When you look for a new car it's worth comparing warranties. Make sure that the warranty gives you what you want and doesn't include conditions that will cost you money later.

A warranty adds to your legal rights, it is not a substitute for them. In law if the car develops a fault in the first six months, it will usually be assumed the fault was there when you bought it. In these circumstances you can ask the dealer to repair the car free of charge or replace it.


All new cars sold in the UK include a basic warranty, called the manufacturer's warranty. These usually last for one, two or three years. Most manufacturers with a one or two year basic warranty also offer a dealer based extended warranty at no extra charge. This can extend the total period of cover to three years, or more.

But beware – the manufacturer's warranty and the dealer-based warranty can be quite different, in that the dealer-based warranty can have more limitations, like mileage.


Look out particularly, for servicing restrictions. Aftersales costs are a big expense, representing around 40 per cent of the whole life cost of the car. Franchised dealers tend to be more expensive than independent garages, but many independent garages can offer the same quality of service as franchised dealers, and might be more convenient for you.It's worth shopping around.

Before you buy, ask the salesperson these questions:

  1. Are there restrictions about who services the car?
  2. How much will the servicing costs be? (Compare them to other garages in your area)
  3. How much leeway is there if I cannot get the car serviced in accordance with the approved servicing schedule?
  4. How long does the manufacturer's warranty last?
  5. What does it cover?
  6. When does the dealer's warranty start and what does it cover?
  7. Is every fault covered by the manufacturer's/dealer's warranty?
  8. What isn't covered by the manufacturer's/dealer's warranty?
  9. Is the warranty restricted by the amount of mileage I do?
  10. If I have an accident but I get the car repaired, is the warranty affected?
  11. When you're thinking of buying a new car it's worth comparing warranties as well as cars - it can save you a lot of time and money later.

Car warranties - restrictive conditions

Most manufacturers allow you to service your car where you want as long as certain standards are met. But some manufacturers place restrictions on you. Watch out for the following restrictive conditions in warranties:

  1. Only an authorised (make of car) repairer services and maintains your vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
  2. This warranty is dependent upon the manufacturer's recommended servicing being carried out by an authorised (make of car) dealership at the time or distance intervals specified in the (make of car) warranty and maintenance record booklet, subject to the vehicle being driven less than 60,000 miles since first registration.
  3. 'The vehicle must be regularly serviced by an authorised (make of car) dealer in accordance with the (make of car) service schedules using (make of car) approved parts during the three year warranty period.
http://www.oft.gov.uk/Consumer/Your+Rights+When+ Shopping/Cars/cars-warranties+restrictive+conditions.ht