Whenever you are in the market for a new car, or at least new for you, there are some steps in the buying process that you have to familiarize yourself with, before giving any money away or signing any papers. One of these steps is understanding exactly what warranties the car includes and whether you should buy a new one in addition to the one/s offered in the price.
Types of car warranties you should know about
All car owners know about the so called bumper to bumper warranties, which, ironically enough, don’t even cover the bumpers themselves. The bumper to bumper warranty is the factory warranty, the basic one offered by your manufacturer/dealer, when you buy a new vehicle.
The bumper to bumper warranty covers everything in your car, from one bumper to another: the engine, transmission, suspension, the air conditioning, the heating and cooling systems, the electronics. What it doesn’t include are the wear parts of the car, the consumables: tires, windshield wipers, bumpers, light bulbs, brake pads and so on.
Then there’s another warranty offered by most dealers: the powertrain warranty. This is a more basic type of coverage that only includes the parts in your car that actually make the car move: engine, transmission, suspension.
What does an extended car warranty include?
The extended car warranty is an additional type of contract you can sign when you buy the car, for which you have to pay extra, but is not mandatory. The extended car warranty is not exactly a warranty and its correct name is vehicle service contract (VSC). The VSC covers specific parts in your car, after the bumper to bumper/powertrain warranties expire. It won’t cover you in case of an accident, collision, so make sure what your expectations are. It will only pay for the repairs of the components covered in your contract.
The extended car warranty varies when it comes to coverage, from provider to provider. Some claim it is as comprehensive as the bumper to bumper one, although in most cases, it isn’t. That is why you have to carefully read the policy before signing it, to see the exclusion list (what is not covered).
The extended car warranty can be useful because most automakers only offer the bumper to bumper warranty for 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. In some cases, it can last for up to 5 years or 60,000 miles (Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Kia, Genesis) and 6 years or 72,000 miles, with Volskwagen.
The powertrain warranty lasts more than the bumper to bumper one, but it isn’t as complex. That means there’s a big chance for something that is not covered in the powertrain warranty to broke down and you have to pay for it to be fixed, out of your own pocket.
The extended warranty can be signed for up to 5,6,7 or even more years and it can be bought when you buy the car or anytime you want to before the factory warranty expires. It is useful because most car owners don’t sell their cars after the factory warranty expires. They keep it for as long as it is functional and can drive them around.
In case something that’s covered in your contract breaks, you take your car to a licensed repair shop (most extended car warranty providers give you the freedom to choose any repair shop in the country you want, as long as it is licensed) and the provider will pay for the repairs. There is a deductible though in most cases, which also varies from provider to provider.
How much does it cost?
Extended car warranty providers don’t have a fixed quote displayed on their website. That is because the price depends on several factors: the plan you want to opt for, your car brand, model, its age and mileage.
However, most providers offer you the possibility to get instant free quotes. If you want to get a free quote, you have to either contact them via phone or fill in the form on their website.
How to get a quote from autopom!
For instance, autopom! has the form on the homepage. You have to provide your full name, e-mail address, phone number, ZIP code and your vehicle details: the car make, model, mileage.
Autopom! is one of the best and most popular extended car warranty providers on the market. It has been rated with an A+ by the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and has 20 plans to choose from. It covers vehicles that have up to 200,000 miles on them, which makes it a great choice for people with older/used cars.
This company offers 4 levels and each of them has its own plans. The levels are Exclusionary (the most comprehensive one), High-Level, Mid-Level, Powertrain-Plus.