With so many options, it can be difficult to make a decision on a used car warranty. Next, we’ll go over what to know when shopping for an extended warranty on your used car.
Buying A Used Car Warranty
When you’re shopping for a used car warranty, consider getting multiple quotes from different companies. You may find out your car is eligible for different types of coverage from various providers.
It can often be helpful to call a company representative and have them walk you through the different plans. But hold your ground if you want to take time to consider your options. You can always call them back to make the purchase, as quotes are often good for 30 days.
After you find out the type of coverage you can get and the price, you’ll sign a contract electronically with the company to purchase a used car warranty. At that point, the waiting period starts. Usually, you need to wait 30 days and a few hundred miles before using warranty coverage. This is so the company doesn’t pay for preexisting issues.
The way you pay for the used car warranty will depend on what the company offers. You might want to pay for the whole plan upfront to save a bit on the total cost, or you could make monthly payments. Some companies charge payments for the duration of the plan while others lump payments into the first one, two, or three years.
How To Buy A Used Car Warranty
The used car warranty market can be overwhelming due to hundreds of providers and plans, varying payment and claim structures, and confusing fine print. Before contacting used car warranty companies for quotes, it’s important to understand the landscape and reflect on your needs.
Important Used Car Warranty Questions
Along with big-picture questions such as your level of vehicle protection and how much you’re willing to pay, here’s a short list of questions to ask during your search:
- Is the used car warranty company known for reliable and fast customer service?
- Does the company have high ratings from expert sources?
- What are customers saying in online reviews?
- Can you file claims on the weekend?
- How many years has the company been in business?
- Do the customer service representatives seem more eager to make a sale than meet your needs?
- Are warranty plans transferable?
- What other benefits are offered with the provider’s warranty plans?
- Are there restrictions, limitations, or inconveniences outlined in the fine print?
What To Look For In Used Car Warranty Companies
From coverage plans to what customers have to say, there’s lots to consider when comparing the best used car warranties. The best car warranty companies are known for reliably paying out claims on repairs and parts that are under contract. For this reason, buying from dependable used car warranty companies helps you get the best value.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a used car warranty, here are some items to consider:
- Reputation: The used car warranty company’s reputation is key. Much of your satisfaction with the warranty plan will depend on how helpful customer service representatives are throughout the entire process.
- Industry reviews: Websites like the BBB and Trustpilot can give insight into customers’ experiences and help you find the best used car warranty.
- Transparency: Make sure you can easily locate sample contracts on the company’s website easily. Also, see if there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Coverage terms: Consider how long you plan to keep the vehicle, what parts need to be covered, and what it would cost to cancel or transfer coverage.
- Price: The best used car warranty companies should be able to provide coverage at a price you’re comfortable with, and the plan should be as flexible as possible. You should have $0 deductible options along with your choice of a repair shop.
It’s important to consider these questions whether you’re looking at an automaker-backed plan, one from a third-party extended warranty company, or coverage in the form of mechanical breakdown insurance.
Used Car Warranty Coverage
Used car warranty companies offer multiple plans that cover different lists of vehicle components. Below are the three main coverage types you’ll find:
- Bumper-to-bumper: A bumper-to-bumper warranty is most similar to the new vehicle limited warranty and covers all parts not specifically listed as exclusions. Because of this, it’s commonly known as an exclusionary warranty.
- Stated-component: These plans protect most major components such as the air conditioning and electrical systems, but they’re less comprehensive than bumper-to-bumper plans. Stated-component coverage only protects what’s written in the contract and is often considered best for high-mileage vehicles.
- Powertrain: A powertrain warranty covers the most essential systems the car needs to function, like its engine, transmission, and drive axles. Because powertrain coverage is pretty basic, you’ll also find that it’s the cheapest coverage option.
Even with a used car, you’ll likely be eligible for a bumper-to-bumper warranty from most third-party providers. Note, though, that many people searching for used car warranties consider stated-component coverage instead of full bumper-to-bumper protection.
Used Car Warranty Exclusions
Note that warranties are meant to pay for auto repairs when car parts fail or break as a result of normal use. This means a used car warranty won’t pay for damages caused by a car accident, poor weather, or lack of proper maintenance. Providers also exclude damages covered by car insurance companies and wear and tear parts like brake pads, wiper blades, and tires.
Vehicle protection plans generally won’t cover the following:
- Regular maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations
- Unauthorized vehicle repairs
- Repairs that upgrade the car
- Aftermarket parts
- Cosmetic items such as paint, glass, and fabric
- Parts covered by the car’s manufacturer
Benefits Of A Used Car Warranty
Most extended car warranty plans come with extra benefits beyond the repair contract. These usually include roadside assistance, rental car coverage, and trip interruption. In most cases, you’ll need to cover these costs yourself and then submit receipts later on for reimbursement.
- Roadside assistance: This covers towing services, fuel deliveries, lockout assistance, spare tire changes, and battery jump-starts.
- Rental car reimbursement: This covers rental car costs while your own vehicle is in the shop for a covered repair. Warranty plans usually limit coverage to a set amount per day and set a maximum number of days.
- Trip interruption: This covers certain food and lodging costs if your car breaks down far away from home.
In our experience, most used car warranty companies offer all three benefits on stated-component and bumper-to-bumper coverage contracts. Some offer all three with powertrain plans, while other companies may just offer roadside assistance.
Used Car Warranty Cost
A used car warranty can cost between $1,500 and $4,000 in total depending on the provider, coverage plan, and term length. Some companies require you to pay the entire cost upfront, while others allow you to make monthly payments of about $100 to $200 per month. On top of your monthly payment, some companies require a down payment of up to $300.