Keep your car running for longer, for less

Recently whilst looking at a change of car, I stumbled upon a lot of conflicting information relating to car warranty schemes, and extended car warranties, after hours of research I decided what was right for me, but I realised it is a seriously confusing market, and knowing what is what can take you a lot of time.

I was specifically looking for an extended car warranty, the car I was looking at did not have any manufacturer warranty left on it, but if you’re looking for any type of car warranty, you should check the following first:

– How old is the car, does it have any existing manufacturers warranty left on it?
– What extras does your car have? The reason for this will become apparent later in this article.

What is a Manufactuers warranty? – A manufacturers warranty is usually provided with a new car sale, that is – a brand new car, the manufacturer will repair and replace any problem parts, or other issues with your vehicle whilst it’s under warranty (the warranty generally does not include wear and tear items such as tyres, brakes, and other service items, unless explicitly stated). The issue with a manufacturers warranty is, however, that it lasts just long enough that not a lot will go wrong, they usually last from 3 to 5 years, and it’s generally around the 5 – 6 year mark when problems start to arise, so unless there is a manufacturing defect, you won’t generally need to call on your manufacuters warranty all that often.

Some people may say this is dishonest, however, it’s actually what the warranty is supposed to do, it protects you against any unforseen faults during manufacturing, or any part breaking down in an unreasonable amount of time – not to cover items which will break after a large amount of use.

This is where an extended warranty would come into play, the purpose of an extended warranty is to cover items beyond the manufacturers warranty, meaning you have a lot less to worry about in terms of expensive repair bills. With today’s modern cars, come modern features, and with modern features you get large repair bills if something goes wrong, so have a think about your particular car, and what it has, and ensure it is covered by any extended warranty you may take out.

The types of features we’re talking about here aren’t something that are on every car, but are generally optional extras on most models, things such as;

– Satellite Navigation
– Reversing camera/reverse sensors
– collision avoidance
– adaptive cruise control
– Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
– Turbocharger / Supercharger
– Four wheel drive system
– Multi fuel/Hybrid system

All of these can be expensive to repair in the event of a fault, so it’s important that you ensure all of your extras are covered. Some warranties will cover the full cost of repair, whilst others will cover part of the repair cost, with you needing to make up the difference, both of these can have their uses, it’s up to you to decide which you require.

Once you’re ready to start shopping around, make a list of companies you contact, and save the following information;

– The price you were quoted
– What you get for your money

Some companies will include breakdown cover, rental/courtesy car whilst your car is in for repair, puncture/tyre damage repair, insurance for things like missed flights etc due to breakdown. Whilst some of these may be useful to you, others may not – make sure you get what you need, without paying extra for things you don’t

For most of us, the most important factors are going to be breakdown cover, and of course a courtesy car – being left without a car can be a huge inconvenience, courtesy car cover will take care of this.

Whilst cost is often the main deciding factor when picking a company to supply a car warranty, it should not be the ONLY deciding factor, because as with most things, often you get what you pay for, if a company is cheaper than everyone else by a massive margin, there’s probably a reason for that, whether they don’t cover full repair costs, or limit the amount of claims you can make, or something else entirely, it’s important to find out if there’s a catch BEFORE you buy, not after.

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