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Coronavirus update Last updated 9th July 16:00

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In line with guidance from the Government and to help look after our colleagues, most of our team are now working from home and are taking calls. However, waiting times are longer than normal and the quality of the call may not be as clear as if we were talking to you from our call centre. We're committed to supporting you in the best way we can and will be here throughout to keep you updated so make sure to check back regularly.

At this time, please help us to prioritise essential calls by using our online services.

  • If you're a car customer you can use MyAccount or the app to make policy changes or payments, including changing your payment date, checking your documents or to report or track a claim (MyAccount only).
  • If you're a home, bike or van customer, you can make policy changes or requests using our online forms.

If you do phone, we may only be able to deal with your query if:

  • Your policy is due to renew and you're concerned it's no longer suitable for you or you're thinking of cancelling your insurance, or
  • You are worried about making future payments, or
  • You're in a vulnerable situation or an NHS or frontline health care worker who can't easily access our online services, or
  • You need to make a claim and your vehicle is un-driveable or if you need urgent roadside assistance.

For all other queries, including buying a new policy, please first read our Coronavirus FAQs for the latest advice and help to use our online services.

Our opening hours have changed to: Monday to Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday 10am-2pm.

Read our Coronavirus FAQs

Hastings Direct.
i

Coronavirus update Last updated 9th July 16:00

Show more

  • We hope you and those close to you are keeping safe. Our teams are now working from home so we're very sorry if you notice the sound quality isn't as good as usual or you experience periods of silence. We're working hard on improving this so please bear with us.
  • Please help us prioritise urgent calls by only phoning us if you want to discuss your renewal or you're thinking of cancelling your insurance, or you're in financial difficulties and you're worried about payments, or you're an NHS or frontline healthcare worker.
  • For anything else, you can now manage your policy online. For latest advice and help to use our online tools, read our Coronavirus FAQs.

In line with guidance from the Government and to help look after our colleagues, most of our team are now working from home and are taking calls. However, waiting times are longer than normal and the quality of the call may not be as clear as if we were talking to you from our call centre. We're committed to supporting you in the best way we can and will be here throughout to keep you updated so make sure to check back regularly.

At this time, please help us to prioritise essential calls by using our online services.

  • If you're a car customer you can use MyAccount or the app to make policy changes or payments, including changing your payment date, checking your documents or to report or track a claim (MyAccount only).
  • If you're a home, bike or van customer, you can make policy changes or requests using our online forms.

If you do phone, we may only be able to deal with your query if:

  • Your policy is due to renew and you're concerned it's no longer suitable for you or you're thinking of cancelling your insurance, or
  • You are worried about making future payments, or
  • You're in a vulnerable situation or an NHS or frontline health care worker who can't easily access our online services, or
  • You need to make a claim and your vehicle is un-driveable or if you need urgent roadside assistance.

For all other queries, including buying a new policy, please first read our Coronavirus FAQs for the latest advice and help to use our online services.

Our opening hours have changed to: Monday to Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday 10am-2pm.

Read our Coronavirus FAQs

What is a car warranty?

A man flicks through some paperwork.

Running a car isn't cheap. As well as paying for petrol, insurance, tax and MOTs, there are also those surprise costs when something goes wrong and your car needs to be repaired. If your car's prone to issues or you simply want to safeguard yourself from expensive garage bills, then a car warranty could be for you.

A car warranty — or mechanical breakdown insurance — covers you for the costs of parts and labour to fix certain mechanical or electrical faults with your car for an agreed period of time. The parts covered vary with each warranty, so reading the small print's really important.

What if my car's new?

New cars bought from the manufacturer typically come with a three year warranty, or a warranty that covers you up to a certain mileage (often 60,000). During this time, you're protected against most faults that aren't considered "wear and tear", such as those related to the engine, transmission, gearbox, suspension, steering or cooling system.

Only certain warranties will include cover for wear and tear, and even still, you might be required to pay towards parts and labour costs.

When your car's three years old or has travelled the specified distance, you'll have the option to extend your warranty for an additional price. You'll need to decide quickly, as the new cover must carry on from the manufacturer's warranty uninterrupted.

Remember, buying a used car doesn't always exclude you from a manufacturer's warranty. If the car's three years old or less, or its mileage is under the distance specified by the manufacturer, then the warranty will still apply when the car changes hands.

What other types of car warranty are there?

Aside from a manufacturer's warranty, used car dealerships — in particular car supermarkets and independent dealers — also offer warranties either as part of a car's price, or for an additional fee. Often, they'll sell you a car with a short warranty on it (around three months) and ask if you want to pay to extend or upgrade the cover.

Alternatively, you can choose an after-market warranty which can be tailored to suit your personal requirements. However, your options will depend on the type of car you drive, its age, and your annual mileage. If you opt for this type of warranty and your car's older than three years, you'll be asked to provide your MOT certificate and prove that your car has been serviced within the past year.

If you've already got a warranty but it's up for renewal, it could be cheaper to purchase new cover as opposed to extending your existing one, so spend some time researching for the best deals.

Do I really need a car warranty?

On the surface, purchasing a car warranty seems like a no-brainer, but you've got to consider the money you'll be shelling out for the cover in the first place. According to industry statistics, four out of ten cars aged 4-9 break down every year, with an average repair bill of £376.19. With the cost of a warranty likely to be greater than the average repair bill, you need to decide whether it's worth the money.

One advantage of a car warranty's that it's likely to include a level of breakdown cover, though you'll be expected to arrange recovery and reclaim costs. A disadvantage, however, is the warranty could have claim limits for individual parts, as well as a total claims limit matching the car's value.

Choosing a car warranty

There are a number of things to be aware of when choosing a car warranty. In particular, you should look out for claim limits and excess charges, and make sure you're fully aware of what level of cover is involved. Bear in mind that buying the cheapest warranty available is a false economy and might not provide you with the level of protection you need.

Some car warranties have an early claims clause, meaning you won't be covered within the first few weeks of taking cover out. Also, you need to check that the cover doesn't apply to a specific chain of garages, as having to travel long distances for repairs could be a major issue.

There are a couple of terms you need to look out for to avoid getting a poor warranty:

  • Betterment: This is when your car's value is bumped up as a result of a repair, and your provider may ask you to contribute a large sum of money towards parts.
  • Consequential loss: This is when a part fails as a result of another part failing which isn't covered on the warranty. You'll end up footing the bill for the covered part because the fault was caused by a non covered part.

The best car warranties are explicitly clear about what is and isn't covered. If you want the best deal, you need to do your research, compare cover options and be sure to always read the Ts & Cs.

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