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Worthless Warranties

warranty n. a written guarantee promising to repair or replace an article if necessary within a specified period.
(Source: Oxford English Dictionary)

warranty n. a completely ambiguous document which may be a lifesaver, yet may also not even be worth the paper it is written on.
(Source: Palmdale Car Dictionary)

There is HUGE misunderstanding amongst car buyers as to what is covered by car warranties, and most of this deception is deliberately caused by car dealers.

So to set the record straight, here is Ashley’s guide to car warranties:


These are issued on the car when it is new, and usually last until the car is 3 years old (5 years for Hyundais, 7 years for the Kia Ceed… and yet just 2 years for Porsches).

They cover pretty much everything on the car except for ‘wear and tear’ items such as tyres and brake discs/pads. They also cover you for up to the value of the car, and never have an excess to pay.

The best thing is that they are completely transferable. No matter who you buy the car from (even a private seller), the warranty stays on the car.

And, if you buy a used car through a manufacturer approved dealer, they will nearly always give you a 12 month Manufacturer Warranty regardless of how old the car is. (N.B. Some brands such as Peugeot limit the cover.)


Some are OK, but most are totally worthless. There are 3 factors you need to check:

1) What is covered. Many will have a whole list of complicated exclusions that will render the policy useless in the vast majority of situations.

2) What the claim limit is. The GOOD ONES will often limit you to just £1,000 per claim. I have seen some with a poxy £250 claim limit!

3) Whether there is an excess. (The policy above with a £250 claim limit had a £150 excess!)

So next time that local car dealer tells you that the car comes with a 3 month warranty, make sure you ask the right questions.

Be happy, don’t warranty!

Ashley Winston
(Founder & Owner)

At Palmdale we specialise in taking all the hassle out of the car buying process:


  • YOU tell us exactly what car you want
  • WE search for every available car in the UK that meets your description
  • WE negotiate with the seller
  • WE make sure that the car is perfect
  • WE collect the car and bring it to your door
  • YOU enjoy your new wheels for many years to come

These newsletters are our attempt to teach you everything we know about car buying; however, if you would like us to find and buy your next car for you, all you have to do is ask!