Extended car warranties can seem shrouded in mystery, but they’re worth thinking about when you’re trying to protect your ride. It helps if you think about an extended car warranty like any other warranty; all warranties are meant to repair your car or replace certain things that break down over time.
What Extended Car Warranties Are
An extended car warranty seems simple in concept—something that protects you and your car from costly future repairs. While that’s true, there’s more to it than just that. All extended warranties will be different in terms of what they cover, but they are service contracts as opposed to warranties that you get from a manufacturer on a new car.
Instead, when you have an extended warranty, you want to check for the included and excluded things. Some warranty plans, especially those from reputable extended car warranty companies, are extremely specific in what is covered. For example, if you have a comprehensive warranty, you’ll have the most coverage. If you have a powertrain warranty, you’re only covered for the major components, like the drivetrain and transmission.
You’ll want to check with the warranty company to see what they cover by asking for their inclusion or exclusion list when you call for a quote.
As with other warranties, there is also a time limit, and they all eventually expire. Limitations are based on mileage as well as time. After the warranty expires, you’re responsible for getting a new one if you want to keep your car covered.
How Extended Car Warranties Work
An extended car warranty isn’t difficult to use as long as the contract covers the repair you need. Some people think it’s like car insurance, but it’s quite different. Car insurance covers your car if you’re in an accident, but car warranties cover normal wear and tear.
On the other hand, warranties don’t cover certain things like oil changes or brake pad replacements, which are considered part of regular maintenance. To use a warranty, you reach out to the warranty company when you go in for repairs, and they take care of the rest as long as your repair is covered.
Extended Car Warranties Are Different From Factory Warranties
Some extended car warranties can come from the factory, like factory warranties, but most come from third-party companies. There are significant differences between them. For example, a factory warranty on a brand-new vehicle covers everything from end to end. If repairs are needed, you need to go to the dealership to get things done.
On the other hand, you can customize an extended warranty to protect specific parts of your car, like your navigation system, air conditioning system, and various other things you deem essential. If you need repairs done under a third-party warranty, you need to go to an approved, certified mechanic, but that still gives you more freedom than a factory warranty does.
When You Need An Extended Car Warranty
Extended car warranties can help you save money on repairs. For most people, working with a regular monthly payment is easier than having to cover an unexpected repair to an air compressor that will run you a few thousand dollars out of pocket.
Older vehicles could especially use extended warranties because as cars age, more parts break. It’s not a matter of if, but when a significant component will go out. If you have a newer car notorious for having issues, you’ll also face difficulties if you don’t have an extended warranty.
How Much An Extended Warranty Costs
There isn’t a standard quote for any company’s warranty because every quote is unique to you and your car. Every company has different algorithms to create quotes, too. It’s much like getting a quote for can insurance.
Various factors that play into how much your warranty will cost include the type of car you have, how old your car is, your driving history, the total coverage you want, and how long you want to keep your warranty active.
Extended Warranties Can Be Negotiated
Extended warranty costs may appear complicated, but remember that they can be negotiated the same way you negotiate a car sale. You can ask for only specific things you want covered to lower your price. In many cases, you don’t have to get the most expensive plan. You can get precisely what you wish, the way you want it.
The best time to negotiate warranty coverage is when you’re buying a used car at the dealership. You can buy an extended car warranty at any time, but that’s where you have the best chance of lowering the price point. You can do that because dealerships can roll it into the cost of their vehicles, resulting in interest paid to the dealership alone for both the warranty and the car.
A Final Few Words
When you’re looking for an extended car warranty, it helps if you know what they are and the limitations that exist so you know what you’re getting yourself into. From there, it enables you to understand how these warranties work and the difference that exists between extended warranties and manufacturer warranties. You’ll come to find that you may need an extended warranty, but that is relative to you and your situation. When you start asking around for how much this would cost, remember that you can negotiate and get a lower price for the coverage you need.