You can only get a warranty on a used car if you buy through a motor dealer. A Form 5 or Form 6 notice must be displayed that tells you such important details about the vehicle as its make, model, price, engine number and distance travelled. It also summarises the dealer’s legal obligations to the purchaser and the terms of the warranty, if any, that applies to that particular vehicle. A Form 5 notice is the simplest, applying to cars with no known defects which are covered by the minimum warranty of 3 months or 5,000 kilometers, whichever comes first.
A Form 6 notice is for cars not covered by a warranty. These are generally those more than ten years old, or those that have travelled more than 160,000 kilometers. A roadworthy certificate should be available for any vehicle which displays a Form 6. A current inspection report for the vehicle must also be displayed with this form. A Form 6 notice should also be used when selling a new motor vehicle that is damaged. This includes new vehicles that have suffered water damage and/or the body or frames of the motor vehicle have been damaged.
What does your warranty cover?
In general terms, the motor vehicle and all accessories fitted at the time of sale are covered by the warranty. But, you are not covered for superficial damage (e.g. to paint and upholstery) or normal wear and tear. If a defect occurs during the warranty period, the dealer is obliged to fix the defect so that the vehicle is in reasonable condition for it's age. The time it takes to make repairs is added on to your warranty period.
What doesn't your warranty cover?
Your warranty will not cover routine adjustments, such as tune-ups and oil changes or replacement of batteries and tyres. However, tyres must be roadworthy at the time of sale. You will not be covered for any defects resulting from an accident or misuse of the vehicle. You should check with the dealer to see which items are covered and which are not.
As used car warranties are not as strict as new car warranties, we recommend you get a Vehicle Inspection or an inspection from your mechanic. If any faults are found, you might be able to get the dealer to repair them before you buy. You can also get a Warranty Inspection just before your warranty is about to expire. This way the dealer is obliged to repair any faults listed on the report when the vehicle is in the workshop.
For an extra fee, you may be offered an extended warranty for periods beyond your statutory warranty. There are various types of extended warranties on the market today so you must carefully read the fine print to see if the warranty will suit your needs. Many of these warranties are only valid if you observe very strict servicing and spare parts agreements and generally only cover specific items. Consider them carefully before you sign. Read the fine print and calculate whether the benefits justify the cost. These warranties usually only cover you against certain mechanical failures and limit the amount you can claim. Some also require you to have the car serviced exclusively by that particular dealer.
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