What to consider when deciding on a car warranty
8 September 2023
By Joy Pearson
When it comes to purchasing a vehicle warranty, making an informed decision is crucial. A car warranty can provide piece of mind and financial security in case of unexpected repairs. However, not all warranties are created equal, and understanding the key factors is essential. In today's post, we will explore the main things you need to know when considering buying a car warranty.
Car warranties come in various types, each with its coverage levels and terms. The main categories include manufacturer warranties, extended warranties, and certified pre-owned (CPO) warranties. Manufacturer warranties typically cover new cars, while extended warranties and CPO warranties are available for used vehicles.
Understanding what your warranty covers is paramount. Manufacturer warranties usually include bumper-to-bumper coverage, powertrain coverage, and corrosion protection. Extended warranties vary widely, so carefully read the contract to know precisely what's covered. Be aware that wear-and-tear items like brake pads and tires are typically not covered. Car warranties also have specific time and mileage limits. For example, a manufacturer's warranty might cover your vehicle for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Extended warranties often offer various options, so choose one that aligns with your driving habits and how long you plan to keep the car.
To ensure you warranty remains valid, you'll need to adhere to the manufacturers maintenance schedule. This typically involves having your vehicle serviced at authorized dealerships or approved repair centers. These authorized service providers are well-versed in your vehicle's make and model, ensuring that it receives the necessary care. Regular maintenance may include oil changes, brake inspections, tire rotations, and other vital checks. Keeping detailed records of these services is essential as they serve as proof of compliance in case you need to make a warranty claim. Failure to follow the maintenance schedule might result in the warranty being voided, leaving you responsible for repair costs.
When considering a car warranty, it's vital to understand the financial aspects. Firstly, there's upfront cost of the warranty itself. This can vary widely depending on the provider, the type of warranty, and the coverage it offers. Additionally, you should enquire about deductibles. A deductible is the amount you need to pay out of pocket for each repair covered by the warranty. Some warranties have zero deducibles, meaning you won't have to pay anything when you make a claim. Others might have varying deductible amounts. Understanding these costs helps you evaluate the overall value of the warranty and how it fits within your budget.
While the primary purpose of a warranty is to cover repair costs, many warranties offer extra benefits. These include roadside assistance, which provides valuable help if your vehicle breaks down away from home. It may include services like jump-starting your car, providing a tow, or delivering fuel if you run out. Rental car reimbursement is another benefit to consider. If your car needs significant repairs and is in the shop for an extended period of time, the warranty might cover the cost of a renal vehicle, ensuring you stay mobile. Trip interruption coverage is less common but can be extremely valuable. This coverage helps with expenses like lodging and meals if your car breaks down on a trip. These additional benefits can significantly enhance your ownership experience and save you money in unexpected situations.
Before committing to a warranty, it's advisable not to rush into the first option you encounter. Instead, engage in comparison shopping. Obtain quotes from different warranty providers and carefully compare the coverage they offer, the costs involved, and the terms and conditions. Also, pay attention to customer reviews and ratings for each provider. Reliable service and a good reputation are indicators that the warranty provider is more likely to honor their commitments. Comparison shopping ensures you find the best warranty that aligns with your needs, budget and expectations.
Researching the reputation of a warranty provider is essential to ensure you're dealing with a reputable company. Reading customer reviews and testimonials provides insights into the real-world experiences of other vehicle owners who have used the same warranty service. Positive reviews and a strong reputation indicate that the provider is reliable and responsive when it comes to handling warranty claims.
Lastly, understanding the terms of the warranties cancellation policy is essential in case your circumstances change or you decide the warranty is no longer needed. Different warranty providers may have varying policies regarding cancellations. You should be aware of the process involved, including any associated fees or penalties for cancelling the warranty prematurely.
Buying a car warranty involves careful consideration of the type of warranty and everything mentioned above. By thoroughly researching and comparing your options, you can make an informed decision that provides peace of mind and protects your investment in your vehicle.