What Does a Car Warranty Cover?

If you’ve got a brand new car (or a relatively new one any way), you’re probably going to be pretty protective of it: you’ve probably got a good car maintenance routine going, for instance. And you've probably taught yourself some basic car repairs. You’re also probably going to be pretty skint and not in the mood to shell out for common things that can go wrong with your car, that aren’t your fault.

Here’s where a car warranty can be a really useful thing.

So, what exactly is a car warranty, apart from just a complicated-sounding legal term? And what does it cover? I’ve written some more about this below.

What is a car warranty?

A car warranty is essentially a guarantee given by the manufacturer that they’ll fix any problems with the car, or replace it entirely, within a stated period of time, if there’s a mechanical fault. They’re useful because they stop you having to shell out for unforseen mechanical problems (after all, we’re not all psychics with bottomless bank accounts, are we?)

Warranties vary in how long they run for– some cover a period of a few months/years, whilst others cover a particular mileage distance instead. Either way, the exact length of your warranty will be listed in the smallprint of your contract.

A new car, more often than not, will come a warranty. All warranties are time-limited though, so a lot of people renew theirs, or get an entirely new one out, when the old one expires to benefit from the peace of mind that they offer.  

Essentially, warranties are a big, shiny carrot that manufactuers try to lure you in with. In recent years, they’ve have been competing to see how can offer the most attractive one so you should have a wide range of options to choose from to be honest.

What does a car warranty cover?

A car warranty covers a fair bit, it has to be said. But, admittedly, a car warranty doesn’t cover everything. It won’t actually cover damage that you’ve caused to the car for instance, and it doesn’t cover general wear and tear, like tyres wearing down and the cost of new brakes etc.

For a warranty to remain valid, you might have to agree to only drive a specific amount of miles and to get it serviced a minimum amount of times in a year.

Here are the main things that a good car warranty will cover:

  • Engine
  • Fuel system
  • Gearbox
  • Gear system (transmission)
  • Suspension
  • Steering
  • Brake system
  • Clutch
  • Cooling system

What doesn’t a car warranty cover

It’s often easier to say what a car warranty doesn’t cover, as opposed to what it does. That’s because they tend to vary between manufacturers, so making any attempt to give a general comment about their specifics is doomed to failure. Here are the main things they probably won’t cover though:

  • Body panel damage
  • Interior damage
  • Tyre wear
  • Replacement brake pads
  • New windscreen wipers