When it comes to buying a car, there is invariably a long list of buzzwords and jargon that buyers will be confronted with. Leasing agreements, APR, finance – the list goes on. Warranty is without a doubt one of the most important terms to understand. Getting a good offer on car warranty can safeguard you from any problems you have down the road and give you the peace of mind to enjoy your purchase.
For many people, buying a car is one of their first big purchases, and the process can seem complicated. But don’t worry, help is at hand. This article will explain warranties, whether buying a car warranty is worth it, and how you can go about doing this.
So how does a car warranty work, you might ask? Essentially, a warranty is a kind of guarantee given with the purchase of a car from the manufacturer. This guarantee insures your vehicle against damage within a set of agreed-upon conditions.
Usually, the warranty will be granted either with a mile or time limit attached. For example, if your car has a 50,000 mile, 3-year warranty, that means you can drive it that distance and over that length of time without the warranty expiring. Of course, once you go past either of these limits, the warranty is no longer valid.
An extended car warranty offers a similar set of benefits except – you guessed it – the terms of the warranty are extended. Under this kind of protection, you can expect a higher mileage and time allowance. But, you can also expect to pay more for it upfront.
Before looking into buying a warranty for your car, make sure that it does not already have one. Increasingly, new cars are being sold with warranties as standard. So looking into this before you go out and buy one could save you a pretty penny.
If you’re wondering about how to check if your car has a warranty, the good thing is that it’s quite easy. Look for your car’s VIN number – this should be printed on the chassis or on the windscreen.
But if you can’t find it, simply contact the manufacturer or showroom that you bought it from. They will be able to tell you if it has a warranty or not.
Pros And Cons Of A Car Warranty
A good way of working out if a car warranty makes sense for you is by going through the various pros and cons of having one.
Warranties can be a confusing subject. Using a simple, streamlined method like this can be really helpful in cutting through the noise.
The pros of a warranty are relatively straightforward.
Firstly, warranties provide that additional reassurance that you are protected in the event of an accident.
On the other hand, there are a number of reasons why getting a warranty is not all it’s cracked up to be.
For starters, warranties do not cover you against all issues you may have with your vehicle. Even if your car was damaged in an incident that was entirely out of your hands, you may find yourself unable to exercise the warranty to recoup the cost of repair.
Many warranties include a form of excess, which stops you from receiving payment for an expensive repair. Add to this the high price of paying for a warranty (particularly with more expensive models or used cars) and the issue becomes significantly more difficult.
What Does Car Warranty Cover?
If you’re still unsure about whether or not a warranty is right for you, it’s worth keeping in mind the kind of things a warranty will cover on your car. After all, nobody enjoys spending large sums of money repairing their car. A warranty could be the difference between a large bill and a free repair.
Generally speaking, car warranties cover the more integral parts of your vehicle. You are more likely to be protected against fundamental failures to the engine or transmission than you are of cosmetic damage to your headlights, for example.
Most manufacturers will cover your gearbox, brakes, steering, clutch, as well as internal electrical systems like air conditioning and heating. However, it is always important to know exactly what you’re covered from. Warranties tend to differ from car to car and manufacturer to manufacturer. So be sure to do some research before you drive off into the sunset.
Now onto the things that are usually not covered by warranty. As previously mentioned, manufacturers are often reluctant to cover issues that are not obvious examples of a shoddy product. Accidental damage is usually not covered by a car warranty, nor is damage inflicted through vandalism.
For one of the most common types of car damage, such as cracks to the windshield, manufacturers can be inconsistent in their interpretation of your warranty.
Many will require customers to purchase an additional windscreen warranty. But even this is sometimes not even to get them to pay up. Be careful not to automatically assume that damage to the windscreen will be covered by the warranty, as often this is simply not the case.
How Much Does A Car Warranty Cost?
Now we come to the all-important question: how much does a car warranty cost? This could be the deciding factor for many people. Although it certainly isn’t the only thing you should consider, it is obviously of vital importance in deciding if a warranty provides value for money or not.
The price of a warranty is dependent on a number of factors. The first is the value of your car, with the logic being that expensive cars are more expensive to fix, and therefore the warranty’s price will be higher. Cars that are cheaper to fix will normally have lower-priced warranties. This is because manufacturers will be less worried about the risk of having to fix them.
However, it is important not to confuse the cost of repair with the age of the car. Rather than being less expensive to get a warranty on, a used car warranty can actually work out as being more expensive.
The older the car is, the more chance there is of it breaking down or experiencing a serious fault that is expensive to fix.
Used Car Warranty
Some of the larger car dealerships may offer you what’s called an approved used car warranty. These typically cover a shorter length. However, they protect from the buyer’s remorse that many people experience when they purchase a used car that breaks down quickly.
A study by Which? found that used car warranties are routinely more expensive than the cost to repair the vehicle. Only the most expensive used car warranties provide sufficient protection. So make sure to read the fine print of any warranty you are looking at.
Some of the cheaper cars on the market provide the best value if you’ve decided to opt for a warranty. Warranty-wise (one of the most reputable providers of warranties) found that the average price of a warranty over a six-month period for a Toyota was £117. Whilst the average cost of repair came to £592. That means that it would take nearly three years of warranty payments to get to the same cost as repairing the car yourself.
Whilst the warranty provides good value for less expensive cars, if you’re looking to get one for anything flashier, you will almost certainly see the price go up.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that having a warranty will automatically result in you paying less at a later date. The value of a warranty is ultimately a matter for you to decide. In some cases, it will be a no-brainer. But in others, it could seem a little steep for the actual protection given.
How FairSquare Can Help
For a selection of the best car warranties in the UK, take a look at FairSquare.
FairSquare has a huge selection of cars to choose from. Therefore, you will be able to buy a car warranty that is tailored to your needs.
The question of whether you need a warranty or not is a difficult one. But, FairSquare will provide you with all the choices necessary to make the right decision.
Once you have done some research, you should be ready to hit the road with total peace of mind.
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