Car 101: Low down on Extended Warranties

Don’t want to sell your beloved car as your warranty has expired? Buying a pre-loved vehicle? WOW has two words for you – extended warranty

If you love what you drive and are not quite keen on trading in/up/down just yet, never fear, there are options at hand. Many of us assume that once our service/warranty plans have expired on our cars we must simply brace for the inevitable expense that comes with car ownership. WOW is here to tell you that all is not lost and  extended warranties may be just what you need.

Hippo.co.za is a fantastic resource tool when comparing companies that offer extended warranties/service plans. They only pull results from fully registered and fiduciary-compliant companies, which protect you, the consumer. Manufacturers are jumping on board the extended-plan bandwagon; ask your dealer about their options. Insurers that are well known for their  extended warranties are Hollard and the AA. The cost structure differs from one product to the other, some are bought up front for a year, others are a monthly price and some can be bought when initially purchasing your vehicle. Depending on who you use, the amount is based on the value of the car or a value set by you.

WOW advice

Don’t include the extended warranty in your finance agreement, pay it upfront so that you’re not paying interest on this product.

Extended warranties are not relegated to new cars reaching the end of their plans, they’re applicable to second-hand buys, too, provided they meet requirements. Doing our research we came across a few general requirements to qualify for these extension products; a vehicle under 12-years old, less than 250 000 km, a full service history with an authorised supplier and a passenger vehicle.

Benefits that can be included in warranties are roadside assistance if you breakdown; AA Extended Warranty provides a rental vehicle if you’re further than 100 km from home.

Extended service plans

Warranty-extender plans generally cover mechanical failures including gearbox, engine, electronics (important on modern cars) and braking systems. Read the paperwork carefully as to what is, and is not covered; research suggests that items that are not commonly covered include batteries, brake pads, car diagnostics, consumables, poor labour and non OEM (manufacturer authorised parts) products, fan belts and air-con units. These all fall under wear and tear.

We took one for the team and trawled through different forums and groups relating to warranty products, one common mistake to void a warranty is by doing your own basic service like an oil change. Yes, you or someone who loves you wants to save you a few randelas, offers to do this simple procedure for free, rather politely decline. The couple of hundred you save in this ‘free service’ will render the hard earned cash you have spent on this warranty as null and void.


WOW questions to ask when buying an extended warranty:

  1. Do the benefits decrease over the years?
  2. Are your claims lodged limited to a set amount each year or for the life of the plan?
  3. Is the value of your claims limited as above?
  4. Is there a waiting period before you can claim?


Images: iStock