Car Reviews & News

Should I take out an extended warranty?

When you buy a new car, it'll come with a factory warranty, which means that if anything goes wrong during the time, the manufacturer will fix it. This is usually for a time between three and seven years, dependent on the car's mileage. But what can you do when that warranty expires?

For a relatively young car, perhaps the most obvious option is to extend the car’s original warranty with the manufacturer, but bear in mind that these often only cover cars up to a certain age or mileage. And, in some cases (particularly if the warranty was long to start with), the option to extend doesn’t even exist. Beyond that, you can consider taking out cover from specialist warranty companies.

As ever, the devil is in the detail, so check the fine print of any policy before you sign up. For instance, the company may offer more than one level of cover, or the level of cover may vary depending on the age and mileage of your car. You may also need to pay for extra add-ons – covering articles such as the air-con or airbags – to get the cover you want. Likewise, if you’re sizing up rival policies, check you’re comparing like with like.

Essentially, any warranty is a form of insurance policy, so you can expect the price of the policy to vary in line with the expected reliability of your car, as well as its age and mileage.

The question for most people will be whether a warranty is a worthwhile expense; after all, if nothing goes wrong with your car, it’s effectively a pointless expense. Essentially, it’s up to you to decide how much the peace-of-mind that a warranty delivers is worth. Looked at more practically, though, having a warranty does make it easier to budget, as well as avoiding the expense of a large unexpected bill.