By Mxolisi Mhlongo
You’ve just bought your second-hand car, your family and friends have given you the green light to purchase a certain brand because of its “reliability” and the dealer told you it’s a perfect buy but have you took time to understand your terms of warranty?
You must understand the warranty that the vehicle comes with. For a second-hand vehicle, the warranty is more important than your service plan. Most people sell their cars because of problems they encounter after owning the car more than 5 years. The costs of fixing the car are expensive so the best option tends to be selling it. Truth is, that is likely the case on the second-hand car you have just bought.
To avoid a hugely expensive bill on your second-hand car, you will need to properly check the car’s condition. You can buy an extended warranty on your car if expired or check the terms of the current warranty just so you know what is covered and what is not. You can buy your extended warranty from the dealership or any insurance service provider.
The following points are key in avoiding unplanned expenses on your second-hand car?
- Warranty Payment: Having an extended warranty is the best decision you can make in avoiding unplanned repair expenses. Extended warranties can either be bought in one lump-sum or you can take the option of paying monthly. The one-time payment is usually financed as part of the purchase but in the case where you are not able to afford it, you can also take the monthly installment option, which still ensures coverage. If the car is out of warranty at the time of purchase, the warranty provider might have a grace period where you can’t claim in the first to third month but this is worded on your policy hence it’s important to check.
- Check service history: Most cars sold by reputed dealers will come with a claim of full-service history. This means the car has been serviced at all intervals as required by the manufacturer. The best way to check this is to see if, at all service intervals, the service stamp (by the dealer) is clearly shown. Even if it has a stamp, its advisable to call the last workshop to do the service and request an invoice so as to see what was done the last time the vehicle was serviced as in some cases people “buy” stamping of service books.
- Check service parts: Remember that an extended warranty does not cover servicing of vehicles and so you will need to check the service parts on your car to know if they are still in good condition. Oil colour is the easiest to check. The darker the colour of oil, the older it is. If its black, then you will need to change the oil urgently as it affects your car’s performance. If not changed, it might lead to more damage to your engine. Service parts are filters (Air, Oil and Fuel), oil and spark plugs. Brake pads, brake discs are not included on the list of service parts.
- Warranty policy cover items: It’s important to check the parts which are covered by your extended warranty policy. Each item will be listed on the policy. It’s also important to note the amount the policy pays in case of repairs. This will either be noted as % of the repairs bill the policy will pay or the Rand amount the policy will pay. The amount stipulated never changes unless the policy has been changed to cover a different amount or %.
- Top up cover: The warranty policy will have a determined amount to pay (see above point) but in cases where the repair bill is higher than the policy cover amount or %, the buyer will have to pay the balance to the repair place. In cases where they have a top-up cover, the top up cover policy will then pay the full amount of the repair meaning the buyer doesn’t pay a cent or rand extra.