Car owners have been urged to stop signing vehicle warranty deals in a bid to save money.

A report just released show drivers are wasting $1,000s a year on services they believe will cover the costs of repairs to their vehicles.

The St Louis Better Business Bureau reports that drivers are being ripped off and tricked into services which offer little or no benefit.

Although their studies were conducted in the St Louis area, they believe this is a serious problem which affects drivers throughout the US. The BBB report reveals that, in the past 12 months, they  received nearly 800 complaints about 24 automotive service contract companies in the St. Louis area. The complaints allege misleading advertising and a failure to pay for repairs.

In a statement, the Better Business Bureau said: “Typical is a complaint we received last month from a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., consumer:  He said: ‘I pay on time and follow all terms of the policy but they won’t cover anything,’

The underhand tactics of dealers to find excuses to avoid paying for repairs is widespread, according to customer campaigners They said:

“We discovered similar problems last year, when we reported on auto service plan marketers. We found that the plans, which can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, typically contain fine print that the providers use to deny claims. Bottom line is we generally say skip extended service contracts, also known as extended warranties.”

“Even if the provider might cover your claim, you may find that the mechanic won’t accept the coverage because of the amount of time it can take to get authorization to begin work. Instead of buying a contract, take the money it would cost and put it in a separate bank account to cover future repairs or for the eventual down payment on a replacement vehicle. And maintain your vehicle according to the owner’s manual recommendations.”