The main benefit of buying a new car is the associated full warranty coverage from the vehicle manufacturer. This means that servicing, repairs, and replacement costs within a given period and mileage are protected by the manufacturer. However, because you’ve preferred a used car doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the peace of mind and savings provided by car warranties.
Car warranties typically protect vehicle owners from expensive repairs and replacements caused by defective vehicle parts. Blowing your budget on buying a used vehicle and having to incur future repair costs is disappointing. Fortunately, you can get several dealership warranties on used cars.
Used Car Warranty Options
If you intend to purchase a used car, you’ll have the following warranty options:
- Factory-Certified Pre-owned Car Warranty
Buying a certified used car is one of the common ways of getting a used car warranty. Certified pre-owned vehicles (CPO) are few-year-old used vehicles that are well-cared for and with low mileage. Most of these vehicles were leased once or used in a fleet. After certification, franchised car dealers sell such vehicles with warranties extending beyond the manufacturer’s initial bumper-to-bumper warranty.
Warranty for certified pre-owned vehicles often includes additions, such as roadside assistance, trip interruption reimbursement, and more. Deductibles may or may not be included. Because the original vehicle manufacturer backs this warranty, your used vehicle can be serviced by any vehicle brand’s franchised dealership. This means you should only buy a CPO vehicle from a franchised car dealer of the brand.
- Buying a Used Car With an Unexpired New Car Warranty
Buying a used car with a remaining new car warranty is probably the easiest and most affordable option of getting a used car warranty. This option allows you to take advantage of the original manufacturer’s warranty for servicing and repairs. Unlike certified pre-owned and extended car warranties, you don’t have to pay deductibles for new car warranties.
However, you should first ensure that the original warranty is transferable to second owners. While most bumper-to-bumper car warranties are transferable, powertrain warranties are often restricted to first owners. That aside, you should also check the expiration date of the warranty. Don’t base your decisions on the model year of the vehicle.
For instance, a 2022 vehicle model purchased in 2021 might not have much coverage remaining. On the other hand, a 2021 model bought from the dealer in late 2022 has more coverage left.
- Extended Car Warranties and Vehicle Service Contracts
Old vehicles with high mileage or defects and those without certification can also enjoy the coverage. Extended car warranties and vehicle service contracts provide warranty plans that extend beyond the manufacturer and CPO warranty. These warranty options cover different products and features depending on the policy taker.
For instance, some policies include everything covered by bumper-bumper warranty and periodic maintenance, while others cover only specific components. You should research extensively to know what’s covered by your warranty. Take note of inclusionary and exclusionary items on extended warranties.
Automakers or independent third-party warranty providers back extended car warranties. Some insurance companies and dealerships can back these products. Therefore, try learning about the company backing the extended warranty before purchasing coverage.
What You Should Know Before Buying a Used Car Warranty
Below are a few things you should know before buying a used car warranty:
- Check the manufacturer’s warranty expiry date – you should only buy an extended car warranty if the original manufacturer’s warranty has expired or is inactive. Most manufacturer car warranties provide three years or 36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper coverage and five years or 60,000 miles powertrain warranty. Ideally, used cars sold “as is” usually don’t have a manufacturer warranty.
- Read through the vehicle service contracts for used cars – you should read through the fine print of your used car warranty. You should know who is responsible for vehicle repairs and components included and excluded by the coverage.
- Expect higher premiums for old vehicles with high mileage – used car warranties are more expensive than coverage plans for new vehicles. Third-party warranty providers primarily consider the age and mileage of the vehicle when determining the warranty costs.
- Compare warranty coverage options and quotes – before signing a contract with a warranty provider, you should compare coverage options and quotes offered by different companies to find the best deal.
The Bottom Line
New cars come with an original factory warranty that covers unexpected repairs and replacements. When purchasing a used vehicle, start by checking if the vehicle is still covered by the original warranty and what components are covered. If the manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t cover your used car, you should consider purchasing used car warranty plans from dealers and third-party warranty providers. You should purchase a used car warranty depending on your vehicle’s reliability, mileage, previous issues, and if you need roadside benefits.