When your car ticks past the 100,000-mile mark, you might get a bit nervous about its lifespan. You will face repair costs – that’s unavoidable – and the costs depend upon the repairs needed and the brand of car you own. After all, a car is a conglomerate of metal, rubber and electronics, so you might think it’s time to purchase an extended warranty for your ride.
Similar to a regular car insurance policy, car warranties cover vehicle malfunctions and defects for a certain period of time. New vehicles always come with a manufacturer’s car warranty, usually for three years or 30,000 miles, but some manufacturer’s warranties extend longer, depending on your car’s brand.
Extended Car Warranties Can Benefit Used Car Owners
If your vehicle is nearing or past the manufacturer’s warranty, you can still get an extended warranty to cover it once the dealer’s warranty has ended. The best time to buy the extended car warranty is before the manufacturer’s warranty runs out. You can easily find a warranty for a car with fewer than 100,000 miles. It’s when that 100,000-mile mark rolls over that coverage with an extended car warranty becomes a little more expensive. An extended warranty for cars over 100k miles will always cost more than if the vehicle was still under the manufacturer’s warranty.
Nearly 90 percent of cars on the road today are in need of some sort of repair, according to the Car Care Council. An extended warranty for cars with high mileage is mainly for those unable to cover the costs associated with a sudden expensive repair. Once your dealer’s warranty runs out at around 36,000 miles or three to five years (whichever comes first), it can be a struggle to foot the bill of an expensive car repair. Benefits of having an extended car warranty on a vehicle with over 100,000 miles include:
- Longer coverage on parts and components once your dealer’s warranty runs out
- With older cars, you can save money over time on repair costs
- Extended warranties add to your car’s resale value
There are three main types of extended car coverage that benefit cars with more than 100,000 miles:
|Main types of extended car coverages|
|Powertrain||Least comprehensive; only covers main generative components|
|Inclusionary||Covers specifically covered components|
|Exclusionary||Most comprehensive (lists what is not covered rather than what is)|
You can also purchase specialty coverage for commercial and business vehicle use for hybrid, electric and natural gas vehicles, windshield repair, key loss or damage, navigational systems and high-tech electronic components.
Extended car warranties benefit people with used cars and cars with over 100,000 miles on them the most. If you’re shopping for an extended car warranty plan for your older car, keep these things in mind:
Do you plan to keep the vehicle for a long time? If the answer is yes, you know your car will eventually need some fairly expensive repairs.
Will you be required to pay a deductible? If so, that amount matters quite a bit to most people. The point of having an extended car warranty is to protect you from high repair costs. If you have a policy with a high deductible, you might just end up right where you started and find yourself unable to repair your vehicle.
Does the warranty include perks? Consider whether you will have the extra expense of a rental car while your car is being repaired, the cost of roadside assistance and trip interruption expenses. Some car warranties include perks such as these.
Can you choose where repairs are made? Some extended warranty companies only let take your car to certain mechanics. If you’ve moved away from your original dealership or mechanic, you might look into an extended warranty that lets you choose where to take your car. If your warranty specifically says you must bring the vehicle back to the original dealership, that could spell trouble if your car doesn’t start. Even if you don’t plan on moving, keep this issue in mind.
You may need approval before repairs occur. Make sure you know the car warranty’s process for when breakdowns occur. Your extended warranty paperwork will tell you how to contact the warranty company about your car’s problems. In most cases, the repair shop must call the warranty company to get approval before starting on repairs.
Think about the money. Can you afford to buy an extended car warranty? A rule of thumb goes like this: Figure up the annual cost of your warranty and your deductible and compare that with the cost of various repairs your older car may need. Keep in mind, there are varying levels of coverage: bumper to bumper, drivetrain only and electrical only.
Does the warranty require you to pay for repairs first? If so, you have to send in paperwork to get repaid. Instead, always choose for the warranty company to pay the repair shop directly.
If you modify your vehicle, your warranty might be voided. Adding fancy lights or a loud muffler might cost you more than you realize in the end. Always keep in mind the things that can void your car warranty.
Coverage limits: Take note that an extended warranty for a car with more than 100,000 miles probably has a limit to its coverage. That limit could be a time period, a mileage cap or, a cost of repairs cap. Always read the fine print of your warranty before signing.
Many extended car warranty companies offer a 30-day guarantee, but some do not. Each company has a waiting period you must go through before repairs can be performed. Your plan’s contract should spell out whether it includes a guaranteed repair time frame.