The pandemic has seen a dramatic drop in new car sales and all indications are that consumers are choosing to keep their cars longer until there is more stability in the economy.
Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a proud Association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) says that while keeping your car for a longer time is the responsible thing to do, ending up with no warranty and a major problem could be a bigger headache than you had bargained for.”
A motor warranty is essentially an insurance policy that protect consumers against the costs of car parts and labour, in the event of mechanical, electrical or electronic failure of a part. “So when this runs out people are more than likely left to cover any repairs on their own. This is when some take the plunge and simply opt to buy a new car. There are however other ways to deal with this and according to Ranft there is no reason to panic
Here’s five things you need to know:
- First check what your alternatives are. You could extend your manufacturer warranty or look at different maintenance or insurance plans which can give you some peace of mind from different insurers. Do your homework and select the plan that works for you. Remember these plan often have limitations and may have limitations based on the vehicle’s model, age, mileage, service and maintenance history.
- Warranties also do not usually cover consumable items, computer-related problems, internal and external aesthetic and body due to wear and tear, glass, tyres, wheels, wheel alignment, accessories, electrical wiring, brakes and brake pads, wipers, batteries, or fan belts. It also excludes repairs after accidents and environmental damage.
- For older cars, research warranties that cover unexpected repairs.
- Also consider a service plan to properly maintain your vehicle, particularly if it is older or second hand.
- In the event of a major repair – as correctly diagnosed or, in some cases, incorrectly -consumers often feel backed into a corner and may feel they need to replace their vehicle. Ranft says it is key to evaluate all your different options. He says it is wise to get two independent quotes from an independent workshop and then compare different quotes. You should ideally compare the cost to repair the vehicle to the cost of financing a new vehicle. You will probably would find it is more cost effective to repair during these tough economic times than replace.
The good news for consumers out of warranty is that they are finding that independent aftermarket workshops are versatile and able to generally repair all kinds of makes and models of cars. “Their technicians have a wealth of experience and knowledge and the repairs often cost less,” says Ranft.
He says it is important for consumers to know that there are alternatives. “We receive numerous requests from motorists monthly asking for comparative quotes as motorists increasingly feel the pinch.”
There are thousands of independent workshops around the country that are highly capable of repairing all vehicle models using quality parts at affordable rates. “The key, we believe, is using an accredited workshop,” he says.
Ranft says for peace of mind it is important to ensure the workshop you choose is up to speed with the latest technology, methods, equipment and training.
“Because of the rapid changes in automotive technology, consumers must make sure the facility is qualified to repair their specific car. Most good independent workshops regularly upgrade their facilities and equipment and upskill their technicians,” he concludes.