Because it is such a large purchase, buying a car is often a stressful period. When you are buying a car, your focus is normally on the base price of the car, but there are other factors to consider as well. One of the decisions you must make is whether you want a car warranty. There are multiple types of car warranties, such as factory, extended or CPO. Many of the warranties cover the same areas, but there are a few distinctions between each one. Even if the warranties cover the same areas, the length of the warranty may change.
Car warranties represent a written promise from the dealership or manufacturer. The promise states the dealership or manufacturer will cover the costs of certain repairs or replace any defects with your vehicle within a set period of time. Most warranties are good for several years, but more specific warranties may only last for several months or up to a year. Some also have a second stipulation, lasting for a set number of miles.
Find Best Car Warranties
As the name implies, factory warranties come directly from a manufacturer. If you are buying your car from a dealership, you can still get a factory warranty. All factory warranties cover factory defects, which refer to issues or damages that occurred when the car was produced. Some examples include a part being installed incorrectly, part of your car rusting too soon or your vehicle failing an emission test. If your car was in an accident and needs a repair, your warranty only applies if you can prove the accident was caused by a defect in the car, such as improperly installed brakes.
In addition to factory defects, some warranties offer additional coverage. There are three other types of factory warranties. The first is bumper to bumper. This covers the majority of wear and tear expenses, such as replacing tires, brake pads or wiper blades. With newer vehicles, electronic issues, like broken speakers or defective Wi-Fi may also be covered under bumper to bumper.
The next type of factory warranty is power or drive train warranty. For many drivers, this is the most important warranty, as it covers critical mechanical issues, including potential engine and transmission problems. The last type of warranty is corrosion, which offers coverage for any kind of premature deterioration of the metal parts in your vehicle.
Factory warranties are often the shortest type of warranty available. This is largely because any issue covered under a factory warranty comes up within the first few times you drive the vehicle. Many factory warranties also have a mileage limit. Of all the different types of factory warranties, power and drive train warranties have the longest duration, though some factories offer unlimited corrosion or rust warranty as part of special deals.
Adjustment warranties are offered from a dealership. These warranties cover smaller issues, including leaks, squeaks or rattles and readjusting your alignment. Adjustment warranties also have a small duration, with many dealerships ending the warranty after 90 days. One of the reasons it is important to test drive a vehicle before you buy it is you can detect these issues beforehand, saving you a future trip to the dealership after you purchase your car.
When your factory warranty ends, some dealerships offer you an extended warranty. If your dealership does not offer an extended warranty, you may be able to purchase one from a third party. What your extended warranty covers largely depends on who you purchase it from. In some cases, you can get the exact same coverage from a third party. Make sure you carefully look over the new warranty before agreeing to it.
What is Not Covered Under Warranty
There are some factors that cannot be covered under the warranty. Any sort of regular maintenance, such as tire rotations or changing your oil are always your responsibility. Damage from environmental factors is also not covered by warranty. If you make any alterations or modifications, such as installing non-factory parts, you cannot use your warranty.
Deals on Extended Warranty
Factory warranties are included as part of your purchase, but if you want an extended warranty, you must pay extra. Pricing an extended warranty is tricky because there are so many plans available. On average, you can expect to pay between $300 and $3,000, depending on the quality of the plan and how long it lasts. There are very affordable rates for car warranties. Top coverage is also available.
Endurance is one of the top extended warranty providers. Endurance has been around since 1958, offering four different warranty tiers. The basic plan, secure, covers the biggest issues, such as engine and transmission repairs. All of the plans also come with a free year of Endurance elite membership, which offers many additional benefits, like 24-hour roadside assistance and ID theft protection tools.
CARCHEX is another popular extended warranty provider. There are five tiers of coverage, with the majority of the plans lasting for 10 years. Even the lowest plan, bronze, provides six years of extended coverage. They also offer a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can get a full refund if you are unhappy with your level of service.
Protect My Car is a newer company. There are only three plans available, but the company has received positive reviews for their affordable rates. One downside is the plans do not apply for vehicles over 13 years old, though there are ambassador maintenance plans available for older vehicles.