Mar 302004

OFTUsed car buyers are being urged to consider the OFT’s advice on checking the terms and conditions of new car warranties.

Independent automotive warranty provider, Warranty Direct, believes the OFT’s current campaign needs to be extended to the 5m people who buy a used car from a dealer every year.

OFT research suggests that over two thirds of motorists assume their warranty will be invalidated if they use a garage outside of the manufacturer’s approved network.

“Franchised dealers are fully aware that the average consumer has a limited understanding of his or her rights when it comes to servicing a warranty,” explained Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct. “As a result, they play on the car owners fears. The argument that independent garages will provide substandard work simply doesn’t wash.”

“The fact is many employ ex-franchise trained technicians or are part of well established nationwide chains, like Unipart Car Care, which adhere to stringent quality controls.”

He added: “In this instance, the OFT has got it right. Publicising the rights of the public to consider independent garages and instil some long overdue competition into the marketplace. The real problem, however, is that the restrictions and pressure is at its worst in the used car segment.”

Dealers, both franchised and independent, control over 90 percent of sales of used vehicles aged 0-2 years, 80 percent of those aged 3-5 and somewhere close to 60 percent of 6-8 year old cars.*1

“People still prefer to buy a used car from a franchised dealer, which, in the majority of cases, is sold with a warranty wrapped into the price. Here, owners need to check that the policy does not come with any restrictions – something very few do, to their cost later on.”

Mar 252004

warrantydirect_timebomb_2With the cost of running a car now topping £100 a month*1, motorists are being given the chance to save more than £180 annually to spend on leisure time pursuits thanks to a new discount card.

ECARNOMY has been launched to deliver discounts on an array of regular automotive expenditure including servicing, insurance, tyres and breakdown recovery, as well as offering savings of up to 50 percent off hotels, holidays and family days out.

Co-ordinated by warranty provider, Warranty Direct, ECARNOMY allows private motorists the opportunity to tap into wholesale discounts negotiated with leading independent garages, repair specialists and insurers.

Club members can save £20 off breakdown recovery from AutoHome, over £75 on their annual servicing bill at specialist and independent garages across the UK, £5 off MOT Tests, more than 10 percent off motor insurance, over £25 off an extended warranty and a free accident management service.

In the unfortunate event that you lose your car keys, ECARNOMY also provides free membership to the unique Findertag Key Repatriation Service worth £25. As the name suggests, finders are encouraged to call the freephone number or send the lost keys to a PO Box address in return for a financial reward.

The benefits of the ECARNOMY scheme don’t stop at motoring.

Massive savings on how you spend your leisure time, including up to 50 percent on UCI cinema tickets, entry to theme parks and museums like Madame Tussauds, boost an already attractive package.

And for those looking to go further afield a 25 percent discount scheme on hotel bookings across the UK is available, plus up to 50 percent off holidays booked through six times Independent Travel Agent of the Year, Harry Weeks. All members are entitled to an introductory two nights accommodation at one of the 200 plus hotels listed for free.

For more information on ECARNOMY log on to or call the Motoring Discount line on 0870 046 0218.

Membership costs £15 or free to all Warranty Direct customers.

*1 BCA Europe