Used Car Warranty: Yay or Nay?

Possibly not the most interesting topic to discuss when buying a car. However, it is an important one. A decision that could save you thousands of dollars in car repair bills. The simple answer is well, yay. Used car warranties are helpful and provide a sense of security in the face of a mechanical problem.

For a more detailed answer, continue reading as we take a look at the reasons why an extended warranty may be a good choice for you or not. It really does come down to what your current situation is and the intended use of the car.

What is a used car warranty?

A used car warranty is a vehicle service contact and rather similar to a manufacturer warranty. It is a kind of mechanical vehicle protection that gives you the peace of mind that repairs are covered. These used car warranties are not in fact warranties but rather vehicle service contracts that offer greater mechanical breakdown coverage options on your car.

What is covered under a used car warranty?

A car warranty is a coverage that specifically looks at mechanical components and in some cases electronics of the vehicle. Used car warranties or extended car warranties are most often sold in two variations. These are the Powertrain and Bumper-to-Bumper warranty plans. Both cover key components of your car that ensure your car remains powered and functional.

Powertrain Warranty

Powertrain warranties covered the components that make up the drivetrain of your car as well as the power source. The drivetrain is made up of the front and back axle, driveshaft,  transmission, CV joint, U joint, and differentials. The power source is typically the engine of the vehicle. Though there are more vehicles moving over to electric power or a hybridization of the two. Overall most warranty providers will cover the following parts under a powertrain warranty:

  • Engine (power source)
  • Transmission
  • Transfer case
  • Driveshafts
  • Axles
  • Differentials
  • Drive box
  • CV Joint
  • U Joint

Some providers give enhanced warranty plans for powertrain warranties that may have extra benefits and parts included. Offering a somewhat “medium” coverage for your car.

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty

If you are in the market for a warranty that offers complete coverage then this will likely be the option for you. As the name suggests, most components between your front and rear bumpers will be covered under a Bumper-to-Bumper plan. Your drivetrain, power source, steering components, AC, safety features, tech systems, electrical parts, and in some cases certain emissions elements are all covered under a bumper-to-bumper warranty. Sometimes these types of warranties are also referred to as exclusionary plans as they exclude very few items in general. In fact here is a list of what is NOT covered by bumper-to-bumper warranty plans:

  • Windshield
  • Wiper Blades
  • Brake Pads
  • Tires
  • Body Panels
  • Interior Trims
  • Turn Signals
  • Brake Lights
  • Paint
  • Regular Maintenance
  • Accidental Damage

Many of the policies also include added benefits such as towing services, gas delivery, roadside assistance, and tire changing services. Greatly beneficial if you travel frequently by car.

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Is a used car warranty worth it?

Considering the general attitude towards warranties, it may surprise you that used car warranties are helpful. Many of us do not have the capacity or resources to pay for a $500 or $1,000 dollar repair bill out of pocket. Keeping that kind of money aside just in case a mechanical repair is needed is not always that simple. 

Many of us have trouble managing one savings pocket as it is, establishing multiple savings avenues and pockets can be daunting and sometimes require skills/time that is not necessarily easy to come by. So here are a few good reasons why a used car warranty is worth it:

  • Repairs on critical parts are covered
  • If you travel frequently by car
  • If you are buying a used car outside of warranty
  • Option of roadside assistance
  • Being prepared for inevitable mechanical problems
  • Vehicle purchase for your child or other loved one
  • Your own vehicle is about to go out of warranty

Though paying towards this may seem a bit empty there is great purpose in it. Knowing you have protection when you need it takes the stress out of your life. Cars will have some or other issues along the way, so keep your car protected with a used car warranty.

A used car warranty is designed to alleviate the stress of having the repair bills occurring under unforeseen circumstances. Taking into account that mechanical issues do tend to happen in an unpredictable way it may be beneficial to shop around for an extended car warranty that will suit your needs.

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