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All new cars come with a manufacturer warranty, usually lasting for three years, however some are covered for five or even seven years.
A warranty is designed to provide car buyers with some peace of mind that should a car develop a fault, it can be fixed under warranty with little or no cost to the car owner.
However, the warranty only covers certain breakdowns and car failures - there are usually plenty of rules and small print that apply to the warranty. A warranty won’t cover the wear and tear items such as tyres and brake pads, for instance – these you will still need to pay for as part of the car’s ongoing running costs.
Aftermarket warranties are designed for when your car no longer has a manufacturer's warranty. They work in the same way as a new-car warranty but take into account mileage and any wearing parts of the car, which is why there are a variety of packages to choose from. The general rule of thumb is this: the cheaper the warranty, the less cover it provides.
So you should always make sure you understand what it covers, and what exclusions it has.
As with a new-car warranty, used car options have certain criteria that need to be met. These can include the car having a valid, current MOT certificate and a service in the past 12 months by a reputable garage.