- is the safest bet in the used-car world
- But if you’re not buying a CPO car from a franchise dealer, can you still get a warranty?
- Yes, but buying one can be tricky.
To find a company that will warranty a used car
- with 150,000 miles on it, sight unseen
- But such companies don’t exist because
- there’s no way they can buy everyone a new engine and transmission and still stay in business
So let’s look at the realistic options
- Some dealer groups and used-car chains offer their own CPO warranty programs
- Prices vary according to the coverage and car
- but coverage is usually minimal:
- e.g. CarMax, which has more than 100 locations across the country
--- certifies its own cars and
--- everything it sells has a “limited 30-day warranty”
--- which is actually 60 days in Connecticut and 90 in Massachusetts due to local laws
--- CarMax also offers “MaxCare,” an extended service plan that expands the coverage
----- to most of the mechanicals except for wear-and-tear items, fluids, wheels, glass, and trim
--- Check the website, which details what is and isn’t covered
There are also aftermarket warranties:
- In December 2009, we checked these out, and we didn’t like what we saw.
- A cluster of companies, most based in the St. Louis area, used high-pressure tactics to get signatures on warranty deals
- One of the biggest, US Fidelis
--- previously known as National Auto Warranty Services
--- went bankrupt, and at least 2 of its executives went to prison.
- To avoid a scam, look for a company that has been in business for a long time
e.g. EasyCare has been around since 1984
- It was formerly purchased & owned by Ford
- but the company’s employees & equity partners bought it back in 2007
- The company sells its contracts outright, or through more than 2000 dealers
- and while it recommends that you use the selling dealer for service
- any licensed repair facility is acceptable
- There are 4 different levels of coverage &
--- price varies by the level, the vehicle, and its mileage
-- The costs, however, are often negotiable.
9 warranty-buying tips:
1. Never buy a warranty based strictly on a phone sales pitch.
2. Always have a contract in hand for review before you make a decision.
3. Don’t be taken in by “today only” price pitches.
4. Every contract has an “insurer” or “underwriter”
- Find out who that is and check the company rating at ambest.com,
- the website for A.M. Best, a century-old insurance-rating service.
5. Make sure you know your deductible & that it is only charged once per repair visit.
6. Never buy a warranty based on the performance of a product
- a bottle of magic liquid, e.g.
- That tactic is a way around certain consumer-protection laws.
7. Buy from a company that pays directly for repairs, not one that says it will reimburse you.
8. Extended warranties are often transferable
- When you purchase a car with an extended warranty
- paying a transfer fee (which usually varies by state) will transfer the remaining coverage.
9. Get the refund policy in writing
- If you sell the car and don’t transfer the warranty to somebody else,
- you should be entitled to a refund for the unused portion of the warranty
By Steven Cole Smith | Car and Driver – Thu, May 23, 2013
A Guide to Certified Used Car Programs: http://www.caranddriver.com/features/a-guide-to-certified-used-car-programs