Although you probably spent hours researching what type of car to buy and how much to spend, you might not know which add-ons make sense and what to avoid. Since extended warranties work differently for new and used vehicles, assessing their usefulness can be tricky. Here’s a breakdown of common questions to help you decide for yourself.
What Does an Extended Warranty Typically Involve?
Extended warranties are agreements that deal with auto repairs after factory warranties expire. Although details will vary, they rarely cover routine maintenance or wear and tear (brake pads, oil changes, tire rotations, air filters, etc.).In many cases, you’ll have a deductible to pay before coverage kicks in, but some warranties pay every cent of repair cost. Regardless, they stay in place for a pre-determined set of time, mileage or both.
How Do They Work with New Cars?
With a new car, you get bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties, so an extended warranty should be compared to those. For example, some basic warranties last for five or ten years. If you plan to drive the car for six years before upgrading, it might not make sense to seek extended coverage. On the flip side, if your standard warranty comes only with a three-year/36,000 mile warranty but you want to drive the car for at least a decade, opting for additional coverage might give you peace of mind.
How Do They Work with Used Cars?
When it comes to extended warranties on used cars, research means everything. If the car you buy has shaky dependability, an extended warranty could be worth it and save you money down the road. With numerous data and forums available online (J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study is a good place to start), you can see what consumer reviews and expert studies have to say. The pre-purchase inspection can also tell you a lot about future issues, so make sure to read the mechanic’s notes thoroughly.
Should I Buy an Extended Warranty?
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question. Depending on the cost, type and coverage in the warranty, it might or might not make sense. And no matter how you slice it, an extended warranty is a gamble. You could spend thousands on a plan you never use or have a major repair eclipse the cost of extended coverage.
Remember, for all your vehicle’s repair and maintenance needs, call 610AutoHaus in Pottstown at 610-427-4505!