Extended warranties can give you added peace of mind that if there’s a mechanical or electrical fault with your car, you won’t be left out of pocket. However, you will have to pay for this extra reassurance - and the prices of extended car warranties differ depending on a range of factors.
The factors that can impact on how much you pay include:
- make and model of the car
- age and mileage of the car
- whether or not you have a full service history and all the appropriate documentation
- driving details, such as expected usage and annual mileage
- whether you are paying a one-off sum or in monthly instalments
- the level of your excess - some providers allow you to choose higher or lower excess charges and this will impact the cost of your warranty
A rough guide
As a general indication of cost, these figures represent an average of the kind of deals readily available through the most popular warranty providers.
For a small car like a Ford Fiesta or a Toyota Aygo, you might expect to pay as little as £165 for basic cover on a car that's three years old and has done 30,000 miles, rising to around £500 for a premium policy.
For a medium sized car like a Vauxhall Astra or a Nissan Qashqai, the figures would be a little higher, with basic cover costing around £180 rising to just over £600 for the most comprehensive cover.
For basic cover on a BMW 3 Series, expect to pay about £210, and this rises to around £630 for the premium warranty cover.
How do I find the best deal?
If you're buying a pre-owned car from a dealer, it is more than likely that you will be offered a warranty deal through them. These are often competitively priced and can be a really good option, although it's always worth comparing the offer with other providers. As a general rule, the larger the dealership, the better placed they are to negotiate good deals for their customers.
If you are buying privately, you'll need to do your homework and compare warranties from a range of providers. Good advice to follow might be:
- use an online car warranty comparison website to get a feel for the market
- consult independent experts like the AA, RAC and Which?
- make sure you look carefully at the warranty package details - are you sure you're comparing like with like in terms of levels of cover?
- look at the 'extras' like breakdown cover and car hire allowances
- think about whether you need to be covered abroad - the best providers offer European cover as standard
- look very carefully at what is and isn't covered, taking particular care with words like 'betterment' and 'consequential damage'
- be prepared to ask plenty of questions - a phone call can make all the difference
- read customer reviews
In the end, buying a car warranty is like any other purchase in that what’s best for you is the product that meets your personal needs. If you're planning lots of driving trips abroad, European breakdown cover might be your priority, or if you are on a tight budget, you might feel that overall cost is your driving factor. If you are prepared to put a little time into doing the research, there are some great deals out there.