How to protect your vehicles with warranty and the Consumer Rights Act

How to protect your vehicles with warranty and the Consumer Rights Act

Car warranty provides protection for both the buyer and the dealership far beyond that offered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 – but it is worth knowing the benefits of both. With a wide variety of warranty providers out there, the level of protection will differ massively, so choosing the right aftercare product can make a huge difference should an unexpected mechanical or electrical fault occur.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 provides a separate level of protection for individuals, if their new vehicle develops a fault after purchase but within a relatively short time frame. Below we have outlined the protection afforded by the Act as well as the three main types of vehicle warranty – and what happens if a car has no warranty at all.

Consumer Rights Act 2015

Any individual buying a product or service (including a car) has some level of protection under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Car buyers have a legal right to return a faulty car for a full refund within 30 days of purchase. This is generally considered to be a car that is not roadworthy and/or safe.

However, the buyer could be entitled to a repair or replacement for up to six months if the dealer cannot prove a fault was not there at purchase. So it is important to carry out full checks and maintain records of vehicles sold for an extended period to avoid the possibility of having to pay for repairs on a vehicle already sold – or, in the worst case scenario, providing a full refund or replacement.

Ultimately, if the buyer and dealer cannot reach some sort of agreement, disputes can be resolved with a court decision.

For further information on the Consumer Rights Act 2015, read our blogs introducing the Act and how it affects both dealers and buyers.


New Car Warranty

New car warranties usually come as standard with any new vehicle purchase. However, they can also be available on used cars if that vehicle is less than three years old, for example. While three-year warranties are fairly common for new vehicles, some manufacturers offer longer term protection – and extended warranties are also an option. Car buyers can maintain the protection of a new car warranty for as long as they wish, providing the vehicle is serviced as per requirements. This way owners can usually claim for any necessary repairs via a franchised dealer.

Approved used car warranty

Franchise dealers will usually have an “approved used car warranty” that is branded to their manufacturer. These are often managed and underwritten by a third-party insurer, such as Car Care Plan. For both the dealer and the buyer, it is always worth checking the quality of these products to ensure they offer the appropriate level of protection. Ensuring your cars are well prepared and carrying high quality complementary protection also leads to a positive customer experience, with a hassle-and-cost-free fix, building loyalty and retention rates. But it can also help protect your chassis profits if an unexpected fault occurs.

Aftermarket used car warranty

Aftermarket used car warranties can vary massively and its important both consumers and dealers find the right level of protection for them. Some of the elements to bear in mind are the length of the policy, how the claims process works, if there are limits on the amounts paid out, and what exclusions a policy has. For dealers, this can help protect their profit, but also give their customers peace-of-mind and help improve satisfaction rates.

No warranty

A warranty is not a legal requirement when selling or buying a vehicle. It is common for older used vehicles not to have warranty cover. Buyers may also choose to waive a warranty in return for a reduction on purchase price. However, buyers should be wary, as they could be left with a hefty bill to pay if a fault does occur. Of course, even without a warranty, car buyers still have some protection under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

For further information on vehicle warranty, download our free eBook, Complete guide to warranty.


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