Best new car warranties

From length of coverage to willingness to pay for repairs, we compare the cover provided by the standard of warranties provided with all new cars...

Car buying: Understanding PCP deals

All new cars come with a manufacturer’s warranty that guarantees to cover the cost of fixing any design and manufacturing faults that might occur. That’s reassuring when you consider that car repairs are often becoming more expensive because of ever-increasing complexity.

A three-year new car warranty is standard on four out of every five new cars, and most brands also stipulate a mileage limit; usually it’s 60,000 miles, and if the car exceeds this within the warranty period, the cover expires.

While you might think that offering only three years’ cover is a bit stingy on vehicles that can cost £100,000 or more, it’s worth bearing in mind that warranties on other products, such as electrical goods, generally last for only 12 months, and John Lewis – regarded as one of the best companies for looking after customers – offers no more than two years’ cover on the items it sells, including many costly electrical goods such as computers and televisions.

Red Lexus LBX front left driving

That said, some car makers want to offer buyers more reassurance, so they provide longer cover. In 2021, Lexus and Toyota started offering owners an additional 12-month warranty every time they have their car serviced at one of the brands’ dealerships, as long as that car is no more than 10 years old and has covered less than 100,000 miles.

Dacia introduced a similar offering in 2024, providing up to seven-years and 75,000-miles of cover for cars that are serviced within the franchsed dealer network. And seven years’ cover is provided by Kia, MG, Ssangyong and Suzuki, and they don’t insist that you stick to the franchised network for servicing.

Peugeot has recently introduced an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for its new e-3008 electric family SUV. The cover is on top of the standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty and can be had for any buyers who have older cars serviced by a franchised dealer - doing so adds two years and 15,000 miles of cover each time the vehicle is serviced at a franchised dealer.

New Cars 2024 BYD Seal U

Some up-and-coming brands are also providing longer warranties, perhaps to reassure buyers about choosing a product from an unknown manufacturer. China’s BYD covers its cars for six years or 93,750 miles, while compatriot GWM Ora offers five years’ cover with unlimited mileage, as does Korean brand Genesis.

Which brands have the longest car warranties? 

Brand Warranty length
Lexus 10yrs/100,000 miles*
Toyota 10yrs/100,000 miles*
Peugeot 8yrs/100,000 miles**
Ssangyong 7yr/150,000 miles
Kia 7yrs/100,000 miles
Suzuki 7yr/100,000 miles
MG 7yrs/80,000 miles
Dacia 7yrs/75,000 miles*
BYD 6yrs/93,750 miles
Genesis 5yrs/unlimited mileage
GWM ORA 5yrs/unlimited mileage
Hyundai 5yrs/unlimited mileage
Alfa Romeo 5yrs/75,000 miles
Tesla 4yrs/50,000 miles
BMW 3yrs/unlimited mileage
Jaguar 3yrs/unlimited mileage
Land Rover 3yrs/unlimited mileage
Mercedes 3yrs/unlimited mileage
Mini 3yrs/unlimited mileage
Porsche 3yrs/unlimited mileage
Smart 3yrs/unlimited mileage
Fiat 3yrs/100,000 miles
Honda 3yrs/90,000 miles
Audi 3yrs/60,000 miles
Citroen 3yrs/60,000 miles
Cupra 3yrs/60,000 miles
DS 3yrs/60,000 miles
Ford 3yrs/60,000 miles
Mazda 3yrs/60,000 miles
Nissan 3yrs/60,000 miles
Polestar 3yrs/60,000 miles
Renault 3yrs/60,000 miles
Seat 3yrs/60,000 miles
Skoda 3yrs/60,000 miles
Subaru 3yrs/60,000 miles
Vauxhall 3yrs/60,000 miles
Volkswagen 3yrs/60,000 miles
Volvo 3yrs/60,000 miles
Jeep 3yrs/36,000 miles

*provided you get your car serviced by a main dealer
** only applies to Peugeot e-3008, other models have 3yrs/60,000 miles cover

Which parts are covered by new car warranties? 

Major components, such as the engine or electric motor, fuel system, gearbox and suspension, should all get full warranty cover, along with interior and exterior trim.

Infotainment systems used to be excluded from new car warranties, but these days many car makers give them the same cover as other major parts. While air conditioning systems will be fixed if they go wrong, the cost of regassing a system isn’t always included, or it might be covered for only the first six months or 7500 miles.

Similarly, brake discs and exhaust system parts might be covered for only a short time, and cracks in windscreens and other exterior glass are often covered for the first three months or 1000 miles, so it’s worth adding windscreen cover to your car insurance for peace of mind.

MG4 interior driver display

Items known as consumables – which are expected to have only a limited lifespan – are generally not covered at all unless they fail due to a manufacturing defect. These include the 12-volt battery, light bulbs, tyres and windscreen wiper blades.

Hybrids and electric car warranty cover 

To give additional peace of mind to buyers of plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles (EVs), the high-voltage drive batteries are usually covered for around eight years and 100,000 miles for loss of capacity. If the battery’s ability to store energy drops below 70% of its original capacity within this period, the car maker will usually repair or replace it.

Skoda Enyaq battery

What other warranties do new cars come with? 

The new car and EV battery warranties aren’t the only things covered by car makers. The car’s paintwork is usually covered for the same length of time as the main warranty, and rust is warranted against for 10 to 12 years or around 100,000 miles. However, this cover is only for metal panels that have rotted from the inside out, not for rust patches or holes caused by external factors, such as stone chips, and it can be difficult to prove which way the rust has occurred.

Could I accidentally invalidate my new car warranty?

As with all insurance policies, there are lots of exclusions and clauses that need to be adhered to so that you don’t invalidate your cover. The main one is that you keep the car maintained regularly to the manufacturer ’s standard and have servicing done within the time or mileage recommended.

Although you aren’t usually required to have your car serviced by a franchised dealer, you do have to take it to a garage that will carry out the correct service to the standards recommended in the owner ’s manual. They must use genuine parts, or those of equivalent quality, and it ’s best to get the garage to make a note on the service invoice of all part numbers for items used. You must also stick to fuel, oil and other lubricants that are recommended in the manual.

Other reasons for not paying out on warranty claims include the car’s owner ignoring a warning light on the dashboard, or carrying on driving when the car has a noticeable mechanical or electrical fault.

ABS warning light

If the car gets damaged while it ’s being used inappropriately – for example, if it’s being used as a taxi or on a race track – it won’t be fixed under warranty.

Why has my new car warranty claim been rejected? 

First, you need to understand why the warranty provider has decided not to pay out. If it’s because the faulty item is specified in the terms and conditions as not being covered, there’s little you can do.

However, if you think there’s no exemption and the manufacturer should be paying out, you have a couple of options. If the warranty has been supplied by a car maker or its dealer network, you should contact the customer services department, stating what the problem is and asking them to investigate and see if your claim should be honoured. If you have no joy, you can lodge a complaint with The Motor Ombudsman, an impartial arbitration service that specialises in resolving issues between consumers and motor industry businesses.

Which brands are best at paying for warranty repairs? 

One big criticism of car warranties is that while the first two years are provided by the car maker, subsequent years are often provided as an insurance policy administered by franchised dealers. The latter can cover fewer areas of the car and have more restrictions. And some car owners have told us it ’s been difficult to get dealers to agree to do work they believe should be covered by the warranty.

To find out what percentage of new cars were repaired for free within the most common three-year warranty period, we examined data from the latest What Car? Reliability Survey. The survey contains real-life information on 21,732 vehicles, with their owners telling us whether they went wrong and, if so, how much they cost to repair.

Our data reveals that while 93% of cars up to three years old were fixed for free, the remaining cars landed owners with repair bills ranging from £50 or less to more than £1500.

Green Dacia Jogger front cornering

The best brand when it comes to carrying out work for free is Dacia, with no owners being asked to stump up for any repairs. Jaguar and Cupra aren’t far behind, covering the cost of 98.5% and 98% of all issues respectively, and they ’re followed by Porsche, Renault and Tesla, which all fixed 97% of cars at no cost to owners.

At the other end of the spectrum, 25% of MG owners told us they’d been required to pay to have their cars fixed during the first three years, as did 19% of Peugeot owners.

However, Peugeot redeems itself when you look at the cost of remedial work, because most of the owners who had to pay for repairs were charged less than £50, and only 4% paid up to £500. MG owners weren’t so lucky: 10% of those whose cars had suffered a fault told us that they’d been handed bills for more than £1500.

Best brands for fixing cars under warranty

Brand % fixed under warranty
Dacia 100%
Jaguar 98.5%
Cupra 98.0%
Tesla 97.3%
Renault 97.1%
Porsche 96.8%
Skoda 95.0%
Land Rover 95.0%
Mercedes 94.9%
Audi 94.5%
Mini 94.1%
Volvo 94.1%
Volkswagen 93.4%
Vauxhall 93.2%
Mazda 92.3%
Seat 91.5%
Kia 91.5%
BMW 91.5%
Ford 90.8%
Fiat 87.5%
Hyundai 87.0%
Honda 85.7%
Toyota 83.3%
Nissan 82.5%
Peugeot 80.8%
MG 74.6%

This shows that there’s more to warranty claims than how many owners got their cars fixed for free. To find out which are the best and worst brands for the cost of repairs on cars under warranty, we collated the amounts paid by owners of 26 different brands and divided them by the number of cars reported on.

To rate the brands, we turned this figure into a percentage; the brands with the highest percentage asked owners to contribute the least to repairs, and those with lower scores left owners with larger bills.

Dacia is still top of the chart, because it didn’t charge any owners for remedial work, while Fiat, Mazda and Mini are also high scorers, with no owners paying out more than £100 to get problems put right.

Mini driving front

Our data shows that while some brands are good at covering the cost of most repair bills, they can still leave a small percentage of owners seriously out of pocket. For example, while Vauxhall fixed 93% of cars for free, 4% of the bills it didn’t pay for topped £1500.

And while Land Rover covered the cost of 95% of repairs, they also left 5% of owners with £1500-plus bills. MG again finds itself at the bottom of the table, because the number of cars it fixed for free is the lowest and it has the highest proportion of bills.

Nissan isn’t much better, with 83% of cars fixed for free and 8% of owners having to find more than £1500.

Best brands for covering the cost of repairs not done under warranty

Brand Warranty satisfaction score
Dacia 100%
Mazda 99.8%
Mini 99.8%
Fiat 99.8%
Tesla 99.5%
Skoda 99.5%
Ford 99.2%
Volvo 99.2%
Volkswagen 98.9%
Peugeot 98.7%
Cupra 98.7%
Renault 98.6%
Jaguar 98.5%
Seat 98.5%
Audi 96.8%
Porsche 96.8%
Mercedes 96.8%
Kia 96.8%
Toyota 96.6%
Hyundai 96.4%
Land Rover 96.0%
Vauxhall 95.2%
Honda 94.9%
BMW 94.3%
Nissan 87.8%
MG 82.5%

Should I buy an extended car warranty? 

There are three main types of extended warranty or mechanical breakdown insurance: a manufacturer’s own extended warranty, which you can buy when the car is new or before the original warranty runs out; a used car warranty supplied by a franchised car dealership or car supermarket; and a warranty sold by an independent provider.

Whichever type of warranty you choose, the foremost requirement is that it should protect you against the unexpected failure of important components and systems on your car, such as the engine, gearbox, electrics, steering or suspension. You can also choose to add a range of other components, such as the infotainment system or air-con.

All extended warranties should tell you which items they cover, as well as stating any that are excluded. If that’s unclear, or the policy’s terms and conditions aren’t easily accessible, our advice would be to steer clear of that product.

The range of products available and the prices charged for them are wide, but there are three key phrases that you need to watch out for in an extended warranty contract: ‘betterment’, ‘consequential failure’ and ‘wear and tear’.

Betterment means that if your car needs a new part that’s better than the original, you might have to pay for it, because it has increased the value of the car. A consequential failure is when a part that’s covered by your warranty breaks and causes the failure of another part that isn’t covered. You might have to pay for the secondary parts.

As for wear and tear, no warranty provider can cover all consumables; even the more comprehensive ones don’t cover things like batteries, brake pads and clutch plates, and it’s important that you understand up front what level of wear and tear cover is offered.

What Car? says...

While picking a brand with a long warranty can help to minimise bills for most people, it’s not a guarantee that you won’t be hit with unexpected costs. Most Kia and Toyota owners benefit from the longer-than-average warranties offered with their cars, but 3% of Toyota owners who experienced a fault with their car within the first three years were charged more than £1500, and 1.4% of Kia owners had to find at least £751. While these percentages are small, the number of MG owners who were landed with £1500-plus bills is more of a concern.

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