuts with maintenance. Avoid these cars.

Evidence of a former life as a lease or company car is no bad thing, because these are likely to have a good maintenance record and a stress-free life. A decade spent on the motorways of Britain is preferable to five years of urban driving.

Common used Vauxhall Insignia mk1 problems

Electric faults

Electrical glitches can crop up, including the dashboard displays and/or illumination switching off. But such issues are unpredictable. 

Bad binding

On some cars the rear brake pads can bind. The pads have been redesigned, but any car with older parts may be suffering from binding brakes.

Spare wheel

A full-size 20-inch alloy spare wheel will fit in the boot-mounted well. Vauxhall sells spacers to make it all fit; they cost around £24 for a pair.


Big 19 or 20-inch alloy wheels aren’t unusual, but these can spoil the ride and are prone to buckling, leading to annoying vibrations.


The first recall came in November 2010 due to a problem with the driver’s airbag. In January 2011 some cars were recalled because the electric window anti-trap system could fail, with dangerous consequences. Estates built up to March 2015 were recalled in May 2015 because the tailgate’s gas struts could fail. In July 2016 it was noted that the steering could fail on some cars built in April 2016.

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