Minnesota is a great state for drivers. Whether it’s heading up north to the cabin for a weekend or taking in the views across the Mississippi along Highway 61 - driving in the North Star State is generally wonderful. You might have to deal with a “bit” of construction and then there’s that other season after fall that ends somewhere around April (on a good year). So, although the Twin Cities tends to be public transportation friendly, many Minnesotans still opt to travel by car. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics states, “87 percent of daily trips take place in personal vehicles.”
So, if automobile is your transportation mode of choice, and you've chosen to invest in a pre-owned vehicle, like many car buyers you might be asking, “should I get an extended warranty for my car if I live in Minnesota?” In this post, we'll clarify what an extended warranty is, and when it’s a good idea to invest in one!
What is an Extended Warranty?
Simply put, an extended warranty is a service contract that will cover the cost of certain repairs and services after the factory warranty expires. Extended warranties are offered by the auto dealership at an additional charge. Used vehicles usually do not come with warranties, so they can be more of a gamble if something goes wrong. Warranties are entirely optional, and most of the time, they help with mechanical or electrical components which are usually not covered by a factory warranty.
Two Types of Extended Warranties:
Inclusionary: Only covers items in the contract.
Exclusionary: Covers both a list of items in the contract and items not covered by the warranty.
Pro Buyer Tip: Brochures are sample materials for warranties, ask if you can read the actual agreement to see exactly what is in the contract.
What is a Factory Warranty? Manufacturers warranties provide part of the cost of a new vehicle. These warranties usually only cover specific problems and last for a period or miles driven on new cars. For many people, warranties are a big reason to buy a new vehicle. New vehicle warranties usually last for 36,000 miles, or 3 years, whichever comes first.
How long does an extended warranty last? There are usually several different options to choose from, some lasting 40,000 to 100,000 miles.
What’s included in an extended warranty? While extended warranties typically cover a wide variety of repairs, they can vary by provider. Check with your dealership to see what’s included, as you may discuss other options such as paint protection, road-hazard warranties for tires, maintenance plans, and more.
Pro Tip: Ask the Financing and Insurance manager if there are any money-back warranties, these warranties are ideal in the fact that if you don’t use it, you get your money back.
Why Purchase an Extended Warranty on a Pre-Owned Vehicle?
Vehicles depreciate the most in their first few years of life — according to Edmunds as much as 31% of the original True Market Value within 2 years. Which is why many savvy consumers (about half the market) are turning to pre-owned vehicles instead of buying brand new.
In many cases a nearly new one-owner vehicle may come with a portion of the factory warranty still intact. However, it may only last a year or less from your purchase date. So an extended warranty is often a good idea.
Before you decide on which extended warranty is right for you, you’re going to want to do a little research. Just like you may have done for finding the perfect vehicle option for you, check out a J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability study, to show which type of car gets more expensive as it ages.
Buyers Pro Tip: User forums or online reviews are a goldmine of information from real owners on reliability. Plus, don’t forget to look at the pre-purchase inspection!
When is an Extended Warranty Right for Me?
With so many options on the market, which offer different things, it can seem like you’re swimming in a pile of extra add-ons. We suggest you ask a few questions first:
Extended Warranty Questions to Ask:
- What is covered?
- What is not covered?
- What is the cost of the extended warranty?
- How long will the extended warranty last?
- Does an extended warranty overlap with the manufacturers warranty?
- Who is backing the warranty?
- How do you plan to use your vehicle?
- Where can I get my vehicle serviced under this warranty?
- How will you be reimbursed for repairs?
- Will the warranty company work with the shop, or pay out-of-pocket expenses while waiting for reimbursement?
- Do you need pre-approval from the warranty company before a shop can start repairs?
- Is the contract transferable?
- When is an extended warranty right for me?
Beyond the questions, you’ll want to ask yourself if it’s the right fit for you and your driving lifestyle. Below, we list three reasons you may want to consider extra protection for your car.
Three Times When it Makes Sense to Get an Extended Warranty:
- You Plan to Keep the Vehicle around for a Few Years
If you are trading in your vehicle every year or two, an extended warranty may not make sense. However, if you've invested in a car that you want to keep on the road for a few years, an extended warranty is often the right choice.
- You've Invested in the Latest Technology and Safety Features
At Poquet, we’re always excited to see new vehicle technology hit the roads. From assisted parallel park to lane-keeping functions, technology is making driving smoother and safer than ever. However, more advanced technology is also more expensive to fix. Although newer cars are more reliable, the repair costs can be a shock when something goes wrong.
Protect your investment. An extended warranty means that you can invest in the technology you need to drive and safety and comfort, without worrying about the cost of fixing that technology down the road.
- You Want Peace of Mind
No matter how good the vehicle and how much homework you’ve done - you just never know what might happen to your vehicle. If you’ve decided to buy a fully inspected pre-owned vehicle with a clean vehicle history, you’re making a money-saving investment. Protecting that investment with an extended warranty in most cases is a sound decision that will help you sleep a little easier.
3 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT Extended WarrantIES
You may feel like it’s a game of Russian roulette on whether to buy an extended warranty the day you pick out your vehicle, but don’t fret. Here are three things you might not know about extended warranties that might reduce the stress of making that decison:
- You don’t have to purchase one when you buy the car. There is time to shop around and find one that fits your needs, but it’s advised to get one as early as possible or at the very least - in the first year of ownership.
- An extended warranty starts the day you get it, and not the day that the old one expires. This means you could be paying more for double coverage until your factory warranty ends.
- There are three distributors of extended warranties: the car manufacturer, the dealership, and independent entities.
The Bottom Line: No matter what, if you set aside some money for car repairs, or you prefer the convenience and peace of mind that comes with an extended warranty, you and your car will work out just fine on Minnesota’s roadways! If having an extended warranty is the route you choose to take, our best advice is to pay for extended warranties up front. If in doubt contact a local expert.
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