Getting a new ride can be a great feeling, even when the car is pre-loved. A reliable used car is a smart financial move, but even the most reliable vehicles can have mechanical problems. That’s why it’s a good idea to understand the warranty used car companies may offer and when different warranties expire.

Understanding the Warranty that Used Car Sales Include

First, determine your car’s warranty history. What kinds of warranties have previously been attached to the vehicle? This is simpler to figure out if you are only the second person to buy the car. If you’r vehicle was leased by a car dealer, the dealer should have kept clear records of the vehicle’s history and warranty information.

If a car has changed hands a few times, finding its warranty history may take a bit more work. In this case, the vehicle identification number, or VIN, is your best tool. Note the VIN and the mileage. Then call a dealership that is certified to sell your type of car (e.g., call a Ford dealer to get information on a used Ford sedan). The dealer can check the vehicle’s manufacture and sale dates to help you determine if there is an active warranty. They can cross-reference the sale date (when a factory warranty would have gone into effect) with the mileage and current date to see if there is still coverage for you to use.

To find other types of warranties on the car, take the time to talk to the seller. Specifically, bring up third-party vehicle protection plans and if there are any such plans active on the car.

What Are the Different Types of Warranties?

Not all warranties are the same, and they expire at different times and for different reasons. Common types of warranties include basic, powertrain, and extended warranties.

A basic warranty, also known as a bumper-to-bumper warranty, typically covers the entire vehicle, including the engine, transmission, and other mechanical components. These warranties often last for a limited time, such as three years or 36,000 miles.

A powertrain warranty covers the engine, transmission, and other components that make the car move. These warranties may last longer than basic warranties. They can be offered by car manufacturers as a buying incentive or bought on their own.

An extended warranty is a separate agreement that provides added coverage beyond the original warranty. Manufacturer or dealerships offer these warranties and can provide coverage for a set period or a specific number of miles.

With each type of warranty, make sure the coverage can transfer from owner to owner. Many manufacturer warranties transfer with each sale, however there are some cases where it does not.

Benefits of a Used Car Warranty

Hopefully, your research will turn up an active car warranty on your used car. The chances of this are higher if your car is newer. Most manufacturer warranties last anywhere from three to 10 years.

If the warranties have expired, your next option for coverage may be an extended warranty from a dealership, or a vehicle protection plan from companies like autopom! Vehicle protection plans often include additional benefits such as roadside assistance, rental vehicle assistance, repair shop choice, and more.

  • Guard against unexpected repair costs: Even with regular care, cars can break down and require costly repairs. A vehicle protection plan can help cover these costs and provide peace of mind.
  • Provide coverage beyond the original warranty: Many original warranties only last for a set period or a specific number of miles. Like an extended warranty, a vehicle protection plan can provide coverage after the expiration of the original warranty.
  • Cover newer or high-mileage cars: Some coverage plans are made specifically for newer or high-mileage cars. They provide coverage for a longer period or a greater number of miles.
  • Cover specific parts or systems: Some protection plans allow you to choose which parts or systems you want to cover, such as the powertrain or electrical system.
  • Transfer coverage to a new owner: If you are planning to sell your car at some point, a vehicle protection plan may transfer to the new owner. This can be a selling point and may increase the value of your car.

To find the right coverage, consider your needs now and in the future. It’s a good idea to find out which parts of your make and model are most likely to break down. If you know a certain car often has transmission issues, ensure your protection plan includes coverage for that part.

Make the Most of the Warranty a Used Car Carries

Whether you buy a car new or used, you need to educate yourself on the coverage plans available. The warranty a used car has can make a big difference in the costs of maintenance and repairs, as well as in your vehicle’s value.

To start finding vehicle protection plans that can cover you once the manufacturer plan expires, see the offerings from autopom! and get the plan you need.