Search for used car warranties on the Internet and you'll find many. How can you tell if a company is selling a good and reliable warranty? Used car warranty reviews are also abundant, so which one is best?
What is a Used Car Warranty?
Used car warranties, also known as extended warranties, extend the manufacturer warranty on a new car once it runs out. Further, you can also purchase a used car warranty to cover needed repairs if you purchase a new or certified pre-owned vehicle.
Most used cars that have over 36,000 miles don't have any remaining manufacturer's warranty left, hence the need for a warranty. If you buy that used car and want to prevent costly repairs, a used car warranty can help alleviate those costs.
Do You Need A Used Car Warranty?
The answer to whether you need a warranty for your used car is, it depends. If you plan to keep the used car you purchase for a long period of time, you should expect mechanisms to fail, need repair or be replaced. If you purchase a used car with low miles and it still contains some of the manufacturer's warranty, you may opt not to purchase an extended warranty.
Buying a used car warranty is similar to buying a warranty for a big home purchase. However, more often than not, most used cars will need to have some repairs. Sandy Bosserman, Service Manager of Enchantment Ford in New Mexico told LTK Cars what the average annual costs are for used vehicles without a warranty.
"If the car is three model years old and has over 36,000 miles on it, expect to spend approximately $600 to $1,000 that first year, excluding tires," Bosserman says. "Once a car reaches four or more model years old, components are more likely to fail or need replacement, so out of pocket expenses could go into the thousands," warned Bosserman.
The simple answer is to protect your pocket book at repair time but how do you know which warranty to buy?
Used Car Warranty Reviews
Used car warranties are sold by many companies. Dealerships sell both manufacturer used car warranties and aftermarket used car warranties. You can find used car warranty companies like Warranty Direct and CARCHEX online. Finally, many used car warranty companies advertise on the Internet and television such as US Fidelis. It can be a daunting experience when choosing a used car warranty or company, so what warranty is right for you?
Before you begin to shop for a warranty, keep these types in mind:
- Basic Warranty - Most dealerships and used car lots may offer a basic warranty when you purchase a used vehicle. This will outline components covered usually for a specified period of time such as three months. These are used as a selling tool and are lumped into the price of the used car.
- Extended-Length - These types of warranties are sold by dealerships and third-party companies and range in price depending upon what is covered. The more mechanical items covered, the higher the price will be. Most extended warranties will cover components on your used vehicle for up to 100,000 miles, not including maintenance items. Also known as service contracts, prices for bumper-to-bumper extended-length used car warranties can cost you between $800 and $2500 depending upon the mileage on the used vehicle. This is the most common type of offer.
- Accessory Warranties - Some aftermarket companies offer warranties on any accessories you add to your used vehicle including custom accessories. This type can be purchased alone or as an add-on. Prices on these can range from $500 or higher depending upon what type of accessories you plan to put on your vehicle.
- Maintenance Warranties - A good rule of thumb for all used vehicles is that regular maintenance, such as a lube-oil-filter service, should be completed every 3,000 miles. With discount repair chains offering lube-oil-filter services for low prices, a maintenance plan may cost you more in the long run.
- Tailored Warranties - Most auto manufacturer's that offer used car warranties will not tailor one to fit your budget; meaning they offer the bumper-to-bumper plan, or what they call service contracts. Aftermarket companies do offer tailored programs depending upon your desired coverage. The more components you want covered, the more it will cost you.
Tips on Used Car Warranties
Before you shell out the bucks for any used car warranty, no matter where you buy it, keep these tips in mind:
- Don't buy a warranty where you pay the repair shop first and are then reimbursed. Only buy those where they pay the repair shop directly.
- The amount of deductible you choose will affect the price of the warranty. The lower the deductible the higher the cost.
- Call the Better Business Bureau and inquire on the company to see if they have complaints including unresolved complaints.
- Compare prices and companies before you buy.
- Ask your mechanic what they recommend as far as your car's repair needs in the long run.
- Read the fine print and find out exactly what the plan you are buying covers so you aren't surprised at repair time.
Used car warranty reviews can be confusing and each company will tell you they offer the best one. It's best to do some research before you buy.