Understanding car warranties
A car warranty, or mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI), will protect you from unexpected repair bills in case your car experiences a mechanical breakdown or electrical failure. Some warranties will also cover wear and tear.
The type of car warranty depends largely on whether you have a new or used car, and might even be included when you purchase your vehicle.
How does a car warranty work?
Should your car develop mechanical issues that require fixing, the cost of repairs at a garage can be an unexpected financial blow. A car warranty policy can protect you from this.
As different policies cover different things, it’s crucial that you read the terms and conditions of your warranty so that you know exactly what protection it offers you. You should also check the claims limit, as this is the most the insurer will pay for repairs if you make a claim.
A good comprehensive warranty will cover problems that arise with the:
Brake system parts
Car warranty exclusions
However, a car warranty might not cover everything. For example, wear and tear is generally not included, though with some policies you can pay extra for certain wear and tear problems to be covered too. Wear and tear could include batteries, wheels and tyres, exhausts and brakes.
Equally, not all policies cover the car’s air-conditioning system, while sat-navs, modifications and your radio may also be excluded. If you use your car for transit or as a taxi, this won’t be covered either.
New car warranty
If you’ve only just bought a new car, worrying about how to pay for repairs is probably the last thing on your mind.
Fortunately, cars today are much more reliable than they have been previously and if you are lucky you could go months or even years without running into any problems with your car. Plus, there’s a good chance that a brand new car will have a manufacturer’s warranty lasting a number of years.
Should you choose to buy second hand through a dealership, you might also find that the car comes with a warranty, or you’ll be offered one as part of the sales process.
Do I really need a car warranty?
Modern cars are increasingly sophisticated and complex, which can make repairs pricey and complicated. Losing access to your vehicle will cause major inconvenience and even more expense. Indeed, many motorists would struggle to continue their regular lives without the use of a vehicle.
Some drivers choose to protect themselves from the stress of not being able to afford repairs or be without a car by taking out car warranty insurance. The cover can give you peace of mind, reassuring you that if you need to send your car to the garage, an unexpected repair bill can be avoided.
Check how much repairs to your car could cost with Click Mechanic.
Buying a warranty from a stand-alone provider
When you buy a new car, the warranty from the manufacturer is generally included in the price. If you buy second hand through a dealership, the car may also come with a warranty.
It’s also possible to buy a car warranty at any time through a specialist warranty provider. You can attach this warranty to a used car that you have bought privately, or to improve and extend the cover offered by the existing manufacturer or dealer’s warranty.
It’s a good idea to do some research before signing up to the warranty offered by your dealer, to compare whether you can get a better deal by buying directly from a specialist provider. You may save money if you purchase your cover from a stand-alone car warranty provider.
Warranty Direct is the industry's leading provider of direct consumer warranties. We are authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Wear & tear, consequential damage and failure of insured parts found at servicing or MOT covered as standard.
The only FSCS Protected Insured car warranty with day 1 cover, even for wear & tear, failure of insured parts at MOT/Service, any choice of cover for cars up to 12yrs/150,000m. Partial service history prior to inception no problem, see "COVER AT GLANCE" for accurate information so you can make an informed decision if cover meets your needs. Click4Warranty is FCA Authorised & Regulated
Manufacturer equivalent warranty protection - includes sudden or wear & tear related failures from day 1. Repair costs covered up to the value of the vehicle including parts, labour and diagnostics. Protection includes failures found at MOT or service, consequential damage and overheating. Accredited by The Motor Ombudsman and approved by Trading Standards (CTSI). As seen on TV - recommended by the Telegraph, Parkers & Honest John.
Car warranty details
- Warranties can run from one month to as long as five years, though many motorists just opt for a 12-month policy. This way, the warranty can be renewed each year alongside the traditional car insurance.
- The price of a car warranty varies depending on a number of factors including the make, model and age of the car, how many miles it has done, and the driver’s details.
- If buying a warranty on a used car, providers will generally stipulate that the vehicle needs to have been serviced within the last 12 months.
- When the warranty is in place, drivers must adhere to the service intervals recommended by the manufacturer.
Comparing car warranties
When you’re looking for car warranty insurance, we want to give you as much choice as possible, so you can find the best company for you. We can’t promise to show you every single insurer, because some don’t want to be included on comparison websites.
To help give you quick and easy access to competitive warranty deals, MoneySuperMarket has teamed up with Warranty direct, Click4Warranty and Motoreasy, three of the UK’s leading providers of new and used car warranties. You can find out more about how MoneySuperMarket works here.