Extended Car Warranty: Are They Worth It?

We’ve spent a lot of time exploring common car and vehicle issues on this blog. And, with so many potential problems that can occur, it would be no surprise to hear that you will all be getting extended warranties on your car. However, are extended warranties worth the extra money? I’m going to go through some of the basics with you and explain how things might not always be how they seem.

Standard warranties
Most car manufacturers offer three-year warranties as standard, although if you drive a lot, they will also expire at 60,000 miles or so. There are better standards out there, however. Kia, for example, offers seven-year warranties or 100,000 miles. Jaguar’s latest release comes with 100,000 miles or five years.

Extended warranties
Extended warranties can come in two forms. The first is an extension from the car manufacturer; that lasts for longer than a standard warranty. The second is from a dealer - and will usually be offered when you buy a used car. Now, both sound like a sensible thing to do, but you need to consider a few things first. Let’s go into those issues now.

When you are buying a new car, you have to be aware of its reliability. Now, some vehicles are far more reliable than others - the Honda Jazz, for example, has a great record. You can take a look at the Reliability Index to see the best cars currently scoring high on the scale. And, of course, you will also see the lowest.

Now, you might be thinking you should always avoid unreliable cars, right? Well, to an extent you would be right. But it’s not as simple as that, unfortunately. Take Range Rover for example. It’s a premium brand loved by its owners, and Rang Rovers sell like hotcakes, despite the fact they often score low on reliability. There’s a new Range Rover coming soon, and I imagine it will also fly out of the dealerships, regardless. Why is this? Because Range Rover owners just don’t care about the many issues they will face. They love their vehicles more and are buying into an aspirational product. They buy the warranty that will last them the length of time they will use the car, and then they will buy a new one. And it’s here that we can see the value of an excellent warranty - because it covers you for the lifetime of the car.

What to look for in a warranty
Of course, the quality of the warranty you get can vary wildly, too. But there will be lots of clues in the paperwork that should give you an idea of how good the car is going to be. Warranties that give you unlimited mileage and a long-term period of coverage are likely to be for excellent cars. If there are tighter restrictions, the more problems the manufacturer or dealer will think you might experience.

As with buying anything in life, there is always an element of gambling when you buy an extended warranty. And, it’s fair to say that the better warranty you have, the less likely it will be that you use it. Research well, study the paperwork and look online for flaws and mishaps with the car before you buy it. Only then will you have a clear idea about the effectiveness of buying an extended warranty. Hope that has cleared a few things up!

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