You've done your research, completed your test drives, and agreed on a price for your next used car. It's a big purchase for anyone, and as a smart shopper, you want to protect your investment. Most everyone is familiar with new car warranties, but did you know that you can also purchase warranties on used cars — even those with high mileage?
CarSmart of Farmington and other dealers offer used car warranties in connection with the sale of their vehicles. You can also purchase warranties on used cars from third-party companies. Used car warranties come in different varieties, so it's important to understand the terms of what you are buying. Ask lots of questions to understand the benefits of used car warranties.
What Does a Used Car Warranty Cover?
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In general, a used car warranty covers some of the costs of repairs because of mechanical breakdowns. As specifically defined by the Federal Trade Commission, used car warranties represent "a contract to fix specific defects or malfunctions for a specific amount of time after you buy a car."
Some warranties may go further than engine and transmission to cover problems with other types of systems. Exactly what is covered, and for how long, depends on several factors, including the age of the car. Coverage may vary significantly from warranty to warranty, as well. The older the car, the less coverage you will probably have on your used car warranty.
Dealers may also offer you the opportunity to buy an auto service contract, which, as the name suggests, provides payment under certain qualifying circumstances for repairs or other types of auto service. These can sometimes also be referred to as extended warranties, according to the FTC.
Extended warranties are separate from the protections of a manufacturer's new car warranty, which may still be in effect when you purchase a car. For example, say you buy a car that is three years old with 40,000 miles that were covered by an original five-year, 100,000-mile manufacturer's warranty. When you assume ownership, you will have the original manufacturer's warranty in place for another two years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.
What are the Benefits of Used Car Warranties?
Used car warranties offer peace of mind. They provide you a sense of security in knowing that if something goes wrong with your used car, it may be covered under the extended warranty and therefore may save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in repair costs. For some people, worry-free driving is worth the extra cost of the warranty.
Used car warranties may be particularly useful if you find yourself with a great deal on a car that may not have a sterling record for reliability. Consider used car warranties as a type of insurance. It's there if you need it, but ultimately you hope never to have to use it.
What Do Used Car Warranties Cover?
Each warranty may be a little different, so read the fine print. As a general statement, most used car warranties provide coverage for necessary repairs in the major mechanical systems, which include the engine and the transmission. Used car warranty coverages fall into one of two coverage categories:
- Bumper-to-bumper, which refers to covered repairs on systems, such as steering, air-conditioning, and heating; electrical systems, such as lights and windshield wipers; and safety features, such as airbags and seatbelts.
- Powertrain, which covers problems with the engine and transmission, and items, perhaps, such as seals, gaskets, axles, or driveshafts.
In both instances, the used car warranty may also specify items that are excluded from coverage. So, make sure to study the terms of the contract closely. You do not want to face any surprises should something go wrong with your car.
Used car warranties typically do not cover damage from standard wear and tear, nor can you use the warranties for common forms of preventive maintenance, such as oil changes or tire rotations. Used car warranties also do not cover damage from accidents or interior problems, such as tears in seat coverings. Still, having coverage for untimely breakdowns can make a big difference in affordability for many buyers.
How Much Do Used Car Warranties Cost?
The cost of a used car warranty varies. Many warranties structure their coverages into tiered plans, allowing you to buy standard or premium coverages. If you purchase the extended warranty from the dealer, it may be possible to negotiate a lower price. According to CreditKarma.com, the initial upfront cost for the warranty can be as much as $3,000 or up. You may also be able to include the cost of the warranty in your auto loan, though that might generate some extra interest costs.
It is likely your extended used car warranty will also require you to share the cost of repairs through the use of deductibles. A deductible is an amount you must pay out of pocket before the warranty coverages engage. Deductibles may vary depending on the warranty.
Find the Right Used Car at CarSmart of Farmington
The sales and finance teams at CarSmart of Farmington can help you decide if an extended used car warranty is right for you. We'll break down the options, show you the cost, and work with you to find a price that fits well with your monthly budget.
CarSmart serves Farmington, Jackson, and surrounding areas in Missouri with one of the area's largest selections of used cars. We maintain an inventory that covers all platforms, from sedans and coupes, to hybrids and crossovers, to vans and trucks. Our inventory includes cars from all the major manufacturers. We also offer many vehicles for sale under $15,000.
CarSmart is focused on customer service, whether you visit us in person or online. Our online experience offers a range of do-it-yourself services, such as getting an initial valuation of your trade-in. You can start the car-buying process by applying for pre-approval from the comfort of your home.
Call us or reach out online, or better yet, drop by one of our showrooms to discuss your options.