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No warranty? No problem!

Most consumers are trying to keep their cars for longer – until their service warranties run out and they are faced with a hefty bill. But is it really more cost-effective to purchase a new car in this instance?

The cost of car repairs is enough to make any consumer anxious. This is a reality facing more and more motorists as car owners opt to hold on to their cars for longer, rather than shelling out on a new one. But while this is a wise decision, it may feel otherwise when the motor warranty runs out, leaving the motorist to foot the bill for car parts and labour. 

Many faced with this prospect decide to replace their car instead – but Dewalt Ranft, Chairman of MIWA, points out that this doesn’t have to be a fall-back position. There are still many options open, from extending the manufacturer guarantee to purchasing new maintenance or insurance – although motorists need to be aware that if they follow this route, they should find out how their car’s age, model, mileage, service, and maintenance history impacts their policy in terms of limitations. They should also be aware that warranties don’t cover consumable items, computer-related problems, internal and external aesthetic and body due to wear and tear, glass, tyres, wheels, wheel alignment, accessories, electrical wiring, brakes, and brake pads, wipers, batteries, or fan belts. Nor are repairs after accidents and environmental damage covered.

Owners of older cars, especially, should be ready to do some research: it’s wise to find a warranty that covers unexpected repairs or, alternatively, to buy a service plan that at least covers general regular maintenance. 

If even these options seem to fall short, consumers should know that before purchasing a new car, they should compare the cost to that of fixing their existing vehicle. Even then, it’s a good idea to obtain quotes from two different workshops. Ultimately, from a financial perspective, it may still make more sense to repair a car than buy a new one.