What To Do With A Used Car’ s Remaining Warranty

Whether you’re buying a new car or you are purchasing a used car, it’s worth looking into a warranty product to see whether it’s a worthwhile investment to protect yourself and your vehicle. Think of a warranty as additional insurance to cover you against certain faults, as well as a more comprehensive range of faults than you would typically be entitled to protection from, under the Consumer Rights Act.

No matter what type of car you have, you can almost guarantee, the older the car is, the higher the chances are that something will go wrong with it; that’s cars for you.


New Car Warranty

Every new car that is sold in the UK is sold under warranty, and these can vary greatly depending on the different car manufacturers.

Typically, a new car’s warranty lasts for three years or until the car has reached 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. The average annual UK mileage is 8,000 miles, so usually the period of cover will expire first.

Some car manufacturers will offer longer warranties to attract buyers, boost the car’s appeal and instill confidence in the car brand. For example some manufacturers offer a five year warranty and unlimited mileage - and whilst most car manufacturers will allow the warranty to be transferred with the car, be careful as should the original purchaser subsequently sell the car – the warranty may not be transferable.

Almost all parts are covered under a new car warranty, protecting you should anything go awry. Things like wiper blades, tyres and the clutch aren’t covered, as these will always wear out over time and need replacing. The new car warranty is after all to protect you against things going wrong that ordinarily shouldn’t go wrong, and not things going wrong due to wear and tear.

The used car warranty law

Most used car dealerships will offer a warranty with the used cars they sell, even though legally, they don't have. A warranty on a used car is just a sweetener that dealers tend to throw in as a way to show the customer that the used car they are purchasing is in good working order.

The majority of warranties on used cars will come via a third party, so always read the small print to see what is and isn’t included in the used car warranty.

Although used car dealers are under no obligation to provide you with a warranty when you purchase a second hand car, thus seemingly providing you with no cover should anything go wrong once you drive your car away from their forecourt, any used car purchase made privately through a used car trader is covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

The Consumer Rights Act states that consumers have the right to purchase a car that is of satisfactory quality, as described and fit for purpose. Meaning that if the used car that you purchase doesn’t meet these standards, regardless of whether the used car has a warranty or not, you are within your legal rights to take it back to the garage and instruct the dealer to rectify any faults at their cost.

These rights cannot be waived in return for anything, not a discount, nor any other offer. Your rights are your rights.

Furthermore, if the repairs carried out at the dealer’s cost fail to remedy the defect, you are entitled to a full refund.

Always contact the used car dealer as soon as you discover a fault on your used car, but take into consideration the car’s age and mileage if you are invoking the Consumer Rights Act.

What does a used car warranty cover?

Used car warranties can either be bought alongside the used car you’re purchasing, or they can be purchased separately from reputable third parties specializing in used car warranties like Warranty Direct

If you opt to purchase a used car warranty at the dealership when you purchase your used car, make sure you know what the warranty covers, because some dealership warranties have certain specifications that void them if you don’t adhere to their T&Cs. For example, repairs may need to be carried out at that specific dealership.

Most used car warranties cover, as a minimum, the internal lubricated parts of the engine and the transmission. Others will cover more

It is worth bearing in mind that as the car ages and the miles creep up on the clock, the number of items a used car warranty will cover gets less and less, as the likelihood of repairs increases.

Warranties for high mileage cars typically do not cover specifics such as sensors, electrics, starter motor, fuel pump, alternators or anything that is not the engine. So things like steering and air conditioning usually won’t be covered.

For cars that are newer and have less miles under their belt, you have more bargaining power when it comes to what the used car’s warranty will cover. The older the car, the more expensive the warranty becomes, as the parts of the car that the warranty covers age and the likelihood of them needing to be replaced increases.

Used Car Remaining Warranty

Most used car warranties will run for either three months, six months or twelve months, depending on the age of the car and the type of warranty your used car dealer, or third party warranty provider offers.

Unlike new car warranties, used car warranties don’t typically transfer over to the new owner. So always speak to the warranty provider to find out if you can transfer your extended car warranty or used car warranty to a new owner. If they do allow the transfer, anticipate paying an admin fee to cover transfer costs.

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