Big Repair Bills in Two Years After Manufacturer Warranty. | Motoring News | Honest John


Four out of ten cars will suffer a mechanical failure in the two years after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired, leaving motorists with a £200,000,000 repair bill, according to analysis by automotive warranty specialist, Warranty Direct (

Although motorists will face an average garage bill of £308.71 during Years Four and Five of ownership, major mechanical failure can easily run into thousands of pounds.

The most common problems are with the suspension (24.4%), engine
(12.1%) and braking system (9.5%).

Suspension failure will cost an average £273 to repair, but can run to
£1,800 for a popular volume model like the Volkswagen Golf. Meanwhile, engine trouble is costing a worrying £660.85 on average to fix – with the most frequent repair being to the cylinder head (7.6% of all claims) costing around £517.

“Engine failure is more common than people think – and the bill can be expensive,” explains Duncan McClure-Fisher, Operations Director of Warranty Direct. “A new engine in a Peugeot 306 can cost at least £2,400 with more exotic machinery like the Subaru Impreza leaving you with a £3,000 bill.”

According to the 2002 Used Car Market Report from BCA Europe, 1,660,000 cars aged 3 – 5 years old ( just over 26% of the £25.4 Billion used car market) were sold over the past twelve months. Franchised and non-franchised dealers accounted for 92% of these sales.

Based on analysis of warranty claims made on cars aged 3 – 5 years old, Fords cost the least to rectify with an average bill of £223.74. The most expensive marques were Land Rover and Alfa Romeo, where the average cost of repair stood at £467.04 and £466 – 82 respectively.

In terms of the top-selling five manufacturers in the UK, Renault compares poorly with its chief rivals. The French carmaker records an average repair bill of £330.23 with Ford, Vauxhall, Peugeot and VW costing a collective average of £248.03 per visit.

BMW bucks the trend of the executive car segment with a below market average claim of £253. Mercedes-Benz cost £324.34.

McClure-Fisher warns: “Consumers rarely factor the cost of repair bills when they look for a new car. Manufacturer’s provide a cushion for the first three years, after that you’re either relying on the protection of a good warranty or hope that you’ve bought a reliable car. The biggest winner is the garage.”

* Warranty Direct estimates that 650,000 cars aged 3-5 years old will suffer a mechanical failure each year.

Average repair bill during Years 4-5

Top Five:

1. Ford £223.74
2. Fiat £227.46
3. Citroen £234.81
4. Peugeot £241.88
5. Vauxhall £251.51

Bottom Five:

1. Land Rover £467.04
2. Alfa Romeo £466.82
3. Mazda £382.94
4. Toyota £369.41
5. Renault £330.23

Note that these are average repair bills where repairs were needed. They are NOT reliability ratings in which Mazda and Toyota usually come out best of all. To assess the risk you need to compare the reliability of the car first, then the average cost of repair.

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