Lawgistics review WarrantyFirst Car Warranty Policies

legal updates

We continue our journey reviewing aftermarket warranties and our next stop, WarrantyFirst.

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WarrantyFirst offers three levels of cover: Ignition, Dynamic, and Premier. However, for this review, we will look at the basic terms and conditions that apply to all three levels of cover.

As with most aftermarket warranty companies, the first few terms relate to ensuring the correct information has been supplied and the general claims process, including the requirements for repairs to be undertaken by a VAT-registered garage and information on what the policy covers as a whole.

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA 2015), if a repair is required on a used vehicle, sometimes a consumer requests that the part requiring replacement is done so with a brand-new manufacturer’s part. Since the consumer has purchased a used vehicle, there is no requirement for the trader to replace parts with genuine, brand-new parts as this would amount to betterment, which the consumer is not entitled to. Clause 20 in WarrantyFirst’s terms agrees with this, unless in the event that the part is only available from the manufacturer, and states that should the policyholder request brand new parts, they would remain liable for the additional costs of such parts.

The terms go on to confirm that should the repairs completed within the warranty plan reach the market value of the vehicle or the purchase price, the warranty plan will expire. You can roughly compare this to Section 23 of the CRA 2015, where the consumer cannot request for the trader to repair or replace the goods if that remedy is disproportionate compared to the other of those remedies. WarrantyFirst’s Clause 24 states they will not pay more than once for the same repair,  which is similar to the CRA 2015’s section about traders only being given one right to repair a vehicle before a consumer can request a rejection.

Further down the terms, we come across Clause 33 which states the garage that submits the final diagnosis on the vehicle must be the garage that undertakes the repairs. Sometimes, this may be the case if the repair is simple and does not inconvenience the consumer by having to take the vehicle elsewhere, however, this is not a requirement under the CRA 2015. There may be some circumstances where a consumer gets an initial diagnosis and the trader wants to do their own inspection and repair, and if within their rights, the trader has this option as long as they do not significantly inconvenience the consumer.

WarrantyFirst then proceeds to list the components or situations where the policyholder would not be covered by the warranty. There are several, but the main ones that are also likely to be covered under the CRA 2015 include:

  • exhaust emissions
  • MOT failures
  • corrosion
  • faults diagnosed by health checks
  • poor repairs carried out at any time

If the consumer can prove that faults were present or developing at the time of sale, and the trader has no evidence to suggest otherwise, then the CRA 2015 is likely to cover the above exclusions.

When looking at WarrantyFirst’s warranty as a whole, the generic terms and conditions do not seem to go over and above the CRA 2015 but rather enforce the same terms with some added limitations.

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Kimberly StickleyTrainee SolicitorRead More by this author

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With newer vehicles, depending on the warranty period provided, the manufacturer may instruct the trader to undertake certain tests and to certain standards so they are able to entertain a warranty claim.

Warranty or Statutory Rights

We all regularly hear comments that a warranty covers consumer rights and there is a cut off of those rights once the warranty expires.

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