Understanding Used Car Warranties

Buying a used car is the right choice for many, but warranties on used vehicles can be confusing. Unlike new cars, used cars usually don’t have as long of a protection period for things that might go wrong. Here’s what you need to know about the warranty on the used car you’re looking to purchase and how to best protect yourself and your investment.

Used Car Warranty Vs. New Car Warranty

The warranty you get for your used car depends on how old it is. If you’re buying a vehicle that’s only a year or two old, you may still have some of the original warranty left depending on your date of purchase, and you might be presented with the option to buy an extended warranty.

However, vehicles that are past the point of coverage under the original manufacturer’s warranty might have a different, not as extensive warranty placed on it by the manufacturer or the dealer. In most cases, you won’t get as many repairs covered under this warranty because your car is getting closer to the point of needing routine repairs, maintenance, and updates.

Understanding the Warranties on Used Cars

The possibility of warranty coverage soon running out for your vehicle doesn’t mean you should skip buying a used car! Used vehicles have plenty of cost benefits for the average consumer. If you’re sold on buying a used vehicle, here’s what you need to know about its warranty:

Check all the details before buying.

Any legitimate dealership will go over your vehicle’s warranty information with you before you purchase to make sure you understand what you’re getting and what your options are. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; your dealership is there to help you!

You should also ask for a copy of the Buyers Guide for the vehicle, which you’ll usually find on its window. This guide indicates what type of warranty the vehicle will have or whether it’s being sold without a warranty, or “as-is.” The dealership is required to abide by the warranty information outlined in the Buyers Guide.

If you do buy a vehicle with warranty coverage, be sure to get documentation about it during the purchase process. You should also make a quick call to the manufacturer if your vehicle has original manufacturer warranty coverage left on it just to verify the details.

It’s important to note that you’ll only see the Buyers Guide at dealerships. Private sellers are not required to furnish this information, so you’ll need to ask upfront about the warranty and look over documentation proof.

Considering an extended warranty? Here’s what you need to know.

Extended warranties are a hotly debated item. Some experts think they’re must-haves for used car owners while others suggest saving your money and tucking it away for inevitable repairs. Whether purchasing an extended warranty is right for you really depends on your vehicle and how much money you’re able to save for your vehicle’s maintenance and repairs.

You can buy an extended warranty backed by the vehicle’s manufacturer or from the dealership. It’s usually best to purchase it from the manufacturer because it keeps your warranty valid at any dealership, rather than just the one that sold it, and it may cover more extensive repairs and maintenance.

If your vehicle is one that’s known for its long-term reliability and you don’t foresee major problems within the next few years, you may not need to spend money on extending a warranty. Or, if you expect to be able to set aside money each month for future auto repairs and maintenance, then an extended warranty probably isn’t necessary.

Instead, you might consider a service contract, an agreement between you and the dealership that outlines specific repair and maintenance costs for your vehicle. The contract can help you save some money on upcoming work your vehicle may need but are usually more affordable than extended warranties.

Ask for deals from the dealership.

Auto dealerships that focus on selling used cars want to see you get into a vehicle that works for you and won’t cause you headaches. The dealership might offer you promotional warranty coverage for a few months to help you feel more confident in your purchase. These promotions might include something like a free three-month powertrain warranty if your vehicle is outside of its manufacturer’s warranty timeframe.

It never hurts to ask if there’s anything the dealership can do to help you out with your purchase and give you some peace of mind that you’re making the right decision with your vehicle.

Are you ready to purchase a used vehicle you can count on? Check out our online inventory at Car-N-Credit or stop in to see us today. We’ll go over the warranty options for the vehicles you’re interested in to get you into a car you can feel confident about.

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