Re: When to buy (and what about extended warranty)
Just watch out with 3rd party warranties. Read the small print VERY carefully.
There can be a lot of clauses like max £20/ hour labour - and if you can find a garage that will work for £20 an hour, would you trust them?
Also, wearable parts not being covered - according to Black Horse warranty a clutch slave cylinder is a wearable part!!! Agree the plates are but a slave cylinder?
And not being covered unless the car grinds to a halt - eg my turbo went, the car would still move along in limp-home mode to protect itself but the Motability warranty argued it wasn't a mechanical breakdown because I hadn't broken down ... so we had to frig the turbo to get it covered. Then they refused to pay for half the parts - gaskets, refil of engine oil. After that my local garage refused to deal with warranties after the hassle of getting them to pay up and the barrage of inspectors, lawyers and weasles that get involved with a simple claim.
Had 2 warranties on 2 different cars and had to claim of both, and both times it was a fight and I ended up paying half the bill myself. I wish I'd have haggled for money off the car and just paid for the repairs myself. Be very careful. A 5-star, fully comprehensive, gold badge warranty might not be what it seems on the front cover of the booklet.