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November 23, 2017

Understand the Used Car Warranty Before Making a Purchase

Understand the Used Car WarrantyBuying a used car can be a stressful and time-consuming process. Between researching your various options, establishing a firm budget, inspecting several vehicles, and deciding on a fair price with the seller, the entire process can feel overwhelming. One of the most confusing parts can be deciding if you need to go with a warranty for a used car. There are several things to consider when making the choice to purchase a warranty, including the following:

Figure Out What Kind of Warranty the Dealer Is Offering

Not all used car warranties are the same. There are at least four different kinds, and each covers different problems and lasts a different amount of time. A bumper-to-bumper warranty is similar to a new car warranty in that it covers almost all of the major components of your vehicle, including your air conditioning and your stereo. A powertrain warranty will cover your engine, transmission, and drive axle, and a vehicle service contract (aka an “extended warranty”) covers only the items it specifically lists. A roadside assistance warranty will cover you whenever you have a mishap on the road (flat tire, locked door, towing, etc.). None of these usually cover routine maintenance problems.

Read the Fine Print Carefully

Before agreeing to any kind of warranty, make sure that you’ve gone over the paperwork thoroughly. Most warranties have specific coverage periods, fees, and other hidden stipulations. Peruse every part of the agreement thoroughly so you can gain a comprehensive understanding of the warranty and everything you’re getting from it. Don’t just rely on the warranty provider or dealer to inform you of all the small details.

Understand What an Extended Warranty Is and If You Need It

Usually, your used car will come with a warranty that covers the first few months of ownership. However, some dealers will offer you an extended warranty. If you’re concerned that your used car will break down after the first few months and you want to be covered by a warranty, then it might be worth your money. However, most experts advise staying away from extended warranties when you can. If you’re buying a well-reviewed, reliable used car, you probably won’t ever need it.

Negotiate the Terms of the Contract

After reading over the warranty and learning all of the details, decide which terms work well for you and which don’t. Warranties usually aren’t set in stone, so if you push for a better price or different terms, you might be surprised by the results. Also, compare warranties from several dealers so you can fully understand what all of your pricing options are.

Figure Out What the Warranty Doesn’t Cover

Most warranties from used car dealerships don’t cover brake linings, tires, wiper blades, light bulbs, floor coverings, spark plugs, batteries, and some other parts. There are some exceptions depending on where you look, but do your homework and figure out exactly what your warranty will cover so you aren’t surprised later on down the road.

Learn What You Will Be Responsible For

With many warranties, you will be expected to uphold certain standards in order to keep the contract valid. This may include conducting regular maintenance checks that you wouldn’t normally do, so pay attention and don’t get caught off guard. The warranty might also make you take your vehicle to a specific dealer or auto shop for any maintenance, so you won’t be able to choose another place without jeopardizing the warranty. You’ll also have to keep extensive records of the maintenance you perform on the vehicle.

Compare As Many Warranty Options As Possible

Although the dealer you purchase your used car from might make it sound like they are the only ones who can provide you with a warranty, you can actually purchase an extended warranty at other places. Do your research to see if you can save a little money by turning to another source. You also don’t have to purchase the warranty immediately after you buy a used car, so take your time and select the best one for your needs. Not sure where to start looking for the best warranty deals? Look at plenty of dealers, insurance companies, and credit unions.

Be Suspicious If Something Seems Weird

It’s not uncommon for used car shoppers to receive warranty offers in the mail or from callers, but don’t fall prey to any of these tricks. Keep your guard up and only speak to professionals who are offering you legitimate contracts. How can you tell if something’s fishy? Watch for phrases like “final warranty notice” or requests for lots of personal information. Those are huge red flags and probably indicate that the solicitor is trying to scam you.

Don’t Sign Anything If It Doesn’t Seem 100 Percent Clear

If you are confused about any aspect of the used car warranty, don’t agree to it. You need to understand exactly what kind of warranty you’re being offered, what’s covered, what the exact price is, and what all of the clauses mean before you make any binding decisions.

When searching for a used vehicle from a dealer, consider turning to a company like PAACO. They can help you find the perfect pre-owned car for your budget and needs. Plus, all of their vehicles undergo a thorough inspection, so you can be sure that your used car will be extremely reliable. Ready to start searching for your ideal vehicle? Call 877-810-4555 or visit today to learn more!

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