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extended warranty, as suggestions on what to look for

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jenny Trostel, Partner at Anderson of Hunt Valley The warranty should cover everything but maintenance and body parts and trim. You should figure out how many miles a year that you drive and how long you will keep the car. Purchase a warranty based on that info. For example, if you plan to keep the car for 3 years and you drive 15,000 miles a year, the warranty should cover you for at least 36 months and 45,000 miles. Ask the repair facility where you go if they will take payment from the warranty company. Ask the repair facility for recommendations of types of warranties that are good. It is okay to find a warranty that has a small deductible, that keeps the cost down. Ask lots of questions when you purchase a warranty. Good Luck!

Patricia Algier , Owner at Valley Dealer Exchange Inc On extended warranties there are two kinds. Inclusive which means everything is included besides service Items as long as it is factory equipped. Those are the best warranties. Then there are Stated coverage warranties which only the components listed in the warranty are covered. These are limited and often one component may be covered but another part has to be removed to replace it and they will not cover the labor to remove that part to get to the other. Also look for Deductibles, Limits as to where you can have the work done, Do you have to pay upfront and then get reimbursed or do they pay mechanic directly. Find out how long they have been in business and if they have complaints from consumer affairs, Better Business Bureau, Insurance commissioner. Always read the paragraph on what is not covered. Find out if you can cancel it and get a prorated amount back and if you can transfer it if you sell the car. Patti

Rexanne Smith, Founder at Robin, Extended warranties are an excellent option to consider. Most dealers offer a selection of warranties to fit almost everyone's needs. Warranties typically include 'extras' that may cover towing expenses, discounted car rental service, as well as many other services. I believe women find these even more beneficial because they provide a saftey net. Things to consider: In the event of a covered occurence, your vehicle purchase costs for the repair of your car could be very high due to use of the latest technologies. With an extended warranty you could repair the car without crippling your budget. Extended warranties will help you save money. Of course it is a gamble as well. What if nothing ever goes wrong or needs to be repaired? That is something you will have to decide, however, for yourself. Remember, the cost of repairs can be relatively higher than the extended warranty itself. Also, consider GAP coverage. If your vehicle is declared a total loss, your auto insurance company may not cover the amount needed to pay off your finance contract. Auto insurance companies will generally pay the market value of the vehicle minus the auto insurance deductible. So who pays the remainder? You do, unless you have Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP). The GAP Insurance program will pay the difference between your vehicle's market value and the balance on your finance contract. Extended warranties are an available option worth considering. You just need to decide if you can afford not to have that "safety net".

Jessie L Thatcher, F&I and Sales Specialist at Reynolds and Reynolds Company  (Retired) When considering an extended warranty for your vehicle the most important thing to know is WHO is issuing the policy. Ideally it should be from the manufacturer of your vehicle. IE: Toyota, GM, Ford, etc. this insures it will be accepted in any branded service center. Secondly what exactly does it cover? You should know your vehicle warranty status. IE Fumper to Bumper 36 months 36000 miles or 5 yr. 50,000 miles and in some instances more. What is the actual starting date and mileage on the ESC? Most new cars start at day one of ownership and mile 1, even if you buy it later in the ownership it goes back to these paramenters. Ask a lot of questions, be sure you understand the answers and don't forget, NEGOTIATE the price. Usually you are quoted the MSRP but this price may be able to be lowered if you negotiate. If you are keeping your vehicle for a long time, past the factory warranty an ESC can be a good idea. If you trade every 2-3 years and drive the normal miles, you probably don't need one.

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