So, the time has come for you to finally buy your new car. As a student, you have saved up enough money for a deposit and completed all the right forms and sent in the documents you need for car finance. But now, you are wondering about other aspects such as insurance and vehicle warranties. A vehicle warranty might sound confusing, but it is actually quite simple to understand.

 

Once you understand how to calculate car finance and affordability, vehicle warranties will be something you will know more about. You can use a calculator for vehicle finance which will give you a clearer picture of the total cost of the car, or look for a car affordability calculator from one of the many lenders available. Still not sure about the basics? Below is everything you need to know about vehicle warranties.

So, what does a vehicle warranty cover?

If you have been researching “can I afford a car?” or car affordability tips, you will likely have read about vehicle warranties. It protects your car against damage, repairs and replacements and more. Outlined below are just some aspects that a warranty will cover:

 
  • The engine and all parts
  • The fuel system and the ignition
  • The electronics and all parts
  • The gearbox and clutch
  • The steering
  • The braking system and all parts
  • The tyres and all parts
 

Each warranty will differ, but the more comprehensive options cover other aspects such as the features that luxury vehicles include. Some monthly repayments might increase according to what is offered by the warranty.

How long does it last for?

Whether your car is new or used, what matters the most is how long your warranty lasts for. Often, a warranty will be quoted according to a period of time and a number of kilometres. One example of this is a three-year or 120 000km warranty, which is popular with some vehicle brands.

 

What this means is that your cover lasts for three years or 120 000km, depending on which comes first. For those who drive more than your average kilometres per year, your warranty cover will run out a lot quicker. Be sure to keep this number in mind when you drive and ask your car dealer about other finance options or even an extended warranty option if you feel that the period offered is too short.

There are service intervals to follow

A car warranty requires you to service your car regularly, and some of them offer service interval guidelines to follow in order to maintain their validity. For example, some might require you to service your vehicle every 10 000km to 15 000km or 12 months, depending on which comes first based on your driving and situation.

 

Diesel powered vehicles are sometimes required to be serviced every 10 000km,  but be sure to check this with your dealer. Make a note of this number so that you do not forget to service your car at these intervals. This will not void your warranty, but it could cause problems down the road as you will have to pay out of pocket in some instances. Your logbook will list the last time your car was serviced, so you can use this to calculate when your next one should be.

The mechanic choices will vary

Some vehicle warranties allow free choice of mechanics, but others have a set list of trusted mechanics who they prefer you to use. This option is safer to go with, as their chosen mechanics will know not to do anything that damages the car and voids the warranty.

 

For routine maintenance and checkups, you will be able to choose your own mechanic, but for replacements and repairs, you will need to abide by the choices laid out by your warranty. If you want to choose your own, you should do extensive research on who the best in your area is. Look for online reviews and speak to people in person who have used their services previously.

The full amount might not be covered

Knowing your car finance and affordability limits mean that you need to know what percentage of the full repair amount your warranty covers. For example, you might need to send your car in for repair work that will cost up to R3 000.

 

The dealer could only contribute only R1 500, which means that you will need to contribute the remaining half. You can consider an extended warranty, which means that a larger percentage of the amount will be covered by the dealer or workshop. Look at your monthly income and ascertain whether or not you can afford to contribute to this type of cost. Alternatively, speak to your lender about your car affordability and whether or not an extended warranty is feasible.

Always be prepared

It is important to have a warranty, whether your car is new or used. It will ensure that your car is covered for almost every eventuality and it will save you money on repairs and services. Be sure to speak to your dealer and lender about the best options for you. And find out how long your warranty lasts for and what is covered, so you can make financial plans for your future. Once you understand vehicle warranties, when you apply for finance you will see that they are a necessary part of owning a car.

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