When you’re driving, wouldn’t it be good if help was just a click of a button away? Navigation systems are, after all, only any good if you know where you’re going. And what if you were to get stranded, miles from anywhere? Or your car was stolen? In recent years, so-called ‘concierge’ services have been developed that provide an operator you can contact through your car’s infotainment system for help with these sorts of situations.

Such technology though, is usually limited to expensive luxury cars. Vauxhall thinks set-ups like these should be available to everyone. And to prove it, they’ve fitted their system, ‘OnStar’, to our long term Vauxhall Corsa.

We’ll be telling you more about our experiences with the Corsa in the coming weeks, but we thought we’d start with a focus on arguably its cleverest element, that ‘OnStar’ system, an optional feature with every version of this Vauxhall supermini. If you’re not familiar with this package, we’ll tell you that it provides ‘SOS’ automatic crash response, stolen vehicle assistance and, via a smart phone app, various vehicle diagnostic features too, allowing you to do things like remotely lock or unlock the doors, check your oil life or sound the horn or flash the lights if you’ve lost this Vauxhall in a busy carpark.

Via a provided ‘OnStar’ button, you can also contact an operator 24/7 who can summon assistance if you’re stranded or help you if you’re lost. If your Corsa has full navigation fitted, the OnStar operator can even forward directions directly into the IntelliLink system. For the first three months of ownership, ‘OnStar’ will also create in your Corsa a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, though you’ll have to pay for this feature after that.

“Via OnStar, we’ve been able to remotely lock our Corsa, access Wi-Fi though it and even book hotel rooms…”

OnStar Advisors have a direct link with Booking.com, so if you’re delayed on your journey or you need to change your plans, they can help with your hotel booking. Help is also there for such things as finding an available parking space in town, a route to the nearest petrol station or even in diagnosing a problem with the car itself.

We’re really sold on the whole set-up and to help you get the most from it, there’s a mobile app to oversee everything. It can give you a remote functionality, where you can lock or unlock your car or sound the horn and flash the lights from a distance. Very useful in a dark car park in the late evening, or if a child should lock themselves in. And, there’s no need to be worried about privacy either: with OnStar, you can set your own pin to log in and out.

Of course, there’s a lot more to the Corsa than OnStar. The model range has just been re-launched with a range of efficient 1.4-litre Euro 6.2-compliant petrol engines, one of which is fitted to our test ‘Limited Edition’ model. We look forward to telling you how we’re getting on with it.