Is It Worth Getting An Extended Warranty On A Washing Machine?

After doing all of your research about the features and functions offered on a new washing machine and whether it’s the best fit for your home. The cashier then asks you if you want to take out the extended warranty.

If this is your first time purchasing a washing machine, or any large appliance, this can be enough of a curveball to stop you in your tracks. If you have found yourself in this position or are contemplating buying a new washing machine, keep reading.

In this article I look at extended warranties and ask what are they? Is it worth taking an extended warranty out on a washing machine? And much more.

What Is An Extended Warranty?

An extended warranty is a type of insurance policy or service agreement that should cover you for repair costs after the manufacturer’s warranty runs out. In most cases, you are gambling whether your new washing machine is likely to break down often enough for the cost of the warranty to be justified.

However, insurance companies aren’t in the business of gambling, they like the odds stacked in their favour. In many cases, the cost of the extended warranty will exceed the typical call out and repair costs of a major appliance like a washing machine.

Plus, in many cases, you’re not covered for as much as you might assume. Before agreeing to purchase an extended warranty, read the small print to find out exactly what you’re covered for. 

Most extended warranties include a list of exclusions which often include things that you’re not covered for;

  • No Fault Found
    This could be that the breakdown of the washer was caused by accidentally leaving a coin or something in a pocket and that coin has clogged the filter. The warranty company would charge the policyholder for the call out as the fault was technically self inflicted.
  • Wear & Tear
    Most extended warranties don’t cover for general ageing and wear and tear. For instance, if the door seal starts to leak on a 6 year old washing machine, the warranty wouldn’t typically cover this.

As you can see, the extended warranty isn’t an extensive warranty in other words, there are many exclusions. Which is why it’s important that you read the small print before signing or entering into the agreement.

Extended Warranties Are Big Business

Some sales teams are more interested in selling the extended warranties than they are selling the actual appliances. They leave you to look around at your leisure to decide which appliance you want to buy.

But once you approach a member of staff about purchasing a particular model, they start extolling the virtues of the extended warranty. The reason is because the company is likely to earn more from the extended warranty than they are from the sale of the appliance.

As I said earlier, an extended warranty is an insurance policy and like all insurance policies it has limitations. This includes a number of issues that won’t be covered in the policy. 

For instance large components which would be expensive to repair or replace are only covered when the appliance is relatively new. This is because they are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

Once you have owned your washing machine for 5 years or more, expensive repairs like a damaged drum, malfunctioning control board (PCB) or defective drum bearings are typically no longer covered. Once the appliance reaches 6 years old, the company will typically only pay up to 40% of the price of the least expensive new model.

At 7 years that pay out reduces to 30% which won’t usually cover even basic repairs.

In many cases, the extended warranty is taken out and forgotten and you will never make a claim at all. For those that do make a claim there’s a high percentage that find they’re not covered for that particular fault.

What Are The Pros & Cons Of Washing Machine Extended Warranties?

confused person in front of washing machine

Let’s take a brief look at the main pros & cons of taking out an extended warranty on a washing machine. 


The advantages of an extended warranty include;

  • Peace Of Mind
    If you’re one of those people that worry about everything, taking out an extended warranty might offer you some peace of mind. It’s one less thing to worry about.
  • You Can Add Other Appliances To An Existing Warranty
    Many extended warranties give you the option of adding other appliances at a reduced cost compared to taking out separate policies for each appliance.
  • New For Old
    Some extended warranties offer a new for old agreement which means in the event of a major problem with your washer, they would replace it with a brand new model. However, you will need to check the policy to ensure this is actually offered and many have a 3 year old cut off. If the appliance is more than 3 years old the new for old no longer applies.


The disadvantages of an extended warranty include;

  • You Could Already Be Covered
    Many of the points covered on an extended warranty are often already covered either on the manufacturer’s warranty or on your household insurance policy. Check any warranty agreement before signing and compare it with your household insurance policy as well as the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • The Cost Of The Cover
    These extended warranties are not cheap and can often have the cost disguised in a weekly or monthly amount. A typical extended warranty would cost far more than the average cost of repairing a washing machine.
  • Exclusions
    Often worded in “legalese” these extended warranties have lots of exclusions all weighted in favour of the insurer and not the policyholder.

When Is It A Good Idea To Take Out An Extended Warranty?

open washing machine door

You should think about taking out an extended warranty if;

  • The appliance would be too expensive to repair/replace if it were to breakdown
  • You have a number of appliances that can all be covered at a discounted rate
  • The manufacturer’s warranty has expired
  • You require accidental damage cover for the appliance

However, it’s worth remembering that as technology advances, your appliances are less likely to break down. Plus they will over time become cheaper to replace which could mean an extended warranty is just an outlay that’s not needed.

You might be better off putting the same amount of money into a savings account each month. This would mean, you’d have access to the cash if you needed to pay for a repair (probably with more to spare), and if the appliance doesn’t break down, over time you’d have more than enough to purchase a new model.

What You Need To Know Before Buying An Extended Warranty

laundry room with pile of clothes

If you’re considering buying an extended warranty for your washing machine, you should check the following;

  • Is It An Insurance Policy Or A Service Agreement?
    These are two different things, if it is an insurance policy, you will be covered under the Financial Conduct Authority. Which means in the event of a problem concerning your extended warranty, you can get help from the regulating body in resolving any problems.
  • Is Your Appliance Within The Age Limit Covered By The Warranty?
    The amount of cover provided diminishes as the washing machine ages. For instance at 6 years old you will receive only around 40% of the cost of a new appliance and cover is usually revoked once the appliance reaches 8 years of age.
  • Are Call Out Charges Included In Your Cover?
    Some insurers don’t cover the cost of a technician coming to your home to assess the problem.
  • Are You Covered For New For Old Replacement?
    Some policies will include new for old cover but this is often restricted to appliances up to 3 years old after which time it is revoked.
  • Can You Afford The Cost?
    When you take out an extended warranty you are entering into a legally binding contract which means you are legally bound to keep up the payments. 
  • What Are The Exclusions?
    The exclusions are usually extensive but do vary from policy to policy. Ensure you read all of the small print before entering into an agreement. Make sure you know exactly what you’re covered for.
  • Do You Need To Pay An Excess Charge?
    This is a typical clause in any extended warranty agreement, you will need to pay an excess charge for every claim you make. You will need to ensure that this is affordable and acceptable before entering the agreement.
  • Are There Any Limits On Claims?
    There might be a limit on how many times you can claim and how much you can claim for during the lifetime of the policy.

Do You Actually Need An Extended Warranty Cover?

A person putting clothes into a washing machine

Before considering an extended warranty, you might want to look into whether you already have cover elsewhere. For example;

  • Manufacturer’s Warranty
    If your washing machine is still under the manufacturer’s guarantee, there’s no need for extra cover. The manufacturer’s warranty typically covers for 1 to 2 years but can often be extended to longer for free when you register the appliance.
  • Retailer’s Warranty
    Many retailers often include a warranty of some sort. Check with the retailer before taking out any extra cover.
  • Home Insurance
    You will have cover for your appliances included on your home insurance policy. However, this typically only covers you for theft or fire damage and not for break down or accidental damage.
  • Credit Card Purchase
    If you purchased the appliance using a credit card and it cost anywhere between £100 to £30,000, under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act (1974) the credit card provider is jointly responsible for any breach of contract or deceit by a retailer. This means that in the event of a problem with your new washing machine, if the retailer or manufacturer won’t help you can turn to the credit card company.
  • Bank Accounts
    Some reward bank accounts offer free 12 month extended warranties.  Even though you pay a fee monthly for these packaged bank accounts, it might work out cheaper than paying the price of an extended warranty.
  • Consumer Rights Act (2015)
    Under the Consumer Rights Act (2015) if the appliance develops a fault within 6 months of being purchased, you can claim a full refund from the retailer.

It’s also worth pointing out that according to recent consumer reports less than 30% of washing machines encounter any problems within their first 5 years of use. However, some brands are more reliable than others which is why I recommend doing your research before choosing a new washing machine.

Is It Worth Taking Out An Extended Warranty On A Washing Machine?

person in front of a stacked washing machine and dryer

An extended warranty on a washing machine will cost somewhere between £80 to £120 per year. Considering that most new washing machines come with 12 to 24 months warranty, and most don’t appear to develop any serious problems before they get to about 5 or 6 years of age.

This means you’ll have paid around £500 to £700 for an extended warranty over that time period. If you would have been depositing that amount of money into a savings account, you would almost have enough to replace the appliance outright.

Having said that, if you would rather take out an extended warranty for peace of mind, I recommend doing your own extensive research and don’t accept the warranty offered at the point of sale. These often favour the retailer and the warranty provider and are not always in your best interest.

You can often find better cover at a cheaper rate by looking elsewhere. You should never feel pressured into buying the extended warranty. I remember many years ago going with my wife to buy a new vacuum cleaner and the salesman made so much fuss about the extended warranty that we nearly never bought the vacuum.

He was saying that as the body of the vacuum was plastic, it could become damaged which was why taking out the extra warranty was a good idea. I asked if that meant the vacuum was flimsy and poorly made, he then decided that he would be better off keeping quiet than risk losing the sale.

The problem is retailers earn big money from these extended warranties which is why they push them so much. I recommend doing your own research and finding a cover that suits you (if indeed you need one at all).

SEE ALSO: Can You Buy A Right Hinged Washing Machine In The UK?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth getting an extended warranty on a washing machine?

In many cases, it is not worth getting an extended warranty on a washing machine. According to a recent consumer survey, less than 30% of washing machines got any problems within their first 5 years of ownership. However, some brands are more reliable than others.

Do I need to buy an extended warranty on my washing machine?

You do not need to buy an extended warranty on your washing machine. Some people take out extended warranties for peace of mind, however, in a recent survey less than 30% of washing machines encountered any problems within the first 5 years of ownership. Plus it often costs less to pay for a repair than the cost of the warranty.

Can you cancel an extended warranty after purchase?

It is within your rights to cancel an extended warranty at any time. This might be a long drawn out process, but it is possible. Once the plan has been cancelled, you should receive a refund for the unused amount of your extended warranty policy.

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