When buying a warranty,
be sure to read and save the warranty documentation.
If the company tells you a feature of the warranty
that isn't in the contract, make sure to get it
in writing. If you buy a warranty online, save
the contract and print out the web pages from
that company's site.
Research the company that sells the warranty.
This can be as simple as checking their status
at the Better Business Bureau. Information for
online companies can be found at www.bbbonline.org/consumer
and information on traditional companies can be
found at www.search.bbb.org/search.html.
Bumper to Bumper
Few extended vehicle warranty plans cover absolutely everything
on a vehicle. Carefully read the warranty contract and find
out exactly what is and what is not covered. If the contract
says it covers everything except for A, B, and C; that's a
lot more coverage than a contract which lists 10 or 20 items
which are covered.
Does the plan provide a rental car if the repair will keep
your vehicle in the shop overnight? Many auto warranties do
but some will not.
vs. Online Plans
Take time to compare plans. Dealerships offer extended vehicle
warranty plans that are comparable to online offers. Most
of these dealership service contracts really are partnerships
with other warranty companies. The dealership just tacks on
an extra fee for signing a client up. If you are considering
a dealership plan, compare it to direct plans available online
for a potential cost savings.
Generally companies that offer extended vehicle warranty
contracts offer a variety of service plans with deductibles
ranging from $0 to $100. Read through all the plans and decide
which one is right for you. You can save a lot of money by
giving up some of the extras like car rentals and by going
with a higher deductible.
Food and Lodging
If your vehicle becomes disabled far from home and
the repair is covered under your extended vehicle warranty,
you may receive reimbursement for lodging and meals. These
plans usually stipulate you must be at least 100 miles from
your residence in order for this to apply. This can be an
important feature for people who use their vehicle frequently
Make sure you can renew your extended vehicle warranty
contract. Many plans may be renewed for continuous one-year
terms for as long as you own your vehicle.
If you haven't purchased the vehicle yet, check to
see how much warranties run on various makes and models. If
you are trying to decide between two cars, there may be a
difference in the price of the extended vehicle warranty plans.
A less expensive plan usually means the vehicle model has
a better repair history.
Similar to an AAA policy, some extended vehicle warranty
plans offer a roadside assistance program. Benefits may or
may not include: emergency road service, towing, mechanical
first aid, flat tire service, battery assistance, gasoline
delivery, fluid delivery and emergency lock-out service. Before
signing up for this type of a program, make sure there is
a 24-hour toll free assistance number.
Many extended warranty plans allow you to transfer
your coverage to a new owner when you sell your vehicle. This
can increase a vehicle's resale value.
Wear and Tear
Many extended vehicle warranty plans cover parts which
break as well as those which wear out. Again, be sure to read
the contract to understand the differences and how it may
impact your final cost. This is perhaps the most important
feature of a coverage plan. The wear and tear feature gives
the consumer the peace of mind that they do not have to wait
for a complete breakdown in order to get their vehicle repaired.
Most parts on an automobile will wear over time and indicate
signs of malfunction before completely breaking down. Wear
and Tear is contractually defined as the gradual reduction
in operating performance due to normal wear and tear. An example
of wear and tear is the suspension system. Due to the stress
of driving on the suspension, the parts wear out. Waiting
for a suspension part to break completely could be quiet risky
and dangerous. Wear and tear allows a client to get the vehicle
repaired at the first sign of malfunction.