The warranty on your car is one of the essentials that most vehicle owners need. It ensures that the owner is protected against the financial impact if one of the major parts of a car breaks down or wears out. Unfortunately the warranty eventually expires on a new car. Used vehicles may not have a warranty leaving the new owner with significant risk.  The cost of repairing one of the major mechanical components can be financially crippling without motor warranty cover.

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What is motor warranty insurance?

Motor warranty insurance covers older vehicles without a warranty for the repair or replacement of mechanical parts. It protects you as the vehicle owner from the exorbitant cost of vehicle repair for mechanical faults. A motor warranty plan is not the same as car insurance although certain benefits overlap. You can have both car insurance, preferably comprehensive cover, as well as a motor warranty plan. These policies cover different circumstances for your protecting your vehicle.

motor warranty

Why do I need a motor warranty plan?

The fact of the matter is that you cannot sell a car for a reasonable amount if it has a major mechanical fault. In comparison for what you may have paid for the car, it is worthless should the engine, gearbox or transmission cease. The car is not going anywhere and you will not get much out of selling it. If you have a warranty in place then you can rest assured that you are covered. Either the dealer or manufacturer will replace the broken component.

Motor warranty insurance serves a similar purpose but it is not paid for by the car dealer or vehicle manufacturer. Instead the insurer providing the motor warranty insurance pays out for the repair or replacement of major components as part of the cover. It may costs a few hundred rands per month, or sometimes just a little over R100 per month. As the vehicle owner you can rest assured that you will not have to fork out large amounts from your own pocket for repairs and replacing components.

How does car warranty work?

Firstly, a car warranty insurance plan is not comprehensive car insurance. These are two different products. Car insurance covers you against the loss or damage to a car sustained during an accident. Furthermore car insurance covers the repairs of third party vehicles involved in a collision should the accident be deemed as your fault. Comprehensive plans will protect against damage to major components as a result of an accident.

Motor warranty insurance focuses entirely on covering major mechanical components in a vehicle. This applies to breakdown or wear and tear provided that it is not due to an accident.  Motor warranty plans work in a similar way to the warranty that comes with a brand new car, but within certain limits. It focuses on the major costs – like replacing or refurbishing an engine, transmission, drive shaft and so on. It does not cover the repairs to the car body, or costs of repairing another person’s vehicle in the event of an accident.

Qualifying for Warranty Insurance

The motor warranty insurance plans offered by different insurers in South Africa may vary to some extent. Most insurers require the following criteria to be met in order to allow a car from being covered under its motor warranty insurance product. The following criteria is applicable for a motor warranty plan. The vehicle must be:

  • A passenger vehicle and used only for personal purposes.
  • Less than 10 years old (age based on the date it is manufactured, not changed hands of owners).
  • Driven normally and not be used for sporting activities like racing.
  • Under 200,000 kilometers on the odometer.

For most people, the concern is very old cars and those that have several hundred thousand kilometers on the odometer. Unfortunately motor warranty insurance does not cover those cars that are older than 10 years or have done more than 200,000 on the clock. If you also want to cover the bodywork for scratches, chips and minor dents then you would also want to consider scratch and dent cover.