An aftermarket car warranty is a common add-on for a new or used car. But what exactly is an aftermarket auto warranty? We answer this and other common questions so you can understand aftermarket auto warranties better and decide if they’re right for you.
What Is an Aftermarket Car Warranty?
An aftermarket car warranty protects a car once the original manufacturer’s warranty expires. They’re similar to a dealer-backed extended warranty but usually more affordable. Aftermarket auto warranties can also cover new and used car purchases. An aftermarket auto warranty is sometimes called a vehicle protection plan, or vehicle service contract. It may also get called an extended warranty, although this term is more commonly used for dealer-backed warranties that last longer than the initial factory warranty.
What Does an Aftermarket Auto Warranty Cover?
Aftermarket auto warranties vary depending on the company that issues them. However, they usually cover a wide range of repairs and replacement parts. If your car needs a repair covered by your aftermarket auto warranty, you’ll only pay a small deductible rather than the full cost. Like factory warranties, their coverage protects you for a set number of years or you drive a set number of miles. Your warranty expires once you reach one of these limits.
Many providers of aftermarket auto warranties have a range of different warranty plans with various coverage lengths and coverage types. Offering a variety of plans helps you choose a warranty that suits your needs and budget. Here are the most common types of coverage:
- Exclusionary coverage: The highest level of coverage, these plans cover almost all mechanical parts of a car. They don’t cover wear and tear, neglect, or misuse.
- High-stated coverage: The second-highest coverage level, these warranties can cover hundreds of different mechanical components. The warranty agreement outlines exactly what’s covered and what isn’t.
- Medium-stated coverage: This mid-level warranty covers the car’s main systems. It usually also covers electrical components, steering, and air-conditioning.
- Low-stated coverage: This simple coverage includes the powertrain system and a few other key systems. It’s sometimes called a powertrain plus plan.
- Basic powertrain: This coverage is an extension of a standard powertrain warranty. It covers repairs to the key parts of the powertrain system including the engine, drivetrain, and transmission.
What are the Benefits of an Aftermarket Auto Warranty?
Here are some of the key benefits of an aftermarket auto warranty:
Peace of Mind and Potential Cost Savings
The peace of mind that an aftermarket auto warranty provides is one of the key benefits for many motorists. They know that if covered parts of their warranty fail, they won’t face sizable bills to repair or replace them. It’s much easier to budget for an aftermarket auto warranty and small deductibles than unexpected and potentially much larger repair bills.
Aftermarket auto warranties are usually more flexible than factory or dealership warranties. You can purchase them at any time, not just when you buy your car or while you have an active standard warranty. When you purchase a standard warranty, you accept the standard warranty period and terms. Providers of aftermarket auto warranties usually offer a range of different warranty plans so you can choose the one that suits you best.
Many aftermarket auto warranties have great perks that you can access even if you never need repairs. These perks can make aftermarket auto warranties great value for consumers. Common benefits include:
- 24-hour roadside assistance and towing
- Trip interruption benefits
- Reimbursed costs for rental cars
- Financing for non-covered repairs
- Identity theft protection
How Much Do Aftermarket Auto Warranties Cost?
Prices for aftermarket auto warranties vary depending on their coverage level, duration, and your vehicle. The longer the plan and the most comprehensive its coverage, the more you can expect to pay. Plans for newer, high-end vehicles also tend to cost less than for older, more basic vehicles that are more likely to need repairs. The average cost of an aftermarket auto warranty is $2,862, but you may pay more or less depending on your preferences.
You can pay for your aftermarket auto warranty upfront. Depending on the provider, you may also have the option to pay for your plan in small monthly installments or roll the cost into your vehicle finance plan.
What Companies Offer Aftermarket Auto Warranties?
Here are some of the reputable companies that offer aftermarket auto warranties:
- Protect My Car
- Concord Auto Protect
- Infinite Auto Protection
Should You Buy an Aftermarket Auto Warranty?
When purchasing your new vehicle or nearing the end of your factory warranty, you may wonder whether you want to buy an aftermarket auto warranty. These warranties can provide great peace of mind that you won’t need to spend money on costly repairs. They can also be the only warranty option for a used car whose original manufacturer warranty has already expired.
You should strongly consider an aftermarket auto warranty if you may be unable to afford the cost of repairs to your vehicle. While the cost of these warranties adds to the overall cost of your vehicle, many providers have flexible payment plans that can make the price more manageable.
Just make sure you understand its terms and inclusions. Read the fine print and ask any questions if you need to clarify what you’re buying. Reputable companies will take the time to make sure you understand your warranty. The time you take before making your decision can help you feel confident you’re buying an aftermarket auto warranty that offers great protection.
Aftermarket auto warranties are subject to similar terms as other warranties. One of the most common terms is getting regular maintenance and servicing on your vehicle. To make sure you don’t miss a service appointment, get the FIXD sensor and app. Simply set up your maintenance schedule and the app will alert you when it’s time to book your service appointment. When your aftermarket auto warranty expires, the FIXD sensor can help you maintain your vehicle to keep it running as it should. Get FIXD today to take the stress out of car maintenance.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.