Should You Buy an Extended Warranty

Accidents are unpredictable and repair costs are costly, especially if you are paying out of pocket. You may have heard the phrase “car warranty” tossed around. An extended warranty, also known as a vehicle service plan, could help cover repair costs after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired, and may save you money in the long run.

Weigh the Pros and Cons

When deciding if a car warranty is right for you, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. The main advantage of buying an extended warranty is that it offers a safeguard against potentially expensive repairs. The reality is that even newer cars could have mechanical problems not too far down the road. If your car ends up needing a major repair or replacement, a warranty could offer you some peace of mind that those fixes are covered.

While it’s important to protect against the unexpected, there are cons to purchasing an extended warranty, including a potentially high price tag or the possibility that not all repairs are covered. In addition, some extended warranties may require an owner to provide proof that recommended guidelines have been followed. Each auto warranty is different in terms of what’s covered and what is required of you as the owner. It’s important that you understand the fine print of the warranty before purchasing it.

With the pros and cons in mind, a great way to make your decision is to research the make and model of your car. This can help you know the risk factor of your vehicle through common issues other owners have had. You can also discover if there were systems or parts of your model that have been recalled and would be costly to repair. Gathering this information will help you decide if your car is high risk and whether the price tag of a car warranty is worth it.

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Understand Any Restrictions

There is not a universal car warranty, therefore it’s important to understand restrictions and requirements of the specific warranty you are researching. A standard warranty will typically cover your vehicle for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Make sure to know the agreed-upon mileage or period of time offered in the warranty, as well as any limitations on eligibility for certain repairs or replacements.

There are personal elements that could also affect your warranty. For example, depending on the climate of your location, a corrosion warranty may or may not be useful. Or, if an extended warranty offers the option of roadside assistance, you may find it redundant if it’s already available to you through another service, like AAA. Overall, purchasing a warranty doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Simply lay out the benefits of coverage for your make and model in your location and then weigh them against the cons of the price and limitations to decide if purchasing a car warranty is right for you.

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