One of the biggest benefits of buying a new car is driving it away with the comfort and assurance of an initial warranty. Whether for three, five or in some cases 10 years, a warranty brings fantastic peace of mind and can be worth its weight in gold.
Unfortunately, warranties are never issued without very specific terms and conditions. A warranty is essentially an agreement between you and your provider, which affords certain privileges in return for appropriate use of your vehicle.
This therefore means that if you do anything that contravenes the terms and conditions of your warranty, your provider may cancel it outright, this is an eventuality that could leave you with a brand-new vehicle with no warranty on it whatsoever, which could prove costly.
Warranty Voided vs. Claim Denied
Breaching the terms and conditions of a warranty may not result in the agreement being voided in its entirety. Instead, it could simply be that your claim is denied by your provider, on the basis of your vehicle having been damaged by something you should not have been doing.
Reading the terms and conditions of your warranty agreement is therefore essential, in order to know exactly where you stand. Any ambiguity or point of contention must be discussed openly, in order to avoid issues at a later date.
What Voids Your Entire Warranty?
Irrespective of the type of warranty you are afforded, there are some things that will always invalidate it in its entirety.
For example, you will find a fairly broad category in the terms and conditions tied to ‘misuse of the vehicle’, which encompasses anything that does not fall within normal operation of the car you buy. Taking a vehicle off-road, racing of any type, overloading it, attempting to tow excessively heavy loads and so on – all things your vehicle was probably not designed to do.
Evidence of neglect can also result in a warranty being rendered null and void, which applies to all aspects of your car’s general maintenance. Chances are it will be your responsibility to ensure that your car is regularly serviced and kept in a good state of repair. Even something as simple as failing to have your car’s oil changed regularly could invalidate your warranty, if it subsequently developed a major fault.
If you plan on modifying your vehicle in any way or using aftermarket parts, it is advisable to consult with your warranty provider ahead of time. Most minor modifications geared towards general comfort and safety will not necessarily affect your warranty. However, performance-related modifications and purely aesthetic modifications could be prohibited by your provider.
If In Doubt, Ask
Truth is, much of what is laid out in the terms and conditions of the warranty agreement may be open to interpretation. But as it is ultimately down to your provider to decide what is acceptable and what is not, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Before doing anything with your new car that goes beyond basic everyday usage, consult with your warranty provider to ensure it will not invalidate your agreement.