Used Car Warranties
I already know that Hoboken isn’t really the best place for a car, but many of us need or want them for one reason or another.
There are always tons of new cars floating around town, which you’d presume all still have factory warranties.
What about those that own used cars?
Many pre-owned vehicles (depending on the age/mileage) come “certified” from the dealer. Usually, it’s a 2 year/24,000 mile warranty, and covers most breakdowns other than wear & tear. But what do you do when that warranty expires, and still wish to keep it? Are any of you in the same situation?
What choice should you make?
You have a few options if you intend on keeping your car post-factory warranty:
- Get the car re-certified by a qualified dealer.
While this may be the safest all-around method for ensuring ongoing operation of your transportation, it’s also the most costly. To re-certify a car after warranty requires two steps. First, the car has to be “brought up to spec.” Meaning all components have to be certified in working order. This can cost several thousand dollars, depending on the make/model. Then, you need to renew the warranty. The total cost can easily exceed $5,000-$6,000 or more. Not an easy pill to swallow for many drivers.
- Buy a third-party warranty.
This method appears to be the most-cost effective, but not without major caveats. For starters, the “used-car warranty” market is flooded with what seem to be fly-by-night operations. They may be located out-of-state and far away, and you have no real way to ensure they’ll still be in business down the road. Additionally, you’ll have to carefully read the contracts, see what obligations you’re under (such as keeping up with scheduled maintenance – which can render your contract void if you cannot prove you have), and what parts or components are/are not covered. Finding quality advice about which third-party warranty companies are reputable almost seems impossible (online, at least.)
- Replace the car with one in warranty.
Probably the most sensible of the bunch, but may be out of reach financially for some.
- No warranty.
This may be the riskiest choice of all. While you have no real out-of-pocket expense in the beginning, but if you ever need a major repair, you’d be up the creek. Some of the fancier cars out there (BMW, Mercedez, Audi) have some sophisticated electronic components that can easily set you back a large chunk of cash. But if you get lucky, you’ll end up further ahead. Do you take the risk?
But what if you’re leaning towards choice….
Number 2: Third Party Warranties?
Has anyone purchased one of these?
There are so many choices out there! To obtain a similar warranty to what originally came with your car, the costs range from $2300 to over $3500 (minimum 2/24).
But the options are mind-boggling, and unless you know someone who’s had a real-life experience with one of them, a very risky investment to make. But if there is a decent used-car warranty company to be had, it certainly is a safer choice than rolling the dice hoping you won’t need a costly repair in the future.
What, if any, are your experiences with Used-Car Warranties? Which company did you use? Which should be avoided at all costs?