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Do Drivers Need an Extended Auto Warranty for Used Cars?

POR: Alex Perrone


When dealing with newly purchased used cars, it isn’t a matter of “if” they will break down, but “when” they will break down. Some used cars have been certified by the manufacturer to ensure that they will run without any issues until a certain period of time or mileage, while others are a complete crap shoot, so to speak. But many drivers ask themselves if they should use the money that they saved on their used vehicle purchase to protect their investment with an extended auto warranty for used cars.

Drivers today are buying fewer and fewer new cars. This isn’t to say that there is a need to draw alarm and that the automotive industry is in a downward spiral, it is merely that American drivers are opting to purchase “used” vehicles rather than “new” ones. This can be attributed to many reasons such as saving money, lack of available options, personal preference, and many more. But one thing is for sure, most drivers are opting for vehicles that are not covered by a manufacturer’s warranty or only partially covered.

So what’s the big deal, you may be asking. Plenty of people purchase used vehicles every day and they don’t choose to protect their car with a used car extended auto warranty. But if you have every purchased a used vehicle before, you will know that you could possibly be winning the used car lottery or be opening up one giant can of worms that results in issue after issue.

Do Drivers Actually Need an Extended Warranty for Used Cars

The simple answer: yes.

The more complex answer:
The most important thing that a prospective car buyer is looking for with their new purchase is peace of mind, and that is where a service history comes in. And depending on where you purchased your used automobile, finding out whether or not it has a checkered past could be more difficult than you’d think. Generally speaking, each car will come with a service book, which will be marked and stamped by the dealer or mechanic. This is where you can store all service records and receipts for easy-access and safe-keeping.

If you have a new car, your dealer will take care of almost all repairs, except for wear and tear items. But if you are purchasing a used vehicle, this service book may or may not be available. If it isn’t, starting a new one on your vehicle will ensure you keep up with all necessary repairs. We suggest having a trusted mechanic go over the vehicle and double-check to make sure that everything is working perfectly. This could make a great first entry in your service book if starting one.

Because the major difference between new and used vehicles is the fact that one has already been driven and one is brand new from the manufacturer. The used vehicle is going to undoubtedly come with some wear and tear already established, but you as a driver could prevent any further damage done to your vehicle by ensuring you’re taking the proper care of it. With these helpful tips, and an extended auto warranty for your used car, you’ll be able to drive your vehicle until the tires fall off.

5-Ways a Driver Can Wear-Out Their Vehicle Faster

Not Performing Routine Checks

One of the most important things to ensure your vehicle is working properly is one of the easiest things to do: check your vehicle. Now, I know this may seem obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people completely ignore warning signs or recommended check-ups. These routine checks can vary from checking your fluid levels to ensuring your tire alignment is safe.

Be sure to keep all receipts and documents of service as these can assist with future repairs and ensure that proper maintenance was performed when needed. By keeping all necessary paperwork that proves the vehicle’s tires, oil, and battery are in good condition, you have a better chance of ensuring your vehicle never experiences a lapse in coverage.

Driving too Hard

Some drivers are more aggressive than others, but some drivers look like they’re auditioning for the new Fast and Furious movie, rather than a routine commute to work. We understand the rush you can have behind the wheel and the feeling to really “let loose” but driving too hard with your vehicle can take years off your car’s life and lead to costly repairs. Gentle driving is highly recommended for used vehicle purchases, as you’ll better note any issues with the vehicle first hand.

Skipping Maintenance

Many drivers will argue that the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule is just a way for dealers to make money off of unsuspecting buyers when there is little to nothing wrong with their car. But this can be somewhat of a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, many drivers are weary of bringing their vehicle to the dealership, regardless of whether or not the car has any issues. There is a common perception that a dealership will try to strong-arm customers into paying for things they don’t need and even take it as far as tacking on unnecessary services or repairs.

On the other hand, without taking your vehicle in for these routine and recommended tests, you will never know if something may be wrong with your vehicle before it is too late. Sometimes preventative maintenance can end up saving a driver thousands on repairs if it is diagnosed before failure. Our repair experts always say: a repair will almost always be less expensive than a replacement. If you can discover a needed repair before it wrecks havoc on your vehicle, it could be worth bringing it in for that diagnostics check.


Drivers are very likely to use their cars as means of expression. Oftentimes, you will see small additions or alterations such as seat covers, bumper stickers, paint colors, and decals. But others prefer to alter their vehicles drastically, which can have an adverse affect on your manufacturer’s warranty, extended vehicle protection, and their vehicle in general.

Manufacturer’s Warranty– Your manufacturer will explicitly state how customization, big or small, could end up voiding your warranty. Each make and model has different restrictions, so it is best to consult your vehicle’s manual or the factory warranty.

Extended Vehicle Protection– Similarly to the manufacturer’s warranty, your vehicle service contract or vehicle protection plan can be voided if major modifications are made to the vehicle. Buyers should be sure to steer clear of any add-ons that will alter the power train or safety equipment, as these are the most costly to repair.

Your Own Set of Wheels– While adding a body kit or exhaust system can personalize your vehicle, it can consequently affect your vehicle in the long-run. The manufacturer made your vehicle a specific way and adding super-charged accessories can affect how well the car runs and can greatly reduce the pool of buyers for your vehicle when the time comes to resell it.

Not Keeping it Clean

This may seem like the most insignificant factor when it comes to keeping your car in the best shape possible, but it’s actually one of the bigger ones. Used car owners should be mindful that dirt and grime that can build up, both on the inside and the outside, and opt for a wash (preferably by hand) every week or two and a full detail at least four times a year.

Elements such as weather, road salt, sun bleaching, and even mother nature’s number one nuisance, bird poop, can damage the exterior of your vehicle and wear away the finish. While this is may seem like only an aesthetic to some, it can negatively affect your vehicle’s resale value. Of course, not keeping the interior parts and components free from dirt and grime can cause a loss in functionality and ultimately wear your vehicle out sooner than you’d like. Check out these additional tricks to keep your car in pristine condition.

While a used car can be considered a gamble to some, it can be an affordable means of transportation for many others. But knowing a thing or two about what to look for, ensuring proper maintenance, and protecting your vehicle with coverage from Endurance, you will be sure to get the maximum life out of your vehicle and peace of mind behind the wheel. After all, isn’t that we are all looking for when we purchase a vehicle?

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*A Vehicle Service Contract (VSC) is often referred to as an “extended auto warranty”, but is not a warranty.  A VSC does, however, provide repair coverage for your vehicle after the manufacturer’s warranty expires. A VSC is a contract between you and a VSC provider or administrator that states what is a covered repair and what is not. Endurance is an administrator of VSCs and does not sell warranties.*

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