Car Warranty FAQs

A mechanic working on a car

Here, Bobatoo answers all of your commonly asked questions relating to car warranties:

What is a car warranty? (the different types)

There are 3 types of car warranty:

Manufacturer’s warranty

A manufacturer’s warranty is provided by the manufacturer of the vehicle and begins when it is sold as new.

Your manufacturer’s warranty will cover you for either a set amount of time or a set mileage – whichever comes first.

Extended car warranty

Also known as a vehicle service contract, an extended car warranty can be bought from:

  • The manufacturer – an extended car warranty can be bought at the point of sale and offers the same coverage as the manufacturer’s warranty, only for a prolonged period.
  • An independent provider – specialist car warranty providers will offer extended warranties on your vehicle, either alongside the manufacturer’s warranty or when it has expired.
  • A used car dealer – when buying a car from a dealership, they’ll usually offer a warranty lasting anywhere between 3 weeks and 12 months.

Used car warranty

A used car warranty cannot be bought directly from a manufacturer, but there are a host of third-party providers who can offer comprehensive warranties on used cars.

Is a car warranty and insurance the same thing?


Car insurance is a legal requirement and may help to cover any damage sustained in a road traffic accident, a fire, theft or a natural disaster.

A car warranty is not required by law, but can help to cover the costs of mechanical breakdowns or the failure of your car’s key components, such as the gearbox, brakes or engine.

What is a used car warranty?

A used car warranty is an optional insurance policy which can be purchased for a used car, or a car which has outlived the warranty offered by the manufacturer.

In some cases, used car warranties can be purchased directly through your chosen dealer, however you can also take out a policy from a used car warranty specialist.

What does a car warranty cover?

Your car’s warranty is in place to protect you against any electrical or mechanical breakdowns which occur within a set period of time. Each car warranty insurance policy is different, but any good warranty will provide cover for your vehicle’s core components if they were to break down.

These core components usually include the:

  • Engine
  • Gearbox
  • Suspension
  • Steering
  • Clutch
  • Brakes
  • Fuel system
  • Ignition system
  • Transmission system
  • Cool system

When purchasing a warranty for your vehicle, you will often be given the choice to exclude some of the above. This might make your policy cheaper, but will offer you a lower level of coverage if you need to make a claim.

You might also get the choice to cover additional components of your vehicle, such as built-in entertainment systems.

How long do car warranties last?

Generally, manufacturer’s warranties are typically sold to last for either a set period of time or until your vehicle reaches a set mileage – whichever comes first.

With a car warranty taken out through a third party, most people take out 12 months’ worth of cover before deciding whether to renew every year.

How much is a warranty on a used car?

The cost of taking out a warranty on a used car will vary from policy-to-policy. Your premium will be calculated after consideration of:

  • The make and model of your car
  • The age of your car
  • Your car’s service history
  • Your car’s value
  • Your estimated annual mileage

What warranty comes with a used car by law? Can you return a used car if it has problems?

Your warranty and your legal rights are two different things. Any used vehicle purchased by an individual from a registered trader after March 26, 2015 will have been covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, giving consumers the power to reject or return the car if it is faulty or not as described.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 also makes it illegal for traders to sell vehicles which are unroadworthy unless the buyer is notified and has no intention of driving it on the road before repairs are undertaken.

It is worth remembering that just because a car has a fault, it is not necessarily ‘faulty’. In a court of law, older cars with excessive mileage will not be expected to be faultless, in which case a judge would be unlikely to consider minor faults reason enough for you to reject or return the vehicle.

Read more: What rights do you actually have when buying a used car?

A car warranty is similar in principle to all other insurance policies: you purchase it in the hope that you’ll never need it.

But on the off chance that something does go wrong, a car warranty policy could potentially save you thousands of pounds in repair costs.

Before making your decision, consider how likely your car is to require future repairs or maintenance – if the answer is ‘likely’, then taking out a used car warranty is definitely recommended.

Read more: What car makes suffer the most parts failure?

Can you buy a car warranty at any time?

Yes, a car warranty can be purchased at any time.

Your manufacturer’s warranty will usually be included within the price of your car, whereas a warranty purchased through a dealer at the time of purchase can sometimes be bundled into your monthly payments.

You can buy a car warranty from a third-party warranty provider at any time, as long as your car reaches the requirements included within their terms and conditions.

How much can I claim for with a warranty?

The amount that your car warranty provider will pay out depends on your specific policy, so be sure to read the terms and conditions to ensure that you receive an adequate level of cover.

Most car warranty providers will require you to pay an excess fee when making a claim, which might be taken up-front or deducted from your eventual payout.

Read more: What is excess insurance?

Does a car warranty cover wear and tear?

Most policies to not provide cover for wear and tear, however there is usually the option to include it as an optional extra. The term ‘wear and tear’ typically covers components of your car such as:

  • Wheels
  • Tyres
  • Exhaust
  • Brake pads

Where can I get a car warranty?

If you're looking to get a car warranty in the UK, there are some specialist providers that can easily arrange the cover you need:


Warranty Direct logo

Warranty Direct offers a range of policies to suit your exact needs.

Learn more


MotorEasy logo

When taking out a policy with MotorEasy, they'll give your car a health check for free! They also have many other benefits and discounts to offer.

Learn more


For further information, head over to Bobatoo’s guide on Car Warranty Insurance here.