Your Guide to Buying an Extended Car Warranty

Imagine you have set out on a road trip only to have your car break down. It was not a collision or act of nature, so standard auto insurance will be of no help to you. If your manufacturer’s warranty has expired, you are up a creek. The last thing you want to do is pay for expensive repair costs out of pocket. If this sounds like a situation that could happen to you, consider an extended warranty.

How Does an Extended Warranty Differ From Standard Auto Insurance?

Standard auto insurance protects from collisions and other road hazards. However, it does not protect you from your vehicle’s internal issues. An extended warranty is exactly what its name suggests. It is an extension of your vehicle’s original manufacturer’s warranty. This usually covers most major issues with just a few exceptions. These are principally oil changes, brake pads, windshield wipers, and other scheduled maintenance.

Do I Need an Extended Warranty?

There are several reasons to purchase an extended warranty. The first is peace of mind. You want to make sure you are protected in any event, so why stop with standard auto insurance? Suppose your used car is no longer covered under a manufacturer’s warranty. In that case, an extended warranty can save you a lot of money in maintenance and repairs. Lastly, if you plan on selling your vehicle, an extended warranty can add to its value. Most extended warranties are transferable for a small fee.


You will be offered an extended warranty at the time you purchase a car. This is ill-advised. There is usually an overlap in coverage between the manufacturer’s warranty and the extended warranty. This leaves you paying for a service you cannot yet use. Additionally, suppose the cost of an extended warranty is factored into your vehicle’s financing. In that case, you will likely end up paying interest on the warranty well before you can use it. It is typically best to wait.

Some warranty companies may only allow service appointments at specific locations. If you travel frequently or have moved, this can be problematic. Some companies also have depreciation clauses. This can disqualify your car from receiving the care it needs if the mileage is too high. Be sure to read the fine print.


You likely hang up the phone when you receive a now-infamous scam call regarding your vehicle’s extended warranty. However, this is not the only method scammers use.

How do you know if you are being scammed? Firstly, be wary of unprompted phone calls as well as mail offers. Some may pose as insurance agents, car dealers, or even auto manufacturers. If you are being pressured to close a deal, you are likely dealing with a scammer. A professional will usually provide you ample time to reach a decision.

How to Choose an Extended Warranty

With so many scammers and legitimate companies claiming comprehensive coverage and great rates, how will you decide? Thankfully, it is easy to find the most reputable extended car warranty companies.

Endurance is an excellent example. It offers a wide range of coverage options, reliable staff, and some of the best customer service scores in the business. Carchex is yet another great option. It offers highly customizable plans, excellent customer service scores. It has a reputation for being the best when it comes to insuring used vehicles.

When deciding, be sure to shop around. Get three to five quotes to compare. Do some research and check reviews. Not only do you want the best deal, but you want to make sure the company is real and not scammers looking to make a buck.

There are several reasons to purchase an extended warranty. Not only does it offer tremendous peace of mind, but it can also save you lots of money. Whether you are selling a car or simply taking care of the one you already own, extended warranties can be invaluable. Be sure to avoid the common pitfalls and watch out for scammers. If you do your research, you are sure to find coverage that suits your vehicle’s needs and your wallet.

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