It’s arguable that buying a used-car is a lot more stressful than a brand new one, despite the several thousands less you may be spending. With a new car, you know – or at least you expect – that everything is in working order and you know your new vehicle is under warranty for three years from the minute you hand over the cash. With used cars, however, there’s always a bigger element of risk – regardless of whether you buy through a dealer or an individual. What if the engine fails, or your clutch needs replacing?
Used car warranties give buyers that bit of peace of mind, which is welcome when you’re making a sizeable expense and, given that you can’t really prepare for a breakdown, make the event a fair bit less stressful than it can be. Many dealerships offer their own used-car warranties but it’s often cheaper to go direct to the warranty supplier.
Insurance and warranties aren’t exactly the most exciting purchase you can make, but they do give many benefits. Many offer instant cover from the moment you click ‘buy’, and can be purchased for different lengths of time – so if you think you’re only going to keep the car for a year, you only need buy a warranty for a one year period. The same benefits that you’d expect from a new car warranty, such as vehicle recovery, European cover and a replacement vehicle, should also come as standard with used-car warranties.
Perhaps the main difference between a warranty for a used vehicle and one for a new one is on mileage and claims. Warranties that are purchased automatically alongside a brand new car often only cover your vehicle for a certain number of miles, and limit you to making a certain number of claims. That’s not the case with some – but not all – used-car warranties, who can offer unlimited mileage and unlimited claims to be made against it. This is a great perk if you’re using the car regularly, up and down the motorway to university for example, as you need never worry that your warranty might have expired.
As with every purchase it’s important to do plenty of shopping around with warranties to make sure you find the one that is right for you and offers you and your vehicle the best protection. Some offer a price promise, and will even reimburse you for train tickets or hotel costs should you find yourself stranded somewhere.
To us, it seems a used car warranty is an essential when buying a second hand car – the cost is minimal considering the outlay for the vehicle, and gives you peace of mind – which as the Mastercard adverts would say, is priceless. Do you agree, or would you rather take the risk? Let us know in the comments section.