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Should You Extend Your Warranty?

Updated on September 9, 2014

Introduction

It's been three years since you bought your car.  Now your warranty is up.  Should you extend your warranty?  The answer depends on whether you want to overpay when it comes time to fix your car.  Cars have become rather complicated lately and the cost to fix them has increased with this complexity.

Why Not Fix it Yourself?

It used to be we could just learn about a car's engine and fix it ourselves. But with all the computerized components that make up a car today, it is becoming increasing difficult to take the do-it-yourself route. Most people just don't have the right equipment to pull that off. The only logical choice is to take it into the dealer or to a mechanic. Both options are expensive.

An Extended Warranty Could Help Reduce Costs

So how does one exactly go about extending one's warranty? It's actually very simple to do. An extended warranty is essentially an insurance policy in which the underwriting company holds some of the money you pay for as part of the service, and buys a policy that protects you should your car need parts or repairs. Not all policies are the same so it is crucial that you read over everything that is covered. You should not base the decision solely on cost along because of that very inequality in service.

Choose the Mechanic That's Right For You

Another consideration is to make sure the company your are extending your warranty with allows you to use a mechanic of your choice.  What good is sending your car off to some unknown mechanic that you have no good idea about the quality of the service or whether they are even qualified to perform the necessary repairs.

Do They Offer Low or 0% Financing?

To save even more money, try to choose a provider that will finance at a low or even 0% interest rate. They do exist and this can be a big savings. This should not be the deciding factor but the more you can save the better your situation will be.

Is It Transferrable?

Providers will often allow you to transfer your warranty in the event that you decide to sell your vehicle.  This can be helpful in the sale of the vehicle as it could be included as a feature of the sale.  People are often wary of buying used cars so throwing in an extended warranty as part of the deal can make the buyer feel more at ease with the purchase.

Why Not Hit the Dealer Up for an Extended Warranty?

Some people elect to extend their warranties with the dealer that they bought the car from.  The problem with this is you will likely pay 50% more for the plan and may not get as much coverage as a plan from a reputable company who is in the extended warranty business.  It can't hurt to talk to the dealer.  Just make sure you ask a lot of questions and by all means, get everything that they are offering in writing.

Does the Company Have a Phone Number In Case You Have Questions?

No matter how you decide to extend your warranty, make sure you can contact the provider in case you have any questions.  You want to know exactly what you are paying for and exactly what is going to be covered.  Ask if there are any deductibles and see if they offer plans that don't have a deductible.

Conclusion

With the average bill for repairs running around $250 to $500 extending a warranty for the average automobile can be a wise decision. The costs or repairs for luxury cars can be even great. Having a policy that fits your criteria and budget is a sure way to make sure that you don't overpay on repairs for your vehicle. The cost of the warranty is often very low especially when comparing it to the cost of the repairs.

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