After test driving a new or pre-owned vehicle, buyers decide on the most suitable car, truck, or SUV that meets their needs and fits into their budget. The process of a car loan approval, providing a down payment, and reading through the paperwork can prove overwhelming. In the midst of all the excitement and anxiety about spending a good deal of your hard-earned salary, a dealership representative asks about purchasing an extended car warranty.
The fact this topic came up at all may make you wonder, “what’s wrong with the car?” In all likelihood, nothing. But the manufacturing process is not perfect, and sometimes things break or wear out over time. An extended plan fills cost voids in the event a repair is needed that doesn’t fall within the manufacturer's warranty. Rather than wave it off as an unnecessary expense or sign out of worry, it may be in your best interest to shop other resources for a program that meets all of your financial concerns and offers a few perks as well. Extended car warranty protections, also called extended vehicle service contracts, are not only available at car dealerships and at the time of sale. They are also available through a variety of sources including local lenders such as credit unions that have your best interest in mind.
What Is An Extended Car Warranty?
It’s important for buyers to understand that the term “extended car warranty,” also commonly called an “extended service contract” or “extended vehicle service contract,” is a type of coverage for unanticipated parts, labor, and repairs beyond the ordinary manufacturer warranty.
An extended car warranty is typically rolled into the vehicle’s initial purchase price and is an optional plan available for purchase that typically begins when the manufacturer’s warranty expires. Occasionally, the two may overlap depending on the coverage. In essence, an extended car warranty provides additional coverage against potential vehicle-related expenses for a set amount of time. You’re basically opting to pay a seemingly nominal fee to avoid doling out a potentially large sum later. In this way, extended car warranties function in a similar fashion as some insurance policies.
What Do Extended Car Warranties Cover?
Manufacturer warranties may not necessarily cover every conceivable malfunction, even when purchasing the car brand new from a dealership. This ranks as one of the driving factors behind the popularity of an extended car warranty. Depending on the warranty product, consumers may be able to close obvious and underreported gaps. Potential buyers who are unsure about purchasing this additional auto protection would be wise to consider the following questions.
- Are you currently under warranty?
- When did your warranty begin?
- When do you anticipate the warranty timing out?
- What doesn’t the existing extended service contract cover?
- How much could a major repair set you back without an extended warranty?
Among the popular extended service contracts, bumper-to-bumper coverage effectively eliminates a buyer’s out-of-pocket expenses. Although there may be exclusions for certain vehicles, things such as drivetrain, engine, and corrosion are usually covered. It’s also not uncommon for extended warranties to offer a wide variety of convenient perks. These comprehensive contracts often fill in cost gaps and add years of additional coverage.
Top Reasons Why An Extended Car Warranty Is Worth It
The decision to secure an extended warranty involves some due diligence and financial planning. A new or pre-owned car, truck, or SUV buyer can weigh the potential cost benefits against the disastrous financial disruption of paying out of pocket for repairs. These rank among the top reasons to opt for an extended car warranty.
- 1. Save Money: The high cost of automobile repairs can be eye-raising. Mechanics pass along the rising cost of parts and labor that ticks up every year to car owners. In the event a repair is required, the upfront expense of a plan pales by comparison to the cost you can suffer down the road.
- 2. Peace of Mind: Imagine owning a house and not having homeowners’ insurance. To say you would have a few restless nights would be something of an understatement. That’s primarily because buying a home usually stands as someone’s largest investment. A new or pre-owned car, truck, or SUV is another big-ticket item. Money may not buy happiness, but it sure can offer peace of mind in terms of not having to worry about an unanticipated expense.
- 3. Overlooked Benefits: Although many think of extended car warranties only as a way to avoid high repair bills, many products deliver added value. Companies in the warranty industry know they have to compete for your business. This factor often leads them to include benefits such as roadside assistance, trip interruption coverage, bumper-to-bumper exclusionary coverage, and additional perks. Competitive, extended service contracts may even offer low or zero-deductible options.
- 4. Flexible Repair Locations: Manufacturer warranties sometimes link the parts and labor to their approved dealership locations. The conventional wisdom is they save money because parts and labor are provided at cost. When someone uses their preferred auto mechanic, parts, labor, and business profit are usually included in the bill. Some extended warranty plans allow buyers to work with certified auto mechanics and body shops of their choosing. Be sure to do your research to find the best plan to fit your needs.
- 5. Increased Resale Value: Vehicle owners who purchase transferable extended service warranties may inadvertently add value to their car, truck, or SUV. Some plans allow buyers to effectively transfer the protection for a nominal transfer fee to the new buyer. This means when you go to sell your vehicle to a third-party buyer, you can ask for more money. They are getting a perk that you initially paid for, and it’s not unreasonable to recoup the unused portion of your investment.
How To Decide If An Extended Car Warranty Is Right For You
It may come as something of a surprise, but car buyers can shop around for the best possible extended service contract. Consumers sometimes believe these plans are only available at new and pre-owned car dealerships. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Extended car warranties are not necessarily linked to the manufacturer, and that allows consumers to evaluate rates, coverage, and added value benefits. If you are considering whether to purchase an extended car warranty, conduct some due diligence and contact Peach State to discuss your financial situation and review the many benefits our Extended Vehicle Warranty has to offer.
To review additional car loan protection options that pair well with an extended car warranty, review our How to Negotiate Car Price: The Ultimate Money Saving Guide.