WE know this site is about vans, but you can’t always take your van to the supermarket, or maybe the parents, or a family day out. Sometimes you need a car.

And like a van, you need to make sure the car will stay on the road and not let you down.

And that’s where car warranties come in.

If you’re buying a new or used car you will be presented with a range of different warranty types. It can be confusing when you’ve not read up on the differences between them and there is a risk that you will end up either taking out an expensive warranty you didn’t need or ending up with a warranty that doesn’t provide enough cover. To make things clearer, we’ve rounded up the three main types of car warranty and explained the difference between each below.

Manufacturer warranty

Every new car comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. Usually these will last between three and seven years, covering most types of fault except for wear and tear. This is because most new cars shouldn’t break down or suffer faults in their first few years and if they do, the manufacturer is willing to accept some level of responsibility.

Often there will be a set of rules that need to be followed for the warranty to remain valid, such as making sure the car is serviced on time and at a reputable dealer. In the policy you should also check:

  • The limit per claim
  • If an excess is required
  • Servicing schedule
  • Limits for annual or total mileage
  • Full cost of repair or just parts/labour

Once the new car warranty is up you can get an extended manufacturer warranty if desired. For example, a Hyundai warranty lasts for five years. It’s only when this has run out that you will need to think about taking out another type of warranty.

Used car warranties

The first thing to check when buying a second-hand car is whether the existing warranty is still included. If the car is less than three years old or has a long manufacturer warranty, then it might be, and you only need to check that it hasn’t gone over the mileage or any other limits.

When considering a used car warranty, it’s worth comparing how much it will cost in total against the price of any potential repairs that might need to be made. Your average repair bill may be less than this, but it depends if you want to risk driving without a warranty or not? It will provide peace of mind if your car needs to go to the garage. A used car warranty will sometimes be included as standard when buying through a reputable dealer, or an optional extra.

Extended warranty

Every extended warranty will be different but the best ones cover against mechanical and electrical damage for the engine, transmission, steering and suspension. It’s worth browsing those available and deciding whether it’s best to buy through the manufacturer or an independent seller depending on what you want.

Most extended warranties will only last for about 12 months, though it’s possible to find some that cover anywhere from one month to five years. This makes it simple to renew every year with the insurance. Plus, you can get extended warranties to cover aspects such as your tyres and car battery, that won’t be included in most regular policies.

Now you hopefully have a better understanding of the main types of car warranties available and can choose the best option for you.

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