Everything You Should Know About Used Car Warranties

Peace of Mind: Everything You Should Know About Used Car Warranties

February 2, 2024


Americans purchased more than 38 million used vehicles last year based on reports from the automotive industry. Buying used vehicles as opposed to new ones offers an array of advantages. These cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs are less expensive than new ones. Their insurance, registration, and license plates are often less costly as well. In some cases, people with past credit issues are more likely to be able to get financing for used vehicles too. 

The Potential Downside of Buying Used Vehicles

Choosing a used vehicle over a new one gives buyers several benefits. It comes with a few drawbacks as well, though. One of the most significant is the cost of upkeep. Since they already have wear and tear on them, used vehicles are more likely to need repairs and parts replacements. That can add up to major expenses over time. If those requirements become too costly, they may offset the savings of buying a used vehicle. 

Extra Protection for Repair Costs

Although there are risks involved in buying used vehicles, it’s possible to mitigate them. For one, purchasing from a trusted Used car dealership utah can offer a certain amount of reassurance. When you work with a dealership that has built a reputation for quality and honesty, you don’t have to worry quite so much about getting a lemon. 

Everything You Should Know About Used Car Warranties

Everything You Should Know About Used Car Warranties

Purchasing a used car warranty can also give you added peace of mind. Extended warranties offer a certain amount of protection against unexpected repair costs. That being said, different types of warranties are available, each one with its own level of coverage. It’s important to understand each of these warranty types and what they entail before committing to one of them. 

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranties

Bumper-to-bumper warranties offer the most comprehensive coverage for used vehicles. As the name indicates, they cover most of the important components and systems of a vehicle from front to back with only a few exclusions. They can cover the powertrain, electrical components, air conditioner, heater, and suspension among other parts. Since they offer more coverage, they may be more costly than other types of warranties. Still, if a major part or system needs repairs or replacements, that coverage may essentially pay for itself. 

Powertrain Warranties

Powertrain warranties cover most of the parts that make a car go. That includes the engine and transmission. For four-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles, transfer cases and carrier assemblies may also be included. Many used vehicle buyers choose these warranties. After all, components of the powertrain are among the most important parts of a vehicle, and they tend to be the most expensive to repair and replace. Powertrain warranties generally last longer than other types of coverage.

Inclusionary Warranties

Inclusionary warranties, also known as stated component warranties, provide fairly limited coverage. They’re basically a compromise for used vehicle owners who don’t want to pay for full bumper-to-bumper coverage but prefer to cover more than just the powertrain. Different levels of coverage are available with these warranties, so they give you more freedom to choose how much coverage you want and how much it’ll cost you. 

Everything You Should Know About Used Car Warranties

Certified Pre-Owned Warranties

People who buy used vehicles find certified pre-owned warranties particularly attractive and with good reason. Vehicles are only eligible for this type of coverage if they meet their manufacturers’ stringent quality and reliability criteria. They’re put through extensive inspections to ensure they’re in good condition before being granted certified pre-owned status. These plans offer more coverage than powertrain warranties but not quite as much as bumper-to-bumper warranties. When a used vehicle is backed by its manufacturer, it gives owners extra peace of mind even if the coverage doesn’t include all parts and systems. 

Manufacturer’s Warranty Transfer

In some cases, a used vehicle may still be at least partially covered by its original manufacturer’s warranty. If so, that coverage may be passed along to the next buyer. Transferable coverage is often limited, and the manufacturer’s warranty may not remain in effect for very long. It depends on the terms and conditions of the original warranty and other factors. Still, a manufacturer’s warranty transfer can offer a certain amount of reassurance. 

Aftermarket Warranties

Whereas the previously mentioned warranties come from vehicle manufacturers or dealerships, used vehicle owners purchase aftermarket warranties from third-party providers. These coverage plans can offer protection after other warranties run out. Several levels of coverage are available with these warranties, and they come in a variety of price ranges. As you might imagine, the more coverage you purchase, the more it’ll cost. These warranties have restrictions on the vehicles they cover. Those beyond a specific age or that have too much mileage on them aren’t eligible for coverage. 

Everything You Should Know About Used Car Warranties

Choosing the Right Warranty Plan for Your Used Vehicle

Purchasing an extended warranty for a used vehicle isn’t mandatory. It’s definitely recommended, though. Even if you buy a used vehicle from a trusted dealership, there’s always a chance something could go wrong with it. If that happens, repairs could take a major toll on your budget without extra coverage in place. 

When deciding which type of warranty to purchase, several factors enter the mix. Those include the age of your used vehicle, how many miles it has on it, that particular vehicle’s reputation, and how much you can afford to spend for added coverage. If you have access to the vehicle’s service history, that’ll also come into play. Think about whether it’s a temporary mode of transportation or you plan to keep it for as long as possible as well. Covering at least the powertrain is advised, but any type of added protection can help mitigate the cost of ownership and upkeep. 

Protecting Your Used Vehicle and Your Budget

Several types of extended warranties are available, each with its own level of coverage and price range. Be sure you understand what each type of warranty offers to avoid unpleasant surprises. Keep in mind that not all warranties in the same category offer the same amount of coverage. Consider how much you can spend on extra coverage versus how much it might cost if something goes wrong with your used vehicle when deciding whether to purchase added protection. Factor in the benefits and coverage levels of each type of warranty as well to help you decide which option is right for you. 

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