Car warranties: a simple guide

Car warranties: a simple guide

Whether you decide to buy a new or used car, a warranty can offer peace of mind if your vehicle develops mechanical faults during the warranty period. Understand more about car warranties and how they work with the help of our guide.

Daniel Hutson From the Motor team
4
minute read
posted

Can I get a warranty on a used car?

If you buy a nearly new car (usually three years old or less), then you may have some time remaining on the standard manufacturer’s warranty.  

It is possible to buy a used car with a warranty. Most franchised dealers typically offer a 12-month warranty, and some second-hand dealers may offer three, six or twelve months as an incentive. 

If you’re buying a car from a private seller, you’re really buying ‘sold as seen’. However, it’s possible to buy an aftermarket, third party warranty for cars up to 12 years old, although they do tend to have more exclusions than a manufacturer’s warranty. 

Can I get a warranty on a used car?

What does a car warranty cover?

Warranties differ according to the manufacturer or provider, so you’ll need to read the policy details. But most warranties typically cover mechanical and electrical parts such as the gearbox, engine, suspension, transmission and ignition systems. 

As well as checking what parts are covered, you should also see if certain parts have a limited cover period. For example, although Kia’s warranty is for seven years, the cover for batteries is only for two.

Also be aware:

  • most warranties won’t cover you for general wear and tear such as worn tyres, brakes and windscreen wipers.  
  • most warranties will stipulate that you have to take reasonable care of your car and you could invalidate it if you don’t take your car in for regular servicing.  
  • you may be expected to only use garages approved by the dealership for repairs and servicing.
  • any modifications to your car could invalidate your warranty, so it’s a good idea to check before you add that super-sized rear spoiler.

What else should I look out for?

Always check you understand the small print in your warranty – it often contains jargon.  

Here are a couple of examples that you might want to familiarise yourself with before signing on the dotted line:

  • Betterment – if your car ends up getting a part that is ‘better’ than the part it’s replacing, you may be expected to pay for it, or at least contribute to its cost. 
  • Consequential loss or damage – this is when a part that’s insured fails because of the failure of another (uninsured) part. Ideally, you want a warranty that will cover you for consequential damage, otherwise you’ll be expected to pay for some or all of the part that needs replacing.
What else should I look out for?

Is it worth having a warranty?

Warranties can provide peace of mind, but how useful they are will depend on the warranty you have. Cheaper warranties may have a lot of exclusions, but a comprehensive warranty may be more expensive. 

Some warranties also include breakdown cover, so you might want to factor this in when it comes to totting up the cost of buying a car with or without a warranty. 

Warranty or not, you’ll always need car insurance

While you’re deciding whether to choose a model with or without a warranty, take the time to find out how much your insurance will cost you. We’re dedicated to helping you find and compare the right car insurance to suit your needs.  

Comparing car insurance quotes with us could save you up to £274.51* on your premium and will only take around six minutes of your time. That’s time well spent in giving you the ultimate peace of mind.  

Compare car insurance today, and see if you can start saving. 

*Based on Online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during May 2018. 50% of consumers could achieve this saving with Compare the Market Motor Insurance.    

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