Should You Purchase an Extended Warranty for a Used Car?

Extended warranties go by a lot of different names, but chances are, if you’re looking for a used car, you’ve seen these. When shopping for a used car, you do a lot of research to make sure you’re getting a good deal, and part of that decision is to decide whether or not you need additional protection.

There are some situations in which having an extended warranty might be beneficial and others when you should probably pass.

Look at the Warranty

In many cases, purchasing an extended warranty will cost more than repairing anything that goes wrong. Companies that sell warranties are in the business of making money, and they’ve done their research to ensure that they make more from you than they pay out in repairs over the life of the warranty.  However, there are some exceptions, and in these cases, it’s a good idea to purchase the warranty, just in case.

Unreliable Cars

If in the process of researching your used car you find that the car you really wanted turned out to be unreliable in many cases, you might want to purchase the extended warranty. You can look at forums, get opinions from mechanics, read J.D. Power ratings, and talk to others who drive that car to find out more about it.

If it turns out that it doesn’t have a great reliability record, get a warranty that is very clear about its exclusions and which is not cost prohibitive to your budget. While the car may historically have had problems, there’s no guarantee you’ll run into these problems, and you don’t want to pay for something that may never happen.

Buying From an Unreliable Dealer

If you purchase your used car from a dealer that you don’t know anything about, or you find yourself questioning the inspection they say that they conducted on the car, you may want to purchase a warranty to cover yourself against anything that the dealer may have missed.

When you find the car that you want, you may decide to buy it, no matter where it is, meaning that you take your chances on something that has virtually no reliable history. We’ve all been there, and if your desire for the car outweighs your desire to do research on the dealer, you need a warranty.

A Manufacturer’s Warranty

If the car you choose is still covered under a manufacturer’s warranty, it’s pretty clear you should walk away from anything the used dealer is offering. You have plenty of time to buy an extended warranty after the factory warranty expires, and there’s no need for double coverage.

Reliable Cars

If you’ve done your research and you know for a fact that the car is reliable, think twice before committing to a warranty that you are not likely to need. If you’ve obtained a history on the car from a reputable used car dealer and you have done your research and know that the make and model rarely has issues, an extended warranty is likely a bad investment.

Inclusion Warranties

You should also walk away from warranties that only cover certain parts. They’re not comprehensive enough, and you are better off with an exclusion warranty that covers everything except for what they name as specific exclusions.

The Warranty Company

Take a good look at the company offering the warranty. Some are nationwide and have strong reputations while others aren’t well-known and can’t guarantee they’ll back the warranty in the event of serious problems.

If you purchase your car from a well-known and liked used car dealer and you know that you can trust any car they stand behind, you are probably safe. If you need the peace of mind an extended warranty offers, do your research on the warranty company, the car, and the dealership selling it.

In the end, your best bet is to purchase a reliable used car from a reputable used car dealer that will inspect it before selling it and will stand behind the car in the event you have problems. Check out Southwest Motors selection of used SUVs, cars, and trucks.

All the best and Good luck.


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