Understanding Car Warranties

Having a car is all fun and games until something goes wrong and you have a pricey repair bill to pay – but that’s where having a car warranty can help. If you have a car, you’ve probably come across car warranties before but may not know exactly what it is or why you might need it. That’s why, here at Dial Direct, we’ve put together a useful guide to help you fully understand car warranties.

What is a car warranty?

A car warranty is a type of insurance policy that covers the cost of repairing your car if any parts break down. It helps to protect you from an unexpected repair bill for mechanical breakdown – and some policies even cover wear and tear too!

Car warranties can last anywhere between one month and seven years, but it all depends on the type of warranty you have, what it’s for and who is providing it.

What does a car warranty cover?

A car warranty covers the cost of parts and labour if your car suffers a mechanical or electrical failure. However, it doesn’t cover items like tyres or batteries. It also doesn’t cost the repair costs for accidental damage, loss or theft as this will be covered by your car insurance policy.

Are there different types of car warranties?

The type of car warranty you have will depend on the type of car you have. There are different warranties for new cars and used cars with levels of protection for each.

If you have a new car…

Warranties for new cars are sometimes known as manufacturers’ warranties as they are included by default with your new car. Most new car warranties will last up to 3 years, with some lasting longer – Kia offers a 7-year warranty, for example.

Some warranties will come with a couple of rules you’ll have to follow to make sure it stays valid. This usually includes servicing your car on time and at a reputable dealer, but it’s worth checking the terms of your individual warranty.

Once your warranty ends, there may be the option to extend it with your manufacturer or you could shop around and get another warranty with a third-party provider.

If you have a used car…

Used car warranties are the main type of warranty that people look for on the market, but some garages also include a warranty when selling used cars.

This type of warranty both differs in cost and level of protection offered. The cost of the warranty will depend on the type of car and how expensive the component parts are to repair. Whereas the level of protection is usually linked to how expensive it is – the cheaper it is, the less protection it offers. But it’s worth shopping around to get a feel for what’s available.

Why do I need a car warranty?

Unlike car insurance, you don’t need a car warranty by law. But they certainly come in handy! If you were suddenly met with a repair bill, you would wish you had a warranty. It can help give you peace of mind if your car suffers an electrical or mechanical breakdown.

If you’re unsure if it’s worth the money, you could check how much you usually spend on car repairs in a year and see if it’s worthwhile taking out a warranty policy.

Do I still need car insurance?

Simple answer: yes. Having car insurance is a necessity by law and driving without insurance is illegal. On top of that, your car insurance and a car warranty protect different things. Your insurance protects you if your vehicle damages someone else’s vehicle or property, whereas the warranty protects you when your car parts fail.