Mclaren Extended Warranty Should I Renew?

Deciding whether or not to extend your warranty with McLaren ultimately depends on a number of factors. This post is broken down into two parts, the first half is a high level view with the later half a more detail list of points to consider which arguably are the ones which will be key to you renewing or not. Plot twist - I didn't renew and these later points are the rationale for me not renewing!

Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to extend your McLaren warranty:

  1. Cost: Extending your McLaren warranty can be expensive, and the cost will depend on the specific terms and coverage you choose. You'll need to weigh the cost of the extended warranty against the potential cost of repairs or maintenance that may be needed after your factory warranty expires. This isn't as clear cut as you can imagine as you also need to check the scope of what is covered and what is not for the spend on extended warranty. Covered in more detail in the second half of this post.
  2. Driving habits: If you drive your McLaren frequently, put a lot of miles on it, or participate in track days or other high-performance driving events, you may be more likely to encounter mechanical problems or wear and tear that could require repairs. In my opinion using your Mclaren as intended is actually a preventer of issues as you're letting the car stretch its legs, letting parts move, allow bushings to flex and not get rigid. Also a good maintenance schedule will prevent many issues. As with most things prevention is better than cure and keeping the car moving and well maintained pays itself back and reduces the risk of issues.
  3. Age and mileage of your vehicle: The age and mileage of your McLaren will play a role in determining how likely it is that you'll need repairs or maintenance in the future. That said as you'll read below age and mileage in some ways adds more of a bias not to extend warranty than to extended it with the main Mclaren dealer.
  4. Peace of mind: Some owners choose to extend their McLaren warranty simply for the peace of mind it provides. Knowing that you're covered in case of unexpected repairs or maintenance can be reassuring and can help avoid unexpected expenses. However do your own research and ensure you are well informed of what is NOT covered which I cover in the next section below.

So I've covered the high level 'mainstream' view above, but below are a few extra points to consider which as a Mclaren owner made me turn to self-warranty and NOT to renew under Mclarens extended warranty program.

  1. Scope of Warranty: Its worth noting that manufacturer warranty (what you get from new direct from Mclaren) is very different to Mclaren extended warranty. Like many extended warranties this is white labelled from a third party and it is NOT as comprehensive as the original manufacturer warranty. Core items such as engine and gearbox are actually pretty reliable with very low fault rates. Items which are common to have fault such as suspension springs, bushings, windscreen cracks, coolant leaks, pipes, clips, door hinges, corrosion (after 5 years from new), are generally NOT covered under extended warranty. Therefore you will need to bear these costs for repair and to retain your extended warranty the repairs will have to be conducted by the Mclaren dealer and at Mclaren dealer labour and part rates! This can be very expensive and its often a case that owners are unaware until the worst happens - So knowing exactly what is in scope is crucial! 
  2. Track Drivers: One of the pet hates since buying my 600LT is the pre and post track day inspections. I'll cover what it consists of in a later blog post but suffice to say its not very comprehensive and to be honest its all the checks you should be doing yourself as a track day driver vs paying a dealer. At a cost of £250-£300 per inspection you're looking at an enforced £600 extra bill to your track day outing. If inspections are not recorded and issues can be attributed to a track day then your warranty claim could be void. If you're doing say 5x track days a year the cost adds up (£3K), plus the added inconvenience of dropping the car off then picking it back up, it all totals up to be a big ball ache. Under the extended warranty this requirement still remains, and simply put its just not necessary if you're looking after your car well. 
  3. Service Costs & Scope: As folks may gather im a bit OCD on my cars servicing. Keeping under warranty you obviously need to retain your normal service schedule with Mclaren and can only go to Mclaren. This is a problem for me personally as I'd rather do a full fluid change every year vs just a basic oil change. The added issue is if you ask Mclaren to do such a thing they find it weird, as you're not sticking to the script, and the costs spiral as you would expect with dealer rates. For me I've found better service, a broader comprehensive scope of service, and a fairer price point by going Independent. I'll be covering independents and my recommendations in a future post. However in summary going independent often results in lower cost and better levels of service from my experience.
  4. Age & Car Value: It is common to hear that by not retaining an extended warranty with Mclaren you devalue your car. There is some truth to this as the potential buyer will likely not know the "in's and out's" of owning a Mclaren and therefore want protection. However what seems to be coming common is that once the cars go over five years old and maybe even their fourth owner the perceived value of the extended warranty deteriorates. If you look for example at the Mclaren 12C and 650S both models which are in this age/owner range and many now going to independents for servicing and self warrantying their car vs going extended with Mclaren.

As mentioned earlier I've taken the route of self warranty which basically means I take the risk. To limit my exposure I put the money I would have spent with Mclaren (~£3K) a year into a savings pot then when I can add to this from the savings incurred by not having to do all the pre and post inspections so circa £6K a year. Two years in and im in a better place, my car has unreal levels of servicing and maintenance literally a BIG service at least once a year with minor ones dotted during the year and im saving by going to an independent and having a savings pot which hopefully I'll never have to use.

Ultimately, the decision to extend your McLaren warranty will depend on your individual circumstances and preferences


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