What vehicles come with warranties
All new cars come with a warranty. However, not all warranties are alike. A warranty is a promise from the manufacturer that the vehicle will be fit for purpose for a minimum amount of time. This time frame can vary significantly between manufacturers. Your vehicle warranty will cover the cost of any repair to restore the car to its original working state, excluding wear and tear items. We’ll go into more detail about what is and isn’t covered by a manufacturers warranty in a moment.
A long warranty can be a big selling point and the deciding factor for some people when choosing the make of car they want to buy. Afterall, if a manufacturer is confident enough to guarantee their workmanship for a number of years they must be fairly confident in their product or they’d be paying for repairs all the time.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular car brands in the UK and what their warranties cover. Not only that, we’ll round up the length of the warranties of Britain’s most popular cars.
What is a warranty?
A warranty is a commitment from the manufacturer of the car that they will repair any faults that occur with the vehicle during a set time frame. The warranty starts from the day the vehicle is purchased as new. There are some exclusions to what is and isn’t covered by a manufacturers warranty though. Usually, consumables such as tyres, windscreen wipers and brakes would be considered as wear and tear items which would naturally deteriorate with age and use. While the list of what isn’t covered by a manufacturer’s warranty may seem extensive, there’s an awful lot more covered than not, so they are worthwhile having.
What is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty?
The extensive manufacturer’s warranty will cover all mechanical and electrical faults with the vehicle. Not only that, the vehicle bodywork will be covered against rust. It’s not uncommon for a manufacturer to offer a standard warranty and an extended warranty against rust. BMW, for example, have a standard 3-year warranty but 12 years against rust.
As a quick reference, the manufacturer’s warranty will typically cover
- The engine
- Transmission system
- Fuel and ignition systems
- Cooling system
- Non-frictional clutch and brake system parts
There are some items not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. As I mentioned above, these are usually consumables. But in some instances, even these items will be covered if they have prematurely worn as a result of a fault with the vehicle.
What’s not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty?
The consumable items not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty are as to be expected.
- Brakes including brake pads and discs, but brake callipers and the rest of the braking system are.
- Windscreen wipers
- Glass or headlights
Which car manufacturers have the longest warranties?
When looking at the value of a car’s warranty, one of the key considerations should be the length of the warranty. Here we round up the top 3 manufacturer’s warranty by the length of cover overall.
Kia offers the longest warrant as standard, covering certain parts of their vehicles for 7 years or 100,000 miles. No other manufacturer can offer this length of warranty on their vehicles. Hyundai is next in line offering a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty. As an added bonus the Hyundai warranty includes five years free breakdown cover and annual vehicle inspections. Toyota is up next with a five year or 100,000-mile warranty as standard. Not only that, their hybrid models have full battery and motor cover which isn’t the case with rival manufacturers.
Do different warranties have different rules?
Yes, each manufacturer’s warranty will protect certain parts for a certain amount of time. As an example, Kia’s warranty only protects batteries for two years, stereos for three years or 60,000 miles and paintwork for five years or 100,000 miles within their 7-year warranty. The Hyundai warranty I mentioned above has two years’ brake and clutch cover and three years’ protection for perishable suspension components, such as rubber bushings. The Toyota warranty sees that all models are protected by a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Also, all Toyota’s hybrid models have their batteries and motors covered for the full five years, too.
Am I covered for the full amount of the repair under warranty?
There is a maximum claim limit set on most warranties, although this is usually set at the value of the car, which is pretty generous and in almost all cases will cover any repairs needed.
Some parts may also have a repair cap. For example, a gearbox repair may have a claim limit of £5,000. You can make more than one claim on your manufacturer’s warranty as long as the combined cost does not exceed the overall maximum claim limit.
What could invalidate my manufacturer’s warranty?
While the warranty is in place to offer you protection against failing parts on your new vehicle it will be invalid if you fail to run routine maintenance or make modifications. This is because the manufacturer is covering you against failing parts as a result of them being faulty. If in any way they feel the failing parts might have deteriorated as a result of external factors then you won’t be covered.
Most manufacturer’s warranties will have a limit on the number of miles the car can do and still remain in warranty. This is often very generous, up to 100,000 miles. But it’s worth checking the warranty paperwork as some restrict annual mileage too. If your vehicle needs a repair and you’re within the overall mileage limit but have exceeded your annual limit then you could become unstuck.
If you’re into ‘doing up’ your cars and adding alloy wheels or chipping the engine to make it faster then you will certainly want to check your warranty because even small external modifications could void the warranty policy. Some manufacturers do allow modifications but the parts used to modify the vehicle will not be covered. Also, any parts which could have been affected as a result of the modifications also wouldn’t be covered. Not only that, if you have any work carried out by a known VAT-registered or pre-approved garage then the policy will also be void.
Keeping your car properly maintained is important to ensure it operates smoothly and the parts all work correctly. Failing to keep things like engine oil and coolant topped up could invalidate your warranty if a fault occurs as a result. We’d recommend checking the fluids under the bonnet once a month or before a long-distance journey. While you’re there it’s also worth checking things like tyre tread and how well they are inflated. If damage occurs because your tyres were under- or over-inflated, the warranty will not cover you.
Keep your receipts
Getting your car serviced at regular intervals is an important part of keeping the warranty valid. Approved parts fitted by an approved garage will be necessary in order to keep the warranty valid.
Make sure you keep copies of all your receipts too. Especially if you don’t have the work carried out at the dealership where you bought the car. If you need to make a claim, the warranty provider will want proof that the car has been serviced and repaired.
All cars come with a manufacturer’s warranty as standard. However, it’s worth checking the policy documents to ensure you know the limits set in place before you even drive off of the forecourt.