If your car is faulty and needs fixing, a car warranty is the ideal solution that will cover costs of repairs. Included in your warranty are areas such as engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, and steering. Often much more is covered, subject to the type of warranty you take out.
Both new and used cars can be covered under a warranty. They may seem like another costly expense to your monthly car payments, but warranties save you in the long run if your vehicle needs repairing.
But first, what is a Car Warranty?
Acting as an insurance, a warranty will pay out in repairs that are not caused by yourself. These can be worn out components such as steering racks, electrical failures, or engine issues. Warranties cover the repair bill on your behalf, this includes the costly labor of removing the old part and fitting the replacement.
New cars must include warranties from the manufacturer. They can vary between three, five and sometimes seven years, or up to a certain mileage – whichever comes first. Depending on the manufacturer, other components such as EV batteries and bodywork may have longer, separate warranties to cover more expensive parts of the car. Leaving owners with peace of mind when buying their next car.
A used vehicle under warranty is still covered, provided it has not expired. Meaning a car under three years old will be repaired during a fault, even when it has changed owners. It is best to double check if this is the case with your car before considering extending your warranty.
Third party companies can extend a vehicles warranty to protect your vehicle even further. Some cars need to be under a mileage range and age to be eligible, depending on the warranty provider. This takes place when your manufacturer’s warranty expires.
Extended warranties are useful to keep your repair bills low if something were to go wrong. Some of these policies cover different areas of the vehicle, which may be altered from the manufacturers original warranty. Therefore, it’s important to check your policy wording.
What do car warranties cover?
Costly repairs from faulty components in your car are usually covered under car warranties. Example areas that are covered under car warranties include:
- Fuel System
- Steering Assembly
- Transmission and Clutch
- Electrical System
- Air Conditioning
Other policies can include more areas, or less coverage than these listed. It is vital to check what is covered in your policy before taking one out.
The areas that policies do not include are tires, windscreen wipers, 12V batteries (not EV batteries) and brake pads. These are sometimes known as “consumables” which are used daily and form part of the general wear and tear of the car.
However, it is possible that extended warranties have cover for unusual wear and tear, such as unusual brake pad or tire wear. But this is to be discussed during a claim and should be worded in the T&Cs before attempting to recover the costs.
Warranties also can include roadside assistance when you breakdown. Often with limited conditions, which is why it is best to take out separate cover for breakdowns.
They only cover up to a certain amount too, meaning more expensive repairs may be over your allowed limit. Resulting in you paying the difference if it is a costly fault.
Cover Terms and Conditions
Policy documents are important to understand. They show what is excluded and under what conditions your car is covered when taking out the warranty. As certain actions from owners can affect a warranty claim, or even make it void if you are not careful. These include:
- Failing to maintain your car. With irregular services, not servicing at a dealer or agreed locations.
- Any modifications to your car. Especially engine, steering, brakes or electrical.
- Driving a vehicle when it is faulty. Such as check engine lights or when hearing unusual sounds.
- Incorrect fuel usage. Either by not following manufacturers guidance or using diesel in a gas vehicle.
Other aspects of car warranty coverage include consequential loss. This means a part covered under warranty that is faulty but caused by a part not covered under warranty – the provider will still cover the repair cost. Check beforehand if your policy includes this.
Betterment is another phrase used in warranty policies. As some parts are higher quality than others, the fixed fault may improve the cars value (such as a new engine being fitted). If this is the case, then you may need to cover some costs as part of your claim. Some warranties will still cover all costs and may not include betterment in their policy.
What if I now have an issue with my car?
Warning lights, beeping, unusual suspension, steering or brake noises? Or temperature gauge going up? These are all signs that your car is faulty in some way. As soon as any of these occur it’s best to stop driving. Contact your warranty provider immediately and let them know what’s wrong. As continuing to drive may invalidate the claim and leave you with costly repair bills.
Your warranty provider then needs to approve the repair and guide you to which repair shop you need to visit. Shops that are already manufacturer/ warranty provider approved will cover the repair costs, minus any excess you need to pay as part of the agreement when taking out the warranty. This is dependent on the type of warranty and fault your car has. With some repairs costing more than your limit, you may need to cover the difference.
Other claims may be dealt with directly from the dealer. As dealers offer limited warranties when buying directly from them, usually 30 days or three months. This should be dealt directly with them as soon as a fault appears.
Where can I buy a car warranty from?
All new, and some used cars (typically under three years old) already have manufacturers warranties and do not need additional cover. Dealers can offer warranty on older cars, but this is limited in coverage and can be costly.
The best route for affordable warranties is by independent providers such as 1800warranty. With flexibility on milage and vehicle type, we take care of everything for you. Working directly with the dealers, out of pocket costs are covered in one easy monthly payment. Roadside assistance is also covered for complete peace of mind when taking out your next policy today.