By Matt Robinson
Reliability is a key issue for drivers these days – it’s hard to put a price on the mental comfort of knowing a car will successfully complete each and every journey it makes without breaking down, whatever the weather conditions. Of course, a brand-new model is less likely to fail than an older vehicle, which is why leasing a car that is showroom-fresh is such a great idea. And it’s also why you can read all about the most reliable cars you can drive in 2023 in our handy guide.
The common conception in the modern era is that cars are more reliable than ever, especially electric cars with fewer moving parts. The reality is that a really good manufacturer warranty is still worth its weight in gold in terms of providing a consumer with all the peace of mind they could need. But which car manufacturer offers the best warranty? As with everything in the world of cars, it turns out some manufacturers do warranties better than others, so we’ve put together an easy to understand guide to all of the warranty plans available from the key manufacturers.
What Are The Best Car Manufacturer Warranties In 2023?
- BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover And 10 More
- Ford, Nissan, Peugeot, Vauxhall, Volkswagen And 10 More
What Should A Good New Car Warranty Include?
A good new car warranty should include clear limits, in terms of time and mileage, pertaining to how long it is valid for. So if it is a 36-month warranty, that means it lasts three years from the point of registration; if it says a 60,000-mile limit, that means the car automatically drops out of warranty if you do 60,001 miles or more in it.
The warranty covers the failure of either major mechanical components or electrical systems on the vehicle for the duration of the period stated. This means that if a part fails due to defective manufacturing processes, you won’t have to pay the price of that part and the associated labour costs (the hourly rate automotive mechanics charge) for fixing the issue.
A car manufacturer warranty normally covers:
Any failure of the engine and gearbox.
In the event something should go wrong with these parts, There may be a small excess to pay but usually, a warranty protects the car’s owner from huge bills if something unexpectedly fails during the warranty period.
Warranties do NOT cover items deemed ‘wear and tear’ consumables such as:
These are all items that will degrade or require replacement over time on any vehicle. So you cannot claim, for example, for new tyres on a car that’s only two years old and which has done 30,000 miles, even if your warranty is still active.
Manufacturers usually also insist that you have the vehicle serviced and maintained at one of their main dealers for the duration of the warranty for the cover to be valid. What we mean by this is that if you decide to get your car serviced with an independent garage or mechanic during the warranty period and then something subsequently goes wrong with the vehicle, you will probably find the manufacturer will not cover the cost of repairs under the warranty.
This is because the manufacturer cannot guarantee the quality of the workmanship and/or parts which have gone into maintenance and servicing at any premises outside of its own, which invalidates the warranty as a result.
What Are Industry Standard Car Warranties?
The industry-standard warranty is three years or 60,000 miles, which 16 manufacturers including Audi, Nissan and Vauxhall provide as their level of standard cover. Some of these offer a flat three years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first, but you can find some of them like Peugeot will provide unlimited mileage cover for years one and two, only introducing the 60,000-mile cap in year three. Three years and 60,000 miles is the bare minimum you should accept in a car manufacturer warranty.
While all of these manufacturers offer extended warranty cover for a fee, so do all the companies who make our list below. So here, in ascending order, are the ten best standard manufacturer warranties you can get right now.
10. Ford, Nissan, Peugeot, Vauxhall, Volkswagen And 10 More
Level Of Cover (Years And Mileage): Three years/60,000 miles
This is the industry standard warranty and the absolute minimum level of cover you should expect when leasing a new car. This warranty is offered by 16 manufacturers in total: Audi, Citroen, Cupra, Dacia, Ford, Mazda, Nissan, Peugeot, Polestar, SEAT, Skoda, Subaru, Suzuki, Vauxhall, Volkswagen and Volvo. Some of these manufacturers start the 60,000-mile cap from day one, while others at least let you have unlimited mileage cover for the first 24 months, only bringing the 60,000-mile cap in for the third and final year.
9. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover And 10 More
Level Of Cover (Years And Mileage): Three years/unlimited mileage
The initial step up from the base three-year, 60,000-mile warranty is to get rid of that mileage cap, offering drivers the comfort of knowing they have three years of cover irrespective of how far they drive their cars in that time. In total, 13 manufacturers provide this level of warranty as standard and you can spot their groupings.
Five of them are the former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) manufacturers who are now in the Stellantis group: Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jeep and Maserati all of which are covered by a Mopar warranty).
BMW and its spin-off MINI
Mercedes-Benz also qualifies, along with subsidiary Smart.
Jaguar and Land Rover in the JLR group provide this cover.
Level Of Cover (Years And Mileage): Three years/60,000 miles (ICE) or eight years/100,000 miles (PHEVs and EVs)
Unlike parent company Citroen, DS gets onto this list courtesy of a two-stage warranty. Take one of its regular internal combustion engine (ICE) models and you get the standard warranty cover of three years and 60,000 miles, but if you go for one of their plug-in hybrids or electric cars, the level of reassurance instead switches to eight years or 100,000 miles. That’s even better than Kia’s excellent warranty cover, which we’ll come to.
Level Of Cover (Years And Mileage): three years, rising to ten years/100,000 miles (predicated on servicing)
This is a bit of a complex one, but if you take advantage of it then technically Toyota – and its luxury subsidiary brand Lexus – offers the best level of warranty cover in the UK right now. In essence, you get a pretty standard three-year warranty on every new Toyota and Lexus; so far, so normal.
However, without asking for a separate extended warranty fee like other manufacturers, all Toyota/Lexus asks is that you service the car with one of its main UK dealers throughout its life. If you do that, every time you have the car serviced then you get a complimentary 12-month extension on your warranty – up to a maximum of ten years and 100,000 miles. And as you should be paying for servicing on any vehicle, whether it’s covered under a warranty or not, then the Toyota group’s ‘loyalty scheme’ warranty extension plan seems like a very good deal to us.
Level Of Cover (Years And Mileage): Four years/50,000 miles (base vehicle), five years/60,000 miles (Supplementary Restraint System), eight years/100,000-150,000 miles (drivetrain and battery, model depending)
As ever, Tesla likes to do things differently and so its warranty is made up of three distinct parts, covering different aspects of its vehicles.
The basic cover, affecting any non-drivetrain/battery components on the car but excluding airbags, is fairly feeble – you get an extra year of cover to most other manufacturers, at four years overall, but the mileage limit is reduced from 60,000 to 50,000 miles.
The Supplementary Restraint System (that’s a really fancy way of saying ‘airbags’) on any Tesla, however, gains five years and 60,000 miles of cover.
But it’s the electric motors and battery packs which get the greatest warranty as standard. All Teslas are covered for an impressive eight years, and for one of three overall mileages – 100,000 miles (Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive), 120,000 miles (Model 3 Long Range and Performance, Model Y Long Range and Performance) or 150,000 miles (Model S and Model X).
If it wasn’t so confusing in certain departments, we’d put this warranty even higher on this list.
Level Of Cover (Years And Mileage): Five years/100,000 miles
Straightforward stuff here from Renault, which doesn’t ask any extra fees from you nor does it require you service your cars at inflated main-dealer rates in order to qualify for an extra two years and 40,000 miles of warranty cover. Instead Renault offers you five years and 100,000 miles of back-up as standard on every new car. Even better, that’s unlimited mileage for years one and two of the warranty, with the ‘cap’ of 100,000 miles is only appearing in years three to five.
Level Of Cover (Years And Mileage): Five years/unlimited mileage
We’ve long said this is actually the best new-car warranty you can get, mainly because it is unlimited mileage for the entire five years of cover Hyundai provides. However, on the basis that most people probably won’t cover 100,000 miles in five years, we’ve reluctantly put Hyundai’s mega warranty in fourth on this list as you’ll probably never truly benefit from its unlimited-mileage status – certainly if you’re leasing a Hyundai. It’s a brilliant level of reassurance from the Korean manufacturer, though, and it has been one of the company’s key selling points for two decades now.
Level Of Cover (Years And Mileage): Seven years/80,000 miles
Reborn Chinese-owned MG offers a whopping seven-year warranty, which is the joint-longest level of range-wide cover you can get as standard in the UK. The only thing which keeps MG to just third place on this list is that the 80,000-mile cap comes into effect from year two onwards – you only get 12 months of unlimited-mileage cover. Nevertheless, MG’s stellar warranty is one of the ways the company is trying to tempt you to take the plunge on its ever-improving products.
Level Of Cover (Years And Mileage): Five years/unlimited mileage, plus five years’ worth of servicing up to 50,000 miles included
Genesis is a new luxury brand from Hyundai and we’ve put Genesis’ cover in second on this list for one good reason – not only do you get the same five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty on its products, but it also throws five years’ worth of free servicing into the bargain too. There is a mileage cap on that latter benefit, of just 50,000 miles, but even so you’d be daft to deny that this is one seriously comprehensive level of customer cover.
Level Of Cover (Years And Mileage): Seven years/100,000 miles
Kia takes the top spot on our list as the warranty has long been described as ‘industry-leading’ by many independent commentators… and, of course, Kia itself. Yes, the fabled seven-year warranty from the Kia, all things considered, the best level of cover you can get as standard from any car manufacturer.
It’s actually unlimited mileage for years one-three, as well, with the 100,000-mile cap taking effect from year four onwards, but – as we said earlier – the vast majority of people don’t tend to drive 100,000 miles in a single car alone during their lives, which basically means that you know that should something go wrong on your Kia, which is highly unlikely in the first place, then this warranty will have your back regardless.
Car Warranty FAQs
What Is A Car Warranty?
A car warranty is a policy which covers the owner or main user of a vehicle against repair costs of any faults that may occur with a car during a set period of time and, usually, also a specific amount of miles on the clock. This means that if something goes wrong on your new car while it is still ‘under warranty’, it will be repaired free of charge. Driving a brand new car guarantees a manufacturer warranty and no pre-existing issues, which is a key advantage of leasing compared to buying a used car.
What Do Car Warranties Cover?
Car warranties usually include the price of parts and labour rate costs of fixing anything that goes wrong while the warranty is still active, or valid. This normally includes items such as the engine, gearbox, clutch (if fitted), suspension, brakes, steering and suspension.
It does NOT include roadside assistance or items classed as consumables, which wear on a car through natural use. This means tyres, brake pads and discs (these wear out with use, although pads need replacing far more frequently than discs do; other braking components, like callipers, and control systems, such as ABS, will fall under the warranty, though), wiper blades, fluids and any light bulbs, typically.
Which Manufacturer Has The Longest Warranty?
In terms of standard cover granted without any exemptions or requirements aside from leasing the car in the first place, both MG and Kia have the longest standard manufacturer warranty, running for seven years.
Kia’s is slightly more generous, in that it is unlimited mileage for the first three years of the warranty, with a 100,000-mile cap taking effect for the remainder; MG has unlimited mileage in the first year only, introducing a lesser 80,000-mile cap from year two onwards. However, specific parts of the Tesla warranty run for eight years and DS will offer you eight years of cover if you choose one of its electric vehicles. Both Toyota and Lexus will give you up to ten years of warranty cover with a 100,000-mile limit, but only if you service the car on a regular basis with their main dealers.
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