Thinking about buying a new car? If so, you should also think about whether or not you want an extended warranty.
An extended warranty is the “do you want fries with that?” of car sales. Even if you’re only in the dealership to buy a car, you’ll probably be asked about the warranty at some point. It can be hard - or even overwhelming - to make a snap decision about a warranty when you’re just trying to handle all the paperwork standing between you and your new car. The truth of the matter is, this isn’t as scary of a decision as it sounds. But regardless, it helps to be prepared.
So should you bite the bullet and agree to the extended warranty? In short, it’s helpful in a lot of cases, but it also depends on your needs.
It’s unfortunately impossible to talk specifically about the value of extended warranties because they can differ wildly from dealer to dealer. In some instances, you’ll be able to get an extended warranty that is directly fulfilled through the manufacturer of your vehicle. In other instances, your extended warranty will be handled by a third party company. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure you know exactly what’s being covered in the extended warranty being offered to you. Many extended warranties will cover the same general costs, but as is the saying, you’ll want to read the fine print.
You’ll also want to think about how long you’re going to own your vehicle. While a car usually comes with a bumper-to-bumper warranty, this usually lasts for the first three years of the vehicle. If you’re buying new, these first years of the vehicle’s life are also the least likely to have any problems, so you may not even use that warranty before it expires. If you only plan to own your vehicle for three years, then an extended warranty probably won’t add a lot of value to your life. However, the longer you own your car, the more likely you’ll utilize your warranty. It really depends on how much time you’re going to invest in your vehicle.
Honestly, you should think about an extended warranty the same way you’d think about any insurance policy. If you take great care of your car and only encounter minor issues, you could be paying more than you have to on the warranty. But if you encounter some major issues with your vehicle and are faced with huge repair costs, the warranty will be worth the cash. Just make sure to factor in additional costs like deductibles when considering how worthwhile a warranty is to you.
In the end, there’s no “right” answer to whether or not you should get an extended warranty. But if you’re looking to buy a vehicle, it’s in your best interest to think about the answer before sealing the deal. Remember: the people at the dealership are there to help you. If you have any questions or concerns about the value of the warranty you’re being offered, the best thing to do is ask. You’re under no pressure or obligation to make a quick decision, and any good dealership will absolutely value your happiness above anything else in this situation.
Not everyone wants french fries with their meal, and not everyone will want an extended warranty. In the end, what matters is that you’re happy with your order.