A Guide To Car Warranties

Vehicle Warranty GuideA car warranty is a form of insurance policy. If a car breaks down due to the mechanical or electrical failure of an insured part the car warranty can cover‚ or contribute towards the costs of the labour and any replacement parts which are stated in the warranty policy. Why not take a look at some of the warranty providers available to find out more.

Why Do I Need a Vehicle Warranty?

Like any form of insurance a car warranty is a precautionary measure that could save you paying out unexpected mechanical and electrical breakdown costs. Before purchasing a car warranty you should weigh up the pros and cons and take the following into consideration:

  • Is the car warranty worth the cost in comparison to the car’s value and costs to fix?
  • How likely is your car to break down?
  • Is your car too old?
  • Does your car have a full service history and MOT?

If your car is old and it does not have a full service history it may be difficult to make a claim under warranty. Some car warranty providers only pay a capped sum towards the repairs‚ so if you own an older vehicle that is more likely to breakdown‚ the warranty could cost more than the car is worth‚ so in this case a car warranty may not be the right choice for you.

Are Car Warranties Worth it?

In short, yes. Like any form of insurance you will be protected from the costs involved. However we do recommend that you read the small print and terms & conditions to make sure you are happy with the agreement. Warranties can vary widely so make sure you are clear on what exactly is covered.

What’s the Best Warranty for my Car?

Before purchasing a car warranty, you need to determine what factors are most important for your journeys and budget. If you are likely to make long journeys where overnight accommodation is required, then you will be better off opting for car warranty that offers a range of additional benefits such as breakdown cover. If you think your car is likely to break down it would be worth arranging a vehicle inspection to see if your vehicle is eligible for a car warranty.

Are Car Warranties Transferable?

You can usually transfer your warranty to a new owner on the condition that they are a private owner and not a dealer. You may have to pay an administration charge to the insurance company for the transfer. The balance may be transferable to the new owner if it is paid monthly‚ however if it has been paid upfront it is unlikely you will be able get a refund. Warranties can be a great selling tool as it gives the potential owner.

Personal‚ Extended and Manufacturer’s Warranties Explained

Manufacturer Warranty

Manufacturer car warranties are offered upon purchase of a new car. You can normally extend this type of warranty directly with the manufacturer (see Extended Warranty) upon expiration, alternatively you can shop around for personal warranties.

Personal Warranty

Some drivers are unaware that a car warranty can be purchased externally from the manufacturer’s standard warranty. There are better warranty deals around which can not only beat the manufacturer in price‚ but also offer more value for money.

Extended Warranty

This type of warranty can be purchased either through the manufacturer after the original warranty expires or through a personal car warranty company, however most manufacturer warranties can only be extended for a further 2 years.

Types of Vehicle Warranties Available:

Car warranty

This is the most common form of a vehicle warranty with a wide range of policies available to suit most budgets. If you have a car of a high specification, your vehicle may be excluded so you will need a luxury or specialist warranty. These are not so widely available but you are still able to shop around for a good deal.

Fleet car warranty

The majority of car warranty companies will also insure fleet vehicles. You must check this when taking out a policy and state that your vehicle is a fleet car.

Van warranty

Most general warranty providers will cover vans as long as they meet the terms and conditions. Vans which are used for commercial delivery purposes such as deliveries and courier services are likely to be excluded from the warranty policy.

Business use warranty

Most car warranty providers will cover vehicles for business use, however there are some common exclusions including cars used for driving schools, taxis, deliveries and courier vehicles.

Motorcycle warranty

Like a car warranty, motorcycles are fairly easy to find warranties for. Most of the major warranty providers will cover motorcycles‚ however we recommend that you check directly with the insurer if motorcycle warranty is not listed on their website.

Caravan warranty

Not all the general warranty providers will cover caravans, so you may have to search for specific insurers that can offer coverage. Even though a warranty company may not have anything listed on their website it may be worth contacting them to be sure.

Specialist car warranty

If you have a sports car or high-end vehicle then most car warranty providers will not be able to offer coverage. However there are warranties out there that offer specialist coverage. It may be worth calling the warranty company directly as they may be able to offer you a bespoke plan that is not advertised on their website.

Imported car warranty

Some warranty companies will cover imports as long as there is a UK equivalent model. However not all warranty providers will cover imported vehicles particularly US and Japanese models.

Prestige Car Warranty

Many car warranty providers will exclude vehicles which are classified as prestige or sports cars. In this case you may be better off purchasing an extended warranty directly through the manufacturer. You can find details of many popular prestige car manufacturers in our directory including Porsche, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, and Land Rover.

Typical vehicles that fall under the Prestige category include:

All 4×4 vehicles‚ Alfa Romeo (apart from GTA models)‚ Audi (apart from all A2‚ A3 and all A4 4–cylinder models)‚ BMW (apart from 1–series‚ 316‚ 318 and M–series)‚ Cadillac‚ Chrysler‚ Dodge‚ Ford Galaxy‚ Honda NSX‚ Jaguar‚ Lexus‚ Mazda RX–models‚ Mercedes–Benz‚ Mitsubishi and Evolution models‚ MGF‚ MGTF and MG–ZT models‚ Morgan‚ Nissan 350Z‚ Porsche (apart from 911 models)‚ Renault models over 2450cc‚ Saab‚ Subaru Turbo‚ Vauxhall VX220 and Monaro‚ Volvo ‘T’ and ‘R’ models and VW Phaeton vehicles.

All warranty agreements should have the option for you to cancel at the start of your agreement. This is sometimes referred to as a cooling off period. Be aware that warranty providers usually require that customers cancel their policies within a set time limit. These cancellation periods can vary and can be from 14 – 30 days. However these can be less so check the terms of the policy and make sure if there are any administration charges associated with cancellation.

If you wish to cancel your policy after this period‚ and you have not made any claims you may still be able to cancel, less an administration charge, which is usually around £50. If a claim has been made on the vehicle that is insured under a fixed policy you are unlikely to receive a refund or be able to cancel the policy.

Some car warranty insurers require that your car has a full service history. This means your car’s service book shows that the car has been serviced on time and according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This does not necessarily mean that the car has been serviced by the manufacturer‚ the service can be performed at any garage.

Tips for choosing the right kind of warranty cover:

  • Don’t always assume the least expensive is the best
  • Go over the terms and conditions with a fine tooth comb
  • Make repair and labour costs your main criteria
  • Ensure the company is backed by a governing body
  • Question whether you need a vehicle inspection or valid MOT
  • Be sure you understand all the small print jargon
  • Assess the likeliness for your car to actually break down

Car Warranty Exclusions

Unless you take out car warranty that specifically caters to sports or specialist vehicles‚ then most insurers will exclude you from their policies. Vehicles which are commonly exempt from the majority or car warranty plans are:

Any vehicles over 3500cc‚ AC‚ Alfa Romeo GTA models‚ Aston Martin‚ Bentley‚ BMW M–Series‚ Bristol‚ Bugatti‚ Caterham‚ Daimler‚ Ferrari‚ Invicta‚ Jeep‚ Jensen‚ Lamborghini‚ Lancia‚ Lister‚ Lotus‚ Marcos‚ Maserati‚ Maybach‚ Microcar‚ Nissan Skyline‚ Noble‚ Pagani‚ Porsche 911 –Royce‚ TVR‚ Westfield‚ Yugo‚ North American vehicles‚ Motorhomes‚ Grey Imports‚ kit cars‚ all private hire vehicles and all commercial vehicles including car–derived vans.