How Your Car Warranty Is Voided

Dec 12, 2022 | Car, Warranty & Service Plans

A policy, like a car warranty, is there for you, giving you financial protection against having to pay for unexpected mechanical and electrical breakdowns out of your own pocket. It is a contract – a legally binding agreement between the service provider and yourself.

Typically you agree to pay a certain amount of money, either when buying a new car or on a monthly basis for used vehicles, and follow the rules that are set out in the terms and conditions of your policy. In exchange your service provider will pay out any claims that fall within the scope of the policy.

In the event that you don’t ‘follow the rules’ of these terms and conditions, your warranty will be unenforceable and your claim won’t be paid out. That’s why it’s so important to understand your obligations and understand what kind of behaviour and actions can cause your warranty to be voided.

With this in mind, let’s look at the five main reasons why your car warranty is voided.

  1. Not taking reasonable care of your car

As the car owner and policyholder, you need to protect your car from further loss or damage. A great example of a warranty is voided is when a person suspects that there is a problem and then continue to use their car… which makes the problem worse.

Other common examples include:

  • Taking your non-off-road vehicle out for a spot of bundu-bashing.
  • Racing your mates.
  • Overloading (even for the best of reasons, like doing a family member a favour and helping them move furniture).
  • Neglecting to refill the necessary liquids into your car.
  • Using the incorrect fluids, like putting diesel into a petrol engine.
  1. Not getting your car serviced at correct intervals

It’s fair to say that we’ve all had a service or two due ‘unexpectedly,’ about 5 minutes after your last service is how it feels. Still, this is a serious condition of your warranty, and if you don’t make sure that your car goes for its services and check-ups at the stipulated intervals/distances, your warranty will be voided.

Look, there’s usually a grace period of a few extra kilometres but this isn’t standard with every warranty. You need to check your policy documents to see if there is a grace period and keep a close eye on when your services are due.

  1. Not telling the whole truth or leaving details out

The most common reason a warranty is voided is because people don’t tell the whole truth about how they use their cars. If you tell your service provider that you use your car for private, domestic and pleasure uses but actually you use for business travels, your warranty could be voided.

For instance, most providers won’t give you a warranty is you use your car for commercial purposes, like using your car as a courier or delivery vehicle, renting it out to others, or using it to carry passengers for money. So if you don’t disclose that you use your car to deliver flowers and instead label it as ‘business use’ and your service provider finds out, your warranty will be voided.

Telling the whole truth is vital. Your service provider bases their decision to give you cover on the information that you provide to them. If any of these details is incomplete or incorrect, then their decision to give you cover was based on faulty information.

  1. A bit of DIY

It’s tempting to do things on your own in an effort to keep costs down. But if you have a car warranty, then any (if not all) DIY work could void your policy. It’s far better to trust the professionals – and to keep all service records and receipts. This will help you prove that you’ve been taking care of your car and that you haven’t been doing things on the cheap and quiet in your home garage.

Additionally, these kinds of receipts prove your duty of care and will help you sell your car for a much better price if and when you want to sell.

  1. Upgrading your ride

You might not think about this, but there are some upgrades that could invalidate your warranty. Some modifications could be beneficial and might not impact your warranty, like adding a working immobiliser and tracking device, but then again… it could be used to invalidate warranty.

We wish we could give you a list, but different service providers have a different take on this.

The best advice we can give you is to properly go through the fine print of your warranty and rather talk to your service provider before you do anything. The last thing you want is to be left with an engine failure and a rather hefty repair bill.

Our last word on this point is something that not many people think about… it’s when your car is in for a service or maintenance work and upgrades are offered by the garage. Before approving any upgrades, check with the service provider of your warranty.

That’s the only way to know for sure.

Feeling informed?

Ultimately, you just have to be wise and always just check in with your service provider. When it comes to car warranties from the AA, there are teams in place whom you can talk to about updating your policy if anything changes in your life or you want to make any improvements.

If you need any further information on what is covered under a car warranty, please click here.

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