Longer/extended warranty on cars/bikes: Good and bad points explained

Extended warranties turn out to be a boon if the car or bike you’re buying is expensive and has almost no support outside the fold.

Longer/extended warranty on cars/bikes: Good and bad points explained
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With the onset of BS6 emission norms, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India limited started offering a 3+3 years warranty coverage. An unmatched package, for an ICE two-wheeler, if you ask me. This though requires you to pay about Rs 1,000 more. Shouldn’t be a problem considering the extended coverage is for three years. However, there are some good bits about the warranty and not-so-pleasant ones that you as a customer need to be aware of. I am not referring to just Honda as a manufacturer but in general the Bajajs, TVS’, Yamahas and Heros in our Indian context. Plus, I will also be specifically telling you about car warranties and should you opt for them or not. Each manufacturer has an individual policy when it comes to warranty claims but the underlying tone in each is the same. Without any further ado, here are the pros and cons.

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Pros of higher/extended warranty on cars/bikes

  • If you are someone who is a fill-it-shut-it-forget-it person, then the extended warranty will do you a great service. Timely services at the authorised workshop by a company-trained workforce will not only keep your car or bike in ship shape but also give you peace of mind.
  • Genuine spare parts will be used each time something has to be replaced. This more in the case of a newly launched car or bike model. Even if the bike were to be replaced with a new model just a year or two after its launch, spare parts and update support will be provided at authorised service stations.
  • Roadside assistance is more often than not bundled into the warranty. This is another plus point that one will have with respect to a company-provided warranty.
  • Higher resale value because the second owner will get the benefit of the warranty. This though has to be checked individually as every car or bike manufacturer has a different policy when it comes to second owners. For example, while Bajaj may have a five-year warranty on its bikes, these are non-transferable.
  • In the case of a car, it is recommended that one sticks or chooses an extended warranty as usually, the cost of service at the authorised garage is barely a few rupees more than what it will be outside. Moreover, a part that can be claimed under warranty for free, you will end up paying for it at the roadside garage. In the case of European and American car/bikes, the extended warranty is highly recommended.
  • In the case of electric vehicles, this is a must-have as the battery usually costs 40 per cent of the vehicle cost and its replacement is costly. Having the warranty coverage will definitely help in these cases and as it is, an EV requires minimum maintenance.


Cons of higher/extended warranty on cars/bikes

  • All your scheduled/unscheduled services need to be done at the authorised workshops only. Details of this work also need to be noted in your service manual or online records. Something as trivial as a bulb change will warrant a visit to the ASC and keep this in mind, a bulb is not covered under warranty.
  • You cannot change to a higher oil grade or even a lube from a different brand as prescribed by the maker. A friend who used a different brand as well as higher-grade oil for his motorcycle was denied the warranty claim on the same grounds.
  • No other body modifications including wiring splices/wider tyres are usually permitted if the car or bike is under warranty. A majority of the automakers frown on these modifications  – examples of the Tata Nano catching fire were claimed to be due to wiring issues after the owners installed aftermarket music systems.
  • You cannot service your motorcycle or car at your favourite roadside mechanic. You may have known them for years and also know about the quality of their workmanship but a higher warranty and the fear of it not being honoured will force you to be at the ASC.
  • The authorised service centre might charge you a tad higher than what a roadside mechanic will. Take for example, the cost of wheel alignment and balancing for a Maruti Suzuki Alto. It will come to roughly Rs 500-700 at an unauthorised garage while the ASC will charge around Rs 1,000 for the same job.
  • If the authorised workshop is far from your place and worse, its quality of workmanship is not up to the mark, then you are left in a lurch. Moreover, individual attention is not always guaranteed at an ASC.


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