Remember those “spot the difference” games we’d play in school, where you had to strain your eyes trying to see the minor differences between two pictures of a park? Well, the adult version of that is probably trying to find the distinctions between all the insurance options available.

A good case in point is the difference between a motor warranty and a service plan. Aren’t they more or less the same? And if not, do you really need both? Unlike your former teachers, we won’t make you try and puzzle this one out: instead, we’re just giving you the answers below!

What is a manufacturer’s warranty?

A car warranty comes standard issue with new cars: it’s basically a promise that the vehicle and its parts are in good condition. Should the car break down within the warranty’s validity period (usually measured over a number of years and/or kilometres), the manufacturer will repair it or reimburse you. However, once your warranty has expired, you’ll have to fork out for those costs yourself – unless you were smart and signed up for an extended motor warranty!

You can read more about car warranties here.

What is a service plan?

A service plan is separate from the manufacturer’s warranty and is designed to cover parts that become worn through normal wear and tear and vehicle use. A car warranty usually only covers parts that are not as prone to wear and tear over the lifespan of the warranty. Things like spark plugs, tyre rotations, filters, and fluid changes, however, have a much shorter shelf life as they are more susceptible to wear and tear – that’s why they’re covered by a service plan. Like motor warranties, they also come with a validity period based on time and/or kilometres driven.

Note that these differ from maintenance plans, which usually offer a more comprehensive list of parts covered.

Do I need an extended car warranty and service plan?

These plans are certainly a good way to protect your hard-earned moola! Think of it this way: if an unexpected mishap occurs, and your car is out of warranty or you don’t have a robust service plan, do you really want to have to face the bill for repairs alone? Didn’t think so! A combo of these cover types can keep your car (and bank balance) protected, so you’re not alone, no matter what happens.

Luckily, warranties and service plans are easy to get and highly customisable when you’re a part of the family. Our robust Silver, Gold and Platinum Motor Warranty plans cover mechanical repairs and replacements – without the hassle.* Get a free online quote in under 3 minutes today.

*T&Cs and certain exclusions may apply and can be obtained by emailing Risk profile and policy dependent. Price and cover limits subject to change and dependent on plan selection. All Motor Warranty plans provide cover for the same components, up to different limits.