How to Compare Auto Warranties

Auto warranties cover some or all of the cost of maintaining and repairing your car for a certain amount of time or mileage. Auto warranties give car owners peace of mind and may also help them save money.

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    • You can purchase an auto warranty through your car dealer or through a warranty company. Many new cars automatically come with dealer warranties, which are often backed by the car's manufacturer.


    • Dealer and manufacturer warranties tend to be your safest option, since warranty companies are more likely to go out of business. However, dealer and manufacturer warranties are often more expensive. If you choose a warranty company, research the company before purchasing a warranty plan.


    • Coverage options vary widely. For example, some warranties only cover "breakdown" repairs, not replacements for worn out or old parts. Some plans offer "roadside assistance," such as charging dead batteries and helping with flat tires. Most warranties do not cover tires, shocks, light bulbs, glass and paint.


    • Unexpected mail or phone calls claiming your auto warranty is about to expire are sometimes scams, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Never give out your credit card number or bank information during an unsolicited sales pitch and always research companies before purchasing warranties.

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