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What Car Warranties Mean

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 9 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Consumer Rights New Car Warranty

We love our new cars, and we should, since we spend so much money on them. It doesn't matter if it's something cheap or an expensive BMW, we treasure it. We wash and polish them, and fret over every little ding and rattle. We believe we're safe because of the warranty. But are we really?

Whenever you buy a new car, it comes with a warranty. This is known as the manufacturer's warranty, and can run for up to three years. You might also be offered the chance to buy a "dealer-based extended warranty," which covers you for a longer period of time. That sounds good, but be careful - they often contain limitations on such things as mileage. Don't sign until you've read through everything carefully, and don't be afraid to ask questions.

Warranty Questions

Most of us don't think about it, but consider shopping for warranties as well as price. Why? Well, the simple fact is that what you'll spend after the sale comes to about 40% of what you'll spend on the car over its life, so a good warranty can save you money. Warranties vary tremendously, so you should always discover how long it lasts and what it covers.

With a dealer-based extended warranty, find out when it starts, and exactly what it covers - is it every fault? What happens if you can't get your car serviced exactly according to the approved schedule? If you have an accident and then have your car repaired, does that affect the warranty?

Servicing

Obviously, your car has to be serviced regularly. But these days you're not forced to have it done at the dealer, as cars are no longer sold with "servicing ties." This means you can have your car serviced anywhere and the new car warranty is still good. The only condition is that it has to be to the manufacturers' recommendations. Since independent garages are usually cheaper than dealers, this could mean a significant savings over the life of a car.

This isn't necessarily the case with the dealer-based warranty that you buy. The restrictions in that might mean you have to have your car serviced by a dealer at the intervals specified in the owner's manual. If you don't conform to that, you could find that the warranty becomes null and void.

Warranty Problems

In the event of a problem with a warranty, contact the manufacturer (the customer helpline number will be in your handbook). In most cases they'll be willing to resolve everything smoothly. If not, contact the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which can act as an arbiter in the situation, although it carries no legal power.

If that doesn't work, contact Trading Standards. As a last resort, contact a solicitor. If you have to take the manufacturer to court over the warranty, it'll be an expensive journey, since your claim won't qualify for the small claims track. If you win, you can claim costs and you might even be able to claim compensation.

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San - Your Question:
I bought a brand new Citroen c4 Picasso diesel from a dealership in 2015, recently it developed a fault, when driving above 35 mph it starts to judder.it has had several factory recalls which I was not informed of what was actually corrected and following this juddering fault was told it would be fixed by a software update that Citroen had requested. The fault has not been fixed so a further visit to the dealership this time I insisted a technician ride in the car to witness the problem himself. He agreed it existed and they have had the car for two weeks but are still unable to correct the fault. Citroen have admitted that there are a number of cars with the same fault as mine, how much longer do I let them try to fix it. They have given me a courtesy car but I want my car back.

Our Response:
Ask the dealer what they can do, whether they can give you a deadline and what they propose if they're unable to fix it. That way, you'll know what you're dealing with. If negotiation doesn't work, consider legal action.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 11-Sep-17 @ 12:15 PM
I bought a brand new Citroen c4 Picasso diesel from a dealership in 2015, recently it developed a fault, when driving above 35 mph it starts to judder.it has had several factory recalls which I wasnot informed of what was actually corrected and following this juddering fault was told it would be fixed by a software update that Citroen had requested. The fault has not been fixed so a further visit to the dealership this time I insisted a technician ride in the car to witness the problem himself. He agreed it existed and they have had the car for two weeks but are still unable to correct the fault. Citroen have admitted that there are a number of cars with the same fault as mine, how much longer do I let them try to fix it. They have given me a courtesy car but I want my car back.
San - 9-Sep-17 @ 9:16 AM
Clued - Your Question:
Part exchanged my old car and paid over £14k for a new Ford kuga, it has electrical issues ( clock gained 2 hours when I stopped at a garage), paint chip, various brown bits which I am told is oxidisation on the inside of the boot--- on the bumper which is totally covered by the boot door and rust on the exhausts ( normal apparently -- never had the issue on any other car ) dealer is saying they are fixable and he does not have to take it back -- how do I stand given there was a part ex.?It is 3 days old today, they have it to " fix things" --- but I am not. Happy with this

Our Response:
The fault has to be significant enough to warrant its rejection. You may need to ask an expert to tell you whether these fault are significant enough, paint chips are not normally a good enough reason.Car Expert has a good guide here...
ConsumerRightsExpert - 7-Aug-17 @ 12:22 PM
Part exchanged my old car and paid over £14k for a new Ford kuga, it has electrical issues ( clock gained 2 hours when I stopped at a garage), paint chip, various brown bits which I am told is oxidisation on the inside of the boot--- on the bumper which is totally covered by the boot door and rust on the exhausts ( normal apparently -- never had the issue on any other car ) dealer is saying they are fixable and he does not have to take it back -- how do I stand given there was a part ex.?It is 3 days old today, they have it to " fix things" --- but I am not. Happy with this
Clued - 3-Aug-17 @ 3:03 PM
We viewed and test drove Nissan Qashqui on 4th March 2017, The car was displaying Service warning light. we were told that this was going to be turned off by the Main Dealer. So we arranged to collect the car and sign finance documents on 11th March 2017. on day of purchase, the Service light was still displayed on the dashboard. It was agreed that we would take the car back the following Saturday and this would be sorted along with some minor cosmetics issues. We arranged for the car to go back on Saturday 18th March, the little paint problems would be sorted and issues with the upholstery that were badly marked and the Service Light. (We had also paid for Diamondbrite package) We left the car at Stoneacre 18/03/2017 and were advised by the manager that he wanted to keep the car until he was 100% happy that all the issues were resolved. I was given a courtesy car.(I was going on holiday on 24/03/2017)I was contacted on 28/03 to inform me that my car would not be ready before i went on holiday, so I would be able to collect it on my return on 31/03. On calling Stoneacre on 31/03 I was informed that my car was not ready and it would be another week. Therefore my car was actually in the garage for 3 weeks. I eventually collected my car on 8th April 2017, But on driving my car home, we had an orange triangle light come up on the dashboard. This light went on and off intermittently. I called Stoneacre on Sunday and was advised by Steve? (Manager) to bring the car back and he would get it sorted. As we had only collected the car on Saturday 8/04 Steve (Manager) stated that he would personally return my car on Monday 10/04 and gave us yet another courtesy car. At 4pm on Monday 10/04 no one had called me about me car so I called Stoneacre to be told that Steve was not in Work - I was put through to the service Manager Darren Fennell - Who was unaware of the problem. I was contacted to collect my car on Friday 14/04. Then on Wednesday 10/05 there was a STOP/START System fault light on the dash board, plus orange triangle and major engine management light. 11/05 I called Stoneacre again, I spoke to Darren Service Manager, and he arranged to collect my car. Again I was given a courtesy car, my car was then returned on Friday 12/05. Now Thursday 25th May STOP/START System fault has come on again, with triangle light and engine management light, but I have also lost power. Car is very sluggish and has no power - Called again spoke to Darren Service Manager, Car is again now in the garage.Been given a courtesy car. Where does now leave me
Mags - 30-May-17 @ 10:50 PM
Ian - Your Question:
I ordered a pre-built car from a main dealer and paid a deposit; the car was on the available list but at another dealer. I was told that I could have the car. A couple of days later the dealer called me and told me that the car I'd ordered shouldn't have been sold to me and had been sold by the other dealer. I was offered an alternative but I don't wan't what is being offered (don't like the colour) I've since found out that the car has been reserved for the dealership I was ordering through but has been reserved for another person, so they've lied to me. I have a signed order and have paid a deposit. What are my options?

Our Response:
You should have your deposit refunded. If you're really keen on this particular model, you could try taking action for breach of contract, but the dealer could simply say it was a mistake and you may not be successful.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 16-Mar-17 @ 1:47 PM
I ordered a pre-built car from a main dealer and paid a deposit; the car was on the available list but at another dealer.I was told that I could have the car.A couple of days later the dealer called me and told me that the car I'd ordered shouldn't have been sold to me and had been sold by the other dealer.I was offered an alternative but I don't wan't what is being offered (don't like the colour)I've since found out that the car has been reserved for the dealership I was ordering through but has been reserved for another person, so they've lied to me.I have a signed order and have paid a deposit.What are my options?
Ian - 14-Mar-17 @ 5:46 PM
I had a Ford Zetec Turbo on lease and bought it Mar last year.3 year warranty is up Mar 2017.Sept 2016 the engine packed up and Ford replaced the engine October, this weekend the car was hard to start and white smoke was coming from the exhaust so took it back to the garage and they told me yesterday it needs a new engine again.While I am not paying for this I have lost complete faith in this car. If it was an insurance job it would be a right off as each replacement would cost approximately £6,000.What are my rights, I want to return the car and either get the money back or get a replacement.I phoned Ford customer relations and was told they don't deal with this and I have to speak to the dealership I bought it from. Any help very gratefully received
sallycat - 11-Jan-17 @ 10:11 AM
BMW X5 - Your Question:
I have a BMW X5 it is 1 year old. Last week I drove through a puddle of water no more than 100mm slowly. shortly afterwards the car started to vibrate. I booked in with a dealer and I got a phone call telling me the car had water damage. I explained I hadnt driven it through deep water and was told a bmw x5 is "not designed to drive through puddles" I couldnt believe what I was hearing!@? I said its a 4x4 with high clearance. If id been told this before buying a £65k car I wouldnt have bought it. Today I received a phone call telling me everything including. Diff, DPF, Turbo, gearbox, engine, etc had to be replaced and the estimate was £35k. And do I want them to contact my insurer. I said no. I want an email with a full breakdown and evidence showing whats gone wrong. I received a very short email. stating the above and that it was not designed to go through more than 25cm of water at no more than 3mph. I contacted bmw national directly saying I was thinking of buying an x5 and asked what the design specification was for wading depth they told me 500mm and that an x5 was a great car for off road for all types of surfaces. I have since received an estimate quote from the dealer with a breakdown of parts and labour totalling 33k. it could be more like 40k. no back up no explanation other than driving in water. I have told them that I have never driven through deep water and to show me evidence to the contrary and that the wading depth is 500mm not the 250mm they had told me. Frankly im feeling like im being cheated and that they see this as an opportunity to just go through my insurance, what are my options because I feel and people ive told are disgusted by this situation. its just wrong. I have never genuinely been in deep water and as such this must be a fault?

Our Response:
It's really worth getting a second opinion from another garage (even if it's a different BMW franchise). You might want to take this to a solicitor, you shouldn't have to pay that much to repair a one year old car that's apparently doing what it was designed for.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 24-Nov-16 @ 2:34 PM
I have a BMW X5 it is 1 year old. Last week i drove through a puddle of water no more than 100mm slowly. shortly afterwards the car started to vibrate. I booked in with a dealer and i got a phone call telling me the car had water damage. I explained i hadnt driven it through deep water and was told a bmw x5 is "not designed to drive through puddles" i couldnt believe what i was hearing!@? I said its a 4x4 with high clearance. If id been told this before buying a £65k car i wouldnt have bought it. Today i received a phone call telling me everything including. Diff, DPF, Turbo, gearbox, engine, etc had to be replaced and the estimate was £35k. And do i want them to contact my insurer. I said no. I want an email with a full breakdown and evidence showing whats gone wrong. I received a very short email. stating the above and that it was not designed to go through more than 25cm of water at no more than 3mph. I contacted bmw national directly saying i was thinking of buying an x5 and asked what the design specification was for wading depth they told me 500mm and that an x5 was a great car for off road for all types of surfaces. i have since received an estimate quote from the dealer with a breakdown of parts and labour totalling 33k. it could be more like 40k. no back up no explanation other than driving in water. i have told them that i have never driven through deep water and to show me evidence to the contrary and that the wading depth is 500mm not the 250mm they had told me. Frankly im feeling like im being cheated and that they see this as an opportunity to just go through my insurance, what are my options because i feel and people ive told are disgusted by this situation. its just wrong. i have never genuinely been in deep water and as such this must be a fault?
BMW X5 - 23-Nov-16 @ 10:57 PM
G Conway - Your Question:
Hi I purched a 151 passet highline demo after a few weeks it had problems with auto hold sticking when sticking in traffic causing car not to move I took it back to my dealer they said it was switched in hand brake auto hold got them changed same problem went back they changed abs unit got car back have the same problem after few days gone back they say they cant find problem but this dangerous as when you are in traffic it moves and stickes the same as you would pull a manull hand break I have got bloon out off abused and accused of pulling my hand break it is back in main dealer they are telling they can not find problem I am afraid to take it back it is a safety issue iam affraid I will get rearended an cause a car crash what will I do buy the way there was a water leak I boot coming in through back wimdow

Our Response:
When did you buy the car?
ConsumerRightsExpert - 5-Aug-16 @ 2:42 PM
Hi i purched a 151 passet highline demo after a few weeks it had problems with auto hold sticking when sticking in traffic causing car not to move i took it back to my dealer they said it was switched in hand brake auto hold got them changed same problem went back they changed abs unit got car back have the same problem after few days gone back they say they cant find problem but this dangerous as when you are in traffic it moves and stickes the same as you would pull a manull hand break i have got bloon out off abused and accused of pulling my hand break it is back in main dealer they are telling they can not find problem i am afraid to take it back it is a safety issue iam affraid i will get rearended an cause a car crash what will i do buy the way there was a water leak i boot coming in through back wimdow
G Conway - 5-Aug-16 @ 10:23 AM
Ordered new Audi A3 March 16. Delivery about mid July. We just found out the have upgraded themodel which looks nice ,however we learnt today that we will have to pay extra for this? Is this correct? Old order we paid extra for folding mirrors new model the come standard, Not sure what to do
Ade - 11-Jun-16 @ 10:50 AM
Bought a brand new Audi A5 convertsble. 13months from purchase till now (18months) have had it in garage 5 times with same recurrent fault. Now have no faith and wish new car or exact replacement. Where do I stand and how do I exert pressure on retailer, assuming they wish to attemp, again, to "fix" problem?!
Upset audi - 24-Jan-16 @ 9:08 PM
KG - Your Question:
Hi, I brought a second hand BMW 1 year ago, the car is just over 4 years old and has done 160k miles. I recently had this serviced and asked about the timing chain as in older version this was an issue. 5 weeks later the said timing chain snapped and means I need a new engine. When I asked about the chain I was told this was not a service item and was a lifetime part that never needed to be changed nor was it an issue with the latest BMW engines. However since it has snapped I have looked about and there is recalls for my car in France and Germany however not in the UK. where do I stand on making BMW replace the engine rather than have to pay for this myself?

Our Response:
Someone we know actually had this same issue recently and BMW were very fair, in asking only a partial payment. The vehicle in question had however, only done around 50,000 miles;your vehicle has done 160,000 and this may go against any claim as we're not sure what the expected "lifetime" of the engine should be.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 22-Dec-15 @ 11:56 AM
Hi, I brought a second hand BMW 1 year ago, the car is just over 4 years old and has done 160k miles.I recently had this serviced and asked about the timing chain as in older version this was an issue.5 weeks later the said timing chain snapped and means I need a new engine.When I asked about the chain I was told this was not a service item and was a lifetime part that never needed to be changed nor was it an issue with the latest BMW engines.However since it has snapped I have looked about and there is recalls for my car in France and Germany however not in the UK.where do I stand on making BMW replace the engine rather than have to pay for this myself?
KG - 21-Dec-15 @ 9:44 AM
unhappy nissan owner - Your Question:
Hello. Bought a brand new Qashqai from a Nissan dealer through finance. Received the car on the 5th of October. In two weeks time, it developed a gap on the centre of the dashboard and reported it straight away but had to wait for 3 weeks before Nissan would finally entertain my complaint. Spoke to the manufacturer's case manager and I was denied a car replacement. I was told they've fixed the car and should pick it up from the dealer. What are my rights as a consumer on getting a replacement car? Many thanks.

Our Response:
New rules suggest that you could have asked for a replacement. Take a look at our: guide to the Consumer Rights Act 2015
ConsumerRightsExpert - 4-Nov-15 @ 2:45 PM
Hello. Bought a brand new Qashqai from a Nissan dealer through finance. Received the car on the 5th of October. In two weeks time, it developed a gap on the centre of the dashboard and reported it straight away but had to wait for 3 weeks before Nissan would finally entertain my complaint. Spoke to the manufacturer's case manager and I was denied a car replacement. I was told they've fixed the car and should pick it up from the dealer. What are my rights as a consumer on getting a replacement car? Many thanks.
unhappy nissan owner - 3-Nov-15 @ 9:45 PM
@mike. Check the wording on any advert or sales pitch you were given and also the sales contract. If, as the seller states, you were given a discount because of this then there may be not much you can do.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 24-Nov-14 @ 12:23 PM
hi im living in irelad & went to england & purchased a citreon 8 weeks ago. when i saw car on autotrader car has 3 months warranty but now clutch needs to be replaced & dealer is saying that there is no warranty on car as i got a discount. i need to get car fixed here ,& trying to get dealer to go in for half expense, if he will go at all
mike - 21-Nov-14 @ 5:18 PM
Hi, I bought a new car on 6th march 2014 renault captur, I have a wind noise, (sounds like it's coming from passenger window), had it booked in at dealer they said it was sorted, but got it back and no different, only door doesn't close first time now so got it booked again, again said they had sorted it and still got wind noise and door still not closing, what are my rights on getting a replacement car?
Ronnie - 14-Oct-14 @ 12:07 PM
I have just bought a second hand car (08 plate) from a dealer who told me it had up to three previous owners, when the log book arrived it shows six previous owners. How do I stand legally with this with regards to getting some compensation. They have said they would buy the car back off me but I am not happy with that idea.
jb - 8-Jul-14 @ 1:56 PM
Good Morning I have paid a deposit for a brand new vehicle from Landrover, I am supposed to take delivery 2 weeks today, I received a call last night to say they have sold me a car they shouldn't of as it is already sold to somebody else and they have no more until end of August. What are my rights? Thanks
Juliec63 - 6-Jun-14 @ 8:29 AM
My Daughter purchased a car 5month ago. The car is a 57 plate. The warrenty only covered the car for 28days. She has had a few problems with the car and now the head gasket has gone. I believe that this is going to cost her quite a bit. Could the dealer who she purchased it from have known that they may have been any problems? are this could have happenend? Could any one help me on this please. Thanks Donna.
pipi - 16-Apr-14 @ 2:47 PM
I bought truck two weeks ago the car lot put a used starter in the truck the truck would not start so i was told by the dealer to take it to the shop that fixes thier vehicles.I dropprd it off in the morning and found out it was the battery the car lot refused to pay it and I wa stuck with the bill of $200.00 which I did not have so I had to borrow it just to get my truck back.Is there any thing I can do like make the car lot pay the bill?
tracy - 30-Oct-13 @ 7:20 PM
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