Deciding to purchase a used vehicle is a great economical decision. However, the purchase price of any new or used car is not the true all-in price you will end up paying on that vehicle. Your down payment, monthly payment, and any additional fees are potentially just the tip of the iceberg for what you’ll have to pay if your used car has no coverage whatsoever.
What is a Car Warranty?
For anybody confused by the term, a car warranty is a vehicle service contract in which a manufacturer or a third party agrees to fix components on a vehicle that may have been faulty when manufactured or damaged from an accident. Typically, a car warranty will come as one of two types: powertrain or bumper-to-bumper. The latter will usually cover parts related to vehicle propulsion, whereas the others will cover nearly everything.
This differs from car insurance in that insurance will not cover repairs that result from a manufacturing defect, only repairs needed due to an accident, natural disaster, or another covered event.
Do Used Vehicles Come with a Car Warranty?
When you purchase a used vehicle, you are purchasing a vehicle that has already been driven and may have a significant number of miles or wear and tear. If this is the case, the vehicle is more prone to potential manufacturing issues or repairs than a new vehicle. However, many used cars do not come with any type of warranty. In fact, many states, such as California, have no laws requiring dealerships to offer coverage for used vehicles.
It’s possible that if your used car is still relatively new, the manufacturer’s warranty may actually still be active on the vehicle. If a dealership tells you that you are buying a car “as is, ” the vehicle does not come with a warranty.
How a Car Warranty Can Help
On the surface, it may not seem like a car warranty would be helpful to add to your used car if it doesn’t already have a warranty. The best way to see the benefits of a car warranty is to look at some of the common costs associated with repairs. As vehicles age, the repairs that they will need at some point are less likely to be small maintenance tasks such as oil or filter changes. Here are some of the average repair costs linked to common repairs:
- The average transmission replacement will cost somewhere between $5,098 and $5,297
- The average radiator replacement will cost somewhere between $1,010 and $1,162
- The average wheel replacement will cost somewhere between $755 and $766
While these repairs may seem like they’ll never happen to your used car, they represent the upper end of what you may have to pay out of pocket. Even if these repairs never happen to you, average yearly maintenance costs for vehicles are in the hundreds of dollars. As a vehicle ages, that cost will only rise and become heavier on your wallet.
Adding a third-party warranty when your factory warranty coverage expires can help ensure that many serious repairs are covered. In the long run, this will save you both time and money while reducing the total all-in cost of your vehicle.
Keep Your Used Vehicle Protected
While it is completely possible that you may never get into an accident with your used vehicle or you may never suffer from a serious breakdown, the mere possibility that you could is enough reason to stay protected. High average repair costs can eat away at your budget when they need to be paid out of pocket. Additionally, older used cars may be more prone to issues than cars that just came off the lot. Adding the right car warranty coverage for your used vehicle can save time and money. Read through our comprehensive review of the top extended car warranty companies to determine who can offer the protection you need.