Guarantees and warranties

What is a guarantee?

A guarantee confirms that a business will repair or replace an item if something goes wrong within a certain amount of time. If a product comes with a guarantee, it is usually provided free of charge by the manufacturer. Household products like electrical appliances and furniture often come with a guarantee. The guarantee remains in place even if a product is transferred to another consumer.

What is a warranty?

A warranty is like an insurance policy for a product which you usually have to pay for.  A business may offer a warranty to you when you buy a product from them. Warranties often last longer than guarantees and may offer wider protection. Purchasing a warranty is completely optional. If you are buying a product that you will have for a long period of time you may want the peace of mind a warranty gives.

Do I have rights in addition to a warranty or guarantee?

Consumer law means that a business has obligations to you regardless of any warranty or guarantee you have. Always make sure you understand your consumer rights if you are thinking about buying a warranty.

What should I think about before taking out a guarantee or warranty?

  • find out what exactly the guarantee or warranty covers
  • always check the terms and conditions of the guarantee or warranty. For example, you may need to register the guarantee with the manufacturer to activate it
  • remember that a warranty is completely optional and can be expensive. Don’t feel pressurised into buying one
  • consider what it would cost to replace the item and compare this to the cost of the warranty

Last updated on 28 November 2022