Buying a new car is a great experience. Whether you’re upgrading to get more power or your old vehicle will cost more to fix than it is worth, you can be certain that your new ride will be a step up. However, a new car is a major investment. Buying new is always more expensive than buying used, because a newer vehicle is usually more valuable and in better condition. In order to protect your investment, it is crucial that you get a warranty. Here are a few tips for getting the best auto warranty that money can buy.
Go to the Manufacturer, Not the Dealer
One of the biggest mistakes people make when buying auto warranties is purchasing a dealer warranty. People often buy dealer warranties because it is convenient—you can buy the warranty in the same place and at the same time that you buy the car, so there’s no hassle. However, dealer warranties are only valid at the dealership where you bought the car. That means if you need a repair, your warranty only covers it if you get that repair done at the dealership. If you move away or if the dealership goes bankrupt, your warranty isn’t worth the paper it was written on. Furthermore, dealer warranties may limit the type or brand of part that is used in a repair, or which repairs are covered. In contrast, a manufacturer warranty will usually include a variety of repairs that are covered, and will not restrict your options when looking for a repair shop.
Do Your Research
When buying a new car and a warranty, it is important that you research your desired vehicle and the most common problems with vehicles of that make. After you have decided which brand of vehicle you wish to buy, look into the most common problems with that particular manufacturer. In November 2012, the New York Times reported that Toyota was recalling 150,000 Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks manufactured between 2001 and 2004 due to rust problems. Approximately 800,000 Tacoma models from 1995 to 2000 were recalled in 2008 for the same rust problems. The Ottawa Citizen reported in June 2013 that Toyota recalled over 200,000 Prius and Lexus vehicles due to braking problems. If you buy a Toyota, for instance, it would be a wise decision to ensure that your warranty covers rust and brakes.
Shop Around for the Best Deal
Generally speaking, a manufacturer warranty is the most comprehensive option when buying new. However, manufacturer warranties are also very expensive. If a manufacturer warranty doesn’t appeal to you, and you don’t like the idea of being limited to one dealership with a dealer warranty, you also have the option of purchasing a third-party auto warranty. Third party warranties are warranties offered by companies that specialize in selling auto warranties. Third party warranties come in many shapes, and offer a great variety of coverage and repair options. They are also relatively inexpensive. However, this variety comes at a cost. Third party warranties often require you to get your warranty company’s approval before you have any repairs done. Your warranty company may insist that you pay any repair expenses out-of-pocket and submit a claim for reimbursement. Finally, some warranty companies can go bankrupt unexpectedly. If this happens, your coverage is void. If you decide to go with a third party warranty, look for a provider with a long history of exceptional service and financial stability.
Buy the Coverage You Need
Auto warranties vary in the nature and extent of the coverage available. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can be easy to over-purchase and wind up with expensive coverage you don’t need, or under-purchase and forget to cover a crucial element. By understanding your new vehicle and how you will be using it, you can buy exactly the amount of coverage you will require—no more and no less.
Read the Fine Print
When you purchase a warranty for your new car, it is important to thoroughly read the contract before you sign it. If the contract uses confusing language or isn’t clear on important points, make sure you sort out the details in writing before signing anything. If problems arise down the road and there is a misunderstanding over your coverage, your warranty contract will be the definitive authority in sorting out such issues. Therefore, it is important that you and your warranty provider each have a solid understanding of the terms and conditions set forth in your contract.
Don’t Settle For an Inferior Warranty
A new car holds a lot of value, and protecting that value is critical. It is important for you to ensure that your warranty gives you the coverage that you need. Do not let pushy salesmen pressure you into paying for a warranty that you don’t want. Which warranty you purchase (and from whom) is your decision—do not surrender it.
These are the six strategies you can use to make sure you get the best auto warranty available. If you are buying a new car, safeguarding your investment is a vital step. By following these tips, you can have peace of mind knowing that your warranty is ready to handle anything that might come your way.