Add on products are all those products you may not have thought about before, but are usually presented to you when buying a car from a dealership.

Regardless of where your car is purchased it is worth considering these products alongside your car buying research.

If a product makes sense, shop around. Don't feel pressured to commit to buying a product on the spot. Usually there is a cancellation period, but this can incur administrative costs so try not to rely on the cancellation option.

Typically products are cheaper online and may offer better terms. Always check the policy restrictions. There is no advantage in saving £30 on a policy if you will never be able to claim on it.

Extended Warranty

What is it? Brand new cars are supplied with a manufacturer's warranty to insure you against the cost of fixing mechanical failures and defects. Typically this covers the car until it is 3 years old, although some manufacturers e.g. Kia and Hyundai offer longer warranties. An Extended Warranty provides this cover for cars after the manufacturer's standard warranty period ends.

Tell me more. Makes sense if you are concerned about the cost of mechanical failures and defects, and the manufacturer's warranty has expired, but check carefully what is included and excluded. Find out how likely faults are with your car and the typical cost of repairs - check owner messaged boards such as and Often the dealership selling the car will offer you an extended warranty, there are also independent warranty providers online.

How much does it cost? This can vary considerably depending on your car make and model, age, mileage, when it was last serviced and MOT checked.

Sample prices for Ford Focus 2012 999cc -

1 year - £250-370

2 year - £280-670

3 year - £300-945


Service Plan

What is it? This covers the cost of your car's scheduled services. Some plans include MOT costs or offer discounts on MOT costs. You make a monthly payment, typically over two or three years. Usually it will only cover the schedule of service tasks required by your car manufacturer and will not fix any other problems that may be found during the service. Unlike the other add-on products listed here, service plan does not offer you insurance against any risks, it offers you the option to pay in instalments for your servicing instead of paying the full amount when it arises.

Tell me more. Often, the cost of parts and labour included with the service plan are fixed at the current prices, meaning sudden changes in the market won't change how much you're spending to keep your car in good condition. These plans allow you to spread the cost of the servicing over several months, instead of paying a large sum when it comes to maintenance. The main concern with fixed-price plans is that most do not include consumable parts, including pads or discs, parts that would see you spending more from a main dealer than an independent garage.

How much does it cost? It depends on the brand or whether you buy from an independent garage.


Typical prices are £15-16


Breakdown cover

What is it? This covers you against the cost of your car failing to function. This can include cover if the car is at or near your home, and can include cost of recovering your vehicle to a destination of your choice, as well as providing you with a hire car. There are two main types of breakdown cover categories to consider: standard breakdown cover and pay and claim cover. If you want Europe and UK cover this usually increases the cost significantly.

Tell me more. Purchasing breakdown cover would benefit older vehicle owners, and those who often drive at night or in remote areas, for families, and for those who commute long distances. As always with insurance you should read the terms and conditions, especially when it comes to breakdown cover as policies often feature exclusions that could leave you in a spot of bother. These mostly include limited number of call-outs in a policy’s duration, weight limits on your vehicle and faults due to human error including lights left on, lost keys and running out of fuel.

How much does it cost? This comes down to whether you're car is fairly new and reliable or older and less reliable. If you want cover for issues close to home or for European driving, this will further increase costs.


£17-27 per year for the most basic cover.


Key Insurance

What is it? This covers you against the impact of losing your keys – typically locksmith charges, new locks and replacement keys. This may be included in fully comprehensive motor insurance, or may be available as an optional extra.

Tell me more. Levels of cover vary widely for policies that offer key insurance, so it is important to check that the levels of support offered don’t fall short of what you expect. Some policies include car hire if you are stranded or your car is unusable as a result of lost, stolen or broken keys. Like many cover plans, key insurance policies can often include significant and unusual exclusions or limitations, including keys will not be considered irrecoverable until lost for at least five days.

How much does it cost? A basic level of car key insurance is usually included as part of your car insurance policy, but increasing the standard will cost you a little bit more.


Typical cost £20-30


Excess Insurance

What is it? Excess insurance covers the financial cost of any excess on your other insurance policies, usually your motor insurance policy. It acts as an extra level of insurance protection that covers the cost of your excess if you make a claim. Excess is the amount of money that you are required to pay to your insurance company towards the cost of making a claim.

Tell me more. There are two types of excess insurance: single and lifestyle. Single covers the excess on a single insurance policy, and lifestyle covers several excesses, for example it can cover the excesses on your home, travel and medical insurance. There are a number of features to check out when taking out excess insurance including will your excess insurance provider still pay out if you make a claim when having an accident in another country.

How much does it cost? This depends on how many years cover and amount of claim limit is needed.


Typical cost per year £17-21


Paint protection

What is it? Paint protection is a treatment to protect the car paintwork against damage from salt, UV and road grime in order to give a high gloss finish.

Tell me more. For first time buyers, a car is a major investment so ensuring it stays scratch-free is often a top priority, so this is where paint protection cover is seen as a worthwhile investment. However, there is no way to avoid scratches, scrapes and dents that occur through a cars lifetime.

How much does it cost? Often reaching heights of around £300, paint protection can be a steep purchase with even the bargains taking a large chunk out of your pocket.


Tyre Insurance

What is it? Tyre insurance pays for the repair or replacement of tyres that are accidently or maliciously damaged through kerbing, puncture and pot hole damage.

Tell me more. Vehicle tyres are often at high risk of damage, with the long journeys, exposure to debris littered and damaged roads meaning taking out tyre insurance is something to seriously consider. Damages can occur when you least expect it and whether you can afford it or not. With tyre insurance you won’t have to worry about changing a puncture on a motorway in the middle of the night.

How much does it cost? Tyres come in many different sizes meaning the price will differ depending on which size your car needs.

Typical cost for 3 years' cover £180-200


Alloy Wheel Cover

What is it? This cover pays for the repair of your alloy wheels as a result of accidental or malicious damage. If your alloy cannot be repaired you may receive a contribution towards replacement alloys.

Tell me more. If you’re a driver who wants to maintain the cosmetic appearance, but also wary about protecting the value of their vehicle, then this cover will appear to you. If you also plan to sell your car in the future, damaged alloy wheels can affect the resale value of your vehicle. Some policies allow for this cover to be combined with tyre insurance.

How much does it cost? Alloy wheel cover varies depending on the policy's offering. The more the policy is prepared to pay per repair, the highest the cover cost will be.

Typical cost for 3 years' cover £100-200


Scratch and Dent Cover

scratch and dent cover

What is it? Scratch and dent cover pays for the repair of minor damage to bodywork such as scratches, scuffs, stone chips and small dents. However, significant damage is not covered.

Tell me more. Also known as cosmetic car insurance, this cover offers peace of mind if you are unfortunate enough to return to your car to discover a scratch or dent. Paying for a minor scratch repair can reach high sums of money depending on the car and its finish. Don’t be expecting round the clock callouts though, as some policies exclude cars over five years old, chips exceeding certain sizes and even specific paint finishes.

How much does it cost? As even the most minor scratch or dent can cost you a significant amount, around £200 - 250 for 3 years' cover may tempt new drivers.


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