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Common Extended Warranty Questions

Last Modified: October 18, 2017 by Jeff Ostroff  | Published May 13, 2013

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get at CarBuyingTips.com:

Jeff, I just got ripped off on an Extended Warranty by the dealer!

What can I do?

Don't email us, do something about it! As you will learn in this chapter, third party coverage (technically an Extended Service Plan) can be significantly cheaper than what a dealer sells you for equal or better coverage. You might think it's too late to save, but you can always cancel it. The amount that you get back will depend on several factors. The longer you wait, the lower the refund will be. Keep in mind that the dealer will lose their commission on the sale and will try to convince you to keep it at all cost. If you found us quick enough, some states/warranties have grace periods during which you can cancel the coverage and get a full refund with no cancellation fees. So, get out the paperwork, read the fine print and start saving some money.

Some people tell me extended warranties are a waste of money

What should I do?

People who say that, have not thought it through. It's like insurance, maybe you'll need it. Bidders on eBay will pay more for a used car with a warranty. Most complaints from people about warranties are their own fault for buying the wrong coverage and under-covering their car with an inadequate contract that doesn't cover wear and tear. Others bought from postcard mailings, not researching the company first to verify it was financially sound. With rising repair prices, you need protection, from the right vehicle service plan from a company that won't let you down. During tough job markets, you can't afford to be unemployed, then have your car die with no safety net to pickup your repair bill. A good protection plan provides certainty in uncertain times.

The warranty sold to me by the car dealer is safe, isn't it?

Guess again. Some auto warranties, sold by car dealers require you to have your repair work done by the dealer. What do you do when the dealer goes out of business, and you're left holding the empty bag? Many dealers closed after the 2008 recession. Brands like Pontiac and Saturn are gone. You can be left without a safety net when your local dealer closes. We often hear from people who bought a no name policy at the car dealer and the company went belly up. You are better off buying right from the source with discounted pricing.

I can't afford to pay for a protection plan, but I'd like protection

Can I finance it?

Yes you can finance your purchase, making it easier for you to buy it, while ensuring you'll have protection on your vehicle, so ask the company you are talking with about zero percent financing. This is much better than the dealer, who often finances it into your 15% APR loan. Why pay 15% when you can pay 0%? Now you have no excuse for going without coverage just because you're a bit short on cash flow.

Why can't I get an extended warranty for my car?

For some cars. you just can't get coverage. People ask me why companies refuse to offer them coverage on their high performance cars. You won't find many companies willing to offer an extended coverage on vehicles like Land Rover, Mercedes AMG and some turbo engines like Porsche, etc. If you do find a company that covers these cars at normal prices, you can bet they won't cover wear and tear failures, and they'll try to get out of paying for any repairs.

Are my MacPherson struts covered?

The better auto warranties cover MacPherson struts, but not the inserts. These inserts can be thought of as shock absorbers, which no one covers, as they are a maintenance item. Some warranties won't cover your struts at all.

CarBuyingTips.com has affiliate referral relationships with multiple web sites. This means that for many of the links you see on this site, we are paid referral fees for leads generated from visitors that click on links or fill out forms on this site. In some cases we are paid a commission for a purchase made on a site that is linked to from CarBuyingTips.com. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.