Should you buy a Car Warranty?

Should you buy a car warranty?
Should you buy a car warranty?

Buy anything these days and you are hard sold a warranty or extended warranty. You might be told that driving around without a warranty in place is a huge risk and one which motorist should avoid at all costs. It might seem that buying an extended warranty is unnecessary and simply adds to your motoring costs. However, you could find that it could end up saving you a fortune while also providing important peace of mind.

New cars can be surprisingly unreliable and repairing them can cost a fortune. So you should not discount a warranty, think about the pros and cons before you say no and if it makes sense get one.

Warranties Defined

So, what exactly is a warranty? This is a type of cover which will pay for parts and labour if you encounter any electrical or mechanical breakdown. These can occur out of the blue at any moment in a car’s lifetime and can be expensive particularly with newer cars that have complex technology.

Manufacturer & Extended Warranties

When a car is purchased new it will be covered by a manufacturer warranty which usually lasts 3 years or 36,000 miles (although it can be longer/further). This will see the manufacturer cover the cost of parts and labour if you breakdown.

Once the warranty period expires you will have no cover and you will have to pay for all parts and labour. You could opt to drive without a warranty as they are not a legal requirement like car insurance, but it could make sense to take out an extended warranty to cover you after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.

You don’t have to buy the extension from the manufacturer either. There are now plenty of companies that specialise in offering car warranties (such as Warrantywise).

Car Reliability Survey 2019

What Car review information about the amount of time and money it cost people to fix their new cars (less than 5 years old). This covered 18,000 vehicles, spanning 31 brands and 218 models to give each a reliability rating. They found that only half of these costs were covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

They found that the most unreliable brands were Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Vauxhall, Nissan, Jeep, Renault and Land Rover. However particular car models, even from otherwise reliable brands, can still be problematic.

For cars less than 5 years old these were the least reliable models;

  1. BMW: 1 Series diesel
  2. Ford: Edge, Focus  
  3. Hyundai: Santa Fe
  4. Jaguar: XE diesel, XF
  5. Jeep: Renegade
  6. Land Rover: Discovery Sport, Discovery
  7. Mazda: CX-5 diesel
  8. Mercedes-Benz: C-Class Coupé, C-Class
  9. Nissan: Qashqai diesel, Nissan Qashqai petrol, X-Trail, Pulsar, Note
  10. Peugeot: 208, 308
  11. Range Rover: Evoque, Velar, Range Rover
  12. Renault: Kadjar, Zoe
  13. Seat: Ibiza
  14. Vauxhall: Astra diesel, Insignia
  15. Volkswagen: T-Roc
  16. Volvo: XC90

You can find some information on unreliable used cars here.

Finding Cover

Much like insurance, warranties can differ greatly so you should always buy from a specialist and be sure to read the small print to make sure that there are no surprise exclusions. Some warranties only cover a set list of items on your vehicle which is not good value for money when there are so many different parts in modern-day cars. You can usually find the best deals when you buy from a specialist.

Why You Need Cover

As mentioned, you do not have to take out an extended warranty but it is a smart financial move to make. Cars can be incredibly expensive to repair and you will not want to foot a bill which could set you back thousands of pounds when you could have bought a warranty for only £19 per month. Having the vehicle breakdown can be frustrating enough let alone if you then have to spend a fortune getting it repaired!

It’s also worth knowing that many extended warranties will cover various expenses too, such as roadside assistance and recovery, replacement vehicle hire and overnight hotel expenses/onward travel.

Having a warranty in place can be an intelligent move as is can save you a fortune. It is another expense so you do need to balance the benefits against the cost. Electrical or mechanical breakdowns can occur at any given moment whether you drive a brand new car or an older vehicle. Extended warranties provide peace of mind as there is protection in place in case you were to encounter any issues on the roads.