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A Beginner’s Guide to Car Warranty

  • A Beginner’s Guide to Car Warranty

This beginner’s guide breaks down the key things you need to know about UK car warranties.

If you’ve just bought your first car or are thinking about purchasing a used vehicle, getting a car warranty can give you peace of mind and financial protection. But with so many policy options and providers, knowing where to start can be confusing. This beginner’s guide breaks down the key things you need to know about UK car warranties.

What is a Car Warranty?

A car warranty is a policy you can purchase separately to the manufacturer’s new car warranty and extended warranties offered by some dealers. An aftermarket warranty protects against the cost of unexpected mechanical and electrical breakdowns after the included warranties expire. If anything goes wrong, the warranty provider will cover the cost of repairs, parts and labour, or provide a replacement vehicle. 

Why Consider Getting One?

Without warranty protection, a major car repair bill can easily run to several thousand pounds which most drivers simply can’t afford. Just a single breakdown could lead to your vehicle being written off due to the uneconomical cost of fixing it. Taking out an aftermarket policy transfers this financial risk to the warranty company. For a monthly or one-off payment, your repair costs are covered. 

What Do Warranties Include?

Basic warranties cover the replacement or repair of mechanical and electrical components once your original manufacturer cover has expired. More comprehensive policies add extra benefits e.g. roadside recovery, hire cars, personal accident cover and payment if your vehicle is written off. Entry levels of cover start from around £300 per year.

Age & Mileage Limits

Most warranties have maximum age and mileage terms for vehicles they will cover. For example, an 8 year/80,000 mile policy means vehicles up to 8 years old at the time of purchase and with no more than 80,000 recorded miles. The newer the car and the lower the mileage, the more warranty options you’ll have open to you.

Levels of Cover

Many different warranty providers offer different plans and packages. Here at Warranty First, we’ve made it simple :-

  • Ignition - Great value AND great coverage of engine, gearbox, clutch.

  • Dynamic - Great value AND great coverage of engine, gearbox, clutch and other major components.

  • Premium - Even more peace of mind and more major parts covered with our most popular warranty plan.

  • Exclusive - Exceptional coverage across almost all mechanical and electrical components.

Higher tiers of cover provide more comprehensive protection but come with higher premiums. Consider what aspects of warranty protection matter most to you.

Excess Payments

Most providers have an excess you pay each time you make a valid claim, typically around £50-£150. You can reduce the excess further or even to £0 but your premiums will be higher as a result. Speak to the provider about excess payments before taking out a warranty plan.

Finding Providers

There are dozens of UK providers to consider. Compare levels of cover, policy wording, limits, and verified reviews to decide which suits you best. Look at our plans here.

What’s Not Covered?

No warranty covers every eventuality so expect exclusions. Be sure to read the T&Cs closely before you commit, you don’t want to think something is covered to not only be told otherwise down the line.

Purchasing and Getting Cover

You can buy warranties directly from providers or at local dealers. To start cover, your car will need to pass an inspection first. Provide service history proof at this stage. To start a cover with us, it’s simple. Start here


Making a Claim

If problems arise, get in touch with your provider straight away. Have your policy documentation and proof of regular servicing ready. An approved repairer will then assess if damage is covered before beginning any work. You can start a claim process with us here

As you can see, getting to grips with the fundamentals of car warranties doesn’t have to be difficult. Consider your budget, required coverage level and preferred extras before making an informed decision. 

While paying a little more upfront for a higher tier of protection might seem unnecessary, you’ll be very grateful if you ever need to claim for a major repair. Take the time to shop around, read the fine print and invest in the level of warranty suited to your vehicle. The peace of mind you’ll then have as a first time car owner makes it worthwhile.