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Are Used Car Dealer Warranties Worth it?

Graham Cook  — January 11, 2019

You’re in the market for a second vehicle for your family. Nothing fancy, just a nice, used car to drive around town for errands and running the kids to practice. You head to the car lot and pick out something that you feel suits your needs. But you notice that your chosen car is being sold as-is, which means no warranty coverage.

It has 80,000 miles on the odometer. While that isn’t a lot and is just approaching “broken in” status for some vehicles, you don’t want to be caught off guard by future issues. You ask the salesperson about it and he quickly tells you not to worry as they offer an extended warranty as part of your purchase. But you start to wonder, are used car dealer warranties worth it?

What is an Extended Car Warranty?

With an extended used car warranty, you’ll be covered in case something breaks after purchase. Peace of mind is absolutely one of the biggest car warranty benefits! Be sure to take a look at the extended service contract fine print for your used car. You want the “big ticket” items to be covered for the most value.

Even though cars are built better and lasting longer than in past years, their systems have become increasingly complex. That means repair costs have become even more expensive than they were in the time of your parents.

Take a look at your used car warranty contract and make sure you’ll be reimbursed for repairs to the electrical system, air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, and other components that are critical to the health of your vehicle. You don’t want to have to worry about trouble with your used car down the road.

Should I Get a Car Warranty?

When asking yourself are used car dealer warranties worth it, you have to keep in mind whether or not you might actually use it in the future. Of course, you don’t have a crystal ball, so you’re going to be taking a bit of a gamble, as you would with any other type of extended warranty coverage.

You should also think about the added cost of an auto warranty. When you buy an extended warranty from the dealership, the cost is usually added to your loan. That means it’s part of your monthly payment. So, keep in mind that even after the warranty expires, might still be making payments on it.

Something else to consider when choosing a car warranty is where the vehicle can be serviced. Some contracts specify a very short list of facilities authorized to perform repairs on your car. This means that if you should experience trouble on a road trip, you might not have coverage in that area.

Read Top Car Warranty Reviews

Research is the name of the game when asking are used car warranties worth it to you. Your best bet is to spend plenty of time looking at in-depth reviews of car warranties to make sure you won’t be left out in the cold while you travel or have an issue with a complex vehicle system.