Are Extended Warranties for Cars Worth It?

Written by Banks Editorial Team
5 min. read
Written by Banks Editorial Team
5 min. read

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A car is a significant investment, and buyers want as much protection as possible. Vehicle owners buy car insurance policies and do their best to maintain their vehicles. However, not every car is perfect. Defects can decrease your vehicle’s quality, and some can make your vehicle unusable. Manufacturing flaws during the vehicle’s assembly aren’t your fault, and an extended auto warranty can take you off the hook for extra costs. Essentially, extended warranties help protect against surprise costs from vehicle breakdowns and often include benefits like reimbursements for hotels and rental cars should your car break down.

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What are Extended Car Warranties?

Most manufacturers and dealers offer a free warranty for new buyers. Eventually, that warranty will expire and eliminate your protections. You are responsible for making payments if a defect gets discovered after the vehicle service contract expires. An extended car warranty increases your costs, but it extends your protection. Your vehicle may have a defect after the initial contract ends, but an extended warranty can make the warranty provider responsible for the car part expenses.

How Does It Differ from a Factory Car Warranty?

A manufacturer’s warranty comes with the car and has basic protection. The extended warranty increases the duration of your contract and provides extra coverage options. In addition, the extended warranty has a broader scope of issues you can bring to the vehicle manufacturer or dealer’s attention and have them pay to fix your vehicle.

Is It Worth It to Get Extended Warranties for Cars?

An extended warranty can save you a lot of money if you end up using it. However, some cars do not encounter any defects, and the factory warranty may be sufficient. An extended warranty will increase your costs, but it can help. Your car’s status plays a significant role in determining if an extended warranty is right for you. 

Old Cars

A used car is not as reliable as a new car, making it more likely to experience defects and need repairs. Some car owners buy their vehicles through a lease purchase program, at which point the vehicle has lost value. However, it may be a good idea to purchase another car instead of repairing older vehicles. An extended warranty protects your asset, but not every asset is valuable enough to acquire protection.

New Cars

New cars are more reliable than old cars and less likely to experience immediate wear and tear. However, costly repairs can require thousands of dollars. Your car may never have issues, but if the thought of a $5,000 emergency expense frightens you, the extended warranty may be worth it. In addition, getting a refinance on your motorcycle, car, or other vehicles can provide you with the extra cash to cover this emergency expense if necessary.

Advantages of Extended Warranties for Cars

Are you on the fence about an extended warranty? Most people opt for an extended warranty for one of these reasons.

Drive Your Car Worry-free for Longer

When your warranty expires, you become responsible for repair costs. Cars lose value yearly from depreciation, reflecting the increased risk of holding onto a vehicle as it ages. Not everyone can afford repairs, and you will have greater peace of mind when you are on the road. An extended warranty reduces stress and can make your car more affordable. If you want to make your vehicle more affordable, you can also apply for an auto refinance loan to lower your monthly payment.

Keep Up-to-date with Technology

If your car has an issue, you will have to take it in for repairs. Car owners without warranties may opt for older technology to save on repairs, only to end up with the same problem a few months later. If you know the dealership or manufacturer is paying the bill, you can get the latest technology for covered repairs to your vehicle. This technology can improve your vehicle’s efficiency and extend the time between repairs.

Customize To What You Need to be Covered

Extended warranties provide additional protections that the factory warranty will not cover. You can customize your contract to see what your current plan covers. Each protection will increase your monthly costs. You will have to decide which protections are worth the investment, but it’s your choice. Drivers like to have a sense of control over their vehicles.

Get Added Benefits

An extended warranty offers more benefits and coverage than a factory warranty. You can save thousands of dollars by investing in an extended warranty.

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Disadvantages of Extended Warranties for Cars

An extended warranty increases your protection, but that protection comes at a cost. These disadvantages dissuade car owners from investing in extended warranties.

Repairs Might Cost Less Overall

The worst-case scenario repairs can cost thousands of dollars, but not every repair is that expensive. For example, vehicle repairs may only cost a few hundred dollars, which would not make the extended warranty worth the additional expense.

Doesn’t Cover Everything

Extended warranties cover more ground than factory warranties, but they still don’t cover everything. If an event or circumstance outside the contract affects your car, you will have to pay for repairs.

Requires Proof of Maintenance 

The manufacturer or dealership will want you to take responsible actions to keep the vehicle in good condition. You will have to commit to a routine maintenance schedule to use the extended warranty in the future. You may lose your extended warranty rights if you do not maintain your vehicle. The maintenance plan will increase the total costs of vehicle ownership. While this schedule can increase your car’s lifespan, it will make it more difficult to profit from the extended warranty.

Overlaps/Gaps in Your Protection

Protection isn’t as simple as it sounds. Your extended warranty may overlap with the factory warranty. Some consumers would prefer to extend the contract instead of buying additional protections. In this case, the overlap is a waste of money since you have two active warranties at the same time. You may also have a gap in coverage between the factory warranty and the extended warranty. If anything happens to your vehicle during this gap, you have no coverage.

Pay a Deductible

You may have to pay a deductible before the manufacturer or dealership covers the remaining costs of repairs. Some people may not have enough funds for this deductible, which can range from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000. A vehicle refinance can help you come up with the funds for a deductible if necessary. You should review deductibles before paying for an extended warranty.

How Much Is the Average Cost of Extended Car Warranties?

Extended car warranty costs range from $1,000 to $4,500, but the average extended warranty costs roughly $2,550. Your monthly costs and warranty duration will depend on the warranty you select. Car owners can select from different plans and incorporate several safeguards. 

Should You Get an Extended Car Warranty?

Extended car warranties provide great protection for expensive repairs and make you feel safer on the road. You won’t have to worry about a surprising defect ruining your finances. However, an extended warranty takes up space in your monthly budget, and you may never use it to save money on repairs. Even if your vehicle needs repairs, some minor incidents will cost less than the actual warranty. An extended warranty is not for everyone. You can spend all of that money for nothing, or you can end up saving thousands of dollars in repair costs.

Will You Lose Your Warranty if You Refinance Your Car?

A car refinance can help you lower your monthly loan payments and get extra cash or reduce the overall amount you pay on your vehicle loan. You can achieve other objectives with a refinance, but some drivers shy away from a refinance because they wonder how it will affect an extended warranty. Fortunately, a car refinance will not impact your warranty. You can keep your contract and save on lower monthly loan payments. If you want to pay your auto loan quicker, you can shorten your loan through a refinance. This financing strategy also helps you capitalize on lower interest rates.

A car refinance is a valuable choice for vehicle owners, especially if you want to squeeze an extended warranty into your budget. Auto Approve makes it easy to get a new loan for your vehicle. Auto Approve submits your information to their network of banks, credit unions, and other lenders. You can get a car refinance by submitting your details on Auto Approve’s website.

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