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Spend & Save

Five questions about: Extended warranties


Aren't they expensive and a waste of time?

That depends. Warranties are offered on a range of gadgets and appliances and kick in if they break or stop working after a manufacturer's one-year guarantee runs out.

That sounds like a good idea. How do I get one?

Shops have sold extended warranties for years. In fact, they often seem to make more profit from them than from the TVs or microwaves they sell.

Too much profit?

The Office of Fair Trading said there was a lack of competition in warranties as stores used their point-of-sale advantage to flog people policies that were not always the best value. The watchdog has forced Argos and Dixons to set up a warranty comparison site.

Is it any good?

You can check it out at compareextendedwarranties.co.uk, but bear in mind that it only covers three quarters of the market, so there could be cheaper deals elsewhere.

Do I need a warranty?

Maybe you do not. You could already have paid for adequate cover through your household insurance. The best advice is: do not buy cover when you buy an electrical item. Think about it and decide later.