When you buy a new car, you get the manufacturer’s warranty that goes along with it. Used vehicles are a whole other story because they do not usually automatically come with warranties. Some warranties are worth the extra cost, and others are not, but you will want to examine what it covers to know what you are getting.
Read the Warranty at Purchasing
If you are going to purchase the vehicle and warranty from a dealer, it is a good idea to search for the buyer’s guide first. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that all dealers display this information on the window, so it should be easy to find. On the buyer’s guide, you will see if the vehicle is coming with a warranty or if it will be sold “as-is.” The buyer’s guide has the final say in warranty information, so if your sale contract claims “as-is,” but the guide says there is warranty coverage, the buyer’s guide warranty supersedes the contract claim.
Under federal law, you do not need to use a dealership or use only manufacturer parts to maintain a warranty, so if you see that in a contract, you will want to make a note of that. According to the FTC, it is illegal for any dealer to deny warranty coverage if you had repairs or routine maintenance done by someone other than the dealer. A dealer can offer you free repairs as part of a used car warranty, but they cannot force you to use it.
On the other hand, if you buy a car from a private seller, you cannot count on anyone’s word about a warranty. If a private seller mentions a warranty or any coverage after the fact, you will want to get that in writing and have it signed by you and the seller. Having a witness would not be a bad idea either. If you can review the contract before the purchase, that is always preferable.
Look at the Fine Print
Buying a vehicle as used does not mean you will not get a manufacturer’s warranty. It is entirely possible depending on the vehicle’s year and mileage. Check the buyer’s guide for any systems covered and the duration of coverage. To verify coverage or lack of coverage, request the warranty documents for the vehicle you want to purchase. If you want to go one step further, you can also contact the manufacturer to verify its accuracy.
On the offhand possibility that a used car comes with a warranty, you will want to read the coverage details, too. You should see who is responsible for what type of repairs, and if you have any questions, you need to ask before you close the deal. Sometimes, the warranties are underwritten by third-party companies, so you may want to research the company before signing on the dotted line.
Choosing a Used Car Warranty
A used car warranty is a service contract that is an agreement between the buyer and the seller where the seller or dealer agrees to do specific repairs. There are a few details here to help you decide whether the agreement is worthwhile.
Always consider the cost of future repairs and compare it to the cost of the warranty. If you expect costly maintenance for the vehicle, you may want the warranty. On the other hand, if you expect the repairs to be inexpensive, you may want to forego the warranty.
Do not forget to do your research on the vehicle you are interested in because it is a good idea to know its dependability and quality ranking. A lower ranking could mean that you can expect lots of repairs. With that in mind, you may want to choose the warranty or maybe an entirely different car.
Shop for a Used Car Warranty
Before you go and purchase a used car, you should think about the type of warranty you want. You will have several things to think about, like long-term needs, coverage needs, and their relation to cost.
When you purchase a used car from a dealership, they always offer coverage. However, you might find a similar or better warranty from a third party. Do not be afraid to shop around. Once done with the selection, remember to verify your chosen provider to make sure it is not a scam.