Whether you’re buying a new car or looking for an extended warranty on your current vehicle, you need to understand what it covers before making any decisions. A reputable warranty provider will outline the coverage terms and conditions in their contract. This is why it’s important to read the fine print and look at a sample contract before you sign anything.
An extended warranty is a supplemental policy that extends a car’s original factory warranty, providing protection against unexpected repair costs. These policies can be purchased either through a dealer or from third-party companies. Dealers typically bundle them into the overall sales process, but they can also be purchased at a later date.
The cost of an extended warranty will vary depending on the level of coverage and length of term you choose. Generally speaking, more comprehensive warranties will have higher prices. However, the warranty market is highly competitive, and you should be able to find a plan that fits your budget.
Most extended warranties cover the core components of your vehicle, including your engine, transmission and drivetrain. Some go even further with bumper-to-bumper coverage, covering your electronic components, suspension and chassis parts, heating and air conditioning, and more. However, these plans may exclude certain wear items and routine maintenance services.
You’ll also want to know the deductible and reimbursement process of your extended warranty. Some companies have you pay upfront for the repairs and then reimburse you; others bill your auto repair shop directly. Finally, make sure the warranty you’re considering is transferable to a new owner if you decide to sell your car. If not, it could be a waste of money.
Aside from a basic powertrain plan, most extended warranties don’t include many mechanical wear items or other non-mechanical repairs. Likewise, damage caused by accidents or reckless driving isn’t usually covered. Additionally, if you’ve made any changes or modifications to your vehicle, they may be excluded as well.
One of the biggest reasons to purchase an extended warranty is to save yourself from unmanageable repair bills after the manufacturer’s warranty expires. However, if you have the discipline to save the amount you would spend on a warranty into your emergency fund or other savings account, you can reduce your risk of costly repairs by skipping the warranty and taking steps to ensure your car is properly maintained.
If you do end up purchasing an extended warranty, remember that it won’t add any value to your car when you’re ready to sell it. In fact, it may actually decrease the car’s resale value by raising your loan-to-value ratio and putting you at a higher risk of defaulting on your loan. It’s best to avoid this scenario altogether by shopping around for the best extended warranty deals and saving that money instead. what does extended warranty cover on a car