The free payment protection promotion pioneered by Hyundai in the US, and copied just this week by GM and Ford, has now crossed the Atlantic with Honda (UK) announcing it as part of a new April package of car offers.

Free payment protection is available on all promoted Civics and CR-Vs purchased using Honda finance from 1 April. The automaker will cover monthly repayments for up to a year, safeguarding customers should they be made redundant for more than three months.

"We know that people still want to buy new cars," said marketing chief Tom Gardner. "But everyone's a bit nervous at the moment about making such a significant purchase. Our package of cost savings, financial offers and the security of payment protection is one of the strongest we've ever offered and should help our customers feel more confident about buying a Honda."

The cars offered with payment protection are models made in Honda's UK plant which is currently shut for four months.