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Car Tips

Car warranty service: do I have to service my car with the dealer?

By admin

It’s time to bust the number one myth out there when it comes to car servicing: no, your standard manufacturer’s warranty cannot be voided simply because you choose to have your vehicle serviced outside the dealer network! This fact is backed by Australian Consumer Law, and there are many reasons why taking your car to a qualified and reputable independent workshop can be a better alternative to taking it to the dealer for both you and your car.

What is a car warranty anyway?

If you’ve just bought a new or used vehicle, your dealer may have left you with the impression that you must have your car serviced with a dealer to keep your warranty intact. But what do they mean by ‘warranty’ and are you really tied to your dealership for life?

New car manufacturer’s warranty

All new cars come with a warranty backed by the manufacturer through which all faults or defects will be repaired free-of-cost to the consumer. These warranties generally run for a period of 3 to 5 years (or for a set number of kilometres, whichever comes first), although this does vary from one manufacturer to another. Manufacturer warranties do not cover routine service costs or damage caused by vehicle misuse or accidents. Manufacturer warranties are not required by law, are generally offered as an enticement to new vehicle purchasers and do not restrict your choice of mechanic.

New car statutory warranty

All new cars that fall below the luxury car tax threshold are backed for a period of 12 months (or 20,000 km, whichever comes first) by law. This requires the manufacturer to cover the cost of repairs for any faults or defects not caused by vehicle misuse or accident.

Used car statutory warranty

If you purchase a used car from a dealer that is less than 10 years old and has fewer than 160,000 km on the odometer, your vehicle will be backed for a period of 3 months (or 5,000 km, whichever comes first) by law. This requires the dealer to cover the cost of repairs for any faults or defects not caused by vehicle misuse or accident.

Extended manufacturer warranty

Manufacturers routinely offer ‘extended’ warranties at the point of sale, or when you reach the end of your initial manufacturer’s warranty. These warranties are optional, although in our experience dealers do not always present them as such. Extended warranties come at an additional cost, and may contain terms and conditions that restrict your choice of mechanic or parts used on your vehicle. This is the only warranty that may restrict your ability to have your car serviced outside of the dealer network. If you’ve signed up for an extended warranty, read the terms of the agreement carefully and keep in mind that commission-based remuneration in dealership networks can be a stronger incentive to sell extended warranties than benefits to consumers.

Do aftermarket parts void my warranty?

Your manufacturer’s warranty cannot be voided if quality parts are used in the servicing and repair of your vehicle. When you bring your car to Cox Auto, you can be reassured that we own and operate the same equipment as major dealer networks, use only the highest quality parts, and have been an accredited member of the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) for over 25 years. If any part supplied and fitted by us is faulty, we will replace it within a year of the fitting date, free of charge.

‘Capped-price servicing’ and dealership overheads

Independent operators have more freedom to offer competitive quotes for servicing. While dealerships might cleverly market capped-price service offerings, those prices very often reflect the large overheads and narrow sales margins faced by dealer networks. We pride ourselves on doing our homework on costs and providing the best deal and the highest quality of service. We’re transparent about our costs and process and will keep you informed at every step, talking your language, plain and simple.

A premium car service that won’t void your warranty

When you service your vehicle at Cox Auto, both you and your car will receive a premium service experience unmatched by dealerships. We’ll meet your logbook servicing needs and tailor our process and service to the needs of you and your vehicle. You’re not just another number on a long list of one-size-fits-all services to us; our connection with you is human, and we’re here for the long-haul. Our no-contact service options and complimentary loan vehicles will keep you at home or on the road – whatever you need, and all without voiding your warranty!


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