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Will my automatic Audi A3 suffer gearbox problems?

A reader has the opportunity to buy her company car but is concerned that its dual-clutch automatic gearbox could be prone to problems...

Audi A3 Sportback
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Claire Evans
15 Aug 2019 08:45

I have the opportunity to buy my 2014 Audi A3 company car, which I’ve had since new and only has 39,000 miles on the clock.  I’m due to retire next year, so I’m trying to work out if it’s a good idea or not. 

However, I’ve been told that at the five-plus-year mark, plenty of cars like mine, with a DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox, develop serious problems that often result in the entire gearbox needing to be replaced. This wouldn’t make my car a good buy. Please can you tell me if DSG gearbox problems are common? 

Denise Kennedy

What Car? says...

According to our latest Reliability Survey, the current Audi A3 is a highly dependable car; petrol models scored 96.8% and diesel models scored 96.6%, with only 1% of owners reporting issues with the gearbox. The previous-generation (2003-2013) A3 appears to have more gearbox problems; 15% of owners reported a problem in this area. However, your car is the current model, so it shouldn’t prove problematic. 

Audi A3 DSG

We also contacted motoring association Motoreasy, which has analysed more than 40,000 years' worth of extended warranty data. Its findings concurred with ours: the cars that suffer DSG gearbox problems are generally older, higher-mileage examples that have had a hard life and been driven aggressively.

According to Motoreasy, although official Audi A3 DSG gearbox repair prices are quoted at up to £6000, it usually gets cars repaired for closer to £3000, and the cost of repairs is covered under its Plan A and Plan B warranties, which cover wear and tear items such as gearboxes.

Your A3 sounds like it has been well looked after, not clocked up a massive mileage and been owned by you from new, so we think it’s unlikely to suffer gearbox problems. That means we think it would make a great buy. 

You can use our valuation tool to find out if the price that’s being asked for the car is a true reflection of its value. 


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