Service plans turn the fine print into bold
WARREN Fryer, dealer relations manager at Motorite Administrators, stressed warrantees is an insurance cover against vehicle mechanical breakages and the repairs resulting from the failure of these covered items.
The term ‘ Extended warranty’ is used when a warranty has been designed to follow a manufacturer’s standard warranty when the vehicle is bought new.
These warranties are often unlimited in terms of the benefits on covered items.
A ‘ used car’ warranty is designed to cover mechanical breakages on covered items but is limited to a maximum benefit depending on the age of the vehicle in terms of years and mileage.
Examples of what components may be covered under a warranty include the engine ( including turbo chargers); fuel system and fuel pump; drive shafts and axles; brake components, etc.
“There are many differentiators in warranty policies hence the various pricing structures.
“Always compare against another warranty to ensure that you choose the most cover for the amount of money you will be paying. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure the servicing schedule is strictly adhered to, to ensure that the plan remains valid,” he advises.
A good idea for used cars
Fryer advises car buyers of especially used vehicles to also consider a service plan to support any remaining manufacturer’s warranty. “Correct servicing often results in preventing large repairs should the service repairer identify a problem when it is relatively small.
“If a vehicle already has an underlying warranty and service plan, and your budget allows, you may want to consider upgrading to a maintenance plan which ensures that most expenses in terms of mechanical breakage, service costs and wear and tear costs would be covered within the duration of the plan,” he explains.
“In most cases when you buy a new car in South Africa the warranties and service plans are built into the price of the vehicle.
“As the consumer you don’t have the option of declining these items. They come with the vehicle as a package.
“In much the same way as the manufacturer sells a vehicle with a specific brand of tyre, they will sell the vehicle standard with a warranty, service plan, maintenance plan or combination,” he says.
Les McMaster of Motor Industry says while these plans are often viewed as so called grudge purchases, if done properly, they prove well worth the money paid.
“When buying a vehicle, especially a used vehicle, you can’t be sure of the maintenance history of the vehicle.
“Owner abuse and lack of maintenance can add undue stress on mechanical components that limits their lifespan.
“It’s always wise to be prepared should an unforeseen mechanical failure take place.
“The key, however, is making sure you understand the plan or policy and what the terms and conditions are that will enable the plan/ policy to remain valid and enforced BEFORE signing anything,” he concludes.