Extending Your Cars Manufacturers Warranty
When buying an ex lease vehicle or in fact a used car from any source, where the warranty has not expired (most manufacturers warranties are for three years) it is an ideal opportunity to extend the warranty. Different manufacturers vehicles vary in terms of reliability but with the increasing use of electronics in cars, a warranty has become more of an essential, than a luxury.
The amount a manufacturer charges for their extended warranty will normally indicate what on average they see as the risk of the vehicle having a problem and the potential cost. Cars that would be classed as luxury vehicles can cost anywhere between £1,000 and £5,000 per year but imagine the cost if such a car does go wrong.
Engines are considerably more reliable than they once were but electronic equipment has made vehicles possibly less reliable than in the days when they regularly broke down due to mechanical problems. At least in those days they were simpler to repair.
Previously vehicles would break down even on the shortest of journeys but often motorists, even with limited mechanical knowledge would get the vehicle going. Indeed many motorists used to carry out all the mechanical work on their car but then there was only mechanics and electrics to deal with.
Motorists would often have not only a toolbox in the boot of the car but also a selection of spares. This would be unthinkable today; with many cars you cant even see the engine. Even a fully trained mechanic would be reluctant to attempt to repair a vehicle at the roadside, apart from attending to something very simple, for fear of damaging an electronic component and invalidating the warranty.
If a vehicle is outside its warranty the required diagnostics to discover where there is an electronic problem can be expensive, because it doesnt, as we perhaps once thought, immediately locate the problem so it can be cured. There are cases of cars constantly returning to the dealership without the cause of the fault being found.
As a general rule contract hire and leasing companies will keep their vehicles for three years. It is however important for anyone taking a contract hire vehicle over four years to bear in mind that if they do not extend the warranty themselves (assuming that the warranty on the vehicle is three yea
rs, as most are) they will be liable for the cost of repairs should it go wrong, after three years. It is therefore a good idea to consider taking a car that is on a four year contract, with maintenance included.
The leasing company would not want to be responsible for maintaining a vehicle outside of its warranty period so perhaps neither should the hirer. Other independent companies do offer free standing warranties but generally their record on paying claims is not good. Overall they do not compare favourably with a manufacturers warranty.
In any event it can be a good idea, as an alternative to buying a used car, to consider instead a vehicle over a three year contract hire term. For those who have not previously considered this method of acquiring a car they are often pleasantly surprised at how inexpensive it is. Buying second hand is more expensive than it first appears; when you take into account the cost of repairs or extending the warranty and depreciation.
By: Harvey Bowater
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