If you have a used car, or have travelled long distances, you will need specialist car warranty insurance that can cover you. Here is how to find a high mileage car warranty:

Find the cover you need

High mileage warranties offer the same cover as standard warranties, but are valid even if you have travelled long distances. When getting quotes, you should check the:

  • Cover options: You can insure your engine, brakes and suspension, and wear and tear. However, if your mileage is more than 60,000, you may have to pay towards wear and tear claims. Check policy documents for a full list of what is covered.

  • Mileage limits: This is the maximum distance your warranty will cover, e.g. 150,000 miles. Once this limit is reached, cover will no longer be valid.

  • Age limits: This is the maximum vehicle age an insurer can cover, e.g. 12 years old. Once your car has reached this age, cover is no longer valid. This means it may not be worth buying a warranty if you have an older car.

  • Claims limits: This is the most your insurer will pay out per claim. For example, if your claims limit is £7,000, your insurance will pay up to this amount each time you claim. Check your documents to see how many times you can claim during your policy.

What is a car warranty?

Car warranty cover is a type of insurance policy that covers the cost of repairs to your car if parts fail or you break down. It is likely that a warranty would be automatically included when you first purchase your car, but these warranties may run for as short a time as a few months.

When you buy car warranty cover, you can choose a policy that lasts from a month to 5 years, but most run for 1 year with the option to renew when the policy ends.

A car warranty would not usually cover the cost of any repairs your vehicle needs due to accidental damage, loss or theft. These costs are instead usually covered by car insurance policies.

How much does a car warranty cost?

The cost of your warranty premiums depend on your insurance provider, so make sure to compare quotes to find the best deal.

Most car warranty providers offer three levels of cover. You will generally find basic policies are cheaper and premium cover costs more.

Along with your mileage, the cost of your warranty insurance is also based on:

  • The age of your car

  • The make and model

  • Your car’s value

  • Whether you use your car socially or for business

A cheaper warranty will usually provide less cover, so you may need to think about spending more to get the protection you need.

It is still important to check that the cost of a warranty is not more expensive than paying the cost of any repairs yourself.

What is covered?

You car warranty policy will usually cover repairs to the:

  • Engine

  • Transmission system

  • Fuel and ignition system

  • Air conditioning or cooling system

  • Electrics

  • Gearbox

  • Steering

  • Suspension

  • Non-frictional clutch and brakes

It is important to check your documents for exclusions as they will likely restrict what you can claim for. For example, some insurers cover general electric faults but not in-car stereo systems.

As well as cover for repairs, it may also include:

  • Vehicle breakdown recovery

  • Car hire, while yours is being fixed

  • Hotel expenses, for overnight stays if an insured part breaks down

  • Emergency travel expenses, e.g. taxis, trains or buses

  • Driving your car abroad

Your cover levels vary widely depending on the policy you choose, so check the insurer's summary of cover and the policy documentation before you buy.

What is excluded?

Exclusions will vary from provider to provider, but some of the scenarios which are commonly not covered a car warranty are:

  • General wear and tear (you may be able to include this as an optional add-on)

  • Batteries, wheels, tyres, exhausts, catalytic converters, worn-out clutches and brakes

  • Damage caused by oil leaks

  • Cars used for competitions, commercial deliveries or as taxis

  • Improvements to parts that are not broken

  • Damage caused by frost, worn friction materials, blockages, contamination or sludge

  • Poor workmanship or faulty components

Check your policy documents when you compare warranty insurance quotes, as the full list of exclusions will vary depending on the insurance provider.

What is consequential loss?

Consequential loss is a term used by warranty providers to mean any damage to an insured part that is caused by an uninsured part breaking.

For example, your exhaust (insured) gets damaged because your catalytic converter breaks (not insured).

Some car insurance warranties will not cover consequential loss, so check your policy documents carefully to be sure.

Are you already covered?

You may not need separate cover if you already have a manufacturer's warranty in place.

All new cars come with a manufacturer's warranty, usually lasting between 3 and 7 years.

If you bought your car from a second hand car dealership, it may come with a 12 month warranty. Some used cars will still be within their manufacturer's warranty, which could last up to 7 years.

Check your purchase documents to see if your car is still under its manufacturer's warranty before you buy additional warranty insurance.

Do you need a warranty insurance policy?

This depends on whether you can afford any unexpected costs of needing to have your repaired yourself.

You may find the price of a warranty policy exceeds the cost of paying for repairs out of your pocket, in which case you should avoid paying the unnecessary price of insurance.

However, warranty insurance could save you a significant amount of money if your car needs expensive repairs.

Unlike car insurance, a car warranty is not a legal requirement. But it could help you cover the costs of repairing or replacing broken parts.

However, due to the number of conditions and exclusions on car warranties, you may end up paying a lot for cover that does not pay out when you need it to.