Things break. Entropy is an inescapable force and will make no exception for your vehicle. Standard auto insurance protects you in the event of a collision or an act of nature, but what about everything else? If you are the type of person who loses sleep worrying about how to afford costly repairs, consider an extended warranty. If you are ready to go above and beyond for your vehicle, consult these tips to help you find the best extended warranty for your vehicle.
Understanding an Extended Warranty
To begin your search for an extended warranty, first, you need to understand how such a policy works. Extended warranties are appropriately named. They are extensions of a vehicle’s original manufacturer’s warranty and come in two variants. The first is an original equipment manufacturer’s warranty or OEM warranty for short. An OEM warranty is identical to the manufacturer’s warranty with a bonus or two. This usually includes roadside assistance.
The other kind of extended warranty is a third-party warranty. This type comes with no affiliation to the manufacturer. Although they are different, they usually cover the same things. Third-party warranties come at a much lower cost. However, they can be harder to use in practice. Know the difference when searching for the perfect coverage.
Know Your Coverage
Unlike standard auto insurance, an extended warranty cannot help you in the event of a collision. This type of warranty is designed to offset the cost of repairs and breakdowns that result from regular wear and tear on a car. It covers the engine, power steering, navigation, and any electronic systems your vehicle may have. Know that this coverage does not extend to routine maintenance.
Avoid the Common Pitfalls
Not all extended warranties are created equal, and there are some common pitfalls to avoid. When purchasing an extended warranty, ensure that there is no or as little overlap as possible between the original and extended warranties. If you have overlap, you will likely be paying for two services congruently, one of which you cannot use until the former expires.
Another pitfall to beware of is the service stipulations that can accompany third-party warranties. Many companies will only allow service at specific locations or certain times. This can create issues if you travel or move frequently. If this is likely to cause an issue, consider an OEM warranty, as they are much more flexible.
Create a Maintenance Budget
Extended warranties do not cover everything. Usually, the cost of routine maintenance is left to the driver. Be prepared for this. Set aside a budget to handle oil changes, tire rotations, and brake pad replacements. Your warranty will not cover these, and you want to be ready for every eventuality.
Beware of Scammers
You are undoubtedly familiar with the now ubiquitous scam phone calls, where an automated voice asks you about your vehicle’s extended warranty. Unfortunately, scammers have made purchasing an extended warranty a potentially risky endeavor. They may pose as manufacturers, insurance representatives, or car dealers. When purchasing a warranty, do your research online. An established business should have a well-documented track record. If you can find no reputable information, take your business elsewhere, as you are likely dealing with a con artist.
The internet is an excellent resource when it comes to identifying the most reputable extended car warranty companies. Do your own research online. Choose at least three to five companies to get quotes from. Speak to a representative and ask lots of questions. There is no one size fits all coverage, so inquire about your vehicle’s specific needs.
When properly implemented, an extended warranty can be incredibly valuable. It offsets the cost of repairs and can boost your vehicle’s value when it comes time to sell. If you are ready to purchase an extended warranty, consult these tips. Do your homework and be thorough. With some patience and tenacity, you are sure to find the perfect fit for you and your vehicle.