Ser­vice plans turn the fine print into bold

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

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.

“Each war­ranty dif­fers in the items cov­ered and, in terms of used ve­hi­cle warranties, the max­i­mum ben­e­fit lim­its,” he says.

Ex­tended warranties

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.

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