Warranty When Buying a Used Car

What is the Warranty When Buying a Used Car?

30th August 2022

What is the Warranty When Buying a Used Car?

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, UK consumers are protected under a statutory warranty when buying a used car. As we’ll come on to shortly, said act offers protection for up to 30 days (in terms of refunds), and then additional protection for up to six months following that.

Some dealerships choose to provide additional warranty cover on top of their statutory requirements, or an extended used car warranty to protect your car even after that six-month period has passed. What they offer will depend very much on the vehicle in question, and take into consideration factors such as age, mileage and service history.

Used car warranties (standard or extended) commonly range between three and twelve months, however. That said, let’s go over the basics of used car warranties so you know exactly what you’re looking for, and what level of warranty is appropriate for you.

What are Your Rights Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015?

As a bare minimum, regardless of what other extras might be included within your warranty policy, you’re entitled to request a full refund for your car if it’s found to be faulty within the first 30 days of purchase. Even after those 30 days have elapsed, you’ll still be protected, however, you won’t be able to get a full refund.

Between 30 days and six months, you also have the “right to repair or replacement” if an issue (which will be assumed to be pre-existing unless proved otherwise) is found within six months of your vehicle’s purchase. It might not be a refund, but at least you’ll have your costs covered.

You can choose either remedy, provided one is not disproportionate to the issue in question; if there was a minor, easily fixed issue with your car’s transmission, for instance, then a complete replacement would likely be deemed disproportionate. It’s worth noting that these rights protect you no matter the cost of the car purchased.

What are the Different Types of Car Warranties?

The warranty you get for your used car depends on the age, condition and mileage of the vehicle in question. Generally speaking, the main types of warranty are:

  • Used car warranty: This is the standard warranty most used car dealerships offer when they sell you a vehicle. Most dealers have established connections with warranty providers whom they trust. The time frame for these warranties varies depending on the car.

  • Approved used car warranty: Some franchise used car dealerships will offer a warranty that’s similar to a manufacturer’s warranty, provided that the car is serviced by the dealer. This warranty type is underwritten by third-party insurers, rather than being offered by the car manufacturer.

  • New car warranty: If you’re buying a used car that’s relatively new – usually less than three years old – then it is likely still going to be covered by its original manufacturer’s warranty; this gives you the most comprehensive protection possible.

  • No warranty: Besides the rights legislated in the Consumer Rights Act, a dealer might sell you a used car with no warranty whatsoever, however, we’d always suggest pushing back against this if possible, even if they offer a discount on the purchase for doing so.

Warranty When Buying a Used Car

What Determines a Warranty’s Cost?

The older your car, and the more miles it’s done, the more expensive your warranty will be. Some specialist warranty providers (separate from dealerships) will even offer extended car warranties for vehicles up to 15 years old and up to 150,000 miles on the clock.

The level of cover provided by such warranties isn’t as comprehensive as warranties for newer used cars, however; they’ll only foot the cost of repairs for certain parts of the car, for instance. These super-extended warranties will also cost more because the provider is taking on a greater degree of risk than they would be for a newer car or one that’s done less mileage.

Why Do I Need a Warranty When Buying a Used Car?

Besides offering you peace of mind, used car warranties are important because such vehicles bring with them an added inherent level of risk. Older, more frequently used cars are more likely to suffer from mechanical and electrical failures than a brand new model, for example – no matter how well looked after the older, used car has been.

It might seem like an optional extra you can do without, however, should your vehicle suffer a catastrophic failure for any reason, trust us, you’ll wish you’d taken out a warranty policy, no matter how basic.

Get the Best Warranty Possible

If you’re able, shop around for a warranty besides simply what’s offered by the dealership selling the used car you want. Getting the warranty from the dealership might be the simplest thing to do, but with more and more specialist warranty providers out there, you might be able to shop around online for a better deal.

Whether you get your warranty from an independent provider or from the dealership when you purchase your car, most providers will offer the option to either purchase your warranty as a lump sum or through a monthly payment plan.

If you do decide to shop around for your used car warranty – or even if you get it from the dealership for that matter – make sure to look closely at the terms and conditions of the policy. Some policies for older vehicles with more mileage can bring with them certain exclusions which don’t leave you as protected as you originally thought.

Do You Need a Car Loan?

Before you get your used car warranty, you need to get your used car! If you need a used car but finances are stretched, then a car loan may be able to help.

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