Doesn’t it always seem your vehicle is emergency-free until the moment you’re looking at an expired vehicle warranty?
The last thing you want to feel is the regret of knowing that you could’ve done something to avoid a lapse in coverage or a major hit to your bank account.
So what do you do when your regularly maintained, relatively problem-free vehicle is nearing the end of its coverage?
1. Take a Close Look at Your Maintenance Record – What has the dealer or the shop been telling you (or not telling you)?
Persistent noises, recurring issues, some common wear and tear you’ve been putting off…get it checked out. Even if you’ve maintained your vehicle, there are going to be things you’ve either decided to “wait on fixing” or that a different mechanic could find.
Most mechanics are great and have your best interest at heart, even if it seems like they are after the contents of your wallet. Ask them, to the best of their knowledge, if they’ve seen any issues with similar vehicles or your model specifically.
Recalls, common issues and make/model-specific research should all be taken into account as your vehicle warranty is about to expire.
2. Define What You’re Currently Getting From Your Warranty – Your current and basic manufacturer warranty could have quite honestly been that…basic.
Before the time runs out and if you didn’t know already, do your homework on what you knew was covered and what you want to be covered in the future.
If you’ve been paying car payments or warranty payments monthly, you’re used to the expense of having a reliable vehicle.
What you’re not used to is the surprise repair bill that comes after the expired vehicle warranty. It’s often a good idea to shop for coverage and invest in an extended warranty.
Our bet is that it’s better coverage than you had initially anyway.
3. Get Multiple Opinions – Depending on the length of your warranty, we could advise for and against getting multiple opinions on the state of your vehicle.
If your car is 30,000 miles old, it might not be as urgent to take the time, effort and expense to visit multiple shops. But if your warranty is pushing the 60,000 or 75,000-mile mark, go ahead and have a couple people look at it.
Have the manufacturer/dealer give it a once over, and knowing that they might not prefer doing warranty-related repairs, take your vehicle to an independent mechanic as well.
Chances are you may get two very different verdicts.
4. Shop Around – It is in the best interest of the manufacturer not to wiggle on warranty. It opens them up to potential litigation and seemingly open-ended battles about what is covered and not covered.
That means your options for coverage are sometimes/often times better elsewhere.
Before you sign up for a new extended auto warranty, be sure to compare rates and coverage between different companies.
This will help you find the best deal possible and make sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck.
5. Make Sure The Extended Warranty Coverage Provided Is Extensive
When looking for a new extended auto warranty, it’s important to make sure that the coverage is extensive. This means that the warranty will cover as many repairs and services as possible. You don’t want to end up paying for services out of your own pocket that should have been covered by the warranty.
6. Make Sure The Used Car Warranty Company You Choose Is Reputable
When looking for a new extended auto warranty, it is important to make sure that the company you are dealing with is reputable.
This means that they should have a good track record, be insured and licensed, and have a customer service department that is available and willing to help if any problems arise.
You should also research the company online to see what others are saying about it.
7. Read The Fine Print
It is important to read the fine print when you are considering any type of warranty.
This will help you understand the full extent of the coverage, and what is and is not included.
When you are considering an extended warranty, it is important to read the fine print so that you understand what is and is not covered.
The fine print will typically list the specific items that are and are not covered by the warranty.
This will help you make a decision about whether or not the warranty is a good fit for your needs.
8. Check To See If The Company Has A Good Rating With The Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit organization that rates businesses on a scale from A+ to F.
Checking the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau can give you an idea of how reliable the company is.
9. Find Out How Long The Warranty Company Has Been In Business
The longer a company has been in business, the more experience it likely to have with providing extended auto warranties.
This doesn’t mean that a newer company is automatically untrustworthy, but it’s something to keep in mind.
10. Get A Copy Of The Proposed Extended Auto Warranty Contract And Review It Thoroughly
Before signing any contract, be sure to get a copy and review it thoroughly.
This will help you understand the terms and conditions of the warranty, as well as what is and isn’t covered.
It’s also a good idea to have a lawyer look over the contract to make sure you’re not getting taken advantage of.
11. Make Sure You Are Aware Of The Auto Warranty Cancellation Policy
When signing up for a new extended auto warranty, be sure to ask about the cancellation policy.
Some companies may require you to cancel your policy in writing, while others may allow you to cancel over the phone.
Make sure you are aware of the cancellation procedures before signing up.
12. Always Ask Questions If You Don’t Understand Something In The Extended Auto Warranty Contract You Are Being Offered
When looking for a new extended auto warranty, be sure to ask questions if you don’t understand something in the contract.
This is important, as you want to be sure you’re aware of all the details of the policy before signing up.
Otherwise, you may end up with some unwanted surprises in your coverage down the road.
13. Find Out What Is Covered And What Is Not Covered By Any Potential Extended Auto Warranty Policy
This is important because you want to be sure that the warranty you’re getting will cover the repairs that you need.
You don’t want to be surprised by a bill for something that’s not covered under your warranty.
14. Always Get A Copy Of The Warranty In Writing
This way, you’ll have something to refer back to if there are any questions or problems with your warranty.
Plus, it’s always nice to have proof that you have a warranty in case you need to use it.
15. Share Your Experience – It’s been proven that online reviewers and yelpers alike usually only share when the experience is either very good or very bad.
You’ll rarely catch an online review or testimonial of something mediocre, though a lot of times that’s exactly what the business needs to hear.
Dealerships, repair shops, lenders, etc., despite what you think, care about what you think and say.
In the world of social media and the most open communication we’ve ever seen, word-of-mouth is extremely powerful.
Was your vehicle reliable?
Was your mechanic trustworthy?
Was the dealer fair?
Let them know and who knows, you may have some leverage and negotiating power in the future.
Don’t let your vehicle have an expired vehicle warranty!
The last piece of advice is a given… so make sure you’re covered.
Average repair costs are no joke, and you should never risk being left with a financial burden, or worse, walking everywhere.
By following these extended auto warranty selection tips, you can be sure to find the best extended auto warranty for your needs.
Call us and we’ll let you know how we can help.