What to think about before buying white goods

A washing machine does a lot of work so it can be worth spending a little more to get a higher quali

A washing machine does a lot of work so it can be worth spending a little more to get a higher quality model - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

When buying new appliances, people generally want advice on which brand to buy.

Price, good looks and features are what people tend to be guided by but most experts agree that reliability should be the number one factor to consider when buying white goods.

According to Andy Trigg, an engineer with more than 30 years experience in the white goods trade and author of advice website whitegoodshelp.co.uk, the reliability of one product from a brand normally extends to all of its appliances. He says if a brand makes “poor quality washing machines, they make poor quality dishwashers, fridges and tumble dryers and so on.”

Trigg says the majority of people seem to drift into buying poor quality washing machines either because of loyalty to a brand that used to make decent washing machines but no longer does, or because the washing machine is seen as a necessary evil and they resent spending money on one.

He advises: “A washing machine does so much hard work, and is so important, that ideally, proper money should be invested in one.

“The alternative is noisy, unstable, unreliable and unsophisticated washing machines that you constantly have to replace – costing a lot more money in the long run.”

According to Trigg, who offers tips on buying appliances on his website, the brand will determine the quality of the appliance, how repairable it is, and the quality of repairs both in, and out of its guarantee. Some brands have well established after sales service with directly employed engineers. Others have after sales service run by third parties using networks of private unrelated engineers, which can result in patchy service.

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He says: “Cost is undeniably a major consideration, and may prevent many from buying “the best”, but even with a low budget you can still choose from the appliance brands with the better reputation, and avoid those with poor reliability or poor repair-ability records.”

It is also important to consider where you buy your appliance from. Trigg says that although the appliance you receive will always be the same, the service and advice you get – especially if anything goes wrong, can vary.

Retailers like John Lewis are famous for high quality service and advice to make sure customers buy an appliance they’ll be happy with, and will try to look after customers if anything should go wrong.

Trigg says: “Decide which is most important, if price is the number one consideration then seek out the cheapest prices but if you value good service, and a more respectful attitude to your consumer rights if something goes wrong, then avoid buying from unknown places or places with poor reputations just to save a few pounds.”

Visit whitegoodshelp.co.uk for more handy advice. Meanwhile Which? has reviews of all the latest appliances. The site offers a trial for £1. Visit which.co.uk for more information.