Many people suspect that all car warranties are the same, so you might as well just find the warranty company offering the least expensive product and opt for that. In reality, finding the best car warranty provider is not as simple as this - nor is tracking down the best warranty.
The kind of warranty you want to acquire will depend on a number of factors, such as how old your vehicle is and its make and model, not to mention the level of cover you’re looking for.
In order to find the best warranty provider for you and your chosen vehicle, you’ll need to take into consideration how much you can afford to pay and just what standard of protection you are looking to purchase.
The prime objective of getting a warranty is to give you peace of mind, knowing that if the unfortunate should occur and an electrical or mechanical part in your vehicle should fail, you’ll be prepared with a plan in place to help cover your costs. While modern cars are designed and made to be highly reliable, when something goes wrong with them, they can often cost far more to fix. UK repairers can charge between £80 to £200 per hour and this is just for labour, so it excludes the cost of any parts that need replacing.
Not many car owners have funds available for massive repair bills that come out of the blue, but a warranty can help you cope with unexpected costs. The point of the warranty is to stop you from worrying, so make sure you’re happy with the level of cover you’re receiving. Do your research, always read the small print in your warranty plan, and double check all the details and exclusions before you commit to buying.
Which is the best car warranty company?
There is plenty of choice when it comes to warranty companies in the UK. When you’re looking to buy any product, the best way to make a decision on where and what to purchase is to do your research, and choosing a warranty company is no different.
Search online and find a list of as many warranty providers as you can, or you can narrow your list by looking at top-rated ones only. Compare what each of them is offering in terms of protection and read as many customer reviews as possible to see what kind of feedback the providers receive.
The question in your mind should always be not which is the best warranty company, but which is the best warranty company for you and the specific vehicle you’re looking to cover.
If, for example, you’re looking to protect an older car of more than 10 years, you may need a more specialised warranty provider who can offer this protection. Find a provider who offers cover for your individual circumstances.
When selecting a warranty company, always read the warranty plan, which is typically available to view through the website of the provider. Examine exactly what is and isn’t covered and don’t sign anything until you’re fully satisfied it’s the right kind of cover for your needs.
Some specialist services will offer you not just warranties, but also access to a select group of lenders and lists of approved dealerships and sellers all on the same site. Being able to find everything you require like this can be an efficient and effective way to get all the answers you need without having to waste time shopping around.
What is covered under a car warranty?
If your car’s been serviced and no faults are found, you’ll be covered from the first day of your warranty for electrical or mechanical parts suffering unexpected failure requiring replacement or simply repair.
Exactly what is covered under a car warranty may vary from plan to plan. Warranty companies often offer various levels of plan that take into account different car owners’ circumstances, ranging from their individual budget for a warranty, to how old the vehicle they need to cover is.
Regular servicing is an important part of owning a car and the responsibility of its registered keeper and driver. If the repairer assesses that any damage to a part of your vehicle is due to driver neglect and a lack of proper servicing, you won’t be covered by your warranty for the failure.
Your warranty can also be supplemented by additions covering other specific parts of your car. Additional cover is readily available for warranty customers to protect components such as air bags, air conditioning and multimedia systems on board your vehicle.
You can also get additional cover for failing an MOT. This extra protection is designed to cover the cost of any parts that failed the DVSA test, as well as a retest when it needs to be carried out. Emission failure identified during an MOT can also be covered as an extra.
If your car breaks down and leaves you stranded, your warranty may provide roadside assistance. If you’re away from home when the breakdown occurs, your warranty may also provide you with hotel accommodation as and when necessary. While your car is undergoing repairs at the garage, your policy might also give you up to a set amount per day over a defined period of time to pay for a hire car costs.
A quality warranty company should allow you an unlimited number of repairs and the choice to select your labour rate, and exactly which registered repairer you want to use. An example of when this is helpful is when you’d like to use a garage nearby your home, or one where you’re comfortable with the mechanics. No funds towards repairs should be requested from you towards the repairs after the work has been fully assessed, unless you’ve specifically stated your intention to pay something towards the cost.
Remember that a warranty can’t cover absolutely everything. General wear and tear is not covered by car warranties and parts that fail due to old age can’t be protected against. Essential fluids like engine oil that need to be changed will not be covered by a car warranty, nor will parts like tyres which naturally experience day-to-day wear and tear. Read through any lists of exclusions in your warranty to avoid disappointment and ensure you are prepared with the knowledge of what your car is covered for.
Always consult your individual warranty plan to discover exactly what is covered by the protection you purchase. If you don’t have a copy of your plan, a reliable warranty provider will enable you to download a copy from its website.
How to compare a car warranty
You can compare available warranties by looking at different providers and analysing what they offer. Look at how much they charge for different levels of service to see which one is offering the cover that suits you best.
The two most common kinds of vehicle warranty are MBI (mechanical breakdown insurance) and service and repair plans. Providers of MBI are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which means that if you have a complaint about your warranty, you can turn to the Financial Ombudsman with your grievance. Service and repair plans, on the other hand, aren’t regulated so you won’t have this option, but you may get help from the Motor Ombudsman.
Depending on your needs, you can compare warranty by new or used cars. Some providers specialise in used car warranties and may offer a better deal.
Read up on different warranty providers and select between companies that offer repairs through networks of garages or repairs from franchised dealers.
Compare when your cover will start and exactly what parts and labour costs will be covered. Your policy should always protect you from the day you sign. Study what repairs will be protected against and whether you’ll be asked to pay additional money towards any necessary repairs.
In the event that your vehicle breaks down, compare how different providers will help and what level of assistance they will give. For example, will accommodation be provided if necessary, and how much will be afforded to you in expenses for a hire car while your vehicle is in the garage undergoing repairs?
Compare whether you’ll be able to choose your labour rate and where the work on your car is carried out when repairs to a failed electric or mechanical part are deemed necessary.
If your car is an older model, compare different warranty providers to find which ones will consider a car with more miles on the clock.
Always check your warranty provider’s terms and conditions and make sure you’re wholly satisfied with the level of cover provided before committing to a purchase.
At Car.co.uk, we’re constantly refining our resources to collate as much information on car warranties together online in one place so car owners can have easy access to the answers they require. This convenient solution for customers allows them to easily compare what’s available on the market without having to jump around the web to do this.