While there is no legal requirement to have a warranty on a used car, for many motorists, the reassurance that comes with knowing they are protected from the financial shock of unexpected repair bills represents a good investment and, in the long run, value for money.
What are the benefits of a used car warranty?
You may be one of the lucky drivers who never experiences a problem and whose car runs like clockwork for years and years, but the statistics on car breakdowns and parts failures suggest that even the most reliable makes and models can develop faults as they age. Some of the reasons why a warranty may be a good idea include:
- cars have become much more sophisticated and complex, and consequently more expensive to repair
- many parts now come as sealed units that require full replacement in the event of a problem - again, a costly affair if you're not covered by a warranty
- the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you are covered for failures of major parts like your clutch, brakes or exhaust
- you either make a one-off annual payment or pay monthly so can control your financial outlay and budget accordingly
- many warranties come with extras like breakdown cover, car hire allowance and cover while driving abroad
- repairs are carried out by specialist engineers with certified and approved parts
- if you break down, it's always reassuring to know you can readily access the support you need
Isn't it simpler to just put aside a set amount for potential repair bills?
You might think that setting aside an annual sum to cover repairs is easier than taking out a warranty, not least because if your car doesn't break down, you save that amount. If, however, you end up facing a large repair bill which totals more than a warranty would have, then you're going to be out of pocket. Added to that is the stress and inconvenience of finding a garage to complete your repairs, negotiating a price and possibly having the additional cost of car hire whilst your vehicle is out of action.
The benefits of a used car warranty are more than simply financial. Like all insurance policies, you are also buying expert help when you need it and reassurance that you won't be thrown into a crisis if your car lets you down.
How much should I pay for a used car warranty?
If you've answered the 'do I need a used car warranty?' question with a yes, then the next step is to think about price. You can get basic cover for an average small car from as little as £150 for three years of protection, but more comprehensive cover is likely to rise to somewhere between £300 and £550.
Some tips for getting the best warranty deal are:
- do your research online to make sure you’re getting the best value for money cover for your vehicle and your specific requirements
- look carefully at the warranty package details to ensure you are comparing like with like in terms of levels of cover
- check out the 'extras' like breakdown cover and car hire allowances
- consider 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
- be ready to ask plenty of questions - a phone call can make all the difference
- read customer reviews
You don’t have to get a warranty for your used car, but doing so can give you added reassurance when you’re using your vehicle. And, if you follow the guidance provided above, you should find good value cover that matches your individual requirements.