Car Warranties – How Long is Long Enough?

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Car Warranties
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Car Warranties

Buying a car represents one of life’s most significant purchases. Given the financial outlay and sacrifice involved in acquiring a vehicle, new owners are desperate to protect their investment.

All brand new cars come with a warranty to protect the mechanical aspects of the vehicle for a specified period of time. However, the condition of car aesthetics and bodywork are the responsibility of the owner – from driving with extra care to religious hand-washing, owners often look after their car best in the months immediately after purchase.

However, what happens when a vehicle warranty expires? The end of a warranty comes as an unwelcome surprise – the ‘honeymoon period’ is over, and the responsibility for mechanical faults is transferred from the car dealership or warranty provider to the vehicle owner.

What are the Implications of an Expired Car Warranty?

1) Uncertainty:

Cars are complex machines; the variety of driving conditions and styles to which they are exposed can affect the longevity of different components. And ultimately, unexpected mechanical failure can occur at any time. You may be lucky with a relatively inexpensive repair, but what if you aren’t so fortunate? Expensive repairs can (and will) come without warning and leave you struggling to foot the bill.

2) Lower Quality Repairs:

Now that you have to pay for repairs yourself, you may be inclined to avoid dealership costs and go to a less expensive garage instead. This can represent a good, cost-effective way of looking after your car. However, warranties often cover a vehicle for repair at a manufacturer-approved garage. This means identical replacement parts will be used, improving both the longevity and resale value of the car.

3) Used Vehicles:

Buying a quality used vehicle often represents very good value for money. However, doing so without a warranty leaves buyers in a vulnerable position should a major fault occur; breakdowns and general mechanical/electrical faults are much more likely to occur in a used vehicle.

How Long Should Your Car Warranty Last?

Although the majority of vehicle manufacturers offer a standard warranty of 3 years (or up to 60,000 miles), some offer 5 or even 7 years. Dealerships are keen to cash-in on relatively expensive extended warranties, but these often fail to represent good value for money.

Ultimately, dealership warranties cover the period in which your car is least likely to develop a fault. Therefore, it makes sense to extend your vehicle warranty for as long as you are able to. Good value car warranties give you the peace of mind that your vehicle is covered in the event of a mechanical or electrical failure – peace of mind which leads to a happier driving experience!

Have you ever broken down just outside your warranty period? Tell us your story below!

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