Buying a car is almost always a huge financial and life decision. This is especially true if you’re investing in a brand new car with all the bells and whistles. Even small and compact cars are relatively big-ticket items when they’re bought brand new. 

To protect your new purchase, you should always ensure that there is a solid and thorough car warranty included. A warranty can cover defects and damages that occur to your vehicle.

Many people assume that car warranties only apply to brand new cars, but this actually isn’t the case. There are different types of car warranties, and particular types of warranties can apply to new and/or old cars.

What are the different types of car warranties?

The two most common types of car warranties available are manufacturer’s warranties and extended warranties. As the name suggests, a manufacturer’s warranty should always come with a new car. The specifics of the warranty can vary from company to company, but should generally protect against mechanical breakdowns or manufacturer defects.

If a car is relatively new and bought second hand, then the manufacturer’s warranty may be able to be transferred over. Even if a vehicle is older, if it’s bought from a dealer then there’s a high likelihood that you’ll be offered a manufacturer’s warranty at the time of purchase.

An extended warranty, on the other hand, kicks in when the manufacturer warranty ends. All warranties vary between companies, but most manufacturer’s warranties will last around five years. You’ll have the option to decide whether you’d like to purchase a longer warranty; this is called an extended warranty. There is often the option to purchase an extended warranty after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired, but this will usually cost more.

In some cases, extended car warranties are a great idea and can help you save a lot of money. To help you decide what’s best for you, we’ve put together some points to run through before purchasing an extended car warranty.

Questions to keep in mind when buying an extended car warranty

Speak to your dealer about what exactly is covered

Every manufacturer has different terms about what exactly is covered in a manufacturer’s warranty and in an extended warranty. Some warranties are vague and have loopholes that allow manufacturers to dodge the costs of many different repairs and parts. 

For this reason, it’s very important to speak to the dealer about what exactly is included in the warranty and to ensure that everything that’s shared with you is written down in the warranty contract to ensure you have the promised cover.

Ask your dealer about third party services and repairs

Rostron Finance offers warranties that cover you to get the car fixed at any authorised mechanic, however, this is not always the case with other warranties. Some may stipulate that if you visit mechanics that aren’t certified by the dealer or brand, then your warranty will be automatically void. The reason for this is that the damages to the car may have been caused by a dealer that isn’t certified to repair the vehicle.

So, before purchasing an extended warranty, check with the dealer to see if there are rules surrounding where your car can be serviced or repaired. If so, evaluate whether you can conveniently and happily abide by these stipulations.

Consider repair costs on previous vehicles

This point is particularly relevant if you have owned a car by the same brand. While no two cars are the same, evaluating whether there were many manufacturer faults on your old vehicle can help you weigh up whether the cost of an extended warranty is worth it.

If the vehicles that you’ve previously owned are by a different brand, you can still take into account how your old vehicles held up.

For example, if you live in a dusty and rocky area that caused your previous car to get a lot of flats, does the proposed warranty cover flat tyres? If so, a car warranty may be worth looking into. However, if you’re likely to face this problem and the warranty doesn’t cover it, then you may be better off saving the money you’d spend on the warranty and putting it aside to spend on future car repairs.