In Singapore, the pro-business laws and regulations tend to give dealers the advantage in “defining” the terms and conditions of the warranty in Singapore.
This Driving in Singapore guide explains the typical coverage of car warranty in Singapore and the caveats and even traps in the terms and conditions of most Singapore car warranty policies.
Warranty coverage in Singapore: it's more complicated than you thought
If you think car warranty from all car dealers in Singapore is identical, then you are wrong, deadly wrong.
Singapore does not have regulations on compulsory coverage of car warranties except the 3rd party coverage. It is up to the market (and eventually the car dealer) to “offer”.
On the bright side, this creates some sort of competition among car dealers. Some of them may offer better warranty coverage to attract new customers.
But on the dark side, car dealers may use exaggerated words or fine print to mislead car buyers. The lemon law, section 12A-12F of the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA), is not a strong weapon for car buyers when disputes on car warranties arise.
In Singapore, there is NO standard (or basic or compulsory) coverage of car warranty:
- Each dealer may offer different coverage and terms and conditions of the warranty.
- From the same dealer, different coverage and terms may be offered for different cars.
- From the same dealer and for the same car, different coverage and terms may be offered at different times.
So, as a car owner, you need to know the coverage and the strings attached.
Some car dealers in Singapore do not give the warranty booklet. You have to ask for it.
You should never rely on what the salesperson “said”. You need some written documents.
What is the typical car warranty coverage in Singapore?
Although there is no template or standard for car warranty coverage and terms in Singapore, most authorized dealers (AD) follow the conventions in other countries.
Also, the competition in the local (and small) car market forces the car dealers to offer some sort of “common” coverage in Singapore.
Here is the list of typical car warranty coverage (for new cars) in Singapore:
- Period. At least 3 years or 100,000km (whichever comes first). Some car dealers offer extended warranty packages to extend the warranty to 5 or more years. But the terms for the first 3 years and the extended period usually are different.
- Powertrain (engine, transmission, front-wheel system or rear-wheel drive system) and seat belt are normally covered for at least 3 years.
- Battery (in petrol or diesel engine cars), head unit, audio system, and electric components are usually covered for at least 1 year or 20,000km. Some dealers may offer longer (2 to 3 years) coverage.
- Tires are normally covered by the manufacturer.
- The exterior (paint, window, door) is usually covered for at least 6 months.
- Rust perforation is usually covered for at least 3 years.
- Most authorized car dealers in Singapore offer 24-hour road assistance. Some offer it as part of the warranty. Some offer it as a value-add service, for which you may have to pay a discounted price.
- Aircon usually is covered by the car warranty for 2 to 3 years.
In short, when you see a “5-year unlimited mileage warranty“, you should not assume it covers everything. Sometimes, it may only cover the powertrain after the first 3 years.
What is typically not covered in a car warranty in Singapore?
Anything not explicitly specified in the warranty booklet usually is not covered by the warranty in Singapore.
The car dealer may reject the warranty claim for/when:
- Any failure caused by or related to car modifications. For example, if you connect a dashcam to the car battery directly (to use it in the parking mode when the engine is off), the car dealer may reject your warranty claim for the car battery.
- Any failure caused by or related to improper installation (e.g., non-genuine parts) or maintenance.
- Any failure caused by misuse, abuse or accidents.
- Odometer was altered.
Besides, most car dealers do not cover the following items in the warranty:
- Normal wear or deterioration (wear-and-tear).
- Expendable maintenance items, e.g., oil filter, fuel filter, spark plugs, fuses, bulbs,…
- Damages (except defects) to the car body or paint.
Each car dealer may have a different list of exclusions in the warranty policy. You need to read it carefully.
No, you can use any workshop. But you need to use genuine parts. You need to prove the car has been serviced following the recommended schedule.
Since January 2018, car dealers in Singapore will not void the warranty if you service or maintain your car in your own preferred workshops. Normally, the authorized (or official) workshops are more expensive.
What are the common caveats or traps of car warranty in Singapore?
All car warranty policies come with terms and conditions. You need to read it and ask questions if you have any.
Do not assume.
Here are some common caveats or traps of car warranty in Singapore
3-year or 5-year or 10-year warranty
You need to know whether there is a mileage limitation associated with it.
For a new car warranty, 3-year coverage usually comes together with the 60,000km or 100,000km mileage restriction. 5-year normally comes with 100,000km and 10-year comes with 200,000km.
So, check whether your warranty comes with unlimited mileage or with certain mileage restrictions.
5 years unlimited mileage warranty
When the dealer quotes “5 years unlimited mileage warranty”, you need to check whether it is 3 years standard (or factory) warranty + 2 years extended warranty.
Normally, the factory warranty covers more items.
Some dealers may not allow you to transfer the “extended” warranty when you sell your own car.
Besides, in case the car dealer bites the dust, the new dealer does not have to honour the extended warranty.
10 years engine warranty
First, the warranty is for the engine only. Wear-and-tear items are not covered.
There usually are some restrictions, for example, 200,000km mileage, or for the first owner only.
10-year or lifetime warranty for batteries in hybrid/electric cars
Again, check the terms and conditions.
Also, some car dealers may lose their dealerships in Singapore from time to time. And the extended portion may be useless.
Do you know what is covered in car warranty in Singapore and what is not? Have you read the fine print in the warranty booklet?
If you have any questions about the coverage of the car warranty in Singapore, please let us know in the comment box below
The community will help you.
For questions on buying a car in Singapore, please check Singapore car ownership guides page.
For questions on driving a car in Singapore, please check Singapore driving guides page.
For maintaining and servicing your car in Singapore, please check Singapore car maintenance guides page.
For driving from Singapore to Malaysia, please check Dring to Malaysia guides page.
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Safe driving! Happy driving!