Get A Worthwhile Used-Car Warranty By Weighing These Details

Get A Worthwhile Used-Car Warranty By Weighing These Details

A used-car warranty can be a tangled mess of options, but Popular Mechanics has put together a list of everything you need to know if you want the extended coverage through a manufacturer warranty or a private dealership. Most importantly, they provide a good way to decide whether you need the warranty or not.

Photo by Daniel Oines.

If you’re picking up a car from a dealership then chances are you’ll be offered one of two warranty options: a manufacturer certified warranty or a private warranty. Popular Mechanics suggests both are on equal ground as far as the potential coverage is concerned, but a more important factor is whether it’s worth it. They suggest looking at a few factors beyond just repair cost:

Weigh what you owe on the car and its potential resale value; then consider whether you can afford to drop multiple thousands of dollars on a new engine or a replacement transmission, or whether the hedge of an extended warranty (which could cost you somewhere between $600 and $2000) is a smarter gamble.

Essentially, research the cost of repair work, but also factor in potential resale value and the amount you owe on the car to help you decide if it’s worth the cost. As always with a warranty, make sure that major repair work is covered before you consider investing in it. Check out the post on Popular Mechanics for everything you need to know when deciding on a car warranty.

How to Get a Used-Car Warranty (and Not Get Screwed) [Popular Mechanics]


  • The photo makes me think “It’s just another US LH story that will have no relevance here.” Possibly unfair, but it happens a fair bit, so that’s my reflexive thought.

    • i’m with you on that one – especially because has spoken a fair bit about extended warranties lately, in light of recent changes to Australian Consumer Law.

      they should probably refer to that article in here, too.

  • My father in law used to run a large yard, owned a used car yard and does finance now. It’s funny his friend sells warranty and they mentioned last night that warranty is usually void in the first 6 months when people don’t get a service or they loose the log book.

    Also you can get some companies that you log your services online, never loosing the book, but if you make a claim its easier for a service desk rep to turn it down instead of seeing the dealer in person and making them feel someone accountable (though it’s not their fault you lost your book ect). Sometimes they do things like dealer assists, where you pay 1/3, the dealer pays 1/3 and the warranty company ways 1/3. (though its not always split 3 ways.

    My comments are neither here nor there, nor for or against.

    Though I’ll say that if you want warranty, be friendly with the dealer and ask for their favorite warranty company, buy off them twice or refer a friend and you’ll always get a better service and better after care because your helping them earn a living in a cut throat industry. As much as people hate them you’ll do a lot better when you have a smile to.

  • Mechanical warranty on used cars in Australia is almost useless. Only things that are highly unlikely to break are actually warranted.

    When was the last time the ring gear on a distributor broke? Probably never in the history of cars, ever.

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