Car Buying

All You Need to Know About Used Car Warranty Law

Purchasing a used car isn’t as simple as it’s made out. There are so many different things that go into it that it can be hard to keep a track of everything. That’s why we exist, after all. If something is to happen to a used car that you’ve purchased, however, that’s where understanding used car warranty law can be a real asset to you.

What’s even more interesting in all this is actually what comprises used car warranty law in the first place. We know that you have a load of different rights when you’re actually purchasing a used car, for example, but specifically, what happens if something goes wrong? How much cover does that warranty really offer you? Is it worth getting one independently? These are all the questions we’re here to help you answer.

How Used Car Warranties Work

The best starting point with this is by looking at the basis behind a warranty you may well get with a used car. Although they aren’t a legal requirement, they are still common when you’re looking at buying a car from a professional seller. That goes for standard warranties provided by the vendor, and extended warranties sold on top of that.

It is, however, still essential that you remember that any warranty is not a replacement of your consumer rights in the law. You have all kinds of rights when you’re buying a used car. If the car has an issue that wasn’t disclosed, then you have the right to get your money back unless you settle something else. That goes for almost any industry, including the automotive. 

A warranty, however, does more than that. The warranty is essentially a guarantee that goes alongside these rights that state you can get various types of cover if any issues do occur not included in these rights (or even if they are, warranties can minimize any arguments or questionability).

That’s the basics.

The Reason You Get A Warranty with Used Cars

Another key aspect of used car warranty law comes from the justification behind one. It changes for every vendor, so you need to think about the reason a warranty might be included, the type of warranty that you’re getting, and what it is that yours means in particular. Context is the key here to understand how this is applicable.

For example, if you are buying a £50,000 car, it’s more than likely that a warranty is going to be a massive push for you to buy it. The dealer is likely to make sure that nothing is going to go wrong with the vehicle as it will be much more of an issue for all parties (and an expensive one at that). As a result, it puts your mind at ease and helps push a sale if there’s a warranty worth £1000.

On the other hand, the inverse applies too. If you are looking into buying a cheaper vehicle, say for £1500, things are going to be very, very different. The dealer will have a real issue trying to turn a profit if you’re spending almost as much as a warranty would cost (this is all figurative). Their profit margins are down and thus they’d have to charge more. As a result, the car isn’t worth the money it’s being charged, and everybody loses out.

It’s all relative as to what your warranty is there for. (remember though, they are almost definitely getting a better deal on multiple warranties than you could, especially if only 1 in 10 cars needs to use the one given).

Different Types of Used Car Warranty

As well as the justification behind the warranty giving some insight into used car warranty law, it can still be a really useful idea to look into the different types of warranty out there that different law can affect. Again, it’s all relative to you, your vehicle, your purchase and your warranty. How to select best extended warranty choice.

Every single one of these aspects can make a massive difference to what it is that you’re buying. They all have their merit, and all play a part in the worth of a warranty.

Standards Set

Firstly is the standard of warranty you are given with the purchase of a used car and the law that is involved in the print. It’s essential to remember that there are different extents of warranties out there that can apply to any situation.

For example, many warranties will be a brief warranty covering the basics. In many cases, that can cover the very minimum that would be covered in the consumer rights act as well as possibly a few essential extras that could cause fallout. That’s the basic level of used car warranty law.

Contrary to this, the inverse could again be applied here too. Some warranties really go the extra mile to making sure you’re covered, like with high quality extended warranties. Whether that is to increase the value of your vehicle or it’s to make sure you trust a seller, or even if they can afford it due to bulk warranties, it applies to a lot of large scale dealers due to economics of scale. 

The standard of your used car warranty says a lot about the law that makes it. Look for details like:

  • Mechanical Faults
  • Structural damage
  • long term wear and tear
  • electrical faults
  • mileage limitations
  • excess required


Following on from this, it also needs to be noted that warranties come from all kinds of different places, and even this can have an effect on the law involved in the situation. Different companies again have different standards and different capabilities, meaning that they can tailor their warranties to their own strengths to maximize their gain.

For example, here if you have a warranty from the AA, they may well provide a high level of roadside assistance or breakdown cover, but maybe scrimp on the quality of repairs of costs covered.

A mechanic or dealership offering a warranty could be completely different to this, and simply offer blanket wide cost buffers like free returns of money back on any necessary repairs covered in said used car warranty law.


Lastly, on the same lines as all of these comes the duration of the warranty of the vehicle too. Just like all of the points we have looked at above, everything can change depending on the length of what you’re taking out.

If you have a warranty that covers absolutely everything but only for a week, this may make the deal sound much more favourable but have a much lower risk for the seller (and sound great but really, not be much use to you aside from pushing a sale)

Other warranties cover the essentials and not much else but maybe even last you the whole year if you follow their criteria (which is why extended warranties aren’t always what they are cracked up to be too due to impossible conditions in some cases).

What about extended warranty law?

While we are looking at an extended warranty, it’s also smart to look at their stipulation as well. They tend to have both good and bad reputations depending on peoples experience, but even these come down to the same principles of used car warranty law at their very core.

Although these often sound like the best way to protect your investment and your safety in the long term, a lot of the time, even these have limiting factors making them practically worthless. High excess fees, mileage restrictions and even vehicle age restrictions can be in place without even being clearly stated anywhere than in the law covered by the fine print.

Really make sure you are being thorough.

Should you get your own warranty?

With all of the guidance we have offered, it may well seem like you’d be better off just doing your own homework and getting a warranty externally to help you out, but a lot of the time, this isn’t the best way to go about the situation either. That’s because in many cases, a warranty comes with a vehicle regardless of anything you choose to do. With that in mind, you simply need to account it into what you’re paying for and how it affects the value.

In many cases with used car warranties, it could actually be cheaper to taker a deal with a worse warranty and get your own warranty as well. In others, it could be worth pointing things out the try and reduce the price of the car. Alternatively, go down the middle and do both. It’s entirely up to you, but you only know if you read everything that you can in your dealings.

Used Car Warranty Law Summary

With all that being said, there are just a few key takeaways you need to remember in all that we’ve looked at here:

  1. Warranties do not replace consumer rights, although may reiterate them
  2. Warranties are affected by factors, like:
  • Terms
  • Duration
  • Providers
  1. Extended Warranties can be equally as risky but also massively beneficial
  2. Research anything offered to you, negotiate accordingly and explore eternal provers if needed.

Acquiring a Warranty

If you are looking into acquiring your own vehicle warranty, like many automotive services operating out there, CarExamer also has their own service on offer too. Partnering with AutoProtect, we have a range of extended warranties available to those in need of protection even after the purchase of a used car. We offer packages with durations ranging up to 36 months and starting immediately after purchase, making sure that you are always covered when travelling. Is the warranty really worth it.

There are different levels of warranty covered too, with both essential and comprehensive packages being available for purchase, ensuring that you are always in the know about what you are paying for and to what extent you’ll be covered.

With varying claim limits in place as well, it is even easier to understand what the warranty actually permits, and helps you to alwyas understand the complete extent of your cover in the case of an incident.

Visit our warranty hub to see what is avaialble and create your own cover

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