With cars already depreciating in value as soon as they are driven off the lot, you want to avoid any kind of risk and get as much additional protection as possible on your used car. You may wonder if it is even possible to purchase such an extended type of protection. A new car certainly comes with options for buyers to purchase extended warranties - and sellers happily up-sell them on the idea, sometimes to the chagrin of the buyers - but it is not always clear about whether used vehicles come with the same set of options. The short answer is yes, you can get an extended warranty on your used car; however, just as you should be cautious when buying a warranty for a new car, you should be aware of some of the factors involved in choosing an extended warranty for a used car.
Confirm the Need for More Protection
One of the first things you should do is ascertain whether you actually need additional protection. Many factory warranties get transferred in some form to used car buyers, so review the car's original warranty. Figure out how much coverage is left because you may be surprised to learn that many auto manufacturers now offer longer warranties, that is, warranties that exceed the customary 3 years. If you bought a used car that has been certified by the auto manufacturer, especially a luxury brand, then it generally comes with additional warranty protection, so there may not be a need for further protection.
Available Extended Warranties
There are multiple types of extended warranties available from car dealerships, and auto dealers are not the only ones that provide these extended service contracts. You can also find warranties being offered by auto clubs, insurance companies and other sources, and with good reason - they make them a great deal of money. Costs vary; independent companies may charge far less than a manufacturer.
You can choose from comprehensive bumper-to-bumper coverage to less comprehensive plans such as those that offer more targeted protection, for example, for specific components only. You get to pick how long the warranty is valid for; 3 to 5 years of coverage is generally the standard duration. Be sure to read the fine print so that you thoroughly understand which items are being covered and where you are allowed to take your vehicle for service. The latter point is important because some third-party warranties may have restrictions as to which participating repair shops you can take your vehicle. Also, please note that if you have a used car with high kilometres, it can be difficult to get a good extended warranty. If the car has more than 160 934 kilometres on it, then that is generally the termination point for most extended warranties.
Aftermarket Warranty Versus Dealer Warranty
An aftermarket warranty - a kind of extended warranty offered by independent companies - may require that you first pay for any repairs to your used vehicle, and then wait to be compensated, or repaid, later by the company. You can purchase an aftermarket warranty from a local credit union. A dealer warranty generally requires that all the repairs you need done to your used vehicle occur at a single dealership, namely the dealership where you purchased the car. Because of this condition, if you have car trouble out of town, then the dealer warranty will not be of much use to you.
Negotiate the Price
Just as you would do with an extended warranty being offered to you at a new car dealership, you should negotiate the warranty on your used car.
Be Wary of Scams
Avoid potential scams. There are scam artists who will try to sell you fraudulent extended warranties for your vehicle. They may make appeals to you through the mail or by phoning you directly, so be careful. If you decide to purchase one of their offerings, you may find yourself unhappy when you attempt to get a refund; scammers will likely refuse your request. If they claim to be representatives for your dealer, then the best thing to do is to contact your dealer directly and ask if that is truly the case. Absent full confirmation, do not give anyone your personal identifying information, such as your credit card number, over the phone or otherwise.
An extended warranty on your used car can give you peace of mind. It can shield you from expensive surprises later, but since all extended warranties are not the same, do your due diligence to ensure you pick the type that is right for you. Make sure you need it in the first place; you may discover you have sufficient protection to last you until you sell the car. Consider buying an extended warranty from a trusted third-party company, which may charge you far less than a dealer. Negotiate the price of the warranty so you pay what pleases you.