When searching for a new or used automobile, having a warranty can be a real game changer. Having a warranty, especially on used vehicles, can give you a cushion to fall back on if your luck were to go south with a purchase. For many, a good warranty could bring the peace of mind that aids them in their car buying decision.
Dealer warranties can vary a lot from that of the manufacturer, and are usually on older vehicles that have an expired manufacturer warranty. The most common form of dealer warranty is the “90 day or 3,000 mile guarantee” which usually covers:
Minor and major engine and drivetrain issues
Less often, coverage for power windows, air conditioning, and other accessories
Three, five, or seven day guarantees, which allow you to bring the vehicle back after a specified amount of time if you’re unhappy with the purchase
Roadside coverage such as towing or tire changes
The kinds of available warranty
Every used car dealer is different and the most reputable sources will offer a one-year warranty or more and possibly even accept returns if you are just not happy with the vehicle. It is very important when buying a vehicle that is out of its factory warranty to read the entire dealer warranty thoroughly and know where you are covered.
Talk with your salesman about the warranty offered and bring up any concerns you may have. Ask if the warranty work is provided by the dealer themselves or through another company paid by the dealer. Take caution when working with third party companies. While they provide warranties and peace of mind when buying a used car, their purpose is to make money, not spend it.
Have all paperwork ready if you need to file a claim and do so in a timely manner. These companies will not pay for work done if notified after the repair has been performed or if it was performed by a shop they do not recognize as reputable.