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Most independent dealers and car supermarkets will offer some kind of warranty on the cars they sell, either as a separate item or as part of the deal.

When you buy a used car from a dealer you automatically get a degree of protection through the sale of Goods Act which protects against the car not being of satisfactory condition at the point of purchase. This however does not cover you against a part failing three months after purchase.

Most dealers will offer a minimum of three months' protection with the option of an extended warranty at extra cost. Make sure you are aware of exactly what the warranty covers and shop around to see if better warranties are available, since the level of cover can vary a great deal from one policy to another.

Major players in this field include Car Care Plan, Motorway Direct and National Dealer Services.

Broadly speaking they all offer similar packages, but taking as an example the Star brand from National Dealer Services, there are two levels of cover: Star Protected, which is sold separately, or Star Certified which is included in the price of the car.

As a guide, Star Protected will cost around £350-£400 annually for a 2.0-litre car. It may sound a lot, but when included in a three-year finance deal the price could easily rocket to £500-£600!

Schemes such as Star Certified are the trade's answer to the manufacturer's approved used car scheme. They offer similar levels of cover and may include MoT insurance, history check and hire-car costs. The price of these is generally included in the sticker price of the car so deduct what similar cars are fetching at other dealers to ascertain how much you are paying for the warranty.

Major mechanical components tend to be covered, while wear and tear items, like tyres, exhaust, brakes and clutch linings, are usually not.

Again, stipulations exist regarding use and maintenance - though where the actual servicing is carried out is likely to be less regulated than with a franchised main dealer warranty.

Go to our Car Warranty Quotes page to see the cover available from leading providers.


WarrantyGuide.co.uk