New car warranties have traditionally covered a new vehicle for three years and often with a limited number of kilometres. However, Kia Australia’s decision to introduce a seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty in 2014 shook up the market in Australia, and prompted other manufacturers to increase their coverage.
Some mainstream carmakers have offered seven year warranties as limited offers, but none are yet to match Kia permanently, instead settling for four or five year deals, with the majority still sticking with the traditional three years.
So is a longer a warranty worth the paper it’s written on? Generally yes, though it’s important to check the terms and conditions. A warranty’s worth is only tangible if something goes wrong with the car, however it provides good piece of mind and could help resale values if the car is sold within the warranty period as it transfers across with the sale.
It’s worth noting that warranties are conditional on the car being regularly serviced to prescribed schedules, but you have the right to choose your own authorised mechanic. Some manufacturers offer incentives to service your vehicle at their dealerships such as free roadside assist or loan cars.
So which car manufacturers offer more than the traditional three years, and what conditions are attached for private cars? Here’s a general guide without all the fine print.
Tesla – 8 years/unlimited km
While Tesla doesn’t have engines to worry about, it’s cars and technology have yet to stand the test of time so eight years is a pretty bold offer. The warranty covers parts and build-defects affecting the vehicle, batteries and drive unit.
Kia – 7 years/unlimited km
Kia’s warranty also comes with free roadside assist for 12 months, but can be extended to the full seven years if you get the vehicle serviced at an authorised Kia dealer. It also offers seven years capped servicing, which is subject to conditions depending on certain models or types of engines.
MG - 6 years/unlimited km
The Chinese-owned iconic British marque is hoping to emulate the success of Korean brands Kia and Hyundai in changing public perceptions by offering the third longest warranty term in Australia, which comes with complimentary roadside assistance and capped price servicing.
Hyundai - 5 years/unlimited km
Hyundai’s five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty extends to all its vehicles for private use. Paintwork is only covered for 12 months if there’s an application issue or three years for durability.
Honda - 5 years/unlimited km
Honda's standard five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty also comes with six-year protection against rust perforation. Some Hondas are covered by seven-year warranties that were part of limited edition offers, which included free roadside assist. These offers may again become available during Honda's 'Anuual Event' sale.
Ford - 5 years/unlimited km
Ford bolted another two years on to its three-year Express warranty offered on all new vehicles sold from May 1, 2018 this year, and removed the the 100,000km limit. The five-year Express New Vehicle Warranty provides road-side assistance, loan car, membership to Ford’s Auto Club, free navigation updates and Service Price Promise fixed-price servicing, as well as a guarantee on manufacturer defects and parts warranty
Holden - 5 years/unlimited km
Holden extended its three-year/100,000km warranty to five-years/unlimited in July 2018. The warranty package also includes free roadside assistance. It has previously offered longer warranties of up to seven years, but these were temporary offers for selected models such as the now-imported Commodore and the Equinox SUV.
Mazda - 5 years/unlimited km
Mazda followed Holden's lead by introducing stretching its three-year warranty to five from August 1 2018. The warranty that covers any defect in material or workmanship in both parts and panels. The new warranty period also covers the BT-50 ute that was only covered for 2 years/unlimited km.
Renault - 5 years/unlimited km
Renault offers five years with no kilometre limit on all its passenger cars and SUVs, with its Kangoo, Trafic and Master vans covered for three years/200,000km.
Citroen - 5 years/unlimited km
The French brand used to come with a six-year warranty, but but this was slashed to three years by its Australian distributor Inchcape, which then extended it to five years in February 2018.
Peugeot - 5 years/unlimited km
Like Citroen, Peugeot cars are sold under licence by UK-owned Inchcape, which extended the warranty for both French brands from three to five years in February 2018.
Skoda - 5 years/unlimited km
The Czech brand has one up over its Volkswagen Group cousins by offering a five-year warranty, which includes free roadside assistance for the first year.
Isuzu - 5 years/130,000km
One of the reasons the MU-X ute based SUV is proving popular is Isuzu’s five year warranty with a reasonably generous kilometre limit. The warranty includes five years roadside assistance and fixed price servicing including a free, three month/3000km initial service.
Haval - 5 years/100,000km
The five-year warranty is a good move by the fledgling Chinese SUV maker. The warranty comes with complimentary nationwide roadside assist and fixed price servicing.
Jeep - 5 years/100,000km
As well as the five year ‘There and Back’ warranty and fixed-price servicing, Jeep offer lifetime roadside assist which is dependent on you having your vehicle serviced through authorised dealers. The 100,000km limit is a little tight considering Jeep’s adventure sales pitch.
Mitsubishi – 5 years/100,000km
Mitsubishi’s five-year warranty also covers corrosion and the main powertrain batteries in its hybrid vehicles. Mitsubishi also offers a 12-month/20,000km warranty period for components more subject to wear and tear such as fuel injectors, brake linings, wipers and seat covers.
Volkswagen – 5 years/unlimited km
Volkswagen became the first German brand in Australia to offer a five year, unlimited kilometre warranty in December 2018.
Rolls Royce – 4 years/unlimited km
Few cars that cost as much as a house come with more than a three year warranty, though this only applies to private Rollers and not commercially operated limos. The four-year term includes free roadside assistance.
Infiniti – 4 years/100,000km
Nissan’s luxury sub-brand is one of the few luxury carmakers to over more than three year. The 100,000km limit is pretty generous for four years. Infiniti’s warranty includes full coverage for any paint defects and body perforation by corrosion for the entire four years. Infiniti also offers free roadside assist through the term of the warranty.
Lexus – 4 years/100,000km
It makes sense for Infiniti’s closest rival to offer the same warranty. Service your car at a Lexus dealer and you’ll get a loan car and complimentary car wash and vacuum during the life of the warranty.