Unless you buy a brand-new car, you run the risk of having a vehicle that does not have a warranty. This is especially true for private sales. there is little doubt that used cars are the way forward for many of us. Aftermarket warranties were invented for just this reason. They can be purchased independently of the vehicle, or through a dealer if you buy your second-hand car from a garage. So, what are they, what do they offer and are they worth the money?

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gray car on road over sunny day

An Insurance Policy 

Like many other products we have in life, a warranty is a form of insurance policy. It helps you mitigate the risk of mechanical issues that could potentially be expensive. You may have a warranty and never make a claim from the day you buy the car to the day you sell it. That said it is about weighing up your risk. Generally, the consensus is that they are often worthwhile and a good idea. So, here is what you need to know.

Dealership Warranties

If you purchase a used car from a dealer you will almost certainly be offered a warranty. In some cases that is going to be the best bet. Main dealers tend to offer an Approved Used warranty for their vehicles. For example a Ford dealer will offer this on Fords. If they happen to have taken in a VW in part exchange, this will be on a standard aftermarket warranty which might not be quite as comprehensive. Primary dealers will usually include genuine parts. If that is important, this would be the best way to purchase your car. Independent dealers may not be offering anything as good and will often accept non-branded parts if that is cheaper when making repairs. 

Aftermarket Warranties

So, as well as independent dealers offering aftermarket warranties, you will be able to purchase these as a single customer from many different companies. This is where internet searches and comparison tools can come in handy. Some warranties only cover mechanical breakdown; others include electrical cover; none include things like tyres, etc. 

Extended Warranties 

A three-year warranty was standard from most manufacturers, that is three years or 60,000 miles whichever comes first. However, in the last few years, many have started offering extended five years (or 100,000 miles) warranties. Hyundai, for example, provides a transferable five years. This means if you purchase the vehicle when it is three years old, the remaining period will be transferred to you. 

Should I Have a Warranty?

The cost of a warranty can vary from £100-£500 a year. Obviously the comprehensiveness of the policy changes with the price. If you are purchasing a second-hand car with £1000 or less, then it wouldn’t be considered a particularly good use of funds. You may struggle to get any company to provide a warranty if the car is over ten years old. Equally, if it has more than 100,000 miles on the clock.

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