Understand a warranty's small print

  • Know what to look out for in a warranty's small print
  • How to make sense of the terms and conditions
  • Be a smart shopper and get a warranty quote from £99

What you get in your warranty might not be as straight forward as you think. Make sure you take a look at the small print and avoid any potential pitfalls when it comes to your cover. Here are the questions you need to ask and the answers you should look for.

Is my warranty legitimate?

A good way to tell is to see whether the warranty provider is signed up to the Motor Industry Code of Practice. This body is responsible for ensuring warranty providers agree to certain levels of customer service, consumer protection and providing peace of mind.

This code means that warranty providers must ensure their information is written in clear, concise English, not engage in high pressure selling and give written summaries of key contract areas. The claims procedure must also be simple and straightforward.

The Industry Codes also provide a telephone helpline and also set out any guidelines that customers should follow.

Can you understand the warranty small print?

If the warranty's small print is full of long-winded and baffling content then stop right there and start asking questions. .

The Motor Industry Code of Practice guidelines states that anything written about a warranty agreement will be written in plain English and clearly sets out any servicing/maintenance requirements. So any company signed up to the Code should be quite clear in what you will get for your money and what you have to do to keep within the conditions of the warranty.

What is covered and for how long?

The longest warranty from any manufacturer is Kia's 7 year cover. However, while this may sound like a fantastic offer it's important to check what is covered and for how long. This is true of any warranty agreement.

The first thing to check is the actual mileage cover. With the Kia policy states unlimited mileage, it is only for the first three years of cover. Between four and seven years the cover expires after 100,000 miles.

Next thing to look out for is what is covered in the agreement and time periods. Under Kia's warranty paintwork is covered for five years/100,000 miles, audio is covered for three years/60,000 miles and batteries are covered for just two years. At the same time normal ‘wear and tear', on things like brake linings or clutch linings, isn't covered.

Where does the warranty work have to be done?

This should be clearly stated in the agreement, but always check where any warranty work should be done. Some warranties could become void if any work undertaken isn't done at a nominated garage or with the specified parts.

Extended warranties can sometimes specify that you only take the car to a franchised dealer or specific independent dealer garage group. If you do take the car to a garage that doesn't comply with the agreement then your warranty could become void.

This could also be a problem with using manufacturer approved parts when it comes to any repairs, so make sure that the garage you take it to speak to your warranty provider before doing any work.

Find out how much a warranty could be by getting a warranty quote.