Survey Results: Most buyers want minimum 12 months of warranty cover with used cars

Survey Results: Most buyers want minimum 12 months of warranty cover with used cars

A survey for the RAC Dealer Network, covering more than 1,000 used car buyers, has shown that twelve months is by far the most common length of minimum warranty cover that consumers want when buying a used car.

Forty five per cent of 1,000 used car buyers surveyed said that they would like 12 months of cover, followed by 17% on six months and 12% on two years.

Sean Kent, our Sales Director at the RAC Dealer Network, said: “Across large parts of the car industry, it very much remains the norm that three months is the standard warranty offered to most consumers when they purchase a used car.

“There is a presumption among dealers that if a customer wants a longer warranty, then extended cover is available and staying with a standard shorter period enables you to minimise the windscreen price of the vehicle.

“However, this research indicates that many buyers expect more. Also, it should be kept in mind that the cost of increasing the warranty that you provide with a vehicle from three to 12 months is relatively low within the overall cost of selling a car and could help you to increase the appeal of your overall used car proposition considerably.”

Sean added that the research was indicative of an ongoing shift in used car buyer attitudes that had been underway for many years.

“Over perhaps the last couple of decades, the mindset of used car buyers has changed almost completely. They have moved from presuming that they are a making a purchase almost on a ‘sold as seen’ basis through to expecting something that in some respects rivals the experience of buying a new car.

“Really, this research indicates how that process is still very much underway and that customer expectations continue to increase. Certainly, it is not inconceivable that we will see standard dealer warranties start to increase in length to meet customer demand in the medium term.”

Sean added that the RAC offered warranties of up to 36 months and even 48 on some types of cars, with a range of levels of cover.

“We have been seeing interest in longer and more comprehensive warranties increasing for a number of years, and have developed our product range accordingly. Again, this is indicative of an increased demand in the market for more comprehensive warranties.”

The overall results of the research are:

What is the minimum length of warranty cover you expect with a used car?

Three months 10%
Six months 17%
Twelve months 45%
Two years 12%
Three years 8%
Four years 1%
Five years or more 7%

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