car warranties

5 things to know about car warranties

On the Road 2 min read

Are you considering buying a warranty on your new or used vehicle?

According to Edmunds, the average cost of a used vehicle in the United States in 2016 was $19,189. If you wanted to buy new, this increased the average price to $25,449.

The price of your vehicle can vary widely based on year, make, model and options. But regardless of what you are buying, you should be prepared to likely spend thousands of dollars.

One of the ways to protect your investment is by purchasing a warranty with your new or used vehicle.

Read on to learn 5 important things to know about car warranties.

1. How long it lasts

Whether you are buying new or used, arguably the most important part of your warranty is how long it lasts.

Often, your warranty will be quoted with a length of time and a mileage. For example, a “3-year/36,000 mile warranty” means that you are covered for three years from the date of purchase or 36,000 miles — whichever comes first.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, the average American drives 13,476 miles per year.

If you are driving the average or more, your warranty will end a lot faster than three years.

2. What it covers

Car warranties will often offer different warranties for your vehicle’s powertrain. The powertrain includes things like your engine and transmission, as well as a more basic list of parts.

It’s crucial that you read through your warranty. See what items are included on the car warranties you are considering.

Things like your battery, clutch or brake pads are often not included in a warranty.

Also, before you put your pen to paper on purchasing a warranty, confirm that the parts you are receiving are new and not used.

3. Out of pocket costs

A vehicle warranty may include covering the entire price of your repair as part of the contract. But others will charge you a deductible or premium to do work on your car.

Read through your warranty contract to determine what your costs will be for different repairs.

You want to avoid unexpected costs with your warranty — which is likely one reason you are seeking out one in the first place.

4. Who makes repairs

Some warranties will allow you to choose your mechanic. However, others will pre-select one for the repairs that are free of charge under the contract.

You are free to choose your own mechanic for routine maintenance or aftermarket part installations. However, you need to be careful that their work is done well and does not void your warranty.

It’s also worth considering where the mechanic handling your warranty repairs is located.

5. Transferring your warranty

It’s possible the term of your warranty could outlast how long you plan on owning the vehicle.

If that’s the case, it’s important that you find out if your warranty is transferable to another individual. After all, when a prospective buyer considers buying your vehicle, a warranty is a nice selling point.

Wrapping Up: Car Warranties Count

The decision to purchase a warranty for your vehicle can save you money on expensive repairs down the road.

But to make the most of your coverage, be sure to review the terms of your contract closely.

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