Car warranties: what you need to know - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Car warranties: what you need to know

We get complaints nearly every day from people who say they bought a used car and it broke down only days after they drove off the lot.

For those who bought that car "as is" you're out of luck. But you can avoid that by buying an extended warranty. And it's worth the extra money.

Used car warranties can sometimes be hard to understand. You may find yourself asking is it worth it?

Here's a breakdown of what warranties might be available to you:

Basic used:  You may get a percentage off of parts and labor but coverage may only last a short amount of time. 

Extended length:  These service contracts can protect used vehicles up to 100,000 miles.

Certified pre-owned:  This coverage sometimes comes with extras like roadside assistance.

No matter which option you choose, make sure you read the fine print.

"Bumper to bumper" coverage may come with so many loopholes that it's almost impossible to get anything fixed.

Here's one more thing to remember:  the warranty on paper is only as good as the company behind it, so research them first

You should try buying the manufacturer's own extended warranty, not one from an independent company.

Last but not least, try setting aside money in a savings account for repairs.

While a survey by Consumer Reports shows 55% of people who bought an extended warranty never used it, if you're in that other 45% you're not going to be too happy.

While there's not much you can do about a car you bought in bad condition, if you keep up the maintenance on a decent car, you may not have to make a lot of costly repairs.

For a list of companies and car makers with the best warranties, click here.

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