Extended Car Warranties: Should I Get One?
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Buying a new car from a dealership can be tempting, for sure, but opting for a used one has its perks, too. This is especially true if the vehicle's previous owner has followed regular maintenance intervals, which increases its longevity and reliability and ensures that it functions optimally.
When you buy a used car from Shift, you have the potential to save thousands of dollars yet still drive away in a vehicle that's close to new. You also can select from hundreds of cars across the country before zeroing in on the one you want.
But be it a new or used car, the probability of future repairs looms in the distance. All vehicles endure their fair share of harsh road conditions with time and usage, and as the years go by, and the miles add up, wear and tear on older cars naturally occurs.
The factory warranty on a car, also referred to as the bumper-to-bumper warranty, shields you from expensive repairs for some time, typically three years of 36,000 miles. But what happens when it expires? And if you buy a used car, is there a way to purchase warranty coverage to guard you against unexpected visits to the garage?
An extended warranty offers valuable protection against unforeseen repairs for used cars, along with extra perks to help you in times of need. Let's look at the details of extended warranties and whether or not you should invest in one.
Car warranties explained
Every new vehicle leaves the factory with a manufacturer's warranty, with specific areas covered by unique types.
The manufacturer's bumper-to-bumper limited warranty offers comprehensive coverage against manufacturer's defects or other mechanical issues for the first few years of ownership. Though coverage terms vary among companies, usually, a bumper-to-bumper warranty lasts for around three years or 36,000 miles, or whichever comes first.
The powertrain warranty on a new car covers several vital components, like the engine, transmission, driveline, and transfer case. Usually, a powertrain warranty covers a longer period than a bumper-to-bumper warranty, lasting for around five years or 50,000 miles.
The rust and perforation warranty ensures a vehicle's bodywork stays intact for a set time and varies among manufacturers.
Federal regulations mandate warranty coverage for vehicle emissions systems, including performance and design and defect warranties. Though a standard warranty term covers two years or 24,000 miles, some manufacturers include emissions equipment as a part of their bumper-to-bumper warranty, like Toyota.
Buying a used car is a wise financial decision. But after you decide on the vehicle you want, how can you ensure it keeps running strong year after year? Shift offers best-in-industry extended service contracts to protect you from the unexpected and help your vehicle stand the test of time. And you can buy any of Shift's cars directly online from the comfort of your home, know it has no hidden issues (from our 150-point inspection), and get a fair, up-front price.
What is an extended warranty?
Extended warranties are available in two different scenarios.
First, when a car's factory bumper-to-bumper warranty expires, manufacturers offer extended warranties for purchase, lengthening the coverage term and protecting many of the same components.
Second, drivers can purchase an extended auto warranty from several third-party providers on a used car with mileage below a specific limit, protecting them from unpredictable car repairs.
In either situation, drivers obtain a financial safeguard against future auto repairs for added peace of mind.
What does an extended warranty cover?
Also known as a vehicle service contract, an extended warranty covers costly repairs so you can drive with peace of mind.
Extended warranty plans vary in coverage, starting with basic ones that cover only the powertrain, all the way up to ones with comprehensive bumper-to-bumper protection.
Typically, a deductible applies before extended warranty companies reimburse you for time spent in a repair facility, so knowing the details of your plan ahead of time prepares you for what you'll owe.
Also important to remember is extended warranties, just like new car bumper-to-bumper warranties, don't cover regular wear and tear. Routine maintenance and wear items like oil changes, filter changes, spark plugs, and tires remain the driver's responsibility.
And an extended warranty only applies when a vehicle's driven under normal conditions. In other words, in some cases, taking your supercharged sports car to the track or venturing off-road in your pickup truck can void coverage.
Out on the road, many hazards exist, often unexpected. Events like flat tires or running out of gas can happen without warning, leaving you stranded. But with Shift’s Vehicle Protection Plans, help is just a phone call away 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Coverage is good wherever you live in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada. Shift Vehicle Protection Programs are affordable and convenient and can be added to your monthly payment if desired.
2020 Ford F-150 (from $39,950)
Are extended car warranties worth it?
Though extended car warranty cost varies significantly according to the provider and plan, it provides an important financial safeguard for a used vehicle.
What if you're on a long trip in your used car, and the engine sputters to a stop, leaving you stranded? Not only would an extended warranty help with repair costs, but it could also offer roadside assistance and towing.
Or what if you need a rental car while your vehicle's in the shop so that you can take care of day-to-day to-dos? Certain extended warranties offer just that, reimbursing you for rental car expenses.
But besides either of those situations, an extended warranty gives you peace of mind, letting you drive your used vehicle without worrying about future repairs.
Extended car warranties in summary
Extended car warranties keep drivers financially safeguarded against mechanical breakdown once their original coverage runs out.
As vehicles age, they experience wear and tear, leaving their owners susceptible to repair expenses. But with an extended warranty, used car owners enjoy peace of mind and can focus on simply enjoying the ride instead of worrying about mechanical issues.
When choosing an extended warranty, it's essential to do your homework and research the specific details of each plan. That way, you'll know just what's covered and for how long. You also want to learn which third-party providers have the best reputation, so things go smoothly in the event of a claim.
Shift's vehicle protection plans offer thorough coverage for your car as the miles go by. Not only is your vehicle covered, but you also receive additional perks if you run into trouble on the road. You obtain free assistance for unexpected situations and receive reimbursement for rental car expenses. When you want to keep your car for a long time, a Shift vehicle protection plan helps you go the distance.
2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8 (from $28,500)
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April 15, 2022
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