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Car warranties

A warranty is a promise from the vehicle manufacturer to rectify faults (parts and labour) that may occur during the warranty period. You should make yourself familiar with the warranty terms and conditions relevant to your vehicle.

What is usually covered by a warranty?

In general terms, the motor vehicle and all accessories (conditional) fitted at the time of sale are covered by the warranty. If a defect occurs during the warranty period, the dealer is obliged to fix the defect at no cost to the customer 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.

Is my battery covered under warranty?

This really depends on what type of warranty you have, but generally speaking batteries are only covered by warranties on new cars. New replacement batteries, however, have a manufacturer's warranty attached.

What types of warranties are there?

1. New car statutory warranty New car statutory warranties cover you for 12 months or 20,000km, whichever you reach first. This warranty will in most cases cover all defective items on a car.

2. New car manufacturer's warranty
This generally exceeds the statutory warranty. Often it will be two-year/40,000km or three-year/60,000km. Check with the manufacturer or distributor for further information.

3. Used car statutory warranty
Applies to all dealer-sold passenger cars with less than 160,000km and under 10 years old and not exceeding the luxury car tax threshold. The warranty is valid for three months or 5,000km from date of purchase. This warranty will cover most items on a car relating to safety, reliability and roadworthiness.

Should I purchase extended warranty?

There are various types of extended warranties on the market today. NRMA Motoring & Services recommends you carefully read the fine print to see if the warranty will suit your needs.

I've had my car at the repairer several times while under warranty. It's still not fixed and now the warranty has expired. What do I do?

  • The repairer is obliged to repair your car. We recommend you contact the repairer again.
  • If this fails, contact the Department of Fair Trading on 133 220.

What do I do if I have problem with my warranty claim?

Discuss the problem with the repairer and/or seller. If you are not satisfied contact the Department of Fair Trading on 133 220.

New and used car warranties by state?

Understanding warranties on a new car

One big advantage of buying a new car is the warranty. A warranty is your guarantee that you won't have to pay for any faults that appear within a set period of time.

New cars below the luxury tax threshold must have a minimum (statutory) warranty of 12 months or 20,000km - whichever comes first.

Most new cars come with a longer manufacturer's warranty - two-year/40,000km, three-year/60,000km or even five-year/100,000km warranties.

The only exception is for demonstrator vehicles or cars priced over the 'luxury car tax' threshold.

Extended warranties

For an extra fee, some dealers offer extended warranty schemes beyond the manufacturer's period.

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.

Beware of advertising traps

False advertising is illegal but you need to be wary of vague or exaggerated claims.

Do your research before you enter a car yard - know the type of car you want and how much you can afford.

Advertised prices for new cars must include all dealer charges, unless specifically listed. Advertisements must state if statutory charges are extra, and the general term 'plus on-road costs' is prohibited in NSW.

Understanding warranties on a used car

You can only get a statutory warranty on a used car if you buy through a dealer. Each state has different laws regarding warranties. In NSW, all non-commercial cars under ten years/160,000km (and under the luxury car tax limit) have a minimum warranty of three months or 5,000km - whichever comes first, unless a Form Six is displayed excluding certain items.

Basically, you are covered for the car and all accessories fitted at time of sale, but you are not covered for superficial damage (eg, to paint, upholstery) or normal wear and tear.

You are not covered for:
  • Any items listed on the defect notice
  • Routine adjustments and services
  • Tune ups
  • Batteries
  • Tyres (however tyres must be roadworthy at time of sale)
  • Defects arising from an accident or misuse of the vehicle (i.e. motorsport).
You should read your warranty conditions and further check with the dealer which items are covered and which are not. If any faults are found, you might be able to pursue the dealer to repair them before you buy. 

Extended Warranties

Available when you buy a car and before you decide to buy make sure you understand fully what you're covered for. For more information on extended warranty exclusions and conditions visit NSW Fair Trading website.

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