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Car warranties

Everything you need to know about car warranties

A car is a piece of machinery and, as such, is prone to faults and breakdowns. Purchasing a warranty is a hassle-free way of protecting yourself from unforeseen failures that could otherwise cost a fortune.

If you suffer from a mechanical or electrical failure, a warranty will cover the costs of repair and replacement parts. That means you enjoy confidence behind the wheel all year round, secure in the knowledge that any surprise bills will be paid by the company that issues your warranty.

What your warranty covers

Most car warranties cover major mechanical components including: the engine, fuel and ignition systems, cooling system, electrical system, gearbox, transmission system, clutch, steering system, suspension and brakes. You may also qualify for advanced protection that covers all the parts of your car and the labour required to fit them. As with your annual MOTs and services, it is best to book repairs with an approved dealer to ensure you get genuine parts and expert advice from qualified technicians.

Breakdown recovery is typically included in a warranty, too. Check the fine print to learn exactly when breakdown is covered and what circumstances, if any, would invalidate the policy. When you sign up for a warranty, you should have a cooling off period allowing you to change your mind before a pre-agreed deadline. That way, if you quickly decide that the cover isn't what you need, you can change it without any hassle.

Follow the rules to reap the benefits

All warranties are different, but as a general rule you can expect more comprehensive cover with a higher premium. Some warranties may only cover you for the first £500 per claim, for instance.

There are also a few rules you should follow to ensure you get the full pay out you expect:

  • In most cases, you must have an approved dealer service the car to the manufacturer's schedule – typically once a year or every 10,000 miles.
  • You must keep full service records to validate your warranty – every claim must be accompanied by the original paperwork.
  • All new parts must be genuine, and any non-standard parts may be banned from use under the warranty terms.
  • Misuse, neglect or pre-existing mechanical or electrical faults may nullify your warranty. You must give an accurate report of your car's current condition when signing up.

Our financial advisors can help you choose the best warranty for your new or used car. We abide by the guidelines outlined by the Association of British Insurers, and meet the requirements of an approved dealership for all your car servicing needs.