‘Free’ Used Car Warranty: Things You Should Be Aware of Before You Sign Up


After buying a used car, chances are high that it has an extended warranty that you can use for free for a specific time. But realistically, this warranty does not come free since the seller factored it when quoting the selling price for the car. Depending on the type of warranty, you can expect to enjoy the cover just as the old owner used to, though for a limited period. Frankly, ‘free’ used car warranty is more complicated than most car sellers make it appear. There are several things that you need to know before signing up.

The Extension on the Warranty Really Matters

Actually, this is not just a thing to be aware of when buying a used car but also when buying a new one. For example, having a ‘free’ use car warranty that has a year left makes more sense than one with a month left on it. So, the more the extension, the better it is for you.

Minimally, the Warranty Covers Powertrain Costs

Though some warranties cover more issues than others, what they have in common is powertrain coverages. This is coverage for the engine and power transmission. In this case, you can bank on the warranty if the engine or the transmission system of your used car experience mechanical issues while using it. However, these issues have to be internal. Simply, the engine or the transmission has to have failed on its own before you can think of the warranty.

The Older the Car, the Less the Coverage

Normally, the more a car is used, the higher the mileage. This means that fewer years are left on the warranty. So, you are likely to find a small mileage extension on an older car than a car that has been used for a few years. In case of a higher mileage extended car warranty, you usually do not get coverage against things like electrical parts, sensors, fuel pumps, and battery.

You May Still Incur Out-of-Pocket Expenses

As you already know, ‘free’ used car warranty doesn’t mean that you won’t take money out of your pocket to pay for some repairs and maintenances. For example, things to do with the tires, reflectors, and brakes are not always covered by an extended warranty. You’ll have to pay for such repairs. If it’s an accident that ruins your car’s body, then it’s auto insurance that should come to your rescue and not the warranty.

May Come with a Pre-Selected Mechanic

Some ‘free’ extended warranties require you to take the car to a specific mechanic shop when you experience powertrain challenges. Only then can you enjoy free service. But still, there are a few others that give you the liberty to choose your own mechanic. For all it’s worth, you should ensure that you fully understand this clause before you can sign up for the warranty.

Clearly, there’s so much to know about ‘free’ used car warranty before you can consider the offer. When everything is clear, it becomes easy to decide if the deal is a good one for you or not. So, you should make your concerns answered before signing up. But for starters, understand the above basics.

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