Can extended warranties challenge standard OEM cover?

With the average age of cars on Britain’s roads now more than seven years old, it’s no surprise that demand for extended warranties is on the rise.

Increasingly, consumers are looking for longer security on their purchases and are more aware of the products and services available. There is a bounty of product and pricing information online, enabling consumers to compare and contrast different products and their cover.

Today, consumers are more open to ‘total cover’ solutions, such as 36 months’ warranty with 36 months GAP, or 24 months’ warranty that includes 24 months’ recovery. Consumers are driven by a desire for stress-free motoring and peace of mind.  In the event of a breakdown from mechanical failure, they want to know they are covered and don’t have to face an unexpected and potentially expensive repair bill.

The extension of some manufacturer new car warranties from three years to 5-7 years is also helping to drive consumer demand and expectation. But some independent dealers may be wondering how they can compete with these lengthy manufacturer warranties.

Well the good news is that dealers can compete on a level playing field with manufacturer warranties. To support the independent dealers, there are now warranty products and services on the market that provide premium level cover, higher claim limits and covering higher diagnostics, with the flexibility of longer periods if required. Independent dealers can also compete by offering added-value warranties, that have built-in roadside assistance and the manufacturer level cover that customers expect.

It is also often the case that the longer term dealer warranties on new cars can be quite restrictive with their terms and conditions and these vehicles are often ‘out of warranty’ before they hit the used car market. So flexibility should be the priority when dealers are looking for potential warranty partners.

Robert Dockerill is the CEO of Autoguard Warranties

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