One of the more significant purchases anyone can make in their lifetime is buying a car. With such a large investment at stake, you want to protect it as much as you can. New vehicles often come with factory warranties from the auto dealership, but this is only offered for a certain period of ownership or until you reach a specified mileage threshold.
If your car is nearing the end of its factory warranty or if you’re buying one that’s a few years old, getting extra protection from your vehicle’s manufacturer may be an excellent option to consider. But you don’t want to choose the wrong warranty and end up with additional costs. So here’s your ultimate shopping guide for picking the best extended car warranty that suits your needs:
There are generally three types of extended car warranties:
- A manufacturer’s extended car warranty (which you can buy when your vehicle is brand new or before the original warranty expires).
- A used car warranty (which a car supermarket or franchised car dealership supplies).
- An extended car warranty that you can purchase from a third party or independent provider.
All extended car warranties must clearly define which items are covered and not. If the inclusions and exclusions are confusing or the contract’s terms and conditions aren’t readily accessible, steer clear of that product.
Regardless of the type of warranty you choose, you must first consider that it will protect against unexpected mechanical failure of your car’s important parts and systems. These include the engine, steering, suspension, electrics, and gearbox. Most companies cover items that stop working after normal wear and tear. But it’s the expensive major components of your vehicle that you have to worry about first.
Membership Plans and Warranty Cost
Many companies that sell extended car warranties offer a wide selection of payment plans for their members. This can last from several months to a few years with varying coverage.
There are two basic coverage plans: exclusionary and named component plans. An exclusionary warranty plan covers many car components, even the smaller ones. It often includes all mechanical as well as electrical repairs and many other extra components.
Although this plan is exclusive and more expensive, it offers better coverage. The named component warranty plan also provides coverage for both of your car’s mechanical and electrical systems. With this type of plan, though, you get to decide which parts you want to include in your costs and which ones are out of your needs.
Regardless of which basic plan you choose, make sure the warranty you choose includes 24/7 nationwide roadside assistance and a selection of repair service options.
You also need to examine the warranty cost when shopping for an extended car warranty. The age of your vehicle, its mileage, and how frequently you drive will contribute to the cost, among other factors. Since these are different for every car owner, it would be highly advisable to choose a policy that can be customized to fit your budget and needs.
When looking for the right extended car warranty, ensure that a given company has a good reputation. Next, turn online to check their customer satisfaction ratings and reviews, like CarShield reviews. Then, choose a provider that has the proper tools for insuring your car. These include a tracking system as well as an in-house claims representative, among others.
Another way to determine that they’re reliable is if they’ve never had any claims against them. They shouldn’t have filed any frivolous lawsuits against their customers, either.
Also, find out whether or not your prospective company is financially stable. See if they’re publicly listed and have been audited by a trusted firm. It would also help to determine whether they have any outstanding bank loans.
You don’t want to buy an extended car warranty from a potentially untrustworthy provider. So, check whether your prospective company is certified by the Vehicle Protection Association (VPA). Many reputable providers don’t have VPA certification, but those who do always supply their clients with a high level of commitment and integrity.
When it comes to buying an extended car warranty, there are countless options out there. Checking reviews can help you narrow down your choices. Then you can compare them with other providers to decide on the right plan for you.