When you’re considering purchasing an extended warranty for your vehicle, an important step in the process is getting a quote. This lets you know how much you’ll be expected to pay for a certain level of coverage based on your car’s make, model, year, and history. To make the most of the quote, do some research, shop around, and prepare certain information beforehand.
What Is an Extended Warranty?
An extended warranty is a type of automobile service contract, offered by manufacturers and third parties, that covers the cost of repairs on a vehicle beyond the time limit or mileage of the factory warranty. All new cars come with a bumper-to-bumper factory warranty that covers mechanical failure due to bad parts or manufacturing issues. They also come with powertrain warranties that last longer than bumper-to-bumper warranties. When these warranties expire, all repair costs fall on the car owner unless the owner purchases an extended warranty.
In technical terms, an extended warranty can only come from the auto manufacturer itself. Contracts that come from third parties are called service contracts or protection plans. However, many people use the term “extended warranty” to refer to any contract that protects the vehicle after the factory warranty expires. This article will refer to all such contracts as extended warranties for simplicity’s sake, but it’s important to be aware of the difference while researching the contract that’s right for you.
How Do You Get an Extended Warranty Quote?
When buying a new car, the purchase price includes the factory warranty, so you don’t have an extra payment for it. When you purchase an extended warranty, you make monthly payments to the service provider so that they cover the costs of certain mechanical failures instead of them coming out of your wallet. An extended warranty quote gives you all the information you need to decide whether that provider is the right fit for you.
Gather Needed Information
Extended warranty providers will need information about you and your car, like:
- The VIN
- The mileage
- The make, model, and year
- The state where you live
- The kind of coverage you want
- The vehicle’s repair history
You should also do some research on the car you have. Find out what its most common issues are, how long the car usually lasts, and how much it costs to repair major components, like the transmission or the infotainment system. This information will help you choose the right coverage level. For instance, if your model’s transmission is known to fail regularly, you may want an extended drivetrain warranty. But if your infotainment system is a known weak point, bumper-to-bumper coverage may be preferable, since it will cover that system while a drivetrain warranty will not.
Decide What Coverage You Want
Extended warranties come with different coverage levels. You can opt for full coverage, which is like the original bumper-to-bumper warranty, or a lower level of coverage, like a powertrain or drivetrain warranty. While factory warranties don’t cover things like routine maintenance, some third-party extended warranties do. A variety of coverage options and price points exist. Review your budget, decide how much you can spend each month, and figure out how much warranty you want to pay for.
Check What the Warranty Offers
Extended warranties, especially those offered by third parties, often have services like roadside assistance bundled into them. If you already have roadside assistance through your insurance provider, you don’t want to waste money by paying for it again. You might even find coverage typically offered by insurance wrapped into your extended warranty. A few third parties offer money toward a new vehicle should your car end up totaled. If you have good new car replacement insurance, you won’t need this component.
Many third-party warranty companies exist, and each of them offers several levels of coverage for extended warranties. Look at exactly which components of the car are covered under each plan because if something isn’t specifically listed, it won’t be covered. You don’t want to pay for a higher level of coverage only to realize that the one thing you were most worried about still isn’t in the contract. Additionally, many of them have pages on their websites you can use to get an idea of how much an extended warranty will cost you.
When you start contacting companies for official quotes, let them know you’re looking at multiple plans and try to negotiate terms. Start by seeing if they’ll drop parts of the warranty you don’t need, like roadside assistance, for a lower price. If that’s not possible, they may be willing to extend the contract for no added price or to lower the deductible you pay on repairs. The worst that can happen is they aren’t able to make any alterations to the plan, but you’re likely to find at least one provider that’s able to be flexible.
When Should You Get an Extended Warranty Quote?
You can get an extended warranty from your manufacturer the same day you purchase a new car. You can even roll the cost of it into your car loan. It’ll take effect as soon as the manufacturer’s warranty ends. Not everyone opts for this plan, and the option may not be available to you if you bought your car used. You may purchase a vehicle that’s a few years old for which the factory warranty has already expired.
If you want an extended warranty, it’s better to purchase one sooner rather than later. The price goes up the older the car is because older cars are more likely to have mechanical issues. You also don’t want the extended warranty to last longer than you plan to have the car. Getting quotes will help you decide if it’s in your budget to invest in an extended warranty.
An extended warranty quote will give you valuable information about what to expect from an extended warranty and how to budget for this expense. While not all motorists opt for extended warranties once the factory warranties expire, many people choose to extend coverage to avoid expensive repairs and to hit the road knowing they’re covered should something go wrong. With manufacturer and third-party options available, you can find the right extended warranty for your budget and your vehicle.
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.