An extended vehicle warranty pays for some or all of the cost to repair certain parts of your car after its manufacturer’s warranty expires. This type of protection may help you avoid paying high out-of-pocket repair costs, especially if you drive an older model or a vehicle with higher maintenance costs. But an extended warranty can be costly, and it’s important to weigh the benefits and costs before purchasing one.

Many automakers offer their own extended warranties, while third-party companies also sell them. Generally, manufacturers’ warranties are more expensive than those from third-party providers. In addition, their warranties typically cover fewer components than those from third-party providers.

Extended warranty plans typically include a range of services, including roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement and trip interruption coverage. However, the exact services and deductibles will vary between warranties. For example, Audi’s warranty plans last up to eight years and 150,000 miles and come with a $100 deductible, while Ford’s most basic plan (PowertrainCARE) covers 29 component repairs for five years or 60,000 miles.

In most cases, if you have an extended warranty and your vehicle needs to be repaired, you’ll need to take it to the dealer that offers the plan. But some third-party warranties allow you to choose your own repair shop. In other cases, you’ll need to get the car diagnosed and then provide the warranty company with a list of recommended repairs.

Before you buy an extended warranty, read the terms and conditions carefully to make sure you understand what’s covered and what’s not. For example, some extended warranties exclude mechanical failure due to commercial use or “acts of God.” Others exclude routine maintenance services like oil changes. Some also exclude parts that naturally wear out, such as tires and brakes.

While an extended warranty can save you money on repairs, it’s not a good idea for everyone. In general, you’re better off saving the money and investing it in a dependable used car instead. However, if your vehicle isn’t reliable and you have significant credit card debt or an emergency fund, it might be worth the peace of mind that an extended warranty can provide.

Before you purchase an extended warranty, check out reviews from other customers and the company’s financial strength and business practices, which you can find by visiting their profile on WalletHub. If you’re unsure whether an extended warranty is right for you, consider taking the time to research other options and talk to an experienced mechanic. This way, you’ll be confident you’re getting the best possible price and coverage. extended vehicle warranty

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