When it comes to purchasing a used car, a lot of thought should go into the process. One thing to consider is whether or not you’re going to want an extended warranty.

What Factors Should I Consider?

Because the cost of an extended warranty can vary greatly with coverage, it’s important to consider some key points before buying one.

Vehicle Considerations:

  • How reliable is the car? – If you’re buying a vehicle with a reputation for being reliable, you may not need all the bells and whistles when it comes to extended coverage. On the other hand, if the car is older, has high miles, or is known to have certain issues, you’ll want to consider extensive coverage. Get the whole picture on the make and model vehicle you’re buying by checking out what other owners are saying on sites like Consumer Reports.
  • How long do you plan on keeping the vehicle? – If your purchase is something that needs to last, having additional coverage may be worth it – not only for repair costs, but for your peace of mind as well. However, if you plan on getting another vehicle in a year or two, it may be worth saving the money you’d pay each month toward your next vehicle, or put it aside in a car repair fund.
  • What’s your driving situation? – If you’re not one for long trips, and don’t have a tough commute every day, you could save yourself money by skipping the extended coverage. If you’re always on the go, or drive rough roads on a daily basis, the added protection of a service contract could be helpful.

Coverage Considerations:

  • roadside breakdown, car troubleWhat exactly is covered? Service contracts are wide-ranging in what they cover. So, it’s important to know specifics when discussing a plan. Basic warranties cover things like the engine and drivetrain, but don’t include electrical systems, safety items like automatic emergency braking, or in-car technology. Selecting a higher amount of coverage is a must if you’re worried about any of these systems needing repair. Unless otherwise specified, normal wear and tear and standard maintenance will always be out-of-pocket costs.
  • Will your coverage leave you stranded? A good service contract won’t leave you on the side of the road if your car breaks down. Some plans cover towing or include roadside assistance, but not all, so check the fine print before agreeing to a policy. If your vehicle needs a few days in the shop, not all plans will put you in a rental car on their dime, so make sure you know if your's will.
  • How are services paid for? It’s a good idea to know how claims are handled by your provider before something goes wrong. Many plans call for the contract holder to pay and wait for a reimbursement, others will pay for services directly. Most plans do require a deductible, so be prepared to cover that cost upfront.

Knowing Where to Go

Going to the right dealer for your situation is an important factor in a good overall car buying experience. Be aware that not all dealers or lenders are willing to take on every situation – especially when it comes to bad credit.

That’s where Drivers Lane comes in. We work with a nationwide network of special finance dealers that have lending resources to work with people who find themselves in challenging credit situations. Take the first step toward finding a dealer to meet your needs. Just fill out our simple auto loan request form to get started.