Do You Really Need an Extended Car Warranty?

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It’s almost a rite of passage: in the moment of excitement when buying that sparkling new you have been dreaming about for ages is when the sales rep will ask whether you’re interested in an extended car warranty package.

What do
you say? They sound like a very good idea; for just a little extra
cash, maybe paid in small monthly instalments, you get added coverage
to protect your wallet from the cost of any unexpected problems or
malfunctions with your new ride.

For
some, it’s a no-brainer. These are the people who have probably
decided to buy the car knowing they have an interest in
coverage. They have not been waiting to complete the sale
before asking for information about extended warranties to consider.
They have therefore had more time to read about and understand fully
what an extended warranty involves and what it covers.

For just a few dollars more they know they can rest assured that they will be able to enjoy an increased amount of worry-free driving over an extended period of time. This sort of car buyer is pre-programmed to set up a budget with an extended-warranty in mind.

Of
course, for others – especially those on a tight budget – it may
simply be a stretch too far. But there’s always a third group in
the middle ground who are torn about the opportunity and still have
some thinking to do.

If you
are one of these, there are a few things to bear in mind. So, when
the sales rep presents you with the opportunity to add some extended
warranty coverage, ask him or her if you can take the information
home to read and understand it completely before making your
decision.

There’s
a good reason for this: there is not an extended warranty package
that doesn’t come with pages of fine print and lots of conditions
which you need to be aware of before you can truly make an informed
decision.

Don’t
make an impulse decision at the salesperson’s desk. It’s highly
recommended that you spend at least an hour, with no distractions,
going through the documentation relating to the extended warranty.
If your salesperson pushes too hard to make the decision immediately,
the best advice is to find another dealer.

A
myriad of reasons cause car buyers to opt for extended warranties. A
few of these have very little to do with any idea that a claim may
well be made at some point in the future. Some people just like to
play safe, give themselves some extra peace of mind, and/or enjoy
being protected. For these folks an extended warranty may sound like
a good idea – even if they know they are unlikely to ever need its
protective qualities.

Peace
of mind is what extended warranties are built on, and some car buyers
are more than willing to pay for the privilege.

If you
are still unconvinced, research may change your mind. The auto
publications are full of reviews highlighting common issues for
specific vehicles, particularly if they have been used. There are
numerous tips for car buyers, with suggested checks they are advised
to make before they hand over any cash, and often model-specific
advice. This may give you a good idea of which models are likely to
benefit from taking out some extended warranty coverage.

What is certain in the world of vehicles is they are machines that are made out of components which will eventually break, wear down, and need to be replaced or repaired. However, there is no warranty that covers every part of a vehicle, and extended warranties are certainly not created equal.

Some
things to consider about extended warranty coverage:

  • Does it require
    you to pay up front for repairs and then claim the money back?
  • Does the package
    have a deductible that means you may have to pay the first few
    hundred dollars of any repair job?
  • Does the policy
    cover only include used or second-hand replacement parts not
    brand-new ones?
  • Does it allow you
    to make a warranty claim for the same part a second time?
  • What’s not
    covered? Some warranties don’t cover any vehicles that have been
    even slightly modified from factory specifications.

Be aware that an extended warranty that covers consumables like brakes, tires, or clutches is super rare. Also, with the majority of add-on warranty packages and some factory warranties too, the onus is on the owner to keep the vehicle maintained meticulously.

The
gist of the matter is that what it costs to take out an extended
warranty can be money well spent. But good and proper, regular and
timely inspections and maintenance can help reduce your ongoing
costs, and extend the life of your vehicle too.



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