Car Warranty Insurance

A car being repaired in a garage

Your car insurance policy might help you out when you’ve had an accident and your breakdown cover provider might come to your rescue when you have a flat tyre, but neither of those will protect you from the potentially enormous repair bills that you’ll receive if your car suffers an electrical failure or mechanical breakdown.

What is car warranty insurance?

Sometimes referred to as mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI), a car’s warranty is an insurance policy which agrees to cover the costs of repairing any specified faults with your vehicle over a set period of time.

Many people ask the question: is a car warranty and insurance the same thing? The answer is no, car insurance is a legal requirement no matter what other cover you have in place.

What does a car warranty cover?

The potential faults that are covered will depend on how comprehensive your policy is. Bobatoo recommends that you purchase a car warranty insurance policy that provides cover for your vehicle’s ‘essential organs’ – these include the:

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

What doesn’t a car warranty policy cover?

As mentioned previously, your level of cover will depend entirely on how much you are willing to pay.

A standard UK car warranty will not usually provide cover for wear and tear, which often includes things like:

  • Batteries
  • Wheels and tyres
  • Exhausts
  • Brakes

However, if you’re willing to increase your premium, some insurers will go as far as covering scratches to your paintwork, your air conditioning system and even a basic level of breakdown cover.

Read the terms of your policy carefully to ensure that you have an adequate level of cover and that you fully understand what you are and what you are not covered for.

Is my car still under warranty?

If you have bought a second-hand car, you'll need to find out whether or not the warranty has expired. If it has expired, it is worth considering an extended car warranty policy to make sure that you're covered financially in the event of any faults with the vehicle (as per your policy's terms and conditions).

To see if your car is still under warranty, use our quick and easy tool below and find out in less than 2 minutes!

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Can you buy a car warranty at any time?

Yes, you can – but there are a few things to remember.

The best time to buy an extended warranty for your vehicle is when the manufacturer’s warranty expires, usually between 3 and 7 years after production.

Many companies will apply an age restriction to their used car warranties and will usually refuse to provide cover for vehicles that are more than 12 years old, or vehicles which have exceeded a set mileage (usually between 60,000 and 100,000 miles). This is because older cars, or cars with higher mileage, are more likely to require maintenance.

Insurers will usually insist that your car has passed a service within the last 12 months before offering you a policy.

Before purchasing a warranty on your used car, make sure that you aren’t already covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.

Are car warranties worth it for older cars?

If you think that your car is unreliable, then a used car warranty might save you money in the long run.

You can check how reliable your car is by looking at the J.D Power dependability rankings, where Peugeot, Skoda and Hyundai took the gold, silver and bronze respectively for 2019.

If your car is unreliable, then you might want to consider taking out a warranty on your car, but make sure you are not paying over-the-odds for a policy which you might not ever use.

If your car is reliable and unlikely to encounter any problems, you will usually be advised against taking out car warranty insurance. Instead, put some money aside every month to go towards covering any unexpected repair costs – that way, if you don’t need to make any repairs, you won’t have lost any money.

Read more: Car Warranty FAQs

Where to buy a car warranty

When buying or leasing a new car, the cost of a manufacturer’s warranty is usually included in the price, while second-hand cars bought from a dealer might also come with a warranty.

If your manufacturer’s or dealership’s warranty has expired, there are a couple of specialist providers that can provide you with the cover you need:

warranty direct logo

With more than 20 years’ experience, Warranty Direct is one of the UK’s best car warranty providers boasting a wide range of policies.

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MotorEasy logo

Get a free health check on your vehicle when taking out a policy with MotorEasy, with other benefits including discounts on future services and MOTs.

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You can also get car warranty insurance with breakdown cover providers like the AA and RAC.

Before signing up to a car warranty insurance policy, make sure that your provider is trustworthy by reading car warranty reviews left by customers on reputable websites like TrustPilot.

You should also ensure that you will be receiving an adequate level of cover, so that you’re not going to be caught out if you need to make a claim.

How much does car warranty insurance cost?

The best car warranty insurance could set you back over £600 per year, while there are more basic policies which will only cost around the £150 mark. Ultimately, it all depends on your individual circumstances and needs.

The cost of your policy will depend on:

  • The age of your car
  • Your car’s mileage
  • The make and model of your car
  • Your chosen level of cover
  • Excess fees

To ensure that your car warranty policy remains valid, it is crucial that you have your vehicle serviced as often as recommended by your manufacturer.

Remember that having a warranty on your vehicle is not an alternative to having car insurance.