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Extended warranties

If you buy goods such as a television, cooker or washing machine, you might be offered an extended guarantee or warranty - but you might have to pay extra for this.

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Thinking about an extended warranty

Think carefully about the value for money offered by an extended warranty because it could be expensive compared with the amount you might otherwise have to pay out in repair costs.

Some people forget that the goods they buy new have a manufacturer's guarantee that usually lasts for one year, so there is no need to buy an extended warranty when you buy the goods.

If you decide that you would like a warranty, you do not have to buy one at the shop where you bought the goods. There are a number of firms - including insurance companies and the manufacturers themselves - that sell extended warranties on everyday household goods, from toasters to computers. In some cases, they may be cheaper and more comprehensive than retailers' extended warranties. It is now also possible to buy warranties that cover a number of appliances, such as all the electrical equipment in your kitchen. So it is certainly a good idea to shop around for some quotes before signing up to a warranty.

The law also requires retailers to provide certain information on warranties they are selling, and you may get rights to cancel your extended warranty if you choose to do so. Contact Consumer Direct for advice.

See also Know your rights - Extended warranties for information on cashbacks, tips and exclusion clauses.

There has been some recent press activity around EU legislation which appears to provide consumers with a '2 year guarantee' on goods.

The EU legislation describes a legal guarantee which is enforceable across Europe for a minimum of 2 years. The use of the term ‘guarantee’ can be somewhat misleading as many consumers relate this to manufacturers/ retailers guarantees on goods which are often freely given for around 1 year after the purchase of some goods.

The EU legislation does apply in the UK, however as the UK already had a whole host of consumer legislation, instead of creating new laws the changes were incorporated into existing UK law, The Sale of Goods Act as amended 1979.

The UK already has far greater protection for consumers than is generally found in the EU legislation.  Some of the benefits of the Sale of Goods Act include a 6 year statutory limitation period as opposed to the 2 years offered by EU, which means that you can bring a claim for up to 6 years in the UK and Wales and 5 years in Scotland and can reject goods and claim a refund of the price paid under certain circumstances.

For more information about your rights under the Sale of Goods Act click here or call one of our trained advisors on 08454 04 05 06.

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