Have you decided to sell your vehicle but don’t know how to transfer a car warranty to a new owner? Luckily, most car warranties are transferable between sellers and buyers, and the process of transferring coverage is easier than you might assume.
In this article, we’ll look at how to transfer a car warranty to a new owner and why you might want to – whether it’s a factory, aftermarket, or certified pre-owned (CPO) protection plan. We’ve also reviewed the best extended warranty companies so you can compare providers and purchase a protection plan that could increase the resale value of your vehicle.
How To Transfer A New Car’s Warranty To A New Owner
A new car comes with a manufacturer’s warranty – also known as a factory warranty – that lasts for a set number of years or miles. But let’s say you decide to sell the vehicle before that warranty expires. You might be wondering: Is the factory warranty transferable?
Typically, the remaining miles or time on a used car’s factory warranty will transfer to the next owner. This is because manufacturer warranties are associated with the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN), not the name of the original owner.
For example, if your Honda factory warranty comes with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty period and your Honda is two years old and has 28,000 miles on it, you still have coverage left that can accompany the resale of the car. Warranties such as a Toyota warranty and a Kia warranty offer similar transfer capabilities.
Buying a car with a manufacturer’s warranty has its perks, but even the best new car warranties are limited, and some automakers do not offer the ability to transfer. Once you run out of miles or time, you’re responsible for the full cost of repairs.
How To Transfer A CPO Car Warranty To A New Owner
A certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle is one that has been inspected by the manufacturer and certified to be in top condition. These used vehicles tend to be newer and lower-mileage cars that the dealer has taken back for resale.
CPO cars often come with separate manufacturer warranties from dealerships but work the same. So if you’re putting your CPO car up for resale, this type of warranty will typically transfer if it is within odometer and duration limits.
For example, you can transfer a Ford CPO warranty to future owners at no additional cost. However, not all manufacturer-backed CPO vehicle warranties are transferable, so contact the automaker to be sure.
How To Transfer A Third-Party Car Warranty To A New Owner
Your car’s original warranty from the manufacturer doesn’t last forever. An aftermarket auto warranty through a third-party provider is a good way to give you some peace of mind after your manufacturer coverage expires. This is certainly the case if you missed the window for adding a dealer-backed extended warranty plan.
It’s especially wise to extend your coverage with a third-party warranty if you plan to sell your car in the future. Putting a car on the market with third-party coverage typically raises its purchasing price and helps advertise the vehicle. Overall, an extended warranty – whether from the manufacturer or a third-party provider – is a great selling point if you can transfer the warranty.
The Benefit For Buyers
For buyers, purchasing a car with a service contract included in the price is easier than having to find a warranty company on their own. Buying a vehicle with a used car warranty also provides peace of mind that the car will be protected in the event of an issue with a key component. Top extended warranty companies offer additional perks such as roadside assistance that are also included in the warranty transfer.
It’s important to note that transferring bumper-to-bumper or powertrain coverage from an independent third-party provider is different from a manufacturer transfer. Because the original owner most likely customized their third-party coverage plan with a deductible and monthly payment options to fit their needs, what’s included in the warranty will vary.
How Does The Car Warranty Transfer Process Work?
In most cases, to transfer a car warranty to a new owner, the current owner of the vehicle will contact the warranty company or dealership to initiate the transfer process or send a letter to let the warranty provider know about the sale of the car. This usually has to be done within 30 days.
If you’ve decided to transfer your car warranty to a new owner, you should begin the process by checking to see if you have factory coverage, extended factory coverage, or independent third-party warranty coverage still available. Call your dealership or warranty company and give them the VIN of your car to learn what’s left in your service plan and to make sure you can transfer the plan.
The buyer is involved in the transfer process as well, giving the warranty provider their basic contact information and info about the sale. Change of ownership documentation such as receipts and records is required.
As you’ll see from Endurance warranty reviews and CARCHEX reviews, third-party protection plans typically come with higher maximum term limits, so you might find it easier to transfer a contract from an independent provider.
The Cost Of Transferring Car Warranties
It’s typical for a manufacturer or third-party company to charge a fee for transferring a vehicle service contract to a new owner.
There is no standard transfer rate, but this fee can be as much as $100. The best companies and dealers charge little to no transfer fee. Before initiating the selling process, it’s a good idea for the current owner and the prospective buyer to confirm whether a transfer fee is required.
Top Recommendations For Transferable Extended Car Warranties
We recommend getting quotes from multiple companies and comparing your car warranty options. Our review team examined every major extended auto warranty provider in the industry, taking a look at plan options, costs, customer reviews, and more. Based on this, we found Endurance and Olive to offer two of the better aftermarket extended warranties.
Both companies offer the option to transfer your service contract if you sell your car.
Endurance: Best Coverage
Endurance is our No. 1 ranked extended warranty provider. The company offers direct-to-consumer plans, meaning that all claims and services are handled in-house. Drivers may appreciate Endurance’s coverage for high-mileage vehicles, which makes it easier to sell your car and transfer your contract.
Endurance offers six plans, five of which are extended warranties with varying levels of coverage to protect against mechanical breakdowns. The last Endurance plan, EnduranceAdvantage™, includes an extended auto warranty, along with maintenance services such as oil changes and tire rotations.
Olive: Best Online Warranty
Based on Olive car warranty reviews, it seems that a vehicle service contract from this 21-year-old provider is great for drivers who prefer subscription-based billing that gives them the flexibility to cancel at any time. Olive has plans available in all 50 states, and there’s no waiting period for coverage.
Olive offers a trio of protection plans and can cover vehicles for up to 3 years/185,000 miles. All plans include rental car reimbursement as well as towing reimbursement for each breakdown. With Olive, you can transfer a car warranty to a new owner for no charge.
Frequently Asked Questions
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of extended auto warranty companies to formulate rankings of the best providers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Warranty providers with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of extended warranty plans available, coverage terms, and added benefits like roadside assistance.
- Cost: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of plans and vehicles. Companies with lower prices per year of coverage receive the best scores.
- Transparency: This score takes into account contract transparency and the availability of a money-back guarantee.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and perform our own shopper analysis to get a sense of the responsiveness and helpfulness of each warranty company.