Jun 272017

Axle and suspension faults are the most common claims on 4-year-old vehicles according to latest research from Warranty Direct

The latest data from Warranty Direct has examined the average cost of repairs and most common issues occurring once a manufacturer warranty has expired. Results were produced by analysing authorised claims made across four-year-old vehicles. Cars of this age were picked because the majority of manufacturers offer three-year warranties for new cars.

Over the last three years a quarter of a million pounds was paid out on claims, across a variety of vehicles. Warranty Direct reveal the four year old cars with the most claims whilst on cover with Warranty Direct.

Land Rover had the largest number of authorised claims for vehicles of this age with the Defender model accounting for nearly a third (30%) of all Landrover claims. This was closely followed by the Discovery (28% of Land Rover claims), the Range Rover (26%) and finally the Freelander (16%).  Jaguar, Vauxhall and Renault led other manufacturers with the highest proportion of authorised claims.

The vehicle brand with the most expensive authorised claims for vehicles of four years of age was Bentley with costs averaging £1,358 per claim. Land Rovers followed closely behind with an average of £1,324 per claim and Nissans were in third place with a £1,284 average.

The most common authorised claims across all makes were axle and suspension repairs, the likelihood of which often increased outside of manufacturer warranty due to wear and tear from increased mileage. These made-up 21 percent of claims across all makes.

  Most common authorised claim post-manufacturer warranty (4 years old) % of overall authorised claims across all makes of vehicle
1 Axle and Suspension 21%
2 Electrical 20%
3 Catalytic convertor and Emissions 10%
4 Cooling Systems 8%


Electrical issues were the second most common concern, making up 20 percent of the figures. Newer cars often come with more advanced electronics, such as parking sensors, video cameras and evolving computer technology. While these electrical improvements can enhance automotive performance and safety, they can fail more frequently due to the complex nature of parts. Catalytic convertors and emissions claims came in third place (10%), followed by temperamental cooling systems (8%).

  Most expensive parts per authorised claim post-manufacturer warranty (4 years old) Average materials cost for these claims on 4-year-old vehicles
1 Gearboxes £974
2 Engines £847
3 Steering Systems £303


Gearbox parts topped the list of the most expensive authorised claim post-manufacturer warranty, due to labour intensity, electronic complexity and many problems requiring expensive diagnostic equipment. This was closely followed by engine costs and steering systems.

Simon Ackers, CEO of Warranty Direct commented about the company’s latest research, saying:

“Our latest information on the most common costs and claims for vehicles post-manufacturer warranty should offer valuable insight for consumers whose vehicles are approaching the 4-year mark. Those who currently possess certain brands, which have displayed more issues or expensive repairs, would be wise to consider purchasing an extended warranty once their manufacturer’s runs out. This could be more cost-effective in the long run and a good way to prepare for any future concerns.”

** Data taken from 2014-2017 claims reports and examines all 4-year old vehicles

*** All claims authorised by Warranty Direct

Feb 062015

Car manufacturers offering longer warranties could be leaving motorists short-changed, a study by Warranty Direct has revealed.

Mitsubishi, Renault, Subaru, Hyundai and Kia now offer warranties ranging from four to seven years from the initial purchase date, but a closer examination of the small print reveals major discrepancies between the advertised cover and the time elapsed.

In late 2014, Vauxhall revealed that its new cars would no longer be offered with its ‘Lifetime’ warranty, instead reverting to the industry norm of three years or 60,000 miles.

This has raised questions over the value of longer warranties, with many manufacturers enforcing mileage restrictions and excluding complex components and failures classified under ‘wear and tear’.

Mitsubishi has recently announced that it too will offer a five-year warranty, but all models will be subject to a strict mileage cap of just 62,500. The one exception in the range is the L200 which is covered for five years or 125,000 miles but owners of all other Mitsubishis will need to keep an eye on their mileage to avoid terminating their cover.

Similarly Renault, Subaru, Hyundai and Kia all eventually cap mileage at 100,000, but Renault drivers may be unaware that their warranty will expire if they reach this between 25 and 48 months of ownership.

Kia is slightly more generous with a 100,000 mile limit after 36 months, though this could drastically reduce the length of the warranty cover if an extensive mileage is covered.

In addition, the ‘wear and tear’ policy for new Kias also outlines restrictions based on mileage, stating that the gradual wearing of mechanical components in proportion to mileage is not covered. This vague clause could leave Kia owners vulnerable to judgement that their mileage is too high for the component to be covered.

Renault and Mitsubishi also stipulate that ‘normal’ wear and tear will not be covered. Most parts eventually fail due to wear and the definition of ‘normal’, ‘gradual’ or ‘premature’ appears open to interpretation, with the owner frequently exposed to significant bills.

Subaru’s 5-year warranty leaves owners more exposed to costly faults than others. After year three only the powertrain is covered; this is defined as the engine, transmission and driveline.

In years four and five, Subaru excludes cover for all steering components apart from the power steering pump and all air-conditioning parts other than the compressor. Any complex electrical faults will be the responsibility of the customer after the standard three years or 60,000 miles.

Higher mileage Hyundai drivers will also need to prepare to fork out for items not included in the ‘unlimited’ mileage offer; wheel bearings, all ball joints, bushes and dampers are covered for a maximum of five years or 60,000 miles.

Owners of Subaru’s flagship WRX STi cars will also be disappointed to find out that, unlike the rest of Subaru’s range, their manufacturer warranty cover will expire after the third year. Performance upgrades to standard models, even those fitted by a franchised dealer, will automatically invalidate the cover altogether.

Statistics from Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index show that on average 15% of Subaru Legacy models will require attention for electrical faults, and overall repair bills have escalated up to £2,304.30, suggesting that buyers could be faced with large bills beyond the standard warranty cover period.

On closer inspection, Kia’s headlining seven-year warranty also excludes the air conditioning after two years and the audio and navigation systems after three years or 60,000 miles. Given that some Kias are prone to faults with more complex components (notably the 55% of Picantos on record have suffered electrical failures) this could be a cause for concern.
All of these policies stipulate that the car must be serviced by an authorised retailer, and for its electric vehicles Renault will only honour the warranty cover if the owner’s charging point meets a required standard.

Mitsubishi also states that damage resulting from the use of non-genuine parts will not be covered including any fitted by authorised dealers, suggesting that customers could be liable for faults created by poor workmanship within Mitsubishi’s own dealer network.

David Gerrans, Managing Director at Warranty Direct commented: “Prospective car purchasers need to be wary of the limitations of policies that may promise total peace of mind beyond the usual three years or 60,000 miles as they may not be all that they seem.

“Mitsubishi’s recently introduced five-year policy is a prime example of an extended warranty policy which is heavily restricted in favour of the manufacturer.

“Such offerings should not eclipse all other factors when selecting a new car. Motorists who cover high mileages or plan to replace their car after a short time are very unlikely to reap the full benefit of an extended warranty, so should take other considerations into account when making the purchase.

“In all instances, buyers should protect their interests by maintaining their cars in line with manufacturer guidelines, a common stipulation that could wipe out your warranty cover if ignored.”
The study examined the latest warranty documents from manufacturers advertising warranties of four years or more.

Apr 052005

household-appliances“New rules, but same old story.”

That’s the view from independent after-sales insurer, Warranty Direct, ahead of new legislation governing the sale of extended warranties on domestic electrical goods. The Supply of Extended Warranties on Domestic Electrical Goods Order 2005 comes into force on 6th April.

“Despite the Government’s efforts, the best thing to come out of the last three years is the publicity not the legislation,” adds Duncan McClure Fisher, managing director of Warranty Direct.

“Retailers may have to follow stricter guidelines, but our advice remains the same – don’t buy at point of sale, don’t buy within the first twelve months and don’t bother buying for cheaper, disposable brown and white goods like DVDs and microwaves,” he adds.

Warranty Direct have always strongly advised consumer caution when it comes to buying an extended warranty ever since the Competitions Commission began its original investigation in late 2002.

McClure Fisher advises: “The consumer must remember that this is not a panic purchase. An extended warranty should be about ‘peace of mind’, and by default you should take time to weigh up the options and worthiness of the policy. For example, do you really need to pay for accidental damage when home contents will provide more than adequate cover?”

Warranty Direct offers two policies for domestic electrical goods either Single Appliance (for up to four years after manufacturers warranty) from £10.70 a year or Multiple Appliance at £9.75 per month for three named items up to 8 years old. Payment is monthly, with the ability to cancel or alter an item included at any point without penalty.

For further information please visit www.warrantydirect.co.uk or call 0800 731 7001