Should I Buy An Extended Auto Warranty
Whether or not it’s wise to buy an extended auto warranty can undoubtedly have more than one right answer, depending on your specific circumstances. If you’re a driver who likes to have a new car every few years and sells or trades in the old model while it’s still under factory warranty, an extended warranty might not make little or no sense to you.
On the other hand, if you plan on keeping your vehicle past its original factory warranty term, or as some like to say, “until the wheels fall off,” then having an extended warranty makes total sense. Your initial safety net is gone when the manufacturer’s warranty expires, and you’re left liable for auto repairs.
Learning more about the types of coverage you can get with a new or used vehicle and the differences between warranty providers can help you decide whether or not you should buy an extended auto warranty.
What are Car Warranties?
To give you a better idea of what you’re buying into, we wanted to go over the types of warranties available to drivers of both new and used vehicles.
The first and most commonly recognized auto warranty is the manufacturer’s warranty (aka factory warranty). This is a warranty placed on a new vehicle by your vehicle’s manufacturer, whether Cadillac, GMC, Honda, Ford, Toyota, Porsche, etc. and is there to provide you with coverage for any manufacturing faults or defects.
While it rarely happens that a car will not need at least SOMETHING repaired while this coverage is in place, drivers can rest assured that the automaker will cover the repair as long as this manufacturer’s warranty is still in place. Generally, most automakers provide three years/36,000 miles (whichever comes first) of bumper-to-bumper coverage and five years/60,000 of powertrain warranty protection. Some can even go as long as 10 years or more. However, repairs are usually limited to authorized dealers or where you initially purchased the vehicle, so keep this in mind when the vehicle breaks down.
Once these limits are hit, however, you’ll often be unable to get coverage from your automaker or dealer. This means that any repairs that need to be done, even if it is a single day or mile past the expiration, will not be covered by Chevrolet, Lexus, BMW, or any other manufacturer of your car.
Dealership Extended Car Warranties
If you’re beginning the car-buying process for a new car, truck or SUV, the first place you’ll probably hear about an extended auto warranty is when you’re signing paperwork in the dealership’s finance office.
You may have already been on the lot for hours looking at different models and taking test drives before deciding which vehicle to purchase. Then, more time is spent haggling over prices and terms before you make it to the back office to finalize the deal. Once there, you’ll have other decisions, such as ordering add-on applications like undercoating or upholstery fabric treatment. Around this time, whoever you are working with will probably try to sell you an extended warranty. A successful warranty sale will boost the salesperson’s income and add profits for the dealership, but it offers little value to the consumer.
Remember, though, that as a car owner of a new vehicle, you’ll be under the coverage of a factory warranty for several years, and any extended warranty won’t kick in until the original protection has expired. Plus, extended warranties from your car’s manufacturer or dealership are notoriously high-priced compared to quality third-party warranties like those found at Endurance. Many often won’t cover older, used cars already past their original warranty coverage limits.
Most dealership extended warranties will usually allow you to roll the cost of the coverage into the price of the vehicle. While this may sound smart in theory, it will add to the total cost of the vehicle, causing you to pay interest on the policy and thus increasing your monthly payment and the total cost of the vehicle. You don’t need and shouldn’t buy an extended warranty when you buy the car from a dealership. Instead, you can shop around at third-party warranty providers to find more cost-effective coverage that will protect your car better.
Third-Party Extended Auto Warranties
With a third-party extended warranty provider like us at Endurance Warranty, CARCHEX, Carshield and more, you can get the same kind of comprehensive coverage as an automaker or dealer without some of the major drawbacks. For example, with Endurance, you can take your car to any certified mechanic or repair shop, including the dealership. However, this coverage, while often referred to as an extended warranty, is a “vehicle service contract” when provided by someone other than your automaker, as only they can extend that original warranty.
Still, regardless of the technical term, third-party warranties can give you similar, if not better, coverage than a dealer or automaker and be able to purchase that coverage at any time. Although, waiting until the original factory coverage expires means paying a higher premium rate. Instead, the most advantageous time for purchase may be near the end of the original warranty term. At that point, you can shop around to find out what coverage options and rates are available for your year and model vehicle. This will give you a basis for comparison from one policy to another. It’s important, though, that you carefully choose where to purchase an extended warranty policy.
Is an Extended Auto Warranty a Smart Buy?
Back to the original question, the short answer is yes, getting an extended warranty is a smart choice for car owners. The longer answer, however, depends on who you are, what you drive, and how much you have saved for unexpected car repair costs.
Whether it’s your first car or your 10th, as a car owner, you know that it comes with expenses. There’s the cost of gas, routine maintenance, car washes to consider, and much more. But the major reason unexpected repairs are such a financial stressor for drivers is that they are unexpected, meaning they often occur at the least convenient times possible. It’s usually when you’re miles away from home or a repair facility, when you just paid off all your monthly bills, or when other expenses are present around the holidays. It would be nice if we could pick and choose when our car will break down, or rather when we will have the money to fix it, but it just doesn’t work like that, which is where extended auto warranties can help, but how much will it cost and when should you purchase your coverage?
Like any other type of “insurance” policy, the cost of the coverage is reflected on a variety of different factors that can include: the make and model of your car, age of the vehicle, vehicle mileage, driving history, and more. The older a car becomes, the more expensive the extended warranty coverage will be to buy because it’s assumed an older vehicle has a higher chance of requiring repair services. This is why we always recommend purchasing coverage earlier in your vehicle’s life, so when the costly repairs begin to creep up, you are already protected from these costs. It also means that the chances of you using the coverage are also higher, giving the extended warranty more value.
Think of it as you would with auto insurance. If the state where you live didn’t require you to have collision insurance, which, oddly enough, some do not, would you choose to purchase it? With so many bad drivers who are distracted by their cell phones and drive-thru combos, many of us would feel much safer with insurance to cover us if we ever got into an accident. Now think of it this way, how many times have you been in a collision? The answer is probably low if any at all. But answer this question: How many times has your vehicle broken down? The answer to that is probably more than you can remember. That’s why it’s wise to buy an extended vehicle warranty because it’s something you will undoubtedly use.
Another great reason to purchase a third-party extended warranty is their expanded eligibility and extra benefits. Unlike automaker or dealer plans, coverage from providers like Endurance can help cover almost every make and model of vehicle, including those up to 20 years old and high-mileage vehicles. Even other kinds of cars that most other providers won’t cover can get help with Endurance, including salvage or rebuilt title vehicles, Canadian Grey Market vehicles, and commercially used cars like those used by rideshare or delivery drivers. Not only that, but every Endurance auto protection plan also comes with complimentary roadside assistance and towing services, plus trip interruption coverage and rental car reimbursement PLUS, you’ll also be eligible for an entire year’s worth of Endurance Elite Benefits. These include extra perks and savings, including collision discounts, tire replacements and repairs, key fob replacements and even up to $1,000 in total loss protection.
How To Find the Best Extended Auto Warranty
When deciding whether or not to purchase an extended auto warranty or service contract, it comes down to how likely your car is to break down and how much it would cost you if it did. For some, paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to replace your air conditioning system might not be an issue and merely an “expense of car ownership.” But for most, it isn’t likely you have an additional $1,300 on hand, waiting for that A/C unit to go out. Not to mention that while cars are being built to be more reliable and durable, repairs have become more extensive and expensive. But while an extended auto warranty can help you save some serious bucks, how do you find the right one?
Finding the best extended auto warranty for your needs can be challenging due to the sheer selection of third-party providers, which will likely not fit your requirements for a quality warranty provider. Often, these kinds of providers won’t be upfront with what they can offer you, and any contracts are typically filled with pages and pages of fine print that all but ensure you’ll have some trouble when trying to get help with your “covered repairs.” Avoid these companies at all costs and opt for a reputable and trustworthy one!
With a trusted provider like Endurance, you can get peace of mind knowing your warranty covers you from expensive and inexpensive repairs and breakdowns. Plus, there are numerous different coverage options that you can purchase, so make sure that the level of coverage you choose will fit your needs and budget. But what kind of coverage is best for you?
Buying too little coverage can lead to not covering components and parts, resulting in a costly repair bill. You want to feel secure that you’re fully covered if anything happens. On the other hand, buying too much coverage can be a not-so-great plan, as more coverage means higher monthly payments. When searching for a provider or plan, check what is included in the policy, including any applicable deductibles you may be required to pay. If you see that most parts or components listed do not even apply to your vehicle, ask your Vehicle Protection Specialist if other coverage plans better fit your needs. Many also offer free quotes so you can better understand the available coverages and how they can fit into your budget. For example, you can request a free Endurance quote on the Endurance website. You can even learn more about an Endurance auto protection plan by calling a member of the award-winning Endurance customer care team at (800) 253-8203.
As important as fitting your coverage into your budget, you must ensure it covers the parts you want. Be sure to check out the list of exclusions, which are items not covered. Exclusionary plans, such as Supreme from Endurance, are best if you want coverage for the most components possible. Be aware, though, because, like more comprehensive policies from your car insurance provider, the more coverage you place on your vehicle, the more expensive it will be.
Even the most comprehensive coverage is worthless if you buy from an untrustworthy company. If the warranty is underwritten by a company that may be gone next month or next year, your policy will not be valid, and you’ll be out quite a bit of money. Check out the financial history and claims-paying reputation of any company you’re considering. And while you’re at it, check out their ratings with various consumer review sites like Trustpilot, Google, Consumer Affairs and more. These are two critical factors to consider when choosing a protection plan from one of the best extended car warranty companies.
Get Award-Winning Protecting with Endurance Warranty
Your vehicle was fully protected when it was new, but now that it is getting along in years and showing its true mileage, wouldn’t it be the time you would need protection the most? Get your free quote from Endurance today on vehicle protection, and know that you’re working with the nation’s premier provider of award-winning extended vehicle protection. We offer affordable payment plans to fit any budget, ranging from a basic powertrain warranty as low as just $79 a month to near factory-like coverage with a small list of exclusions.
Our award-winning customer service is always here to assist. You’ll even get access to the exclusive Endurance Mobile app, where you can access your policy, request complimentary roadside assistance and towing, and much more. All Endurance plans also come with other complimentary services, including trip interruption coverage and rental car reimbursements. You’ll even be able to take your vehicle into any ASE Certified mechanic or repair shop, including your dealership, while also enjoying an entire year’s worth of FREE Elite Benefits, including extra perks and savings like tire repairs or replacements, collision discounts, and more.
Ultimately, the question isn’t whether it is wise to buy an extended car warranty but whether you can afford not to. Call us at (800) 253-8203 for a FREE quote, or shop online today to get back to the world of worry-free driving! You can also find other informative articles on automotive topics ranging from extended car warranty coverage comparisons to vehicle buying guides, DIY maintenance tips and more at the Endurance blog.
More like this
Increase Your Car’s Value with an Extended Car Warranty
If you’re a vehicle owner, you’ve probably heard about extended warranties. With the cost of car ownership only ever on the rise, these added protection plans are invaluable for helping..
How to Get the Most Out of Your Honda Extended Warranty
Purchasing a pre-owned vehicle is a wise investment that allows many drivers to get more for their money. With proper upkeep, a used car can last for a long time...
Advantages of an Extended Warranty for Your Honda
If you own a Honda, you know the value of having a reliable vehicle. However, even with one of the most reliable vehicles like the Honda, inevitably, parts wear out..
Alex has worked in the automotive service industry for over 20 years. After graduating from one of the country’s top technical schools, he worked as a technician achieving a Master Technician certification. He also has experience as a service advisor and service manager. Read more about Alex.