Monday 19 March 2018

Get cover: what you should look for in a car warranty

Not all warranty policies offer the same protection - so you need to read the small print, writes Suzanne Keane

Most warranties cover a certain period of time following purchase
Most warranties cover a certain period of time following purchase

A car warranty is supposed to offer peace of mind and protect you from hefty repair bills.

There are, of course, conditions, so before your car starts to fall apart you need to aware of what exactly is covered under warranty and, more significantly, what is not.

Most warranties cover a certain period of time following purchase and many can be transferred to new owners when the car is sold on - so even if you're buying a nearly new car, it should come with some remaining warranty period. This warranty will allow for the cost of parts and labour on any mechanical and electrical components.

Paint and bodywork will generally have a longer warranty than the car's mechanical components in order to cover any corrosion issues.

It's also important to look at any mileage restrictions. If you cover high mileage each year, your warranty may not last as long as you'd think.

Certain manufacturers can offer an extended warranty at extra cost when you first purchase a car.

Depending on the price, this can be a worthwhile extra - but again, it's important to check the small print to see what's covered. Wear and tear items such as tyres, brake pads, wiper blades and bulbs will usually not be covered.

You'll also need to have the car serviced regularly with an authorised dealer, as going elsewhere or using non-genuine parts can invalidate your warranty, as can unauthorised modifications or the use of unapproved accessories.

Most manufacturers here offer a three-year 100,000km warranty, although there is a trend towards providing a five-year 100,000km warranty.

If you don't cover huge mileage, Mitsubishi offers an eight-year warranty (on non-electric vehicles) with a 150,000km limit.

Renault's five-year warranty has a 200,000km limit and some SsanYong models come with a five-year unlimited warranty.

If you're in it for the long haul, Mercedes offers 30 years roadside assistance and anti-perforation warranty provided your car is maintained according to its instructions at one of its approved service centres.

Always stick to the car's servicing schedule and ensure that the service book is stamped every time. Also, keeping your car in good condition between services will improve your case for a successful claim if something does go wrong, but if it can be shown that the defect occurred through your negligence, the repair won't be covered.

Even if the original warranty period on your vehicle has expired, it's important to remember that genuine parts fitted by a main dealer come with their own warranty and should be replaced free of charge if they are proven to be defective during this period.

Warranties also extend to used cars, so if you are buying from a reputable dealer a short warranty period (of three or six months) should be available.

Suzanne Keane writes The Garage - a weekly column on - where she offers advice and tips on car maintenance and ownership

Sunday Independent

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