Protecting Your Investment In A Used Vehicle With Extended Warranties

Extended service contracts provide warranty protection well beyond the time of the initial factory powertrain or basic limited warranties provided by the original vehicle manufacturer. Naturally, you have the opportunity to purchase additional protection at the time of vehicle purchase when you buy a new car. But what about protecting a used car?

The answer depends largely on the age and mileage of the vehicle.

Do you have to purchase an extended warranty the day you buy a new car?

Typically, you can purchase an extended service contract for a new car at any point during the original warranty period. If you have a 48-month, 48,000-mile warranty, you’re usually presented with offers for extended service contracts at any point during that time or mileage.

When is the original warranty start date?

The clock starts running on the warranty not when the vehicle is manufactured, or when it’s delivered to a dealer’s lot. The original warranty doesn’t start until the very first owner takes delivery of the car. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to with cars, but occasionally, motorcycles are still sold as “leftovers” a year, two, or even more from the time that the dealership first took them in as inventory. On those vehicles, the original warranty is still in effect, and starts when the first owner takes delivery.

What about certified preowned vehicles?

 Just about every new vehicle manufacturer also operates some kind of certified preowned program, which certifies that vehicles are in exceptional condition. Those vehicles come with a warranty in addition to that offered when the vehicle was sold to the first owner. Depending on the type of extended warranty, it may be purchased during the certified preowned warranty period.

Can used cars be covered?

Rules vary by company, but usually, you can purchase an extended service contract on used cars that are less than 10 years old with less than 125,000 miles. A participating dealer usually needs to complete a vehicle inspection to ensure that the vehicle is eligible for coverage.

Extended service contracts on used cars can be especially beneficial. Modern vehicles are easily capable of hitting 200,000 and even 300,000 mile-marks with basic care and maintenance, but major expenses can crop up at any time. An extended service contract provides a lot of protection for consumers with average mileage used cars, allowing them the confidence to keep those cars longer.