Buying a used car is a wonderful option, but one must be smart when making a choice about which used car to purchase. It’s best to do plenty of research and take your time when making a decision. But even the best cars have problems. So how can you protect yourself from having to shell out a lot of money on repairs soon after you buy? Here’s the rundown on used car warranty options.
No warranty. In many states you can buy and sell cars directly between two people without a dealership or other third party. In those cases, cars rarely carry a warranty and you’re expected to deal with any issues on your own as soon as all the paperwork has changed hands.
Implied warranty. The implication in this warranty is that the car will run. In states where you can’t sell a car without a warranty, an implied warranty is the standard base for private sales. Basically, if your car malfunctions or quits soon after purchase and a mechanic can prove the issue existed at or before the time of the sale, then the prior owner has to cover the repairs.
Basic warranty. A step up from no warranty and an implied warranty, the basic used car warranty is just what it sounds like: basic. These warranties can last as little as thirty days and usually only cover partial cost of repairs on pre-specified components.
Extended warranty. Complex and variable beasts, extended warranties need to be looked over especially carefully. They last much longer than basic warranties, but the services covered might be just as minimal as a basic warranty or could be much more comprehensive. How much coverage you get with this type of warranty is between you and the seller.
Manufacturer’s warranty. Occasionally, you’ll find a slightly used, new-ish car still covered by the original manufacturer’s warranty. Research the terms carefully so that you know how and if it will apply to you after purchase.
Separate warranties for parts and accessories. If parts of the car have been replaced or accessories (like a new stereo) were added to the car after purchase, then those individual items may have their own warranties. Don’t forget to ask about those at time of purchase and have them turned over to you – you don’t want to miss out on coverage of any small piece of your car.