Aftermarket Car Warranties
The terms “extended warranty” and “aftermarket warranty” are nearly synonymous. Aftermarket warranties and extended warranties are basically the same thing, and both amount to what is not exactly a warranty, but more like a service plan that can be purchased for any car. (Some consumer protection publications points out that these programs aren’t considered warranties under the federal law’s definition of a warranty.) They are not an insurance plan, though aftermarket car warranty companies use insurance-related terminology is a marketing strategy meant to stoke fear in your new purchase and inspire confidence in the aftermarket car warranty’s ability to safeguard against what they’d like you to believe is imminent disaster. Unlike insurance, though, aftermarket car warranty companies are not subject to close federal oversight or regulation.
Now that you have a better idea of what you’re actually buying, let’s take a closer look at aftermarket car warranties, and how to find the best aftermarket car warranty.
There are basically two ways to determine if an extended warranty is worth the expense – pure math (with a little hypothesizing) or peace of mind.
So, once you’ve decided to go ahead and buy, how do you find the best aftermarket car warranty?
First, decide what kind of coverage you’ll think you might need, and what you believe is worth the expense. Aftermarket warranties often come in similar levels to regular manufacturer warranties (like individual powertrain or bumper to bumper warranty packages) and one can be purchased without the other. Some extended warranties also include frills like rental cars and lodging, in case you get stranded while your car is being repaired.
The Best Aftermarket Car Warranty
You’ll probably get offered several extended warranty packages while you’re cornered at the dealership, and even though it is usually not a good idea to buy an extended warranty at the same time you buy the car, a dealer-offered package is probably your safest bet. Third-party warranties are usually less expensive than extended manufacturer warranties.