Imagine you find yourself broken down on the side of the road, perhaps on your way home from work, or off for a family day out. You don’t know what’s wrong with your car, but you do know you’re going to face a large bill once your car finally get to the garage.
While general maintenance can help prolong the lifespan of your car, it’s inevitable that things will go wrong. This is why so many drivers are interested in getting themselves a warranty.
With a warranty by your side, you don’t have to worry about breakdown costs, and you can be back on the road in no time – and no cost – at all.
Not sure what the best car warranty uk is or what it can do for you? Don’t worry; everything you need to know and compare car warranty policies is right here in our definitive guide.
Table of Contents
What is a car warranty?
Let’s start with the basics; a car warranty insurance policy, what can sometimes be known as mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI), is a policy that’s set up to ensure you don’t have the financial burdens to worry about in the event that your car breaks down.
For example, let’s say you’re heading home from a friend’s house after a Christmas party in the middle of the night and, lo and behold, the car breaks down and you’re left stuck out in the middle of nowhere. What do you do next?
Sure, you can phone out for breakdown cover services to come and find you, but you’ve just bought the car, and you’re going to need to pay for parts, labour, and claim on your insurance to get a courtesy car.
However, instead of worrying about all these extra expenses, a car warranty makes things easy and affordable.
It doesn’t matter what the garage finds wrong with your car, your warranty covers the cost. So, if a part of the engine is faulty, the cost of the parts are covered and you don’t have to pay out because you’ve already paid for the warranty.
Now, there are some exceptions to the rule that include:
- Your Sat Nav
- Air conditioning system
- Audio equipment.
For some policies, you may be covered for the general wear and tear your car experiences through regular use, but it all depends on the policy you opt for, so let’s get started.
To begin with, car warranties can be broken down further into two unique categories; used and new.
To many people, a car warranty sounds a lot like breakdown cover, but while there are similarities, there are some key differences. If you break down at the side of the road, breakdown cover will help you get to a garage, or may help with small problems, such as getting parts fixed or changing your battery. However, you will still need to pay for all the parts involved. A car warranty, on the other hand, pays for all the parts for you.
What is the difference between used and new car warranty?
There are two types of car warranty cover: new and used car warranties as explained below.
|Used car warranty||As the title suggests, a used vehicle warranty is a warranty policy you’d take out on a car that isn’t brand new. |
That means any car that isn’t classed as new in terms of manufacturing dates, not new in terms of ownership.
|New car warranty||It’s always worth checking when you get a new car that it doesn’t already come with a warranty from the manufacturer or the dealership, especially since this is a common addition that many companies add in. However, if you don’t get a warranty provided, or the warranty you’re offered isn’t all you thought it would be, it’s well worth looking into getting one, especially one that protects against wear and tear.|
It’s worth noting that there is no second hand car warranty law that says you need a warranty cover on your car. It’s completely up to you and whether you want to save money in the long term.
What are the best used and new car warranties?
While it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with choice when it comes to looking for new and used car warranty policies, this doesn’t have to be the case when everything you need is all in one place.
Explore some of the best car warranty companies available right now using our car warranty comparison table, seeing what they offer, and which one is the best used car warranty uk for you.
|Insurance companies||Average price||Main features||Our opinion|
|£25.89 per month|
|£32.08 per month|
|£32.39 per month|
|£39.14 per month|
|Contact RAC to get a customised quote online|
|Prices start £299 per year|
Those extended car warranty averages are based on an average 1.4 2017 Vauxhall Corsa ECOFLEX. The car warranty prices will change depending on your personal details.
A car extended warranty only covers car repairs and is not, in any manner, a kind of property insurance if you are involved in an accident on the road. You will need to subscribe to a car insurance policy on top of that.
What is covered or not in a car warranty?
As we spoke about before, a car warranty UK exists to help you financially cover the costs of any repairs or damages that could happen to your vehicle. Warranties are strictly for mechanical faults and parts of the car that break down.
Here’s a complete lowdown to what you can expect when you buy car warranty policies for yourself and what’s included, depending on what kind of policy you invest in, such as an extended car warranty UK policy.
|Type of warranty policy||What is covered by a car warranty||What is not covered by a car warranty|
|Second Hand Car Warranty|
|New Car Warranty||Everything is typically covered in a new car policy – apart from traditional wear and tear – even if there’s a built-in sound system|
It’s important to remember that these criteria to what is and isn’t offered will vary dramatically depending on which policy you choose and what they are offering. This is the average information. Also remember that this doesn’t cover you against the damages caused by an accident.
How does a car warranty work and where can I get one?
When you buy a new car, you’ll be given the option to have a manufacturer’s warranty car cover to protect you against anything that can go wrong, typically for a time period covering one to three years.
You can choose to opt for this policy, or you can seek out a better policy from an independent warranty provider.Just like when you buy a new car and they can give you a cheap car warranty on the vehicle, even if you have a used car that’s years old, you can buy a dedicated warranty for it from a specialist provider. There are two ways you can do this.
|Type of car warranty||What’s included||Points worth noting (things to think about)|
|A warranty purchased through standalone provider|
|Extended manufacturer’s warranty|
Very rarely offered unless the car is under five years old
Take a moment to think about what usually happens if something breaks in your car. You need to get it to a garage, it needs to get analyzed and the problem needs to be identified, you then need to wait, get quoted, perhaps get quoted several times to find the right place, pay for parts and labour, and in reality, this is just a huge pain which can have a ripple effect on so many other areas of your life.
Instead, a warranty insurance policy means that if something goes wrong with your car, you can simply call up your warranty provider and get it sorted out quickly and for no extra cost. In fact, for most policies, you’ll only need to pay for parts.
For a new warranty of any other kind, you’ll need to go through a provider. Even if you’re offered a warranty through your dealership, however, you may want to shop around first to make sure there isn’t a specialist provider who can give you a better deal for a better price. It’s always worth checking out.
Is it useful to get a car warranty?
You must know that getting a warranty on any car you buy isn’t compulsory and it’s not a legal requirement, but that doesn’t mean investing in a policy isn’t beneficial.
Whether you get a car warranty for your car or not will depend on a lot of considerations, but it’s something you’ll need to think about if you want to make the investment. This means weighing up the pros and cons to see if it’s right for you.
If you have a cheap affordable car you like to use as a runaround that only costs a few hundred pounds and has basic repairs, or is really old and you don’t think is going to last a long time, getting a warranty probably isn’t worth it.
However, if you have a car that’s worth a lot of money and you plan on having it around for the foreseeable future, it can be a very good idea to cover yourself against the cost of repairs you may find coming your way. If the car is expensive and worth several thousand pounds, maybe even tens of thousands of pounds, the repairs could be very expensive. In this case, a car warranty policy is a very good idea to help you save money and not run into huge unexpected bills.
To summarize, let’s explore the pros and cons of buying a car warranty policy.
|Getting a car warranty policy||Pros||Cons|
|When I buy a new car|
|When I buy a used car|
Should I subscribe to the dealer extended car warranty?
This really depends on what the manufacturer is offering you at the time of renewing your warranty.
One option we’ve spoken about above is the fact that you may not need to invest in a new car warranty from an independent provider but rather have an extended warranty you already have from your manufacturer or dealership. In theory, this sounds like a great idea since you can extend your coverage and ensure you’re continually covered in the case of an emergency.
However, these extended car warranty policies tend to be much more expensive than standalone providers, and many surveys detail that around 55% of all extended policies that have been taken out are never used, not even once. Around a quarter of the people in the same survey said they wouldn’t buy one again.
When you balance these points and instead opt for a standalone provider that’s much more affordable and can offer exactly what you’re after, it becomes a lot more of an attractive investment that can actually benefit you in the long term.
How much is a car warranty going to cost me?
Typically, the average price will sit between the £350 and £700 brackets.
But the price of a car warranty can differ a fair amount since the quotes you’ll receive will depend on a variety of different factors, and will depend on the nature of your insurer and what they’re offering. Some of the aspects an insurer provider will consider include:
- The make and model of your car
- How old your car is
- How much your car is worth
- How you use your car
- How many miles a year you do with the car
As with most things in the modern day, the more you spend, the more you’ll get for your money. While a cheaper policy could be easier on your pocket, you may be restricted in terms of what it has to offer, so you’ll always need to make sure you’re reading before you make a purchase.
Do I have a car warranty when I buy a second hand car ?
While you’ll probably be offered a car insurance warranty on new cars when you buy them, you may be wondering whether you get one when you buy a second-hand car. Now, this all depends on where you get the secondhand car from.
- If you’re buying it from a private seller, whether that’s from someone online, in an auction, or even just from a friend or someone in your town, this won’t come with a warranty, nor really a warranty you can trust with any certainty. In a situation like this, you’re going to want to use an independent car warranty insurance provider.
- If you buy a used car from a dealership, they may offer you a car warranty with your purchase, but you’ll need to check the terms and conditions to see if this is suitable for you. It will also be worth researching other extended warranty for used cars policies to ensure you’re still getting the best deal for the best price.
How to find cheaper car warranty policies?
There’s no denying that car warranty policies may seem a little more expensive than you first thought they would be, and it’s true that they have always been that way. However, if the benefits outweigh the cons and getting yourself a policy is something you’re truly interested in to save you money, there are several things you can do to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Let’s jump straight into them!
- Shop around – Just like with any kind of car insurance policy or warranty cover, you need to make sure you’re shopping around and not just jumping into a contract with the first policy you find and like the look of. Warranty providers run sales and change their prices all the time, so always take your time to look around and see what’s on offer while you’re shopping. The table above details a very clear overview of what you need to look out for when shopping around for a warranty policy that suits you, as well as what providers are out there and what prices they’re offering their policies for!
- Consider the age of your vehicle – The older your vehicle is, the more likely it is to break down and need repairs, and warranty providing companies know this all too well. The older your vehicle, the more expensive your warranty policy is going to be, so bear this in mind when looking for policies or you’re going to buy a car with the intention of adding a warranty policy to cover it.
- Consider the power of your vehicle – The more powerful your vehicle is, the more expensive the parts will be and the more likely your existing parts will be to wear out and need replacing. The smaller cars of the world have much more affordable parts and this detail will be reflected in the price of your premium.
- Consider how many miles you do – If you’re doing a lot of miles in your car, again, the more likely it will be that parts will wear out quicker and will need replacing. When getting a quote for a car warranty, you’re going to be asked how many miles you plan on doing for this exact reason, so think about this and how it will affect your final costs.
- Consider whether it’s worth getting a warranty at all – If you have a really old car that isn’t worth a lot of money, the parts are cheap, and you think you’re probably going to be the last owner, it may be worth saving the money you could be spending on a warranty and not spending it at all. It’s always worth getting a quote to find out what deals you can get, but in some situations, it’s just not worth it.