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Choosing Your Car Warranty

By Steve Khzakia

There are a lot of commercials, radio spots and print ads touting the bumper-to-bumper and 100,000-mile warranties of this car, that car and the other one, too. So many of them talk about this that some people might think that’s what all car warranties are like, and that they will get some kind of eternal coverage with no exclusions, no deductibles and no fine print. Perhaps some unscrupulous businesspeople want to deceive people with those kinds of falsehoods, and sell them effectively worthless policies, but they are a distinct and dishonorable minority in an industry that provides an important service to millions of vehicle owners.

When you get to the point where you will be buying a new or used vehicle, one of your considerations will be the manufacturer warranty. There may be warranty miles left on a used car, and a new one might be covered for 100,000 miles, but you still have to do enough research to know if you need to add some additional, extended coverage. This means knowing the repair record of the make and model you want, finding out specific facts about specific cars (with Carfax, for example) and then factoring in your own driving habits, the size and scope of various dealer networks, the weather where you live and other things. There really is quite a bit to think about.

Talking the talk

You will definitely need to familiarize yourself with the terminology and concepts used in car warranties generally, so that you are properly prepared before you sit down with salespersons and finance managers at car lots. In fact, even if you are just buying an extended warranty for your present car from a third-party company, you still need to bone up on the details. Before you can choose a warranty you will have to read a few of them, too, and you should not be reading your very first one under the impatient eye of a salesperson. Take the contracts home if you must, but you will speed the process if you start learning about warranties before shopping around.

There are two main considerations for you, before anything else. You need to know what is covered, and what is not. There is no standard bumper-to-bumper plan without any exclusions or conditions, and some of the more problematic ones (and least popular) have tons of red tape in their claim procedures. You need to know the difference between the various warranty types, just as you need to know the special regulations governing warranties in your home state. There are federal laws about these, too, but you need to know how your state handles matters so that you can be in the driver’s seat, so to speak.

Special attention required

Your goal, of course, is choosing your car warranty in such as way as to fit your budget, your car and your needs, in all the ways that this suggests. Education is the key, and you will need to invest some time and effort to ensure that you make the best choice. Naturally, you have state consumer agencies, the insurance commissioners and the basic fraud laws of your state on your side, so you need to get familiar with those things, too. Another thing you will want to do is to use your growing knowledge base to thin down the list of potential warranty providers (and/or cars whose manufacturer warranties you like) before you start driving around to shop for the car and/or the policy, or both at once. Remember, there is no law that requires you to buy your extended warranty from a dealer, and if the dealership employees realize that you are an informed consumer (especially one with other places to go if they do not do right by you), your bargaining stance is definitely strengthened.

Bottom line

What you do before, during and after you buy an extended warranty, or a car with a new or used warranty, is also very important. If you keep your vehicle properly maintained you will avoid many costly repairs. In fact, some very simple things (oil changes, correct tire pressure, clean filters, the right octane rating on the gas) loom large in the health of your vehicle. Make sure you know what the warranty requires of you, as there are typically expectations written into the coverage that deal with scheduled maintenance, wear and tear (which you may or not be covered for) and other vehicle usage.

Take this cautious, even studious, approach to car warranties, and you have a much better chance of choosing your car warranty in such a way as to provide your car the coverage it needs, and give you the peace of mind a dependable vehicle provides. That’s a win-win purchase that most people would love to make!

Endurance has been helping car owners save money and gain peace of mind for almost twenty years. You won’t find a more affordable or more comprehensive group of extended car warranty plans anywhere. Nor will you find more knowledgeable or friendly staff to help you find the warranty for you. Visit online today.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Khzakia, Steve "Choosing Your Car Warranty." Choosing Your Car Warranty. 12 Jul. 2010. 22 Feb 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Khzakia, S (2010, July 12). Choosing Your Car Warranty. Retrieved February 22, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Khzakia, Steve "Choosing Your Car Warranty"

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