Not all warranty policies offer the same protection – so you need to read the small print, writes Suzanne Keane
A car warranty is supposed to offer peace of mind and protect you from hefty repair bills. There are, of course, conditions so before your car starts to fall apart you need to aware of what exactly is covered under warranty and more significantly what is not.
Most warranties cover a certain period of time following purchase and many can be transferred to new owners when the car is sold on – so even if you’re buying a nearly new car it should come with some remaining warranty period.
This warranty will allow for the cost of parts and labour on any mechanical and electrical components. Paint and bodywork will generally have a longer warranty than the car’s mechanical components in order to cover any corrosion issues.
It’s also important to look at any mileage restrictions. If you cover high mileage each year your warranty may not last as long as you’d think.
Certain manufacturers can offer an extended warranty at extra cost when you first purchase a car. Depending on the price this can be a worthwhile extra but again it’s important to check the small print to see what’s covered.
Wear and tear items such as tyres, brake pads, wiper blades and bulbs will not be covered You’ll also need to have the car serviced regularly with an authorised dealer as going elsewhere or use of non-genuine parts can invalidate your warranty. Unauthorised modifications or use of unapproved accessories will also invalidate your warranty. Make sure your service book has been stamped each time you collect the car.
Most manufacturers in Ireland offer a 3 year 100,000km warranty although there is a trend towards providing a 5 year 100,000km warranty. If you don’t cover huge mileage Mitsubishi offer an 8 year warranty (on non-electric vehicles) with a 150,000km limit. However, if your car is always on the road Renault’s 5 year warranty has a 200,000km limit and some Ssanyong models come with a 5 year unlimited warranty.
If you’re in it for the long haul Mercedes offer 30 years roadside assistance and anti-perforation warranty provided your car is maintained according to their instructions at one of their approved service centres.
Always stick to the car’s servicing schedule and ensure that the service book is stamped every time. Also make sure you keep your car in good condition between services as will reduces the chances of needing to claim and improve your chances of a successful claim if something does go wrong – if it can be shown that the defect occurred through your negligence the repair won’t be covered.
Even if the original warranty period on your vehicle has expired it’s important to remember that genuine parts fitted by a main dealer come with their own warranty and should be replaced free of charge if they are proven to be defective during this period. Even aftermarket parts will come with a warranty – where it can be proven that they were correctly fitted and used.
Warranties also extend to used cars so if you are buying from a reputable dealer a short warranty period (i.e. 3 or 6 months) should be available.
For info on what each manufacturer offers check out our warranty_guide.
March 1st, 2016