This is the difference between a warranty and guarantee

But, which is better?

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Business people negotiating a contract.

I'm often asked the question: "What is the difference between a warranty and a guarantee?" Here's what you need to know.

I keep on hearing so called 'consumer experts' say they are the same thing, but this is absolute nonsense as they are in fact very different.

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So to clear things up, here are the actual difference between warranties and guaranties, the protections they offer and the ones that you'll get anyway - whether you have either both or no added protection at all.

What's a guarantee?

Guarantees are usually free and offered by the manufacturer. They are effectively a pledge about the quality of a product or service and a promise to rectify any problems that occur during the period of the guarantee.

So, if something goes wrong with a product you buy you will be get a repair or replacement under the guarantee.

Word of warning, you often need to complete and send off a registration card to validate the guarantee.

What's a warranty?

Warranties are not usually free; they resemble insurance policies in that you pay a premium to insure against problems with the product or service.

Rather than being a simple 'guarantee' a warranty takes the form of a legal contract enforceable in court and they tend to last longer than guarantees.

This is why you will sometime see warranties referred to as an 'extended guarantee'.

Which one provides the most protection?

Firstly, both guarantees and warranties rarely offer cover in case of wear-and-tear or accidental damage.

A warranty provides the greatest protection as they are generally for a far greater period of time than a guarantee and offer a wider protection in recognition of the fact that you have paid for it.

However, you are always reliant upon the company that provides the warranty still being in business at the time that you need to call upon it.

If the warranty provider goes bust your warranty goes down in flames with it. The only exception to this is when you take out an insurance backed warranty.

Other protections

Even if you have a warranty or guarantee you will still have your other consumer rights.

So, if you cannot get a remedy under the guarantee or warranty you will still have rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which states:

  • Goods must be fit for purpose, of satisfactory quality and as described; and

  • Services must be provided with reasonable care and skill

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