Is An Extended Warranty Right For Your Car?

extended warranty photo

It’s a tough call for many new car buyers as to whether they should or shouldn’t buy an extended warranty. Even if you do extensive research on the web you’ll likely hear enough horror stories from extended warranties gone wrong or people wishing they’d had them during a catastrophe that you’ll end up more confused than when you started. What you need to do is sit down and think through a few points and that will help you make a logical reasonable decision based on your specific situation.

One question to start with is what do you want/need covered?

Does the warranty cover electrical, or just basic power train? Does it cover rental cars and towing? What about smaller items like gaskets and parts? You really need to dig into what’s covered and what isn’t. NEVER assume that something’s covered. Research your vehicle and learn what common repairs are and be certain that those issues are covered before you sign on the dotted line.

Does the warranty cover normal wear and tear? Many are very stingy on this point. If your car is likely to burn through breaks or the transmission before it reaches the end of the warranty, you’re going to want them replaced or you’ll be digging deep into your pockets on top of the initial cost of the warranty.

Do you need to buy it up front?

If you’re buying a new car your factory warranty will probably be at least 3 years or 36,000 miles. Many providers will allow you to add an extended warranty on once you’ve reached the limits of your manufacturers warranty. As you come up on your warranty you can then shop around for competitive deals from either a general extended warranty provider or one that’s affiliated with your car’s manufacturer.

First you can get extended warranty policies on most cars up to the date the original manufacturer warranty goes out from either mileage or age, so you don’t have to buy them when you get the car. That’s where they make the money. By selling you something you are not even going to use for three to five years. However they don’t ever get any cheaper so the price of a given warranty policy may go up a few hundred bucks if you buy it later.

If you’ve got it, you better use it!

If you make the call to purchase an extended car warranty up front and you know an item’s covered – take it in whenever you notice an issue. Small issues can turn into big issues and what’s worse than avoiding a repair only to have a several thousand dollar repair occur once you’ve gone past the limit of your extended warranty. The inconvenience of taking your car in is a small one compared to the hit your wallet will take if you don’t take advantage of the service you already paid for. Many experts suggest getting rental car coverage for this exact reason as it will make taking your car in less of an inconvenience.

Image courtesy of: Auto Warranty One

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