Understanding Your Rights: Extended Car Warranties for Used Vehicles

Buying a used car from a dealership comes with special warranties. Under Australian Consumer Law, you gain certain rights. These are on top of what the car's warranty or extended warranty may offer.

A used car from a dealer usually comes with a three-month or 5000km warranty. It's key to know what this warranty covers and what it doesn’t. Also, check if there are any extra conditions or costs.

Key Takeaways:

  • When you buy from a dealership, the Australian Consumer Law protects you.
  • Usually, used cars from dealers have a three-month or 5000km warranty.
  • It's crucial to grasp what is included in the warranty and any extra costs.
  • Consumer guarantees provide extra protection for used car buyers.
  • Always read the warranty details carefully to know your rights and what's covered.

What is a Car Warranty?

A car warranty is a promise from the vehicle maker. It promises to fix any problems for a certain time. This includes both parts and the cost of fixing them.

When you buy a new car, the manufacturer's warranty is very helpful. It covers you for five to seven years or a set number of kilometers. This is a big benefit. You might also get the chance to buy more coverage, called an extended warranty. Make sure to read the whole warranty document. This helps you know what's included.

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What is Covered Under a Car Warranty?

A car warranty can come from the manufacturer, the dealer, or be extended or used. It often includes the car itself and its accessories. It focuses on safety, dependability, and being fit for the road. So, issues that lower safety or reliability should be fixed or replaced for free.

Say there’s a problem with the brakes or the engine isn't working right. The warranty should pay for fixing these. It also helps if the car keeps breaking down or has other frequent issues.

Yet, warranties usually won't cover how the car looks or its wear from regular use. Cosmetics are things like small dents or paint scratches that don't affect how the car works. Wear and tear is the normal use that slowly wears out parts over time.

The details of a car warranty change by type and who gives it. A new-car warranty from the maker might last five to seven years, or for a set number of kilometers. Used cars sold by dealers could have a shorter warranty, like three months. It's very important to read the whole warranty to know its exact terms.

Do I Have to Service My Car at the Dealership to Keep My Warranty?

Do you need to take your car to the dealership for service to keep your warranty? The simple answer is no, you don't have to. Your car's warranty stays valid even if you service it elsewhere.

But, there's a catch. The place you choose for service must use genuine or OEM parts. If they put in fake or nonapproved parts, you could lose your warranty.

What is Logbook Servicing?

Opting for logbook servicing is a smart move to keep your warranty safe. It means servicing your car exactly as the manufacturer recommends. This includes changing oils and fluids when the manual says to.

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Doing this gives you peace of mind. You know your car is getting the right maintenance by the book, literally. This keeps your warranty in check.

Also, be aware of possible dealership service requirements with extended warranties. Some may insist on dealership servicing. Always check your warranty's fine print to be sure.

So, the key point is this. While you have freedom to choose where to service your car, make wise choices. Pick a service centre that's trusted, and one that sticks to using genuine parts. This way, you keep your warranty on track.

Different Types of Car Warranties

When you buy a car, knowing the types of warranties is key. They protect against certain defects and issues. Here are the main ones:

New-Car Manufacturer's Warranty

Every new car has a warranty from the carmaker. It lasts five to seven years or a set number of kilometers. This warranty covers many parts and systems, fixing defects at no cost to you.

New-Car Statutory Warranty

It's a legal must in Australia for new cars to work well for a certain time. Typically, it lasts for 12 months or 20,000km, whichever is first.

Used Car Statutory Warranty

Buy a used car from a dealer and you might get a used car statutory warranty. It's for dealer-sold passenger cars meeting certain conditions. It helps with certain defects for a while after buying.

Extended Warranty

Want more coverage? Consider an extended warranty. It stretches your protection past the original period. It's good for mechanical issues after the basic warranty ends.

Knowing about car warranties is a big deal. This knowledge helps you choose well and make sure your car is protected.

What is Not Covered by Warranty

Car warranties don't cover everything, whether they come from the car manufacturer or are mandated by law. While they address manufacturing defects and help maintain the vehicle’s condition as it ages, they don't include regular services or repairs due to misuse or accidents.

Routine maintenance tasks, like changing the oil, swapping out filters, and rotating tires, are your responsibility. These are part of standard vehicle upkeep. And tune-ups, which involve checking and fixing parts of the engine, are also not covered by your warranty.

If your car gets damaged or breaks down due to improper use, the warranty won’t cover it. Accidents can severely damage many parts of your vehicle, but this isn’t something the warranty covers. Additionally, driving your car in ways it wasn’t designed for, such as rough off-roading, also won’t be covered.

Understanding these limits is crucial for keeping your car in good shape. Warranties are great for addressing certain issues, but ensuring your car is well-maintained and driven safely is up to you. This not only makes your vehicle more reliable and extends its market value, but it also ensures that you’ll get the most out of it, beyond just what the warranty covers. Remember, warranties also include specific terms, such as a 14-day window for certain claims and exclusions for things like fuel or navigation system errors.

Extended Warranties and Private Sales

When you buy a vehicle, securing an extended warranty can offer additional protection against mechanical issues. However, it's important to understand that these warranties are not a substitute for the statutory warranties mandated by law.

In the case of private sales of used cars, statutory warranties do not apply. Nevertheless, the car might still be covered by a manufacturer's warranty or an extended warranty, depending on its age and the previous owner's maintenance. Typically, warranties for used cars are valid for vehicles less than 10 years old or those that have traveled less than a certain number of kilometers, whichever occurs first.

Before you buy a vehicle privately, thoroughly check if any existing warranty applies and if it can be transferred to you. Contact the manufacturer or the warranty issuer to get written notice of the transfer process and ensure you understand the items covered by the warranty. It's crucial to confirm whether the warranty is void if specific conditions aren't met.

Consumer laws entitle you to certain protections when buying from a motor dealer, which differ from the rights you have in a private sale. Knowing these differences helps you make an informed decision and stay safe. If you're purchasing from a dealer, you might also receive a dealer warranty, which often includes dealer service and ensures the vehicle is in reasonable condition for its age. Remember, your rights and responsibilities vary significantly depending on whether you buy from a dealer or through an auction.

Ensure any warranty period remaining on the vehicle is part of the contract and can be transferred to you. Also, verify if the warranty covers both parts and labour, as this can significantly impact the time it takes and the cost of any necessary repairs.

Understanding your rights and the warranties available will help you make a suitable choice. Whether you're buying from a dealer or privately, taking these steps ensures you are well-protected and can confidently enjoy your new vehicle.


Knowing your rights and what a car warranty covers is key when you buy a used car from a dealer. Warranties help cover fault repairs, which is a relief and saves you money. Yet, it’s very important to read the fine print. This includes what isn’t covered, extra costs, and any special rules.

If your warranty claim hits a snag, don’t worry. You have consumer rights that the seller and maker must respect. You should first reach out to the dealer or the car’s maker to sort things out. Remember, they're obliged by law to help you with the warranty.

Being smart and prepared about your car's warranty is essential. Know your warranty rights well, including the inclusions and exclusions. This knowledge will help you smoothly handle a claim if your car faces issues. Always remember, a warranty from the dealer can be a big help. But, it’s essential to know how to use it right.

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Driva offers a range of financing options to help you purchase your next motor vehicle. When you apply for a loan through Driva, you can choose from a variety of lenders and find a rate that works for you. Driva makes the financing process transparent and no hidden fees, allowing you to see all related information upfront. They also compare rates from over 30 lenders to ensure you get the best deal possible. With personalised rates and a thorough evaluation of your financial situation, you can trust that Driva will provide you with a financing option that meets your needs. Whether you're looking to purchase a brand new car or a second-hand vehicle, Driva has the resources and expertise to help you make a sound financial decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an extended car warranty for used vehicles?

An extended car warranty for used vehicles is a service contract that provides coverage for certain repairs and maintenance after the manufacturer's warranty has expired.

What does an extended car warranty typically cover?

An extended car warranty may cover items such as the engine, transmission, electrical systems, and other major components of the vehicle depending on the specific plan you choose.

Are extended car warranties worth it for buying a used car?

It depends on your individual circumstances and the reliability of the used car you are purchasing. For some consumers, an extended car warranty can provide peace of mind and financial protection against unexpected repairs.

How long do extended car warranties for used vehicles typically last?

Extended car warranties for used vehicles can vary in length, but they commonly range from 1 to 5 years or a certain number of miles, whichever comes first.

Can I transfer an extended car warranty to a new owner if I sell my vehicle?

Some extended car warranties are transferable to a new owner, but it depends on the terms and conditions of the specific warranty contract.

What should I do if my vehicle needs repairs covered by the extended warranty?

If your vehicle needs repairs covered by the extended warranty, you should take it to a licensed motor mechanic or repairer authorised by the warranty provider for servicing.

Are there specific obligations I need to fulfill to maintain coverage under an extended car warranty?

Yes, there are usually obligations such as following the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule, keeping records of service and repairs, and notifying the warranty provider within a specified timeframe if an issue arises.

Philana Kwan

Philana Kwan is the marketing coordinator at Driva she has a demonstrated history in customer service excellence and is knowledgeable in all things car and finance related. When she’s not working Philana enjoys learning new things and keeping up with the latest trends in marketing and technology.

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