5. Know the Bottom Line
Like all services, you get what you pay for in extended warranties. If you look for the most inexpensive plan out there, you probably aren't getting the coverage you need. But paying more isn't necessarily better. You have to read the fine print, make sure your needs are met, and feel confident that the plan will be there to protect you when repairs arise.
Don't be pressured into a plan at a dealership. You can always come back and buy the plan another day. Some dealerships force people to take extended warranties if they want to get financing. While not illegal, this usually indicates that the dealer's business practices are less than above board. In these situations, you should probably seek out a different dealer. In the worst case, you can always get your financing through local banks.
The decision to buy an extended warranty comes down to your comfort level. If you don't like dealing with mechanics, are worried that you might not have the cash to cover expensive repairs, or can't do without transportation for even a day, then an extended warranty might be for you. On the other hand, if you have discretionary income, are comfortable with your mechanic, or have alternative transportation, perhaps it is best to invest your money elsewhere.
In the end it is up to the consumer. A car or truck is a big investment and extended warranties don't come cheap. Buyers need to be aware of all their options and keep an open mind when shopping. Extended warranties offer a comfort level that some people don't mind paying for. Just remember that the companies offering the extended warranties are businesses and wouldn't offer the plans if they didn't make money on them.
For more information on extended warranties and related topics, check out the links on the next page.
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