Is An RAC Extended Warranty Worth Buying?
June 07, 2019 at 10:53 AM
Running a car can be expensive. In a report commissioned by Kwik-Fit, the average UK motorist spends £162 per month running their car. This figure includes things like fuel, insurance, road tax and servicing, but doesn't take into account any financing costs.
The report estimates that car owners spend an average of £13.26 a month on unexpected repairs and breakdowns which equates to just over £159 a year.
It's important that whenever you buy a car, you make sure that you can cover any unexpected bills. Cars are increasingly complicated machines with sophisticated mechanical and electrical systems that could go wrong at any time.
There are two methods for preparing for a used car breakdown: taking out an extended warranty or putting money aside.
RAC Extended Warranty
The RAC provide three tiers of extended warranty policies - Silver, Gold and Platinum - for any make and model. Cover starts with a list of certain components and goes all the way up to cover all mechanical and all electrical parts.
While there are some parts that are excluded in the top tier Platinum extended warranty (e.g. bodywork, brake pads and bulbs), it provides comprehensive cover for key components, including the engine, gearbox and suspension.
Successfully claiming on an RAC warranty can save you a lot of money, especially if the part that goes wrong is expensive. Below is a list of common repairs for used cars over four years old and the average repair cost:
- Radiator £208
- Water Pump £195
- Gearbox £887
- Electric Window Motor £313
- Cylinder Head Gasket £444
- Turbocharger £602
- Alternator £225
- Clutch assembly £399
- Air Flow Meter £286
Platinum RAC extended warranties at Autochoice Bristol start from £399. To help make it more affordable, you can spead the cost for up to 48 months. If you've purchased your car on finance, the warranty can be included in your monthly payment.
Put Money Aside
As an alternative to getting RAC extended warranty cover, you could put some money aside each month and build up your own 'emergency car repair fund'. If you've got a decent amount of dispensable income, this could be the best strategy.
For example, if you're able to save £100 every month for unexpected car repairs, in a year, you would have accumulated £1,200. The most expensive repair on the list above is a gearbox at £887.
Having the money readily available also means that the repair can be completed straight away instead of having to be authorised by the warranty provider.
The likelihood of your car needing a repair can largely be attributed to the manufacturer. Data from Warranty Wise highlights that, in 2017, 40% of Alfa Romeo policy holders made a claim, followed by Porsche owners (36%) with Land Rover drivers in third place (34%). In contrast, models made by Honda, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota only had between 3% - 6% of their policies claimed on.
Is An RAC Extended Warranty Worth Buying?
Ultimately, whether an RAC extended warranty is worth buying depends on three things: how much dispensable income you have, what make of car you drive and how risk-averse you are as a person.
If you can comfortably afford to save at least £50 a month, you will be able to put together a nice little nest egg that should be able to cope with an unexpected car repair.
The reliability of the car you drive could influence your decision to purchase an extended warranty. If you drive a car that hardly ever brakes down and is considered reliable, you might feel that an extended warranty is unnecessary.
Alternatively, if you drive a car that is notorious for breaking down and could cost you a lot to repair, having an RAC extended warranty will help to safeguard against a hefty repair bill.
Check your car's reliability here
Some people are happy to accept the risk of driving a car that isn't covered by an extended warranty without an 'emergency car repair fund'; however, if you're not one of these people, an RAC extended warranty is definitely worth investing in.
As an RAC Approved Dealer, every car sold by Autochoice Bristol is sold with an initial RAC warranty that covers the first 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. We also offer RAC extended warranties from just £299 - find out what's included in each level of cover by visiting our dedicated warranty page.
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