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You’re stopped at a red light with several cars behind you at a major intersection. The light turns green but nothing happens when you push the gas pedal. Ignoring the honks, you get out of your car and raise the hood. With a sinking feeling, you realize that the engine is kaput, and it will cost a lot to fix it, not to mention the towing fees, car rental costs, and other hidden repair costs.

With an extended auto warranty, this all-too-common event is fixed quickly and safely. And, best of all, it won’t dent your wallet.

Warranties Basics

Warranty Basics

Protection from Costly Repairs

An extended auto warranty is like “money in the bank”. It protects you from the costly repairs that are often required as your car ages and the manufacturer's warranty expires.

Some car owners even call it car repair insurance, because you pay a single fee upfront (which often can be financed) and the warranty company pays for your repairs down the road.

Like insurance, it’s important to find the warranty that best fits your type of car, budget, as well as your threshold for repair risk. To figure out what’s the best warranty for your driving style, start by answering these questions:

Well Worth the Money

Some car owners would argue that an extended warranty isn’t needed. After all, today’s cars are remarkably reliable and their quality continues to improve. But there are a lot of sophisticated components and high-tech systems in each vehicle that can cost several hundred to several thousand dollars to fix. So, while some extended warranty plans may seem pricey, check out the rising costs of auto repairs and you’ll see extended warranties often pay for themselves, and then some, over the life of the contract.

Buy Sooner Rather than Later

When you buy a warranty is important too. You can purchase a warranty at the dealer when you purchase your car, or you can buy one afterwards, but don’t wait too long. The best time to buy a warranty is well before the manufacturer's warranty expires because as cars age, so do the chances for repairs, which will increase your warranty costs. So it’s best to buy a warranty while the car is still “young”.