Understanding car warranties

A car warranty, or mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI), will protect you from unexpected repair bills in case your car experiences a mechanical breakdown or electrical failure. Some warranties will also cover wear and tear.

The type of car warranty depends largely on whether you have a new or used car, and might even be included when you purchase your vehicle. 

How does a car warranty work?

Should your car develop mechanical issues that require fixing, the cost of repairs at a garage can be an unexpected financial blow. A car warranty policy can protect you from this.

As different policies cover different things, it’s crucial that you read the terms and conditions of your warranty so that you know exactly what protection it offers you. You should also check the claims limit, as this is the most the insurer will pay for repairs if you make a claim.

A good comprehensive warranty will cover problems that arise with the:


Brake system parts


Cool system


Fuel system


Ignition system


Transmission system

Car warranty exclusions

However, a car warranty might not cover everything. For example, wear and tear is generally not included, though with some policies you can pay extra for certain wear and tear problems to be covered too. Wear and tear could include batteries, wheels and tyres, exhausts and brakes.

Equally, not all policies cover the car’s air-conditioning system, while sat-navs, modifications and your radio may also be excluded. If you use your car for transit or as a taxi, this won’t be covered either.

New car warranty

If you’ve only just bought a new car, worrying about how to pay for repairs is probably the last thing on your mind.

Fortunately, cars today are much more reliable than they have been previously and if you are lucky you could go months or even years without running into any problems with your car. Plus, there’s a good chance that a brand new car will have a manufacturer’s warranty lasting a number of years.

Should you choose to buy second hand through a dealership, you might also find that the car comes with a warranty, or you’ll be offered one as part of the sales process.

Do I really need a car warranty?

Modern cars are increasingly sophisticated and complex, which can make repairs pricey and complicated. Losing access to your vehicle will cause major inconvenience and even more expense. Indeed, many motorists would struggle to continue their regular lives without the use of a vehicle.

Some drivers choose to protect themselves from the stress of not being able to afford repairs or be without a car by taking out car warranty insurance. The cover can give you peace of mind, reassuring you that if you need to send your car to the garage, an unexpected repair bill can be avoided.Warranty 3 years