If you’ve just bought a used car, you’ll likely want to do whatever you can to protect it. You may also want some reassurance in the early stages of owning your new car, so if anything goes wrong you can get it back to peak condition.
This is why many companies and dealers offer used car warranties. These warranties provide an agreement that the manufacturer of your car or the dealer you purchased from will repair your car if something goes wrong, such as a defect or fault.
However, warranties usually come at a fee, which isn’t ideal if you’ve already forked out for a new car. Despite this, a used car warranty might not be as expensive as you think, particularly when you factor in money you could save on repairs. We’ve broken down the costs below.
How much is a used car warranty?
The price of a used car warranty could vary depending where you’re getting it from.
In some cases, a warranty may be included in the price of the car you buy. When you buy a car from brand new, there’ll be a manufacturer’s warranty included as standard. These can last between three and seven years – so if you’re buying a second hand car older than three years, there’s a chance this will no longer apply.
Similarly, if you buy a car from a dealer, a warranty might be included with the price of the car. These warranties are good for providing peace of mind, but they tend to only last for a short amount of time or set number of miles. If you want cover after this point, you’ll need to pay to extend your warranty.
Prices for a used car warranty can vary from around £200 up to £700, though these will offer varying levels of cover. Generally speaking, the higher the price of the warranty, the more cover it’s likely to provide, so you’ll need to pay more to get a better level of cover.
Some warranties also carry an excess that you have to pay when you claim for repairs, which can increase your costs beyond the initial price of the warranty
Is the expense of used car warranty worth it?
Although the initial cost of a warranty may be unappealing on top of the other purchase and running costs of a car, it doesn’t mean having one isn’t worthwhile.
As warranties cover you for certain repairs if there’s a fault or defect with your car, it can save you money as opposed to if you had to pay for the repairs yourself. Warranties usually last between 18 and 36 months, so you’re covered for a fair amount of time.
The average UK driver is estimated to spend around £13.26 a month on unexpected repairs, working out as £159.12. However, this isn’t taking into account any big repairs you might need, which can easily cost hundreds of pounds at a time. So, having these covered by a warranty can reduce this bill and may even work out as more cost-effective.
However, it’s important to remember that not all car repairs are covered by warranty. Warranties usually don’t tend to cover general wear and tear, such as replacing worn tyres or broken windscreen wipers, so these will need to be paid for separately. There could also be additional restrictions on top of this depending on the warranty you choose.
When purchasing a warranty, it’s best to check the small-print closely to find out what’s actually covered. If you believe the cost of the cover provided will cancel out the cost of your repairs, buying a warranty may be worthwhile to reduce your costs. If the cover provided seems limited or if there is a high excess attached, the warranty likely isn’t worth buying.
Determining whether used car warranties are ‘expensive’ can be tricky, as factors like length of cover, level of cover, excesses and limitations all play a part. Despite the additional cost, warranties do have the potential to save you money in the long run through lower repair bills if you get the right cover.
Make sure to spend time looking into any warranty you’re offered to make sure the cover is suitable and estimate the repair costs for your car. Once you’ve done this, you can make an educated decision as to how much value you can get from a warranty.
Don’t forget that our Ins and Outs Guides to Used Car Warranties is here to provide everything else you need to know about warranties.