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  • Cover for when your manufacturer warranty expires
  • Financial protection for used cars from expensive repair costs
  • Car hire, roadside assistance and travel costs covered as standard

How long does a used car warranty last?

When deciding whether or not to take out warranty cover, it’s worth bearing in mind that car warranties pay the cost of repairing defects, and arranging appropriate levels of cover ensures peace of mind. When it comes to buying a warranty for a used car, whether you’ve owned it from new or it has been pre-owned, there are several options.

What you need to consider

If the cost of warranty coverage is putting you off taking out this type of protection, it’s a good idea to think about what you would do if there was a problem with your car that made it unusable. For example, if you use your car to get to work or for other important commitments, it’s worth thinking about how you would manage your travel if you couldn’t afford to pay for repairs to keep it on the road. 

To prevent your life from being disrupted by unexpected repair bills or having to make do without a car, the safest course of action may be to take out a warranty. It then becomes a case of the type of cover that is most suitable and affordable. Choosing a shorter period of cover can ensure it fits your budget.

The different types of cover

New cars benefit from a manufacturer’s policy. The cover typically lasts for 12 months. After that, the owner must decide whether it’s worth extending the cover by taking out a replacement warranty.

The car dealership that sold the car will offer the opportunity to take out a new warranty. That’s the simplest option, but it may not be the cheapest or the most comprehensive in terms of the levels of cover it provides. A good warranty will offer cover that is effectively a continuation of the manufacturer’s warranty.

These days, onboard electronics mean that cars are more complex and trickier to repair. Of course, that means that it’s often expensive to fix faults, so you’ll want to have the reassurance that you can claim back the cost.

However, all warranties are not the same. Although it’s worth considering the terms offered by the dealership, it’s also worth shopping around and comparing what’s available elsewhere, as well as what’s the most appropriate level of cover. By doing that, it will be easier to tailor the cover to ensure that the protection matches your needs.

What the warranty covers

Most companies will offer various levels of cover. These will include factors such as the maximum amount you can claim, the items excluded, and the number of miles you are allowed to drive. So, while the cost of cover is an important consideration, it’s also important to check the terms and conditions of the cover.

Some warranties will only protect against specific faults. The average car has more than 5,000 parts, so it’s worth checking what’s covered and what’s excluded to make sure the most common problems will be repaired. Otherwise, cheaper warranties may not be the great value deals they appear to be. However, older vehicles, or those with higher mileage, may have some restrictions.

What you need to do

It’s important to ensure you keep your car in good condition. A warranty will not pay for any repairs that are needed at the time you take out the cover.

You will also need to be able to prove that you have had the car serviced regularly. You won’t necessarily need to have the full service history but you’ll need to be able to show is that there has been a comprehensive service carried out within the previous 12 months.

Other related FAQs

Looking for more related content to this? We’ve picked a selection of related topics that you may find helpful

For a used car, statutory warranty lasts for three months or 5000 kilometres after purchase - whichever comes first.

The simple answer to this question is that it depends on the car and the dealer. While most of the larger dealerships specialising in used car sales do offer warranties, much smaller operations may not.

If you purchase a used car from a dealer, you have the right to return the car within 30 days and receive a full refund.

When you buy a used car, it may also come with a warranty. If not, it is possible to buy a used car warranty through a specialist provider.

If you drive a second-hand car, you are not legally obliged to take out warranty cover. However, you might appreciate the peace of mind knowing you’re protected if you’re faced with an unexpected repair bill.