Buying Advice - Cars: Buying a Car Warranty

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Glossary

Buying a Car Warranty


When you buy a used car, you hope that you will have many trouble-free miles of motoring. However modern cars are complicated pieces of machinery and there are potentially many things that can go wrong with your vehicle, sometimes leaving you with a hefty bill to pay.

A car warranty is designed to pay out if you suffer an unforeseen failure. If your car breaks down due to mechanical or electrical failure or suffers failure of parts covered by the policy, the warranty will cover the costs of replacement parts and labour.

That means that you can continue to drive your car secure in the knowledge that any bills will be paid for by the car warranty company.

Standard car warranties will cover major mechanical components: engine, fuel and ignition systems, cooling system, electrical system, gearbox, clutch, transmission system, steering, suspension and brakes. However, there are a number of warranties that offer advanced protection. Our preferred car warranty partner, Warrantywise, have cover levels that include cover for all mechanical and all electrical parts of your car as well as the labour to fit them, even if that is performed by the main dealer!

Most warranties include a form of breakdown recovery due to a covered part failing. Always check the small print - find out exactly what is covered and what is excluded, and what circumstances invalidate the policy. Make sure there is a cooling off period to change your mind, but that it doesn't affect your right to claim.

All warranties are different, so take care to find a policy that works for you, some cheaper car warranties won't cover you for more than £500 so beware. Most warranties are only valid if an approved dealer has serviced the car to the manufacturer's schedule, and you usually have to service the car within 1,000 miles or 30 days of the scheduled service.

Service records are needed to maintain warranty terms. In the event of a claim, the original paperwork will need to be produced.

You will need to make sure how you use your vehicle does not invalidate your insurance e.g. driving school vehicles may be excluded. Also fitting of non-standard parts may be banned.

Other exclusions include misuse, neglect, and faults subject to recall. Pre-existing mechanical or electrical faults are also excluded. So there is little point signing up for a warranty if you suspect your car is about to break down!

The Association of British Insurers lays down guidelines on how companies sell warranties. Whoever you buy your warranty from, make sure they abide to the ABI code.

Visit the ABI at abi.org.uk

The Warrantywise warranty has been designed by the motoring journalist and consumer champion, Quentin Willson, and offers the UK's highest level of car warranty protection. You can get a quote from them by clicking this link: http://www.warrantywise.co.uk/em

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