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The UK’s best used car warranty providers

You’ve bought a used car and now you want some parts and repair cover. Which warranty provider is best for you? We round up the top contenders.

As we have already reported in The Car Expert, sales of used cars have taken a sharp upward turn, as buyers spend some of their growing savings, amassed during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

Many of those used cars will come with some sort of warranty to cover parts for a short period of time, but anyone who has spent good, hard-saved cash on a decent car should be thinking about buying a used car warranty of their own.

A used car warranty covers you for parts and labour repair costs if your car fails dramatically. They vary greatly and each will have its own cap on age, mileage and the total amount of pay-out, so it’s worth looking carefully at what’s on offer before signing up to anything.

Deciding whether to buy a warranty is a valid consideration for a used car buyer and it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of having the cover in the first place.

For every owner, the situation will be different. Some might have easy access to parts for their car. Others might be a dab-hand at repairs or know someone who can help. A few will have bought a cheaper car that doesn’t even warrant an expensive repair if something goes seriously wrong with it.

But for most people the consideration is this: do I want the peace of mind of having some financial support behind me if my car suddenly needs an expensive fix? Or do I think that my monthly premiums I pay for the warranty cover would work out more than cost of any repair bill I encounter?

Different types of used car warranty

The cost of a warranty will vary according to the age and value of your car plus the mileage it has already done. The level of cover will also have an impact – cover that goes over and above the engine and main mechanicals will raise the premium, but there are lots of extras you can add in.

Anything that can naturally wear out – tyres, battery, exhaust, clutch – will not normally be covered.

So if you’ve bought yourself a used car, or your car has reached the end of its new car warranty, where should you go to find some cover? All the leading used car warranty providers have good websites to guide you through their offerings. All you have to decide is which one is right for you.

The benefit of all these websites is that they are not aimed at serious car lovers, but people who just want to choose the right policy for their needs. Each company has its own strengths and USPs, but all of them offer the time-saving option of being a one-stop shop for your next used car warranty.

ALA Insurance*

The UK's best used car warranty providers – ALA

They say: We deliver superb value and peace of mind in equal measure

ALA’s warranty is actually called “RAC warranty from ALA”. Until recently, RAC warranties could only be obtained from a garage but it has established a tie-up with ALA Insurance, which was already well-known as a provider of GAP insurance and other specialist automotive insurance policies.

RAC and ALA offer three levels of cover. The top one, Premium Plus, covers most mechanical and electrical components although there are some listed exclusions such as non-mechanical and electrical parts, consumables or complex elements like wiring harnesses. It includes wear-and-tear cover for named components, and diagnostics up to £50.

There’s also Premium, which is similar but doesn’t include wear-and-tear or diagnostics, and Standard, which only covers main components such as gearbox, engine, steering and suspension.

For Premium and Standard cover, cars must be under eight years old and covered less than 80,000 miles and for Premium Plus it’s six years and 60,000 miles.  The car must have been serviced within the last 12 months.

Warrantywise*

They say: Car warranty provider of the year

Warrantywise has created five levels of cover  that caters for different ages and mileages – 04/40 cover, for example, is for cars that are less than four years old and have done less than 40,000 miles while 12/120 cover is for older cars up to 12 years on the road and with 120,000 miles on the clock. Each has a basic level of cover that includes unlimited repairs, car hire, parts and labour costs and roadside assistance. Costs vary for each customer because you have the option of customising your policy to suit your own needs.

Your warranty won’t replace worn parts or any non-mechanical or non-electrical parts. Warrantywise promises to check the market to make sure it covers more parts than its rivals – but choosing to remove some of those parts for your particular cover will lower your premium.

Warrantywise asks for cars to be fully serviced and with no known faults when the policy is taken out.

Protect4Sure*

The UK's best used car warranty providers – Protect4Sure

They say: Trusted for delivering facts, quality and value

Protect4Sure’s website makes one very clear from the start: it wants to be respected for facts and straight talking, not marketing. Unlike other sites, there is a wealth of data provided that potential customers can read through to understand exactly what they’re getting for their money.

The company has committed to following the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) principles of treating customers fairly, and the site demonstrates this with comprehensive, clear and understandable information. It also has FCSC compensation cover as extra peace of mind.

There is a lengthy page outlining the warranty products Protect4Sure sells and the full details of what each offers. There are two levels of cover available: Protect4Sure Drive Easy and the more comprehensive Protect4Sure Drive Elite. It’s all set out in plain English and even has a section that compares both levels.

Elite covers all mechanical and electrical parts unless it’s listed in a small section called ‘Parts Not Covered’. The Easy policy does not cover such as wide-ranging list of components, but the website sets out everything that it does include and makes it very clear with capital letters where something is ‘NOT’ covered. There are optional upgrades available for some items.

Both policies cover cars up to 100,000 miles and 10 years old at start of policy and cover can start immediately. There are unlimited claim events in either policy.

Warranty Direct*

They say: Peace of mind motoring

Warranty Direct was recently taken over by Firstbase, a leading car warranty company, and its warranties are underwritten by the insurer QBE.

They offer a single, comprehensive warranty cover as they believe that it’s more transparent and less confusing, and it also means customers don’t have to check the fine print to establish what is included within the price bracket they opted for. Different levels of excess payments are provided, giving customers a more flexible way to finance their deal.

The cost of cover varies significantly depending on car make, model and mileage, but the company does offer cover starting at £10 per month. Vehicles must be under ten years old and have covered less than 100,000 miles and cover is quite comprehensive: it includes mechanical and electrical items such as air conditioning, brakes, heating system, oil seals, safety features and four wheel drive.

Warranty Direct doesn’t have special offers or incentives, claiming instead that its quotes are as low as possible from the start.

Motoreasy*

They say: Everything done for you

The website promises to do everything for you and that’s the selling point. Motoreasy provides same-day authorisation for warranty work, handles discussions about any work directly with the repairer in one of its 10,000 garage partners nationwide and can even collect and return your car. It also pays the repair garage direct so you don’t have to get involved.

Unlike some warranties, the Motoreasy ones cover wear and tear, along with overheating faults, air conditioning, emissions failures, in-car entertainment and even satnav faults. Their policies don’t cover accident damage or consumable parts such as brakes pads, wiper blades and clutch plates – unless they were faulty from new.

There are three types of policy to choose from – A, B or C – with A being the most comprehensive, and they offer a lower cost version called Lite which covers repairs following a roadside breakdown. Policies are tailored to suit you so each is differently priced, and you can choose how long you want the cover for: one, two or three years. And you can keep costs further down by agreeing to pay some of the repair costs yourself.

Alternatively, you can add some features in when customising your policy. The additions available include air conditioning, air bag system, electric vehicle parts, multimedia such as CD player or satnav, and MOT failure.

To qualify, your car must not have a pre-existing problem and must have been regularly serviced.

Click4Warranty

They say: The UK’s car warranty provider since 2004

Understanding exactly what your warranty policy covers is never easy and Click4Warranty’s key approach is to provide clear information to its customers at every step. That’s why they display policy terms on every page across their website to help you make informed decisions.

Click4Warranty fully insured policies are written exclusively by its underwriters and it provides cover toward the cost of parts, labour and VAT for repair or replacement of insured parts up to your chosen claim limit. Cars must be under 12 years old and have covered less than 150,000 miles to qualify at the start but after cover begins, there’s no upper limit.

There is freedom to choose your own level of cover and your claim limit, which allows flexibility when setting a price for the policy. There are three-, four-, and foive-star policies offering increasingly better cover. As well as the usual engine, transmission and drivetrain cover, the top policy includes features such as engine management, fuel injection, electric windows and central locking.

On all levels, failure of parts found at MOT or in a service are covered and wear-and-tear is even included. Vehicle recovery, car hire and even emergency accommodation are also part of all packages.

Click4Warranty will settle any bills direct with its own approved repairer, Halfords Autocentres. Customers can use their own repair garage if they wish, but you would have to get approval first, settle the bill and receive the payment afterwards.

The AA

They say: The right warranty for you

The AA is best known as a roadside assistance company so it’s no surprise that 12 months basic breakdown cover is one of the standard features of its used car warranty. With cover provided by Warranty Management Service Ltd, the AA has ten years of experience in this particular field of vehicle insurance.

Almost all mechanical and electrical faults are covered by an AA warranty as is in-car entertainment and remote key fobs, diagnostics, oils, fluids, and parts replaced in pairs such as shock absorbers and springs.

There’s no limit to the number of repairs you can have and the AA has access to a nationwide network of repair shops. If a repair looks like taking a long time, car hire or even overnight accommodation is included in all policies.

Standard cover is called Protect Essential and is available for cars up to ten years old with less than 100,000 miles. An enhanced package, called Protect Plus adds extra features but is only available for cars up to eight years old and 80,000 miles.

Dynamo Cover

They say: Flexible cover solutions

Like many policies of this kind, Dynamo Cover’s warranty will cover the cost to repair or replace manufacturer fitted components and parts that have failed. You can usually boost your cover by adding in ‘Wear and Tear’ cover, which deals with parts that have failed because they’ve worn out due to over-use.

There is no average cost of cover because the company’s charges are dependent on the car’s age, make and model.  There is no easy guide, says the company, adding that it’s important to buy more expensive products that will cover your vehicle, rather than ‘buy cheaper products and find they don’t include cover’.

Dynamo’s warranty products do not cover the costs to repair or replace consumables, or damage caused by lack of maintenance. They offer a large variety of policies as standard, and most will cover engine and drivetrain problems, but you can also include cover on air conditioning units, in car entertainment and other features.

Most of its policies will only cover vehicles that are under ten years old with less than 100,000 miles on the clock.

Here at The Car Expert, we have some fantastic warranty offers for our readers provided by our commercial partners. If you’re interested in a used car warranty, you should check these out:

  • ALA Insurance has provides used car warranties in conjunction with the RAC
  • Warrantywise is a long-established and multi-award-winning warranty provider
  • Protect4Sure is a new player with a different, data-driven approach
  • Warranty Direct is one of the longest-serving names in the UK warranty market
  • Motoreasy offers warranties and many other types of cover for car owners

*The Car Expert has commercial partnerships with ALA Insurance, Motoreasy, Protect4Sure, Warranty Direct and Warrantywise. If you click through to their websites and proceed to purchase a used car warranty, we may receive a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay.

Tom Johnstonhttp://johnstonmedia.com/
Tom Johnston was the first-ever reporter on national motoring magazine Auto Express. He went on to become that magazine’s News Editor and Assistant Editor, and has also been Motoring Correspondent for the Daily Star and contributor to the Daily and Sunday Express. Today, as a freelance writer, content creator and copy editor, Tom works with exciting and interesting websites and magazines on varied projects.

6 COMMENTS


  1. Let’s say Laura doesn’t want to reject the car, under the consumer rights act doesn’t Laura have every right to have the car fixed no matter the failing part or the cost to the dealer, within the first 6 months? Again why purchase a warranty within the first 6 months of purchasing a used car?


    • Firstly, bear in mind that none of this is legal advice so I would always encourage anyone to seek professional legal counsel in any dispute. Now, to address your points:

      The Consumer Right Act primarily covers a consumer’s right to reject a faulty car, with some attention paid to repairing as an alternative. However, a faulty car is not necessarily the same thing as a car with a fault, and this is particularly important with a used car as wear and tear will be taken into account if a dispute ever makes it as far as a court room. As an obvious example, a broken dashboard clock *probably* wouldn’t render the whole car faulty but a broken engine *probably* would.

      We can’t advise on Laura’s particular circumstances. All we can do is provide advice as to how the CRA works and how warranties work, so she or anyone else can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

      From Laura’s comment below, it certainly sounds like a faulty car that should be covered by the CRA, but all we have to go on is her claim. We haven’t seen the car, we haven’t got any input from the dealer and we haven’t got an independent opinion from a third party, so it’s incomplete information. I’m not trying to cast asperions on Laura’s good character, but there are always at least two sides to a story and we only have one here.

      As for your hypothetical point about a customer not wanting to reject the car, it can get complicated quite quickly and can very easily end up (either deliberately or unwittingly) falling outside the provisions of the CRA. If you go back to the point I made first, a car with a fault is not necessarily a faulty car, and a repair for a genuinely faulty car is probably going to be expensive and time-consuming (if it was quick and easy, the dealer would probably just do it without arguing).

      As a result, repairing a faulty car is not usually the preferred option for either party. For example, if you’ve bought a used car that quickly develops a broken engine, do you really want the dealer to repair the engine using second-hand parts or to source another second-hand engine of unknown origin and history? There’s no obligation to use new parts or an official manufacturer service centre to effect the repairs, so it’s a lot of unknowns. In most cases, rejecting the car and getting your money back is highly preferable.

      There is a specific provision for a dealer to be given the opportunity to repair the car within a certain window (which is all covered in the article I recommended before), but that’s there to protect the dealer rather than the customer. A customer is entirely welcome to negotiate an alternative resolution with the dealer, and this often happens, but as soon as that falls outside the CRA you don’t have the same level of consumer protection if the repair fails.

      If your car has a fault that you want repaired, then that’s absolutely a reason to have a warranty.


  2. You do not need a warranty or a Dealer Guarantee. Under the Consumer Rights Act the dealer has to fix, replace or refund the vehicle.


  3. Hi Tom,

    I purchased a car last week and it is already back in the garage. We believed the Garage to be reputable as the body shop next door is run by a family friend. I purchased the car, and less than two days later, it started eminating smoke from the back, leaking liquid underneath bonnet, not getting up to speed. I took it straight to the garage and stupid me, thought it would be treated as a priority given I’d just given them £3k for it. The guy turned on me yesterday and was really personal with his verbal attack and now I’m worried about warranty and I just now something else is going to go wrong with the car. What do I do?

    Do I give the car back and cut my losses? Do I perservere and hope something goes wrong in the next few months which gives me a further reason to hand back the car? I don’t feel safe driving it now and I have four years to pay off for this car.

    Help please!

    Thank you,

    Laura


    • That is great information Stuart and hopefully Laura will have also read the information on her rights under the Consumer Rights Act and the dealer have acted responsibly and in her best interests (probably not though).
      Do you bot find that dealers do not make consumers fully aware of their rights?

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