Lawgistics review Warrantywise Car Warranty

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How far above and beyond consumer rights do aftermarket warranties go?

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Another big player in the warranty market, Warrantywise, has their terms readily available to download from their website. The question is: What does the warranty cover that the Consumer Rights Act 2015 doesn’t?

Warrantywise plans are different from those of the RAC and are not ranked silver, gold, or platinum but rather by the age and mileage of the vehicle. They have 5 plans:

1) 04/40 representing vehicles up to 4 years old or under 40,000 miles
2) 06/60 representing vehicles up to 6 years old or under 60,000 miles
3) 08/80 representing vehicles up to 8 years old or under 80,000 miles
4) 10/100 representing vehicles up to 10 years old or under 100,000 miles
5) 12/120 representing vehicles up to 12 years old or 120,000 miles

As the vehicles get older, Warrantywise covers less and less compared to the fairly newer vehicles. Although not part of their terms, you could loosely relate this to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 in that consumers should look at the vehicle in comparison to its age and mileage. If a vehicle is 12 years old and has 120,000 miles on it, the consumer should not expect the vehicle to be brand new. With that said, you should still provide the vehicle in line with the statutory requirements of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described.

Now, diving into their terms and conditions (all 44 pages of it) and more specifically, Section B13, which lists the significant exclusions. This section includes a term that is not included in the RAC warranties:

“The Breakdown or Failure Due to Wear and Tear of a Part of your vehicle with inherent, common, and regularly occurring manufacturing faults which are well publicised (such as Google Internet search) together with any Party requiring replacement due to it being updated, superseded, re-designed or recalled by the manufacturer where you have no proof that the Part has been previously replaced.”

If you are googling a vehicle before you purchase it and search for the most common issues, you will always come up with multiple points that have been reported by other vehicle owners. This begs the question: Why you would purchase a warranty that does not cover the most common issues with the vehicle? Furthermore, certain manufacturers have commonly reported issues with certain models of engines which can leave consumers with a hefty bill should they have chosen Warrantywise as their warranty provider.

Depending on the cause of the issue and the length of time that has elapsed since purchase, it is possible the Consumer Rights Act 2015 may cover consumers and therefore, require traders to repair or accept a rejection for the vehicle.

Although the plans are limited by age and mileage, that is not to say a fairly new vehicle cannot purchase the 12/120 package. However, these packages are limited by labour rates (04/40 being £200 per hour, 12/120 being £35 per hour) and by what components are included in the warranty. To give a complete review of the warranties provided, we will take a quick look at the 04/40 plan and compare it to the 12/120 plan.

The 04/40 plan covers all major components such as oil seals, gaskets, drive belts, wiring looms, and the cooling system. They list each part individually and also include other additions such as the airbag system, air conditioning, and emissions failures. They also specify that “Worn Out Parts” are not included in the cover. However, it is seemingly a broad statement that could apply to any part present on a secondhand vehicle.

In contrast to the 04/40 plan, the 12/120 plan only covers the engine parts, gearbox and transmission, clutch, drive train, and differential, so significantly less parts coverage than the 04/40 plan. It also doesn’t include any additions, but you do have the option to increase the labour rate from £35 per hour to £75 per hour at an additional cost. Both plans direct you to have a look at Section F, which lists what the plans don’t include.

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The parts excluded list is quite extensive in Section F however, it does include some parts that would ordinarily be covered by CRA 2015 such as:

“tailgate and bonnet lifting struts, exhaust manifolds and silencers, sub-frames, fuel and coolant tanks…”

Of course, it is dependent on the length of time since purchase and how the issue came about, but the CRA 2015 does state fitness for purpose and freedom from defects and I, for one, would not be pleased if I purchased a vehicle and the boot did not open. Unfortunately, the Warrantywise plans would not cover any tailgate or bonnet lifting struts but this could be covered under CRA 2015 in the right circumstances.

The plan also specifically states that it does not cover any part noted as requiring attention on any previous MOT Advisory Notice. Usually, our clients conduct an MOT (depending on the situation) before a sale as it pinpoints the condition of the vehicle at the time of sale. If the vehicle has an advisory and that component fails post-purchase, this could be used as an argument for the consumer in that the fault was developing at the time of sale and therefore, a remedy is required. Whereas, Warrantywise specifically does not cover any components listed on any previous MOT test.

Looking at Warrantywise plans as a whole, especially the 04/40 plan, the warranty seemingly covers most components and gives peace of mind to those consumers purchasing secondhand vehicles. However, it also seemingly excludes some big issues that could arise post-purchase as well as the “well documented” issues when googling any common problems with certain vehicles. The statements in the plans are quite broad with multiple expensive issues likely to not fall within the remits of the warranty, but could leave our members with a dispute and possibly the need to provide a remedy under CRA 2015.

Kimberly StickleyTrainee SolicitorRead More by this author

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Warranty or Statutory Rights

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