It seems like every dealership you walk into has a different warranty that covers different parts of the vehicle for different periods of time. In this blog post I’m going to describe the types of warranty that you can receive when purchasing a vehicle and what you should look for.
For starters, if you are purchasing a vehicle from a dealership, do not, and I repeat DO NOT purchase a vehicle with no warranty. This means that the dealer is making no guarantees to you that this vehicle will last. If it breaks down a mile down the road they can tell you too bad. If you are spending your hard earned dollars on transportation, make sure that it comes with some sort of warranty.
Now, warranty implies free. If a dealer tells you it comes with a warranty and then explains how much it costs, this is not a warranty. That is called a service contract and you should look closely at how much it costs and how much it covers. There are service contracts available all over the internet through multiple companies that could possibly cost less or cover more. But this post isn’t about service contracts, it is about warranties, stay on topic! Do not accept an Implied warranty, make sure that anything the dealer is telling you is covered, is clearly written and you have a copy.
There are three components to the warranty. Length of warranty, Parts covered, and amount of cost covered.
Warranty length varies greatly depending on the dealer. A majority of used car dealers only offer a 30 or 60 day warranty. New car dealers on the other hand may offer multiple years, all the way up to a dealer like Hyundai who offers 10 years.
A very important item to look at on the buyer’s guide is what items are covered by this warranty. Some warranties will cover the entire vehicle, some will cover the powertrain, and some will only cover certain components. Powertrain warranties mean that they will cover you for the major components that run the vehicle: the motor, rear, and transmission. A powertrain warranty will not cover you for sensors, brakes, tires, or other components that are not specifically the motor, rear, or transmission. Other warranties will only cover a single item, for example the motor.
The final component to a warranty is how much of the repair the dealer will cover. If it is listed as a full warranty it will cover all of the cost. Limited warranties must specify the percentage or how much of the bill they will cover. Some warranties will have a deductible amount that the purchaser must pay for each item they get fixed.
An important note here is that some of these warranties will require proof that you have maintained the vehicle properly. For example if a company says they’ll warranty your motor, they may make you provide proof that you’ve maintained your proper oil changes. Without this proof they can claim that you caused the problem and not cover the repairs.
In summary, make sure that your vehicle comes with a warranty and that you know what it covers. Unexpected repair bills when you thought they would be covered in your warranty can really hurt your pocket. Good luck!