When buying a used car, you'll probably be offered an extended warranty. Of course, you may find yourself asking: Are extended warranties on used cars worth it? That's a difficult question to answer because there are a lot of factors that will impact your decision. The price of the car matters, as does its overall value, alongside the cost of the warranty, and what that warranty actually covers. Here are some of the most important things to consider when deciding if an extended warranty on a used car is right for you.

How Much Is the Value of the Car?

Knowing the car's value can be vitally important when trying to decide if an extended warranty on your used car is worth it. There's a big difference between a car that only cost a couple thousand dollars and a car that cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Warranty companies will provide vehicle service contracts on almost any car, whether it's actually worth it to the owner or not, so understanding the factory warranties that may still be in place, covered repair costs, and the true value of the vehicle can make a big difference in determining the importance of having an extended warranty on your vehicle.

What Is the Total Cost of the Warranty?

Buying an extended warranty is like buying anything else. In other words, it pays to shop around. Extended car warranties aren't all the same, and a party warranty for unexpected repairs may not be helpful if the nearest repair shop that honors it is hours away. Warranty companies don't focus on that, so it's the responsibility of the person buying the car to make sure the policy's terms and limitations work.

Additionally, if you have an auto loan and the warranty covers all the basics for not a lot of money, getting one can be a good idea. You'll have to make the monthly payments and eventually payoff the loan even if the car doesn't run, so being able to get it fixed without spending a lot of money out of pocket can make a big difference.

What Does the Warranty Really Cover?

A good warranty will cover roadside assistance and repair costs, along with some other issues. Powertrain warranties are a good choice, because powertrain problems can be very costly. Additionally, bumper to bumper warranties can cover issues that a new owner may not expect, but ones that could really add up in price if they aren't taken care of the right way. When you buy a used car and consider getting a warranty on it, know what the warranty actually covers in order to protect yourself from financial harm.

Is the Warranty Good for a Long Time?

When a warranty expires can be just as significant as what it covers. For example, a warranty that's only good for six months might not be worth as much as one that last five years. Most vehicles will operate for a long time before breaking down or needing repairs, and a short-term warranty is likely to expire long before you ever need it. That's unfortunate for the owner of the car, as the only one to benefit will be the company that sold the owner the warranty.

How Reliable is the Vehicle You're Buying?

Reliability is something that has to be determined on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis, but there are some brands that are considered more reliable than others. That's true with certain vehicle models and even certain model years, as well. If you're buying something that had a lot of recalls on it for that model year or a model that has known reliability problems, it might be more important to choose a warranty in order to reduce your financial risk. Of course, there's no guarantee that everything that could go wrong will be covered, but it will give you a much better chance of avoiding expensive repairs if you have a good warranty on the vehicle.

What Kind of Mileage Does the Car Have On It?

A car's mileage matters. Some vehicles are sold when they're still low in mileage, and those vehicles will have a smaller chance of breaking down than vehicles that are higher in mileage. Vehicle components wear out eventually, but that's less likely to occur with lower mileage cars. If you're buying something that's already got a lot of mileage on it, but still has good value, it may be a good idea to make sure you have an extended warranty you can rely on. Then you'll have more peace of mind and feel protected financially, so you can enjoy the car and handle repairs easily if they come up in the future.

Find a Great Used Car That Meets Your Needs With PrivateAuto Today

You don't need to settle for less than a quality used car. Whether you decide to have a warranty for repair costs or not, you can still have peace of mind when you buy a car through PrivateAuto. It's a good idea to have extended car warranties in most cases, but buying through a trusted site can also help you feel more secure about your purchase so you can enjoy the road ahead more fully.