Car Warranties and VSC’s:  What do I look for, and are they necessary?

What is a VSC, this is the extension of repair services not auto insurance or factory warranty.

You think you’ve finally gotten all the tough decisions related to buying your brand-new car. You’re picturing yourself driving it off the lot, windows down, wind in your hair. You’re exhausted from all the steps that have led up to this point, but they were worth it because now you’re about to sign the papers and get the keys.

And then the dealer strongly advises you about buying a warranty because of all these scary-sounding reasons. Your mind goes on overdrive and you think it’s going to crash.

There are different kinds of VSC.

The first thing you should be aware of is that not all warranties are created equal.

A factory warranty is the warranty that is offered by virtually all car manufacturers on new vehicles. These warranties typically include a new vehicle limited warranty which is sometimes referred to as a bumper-to-bumper warranty (no such thing, coverage on everything). Also frequently included is a powertrain warranty, maintenance, corrosion and emissions coverage. The amount of time and mileage that are covered by these warranties can vary by manufacturer. My advice is that you research the terms of the factory warranty before heading to the dealership in order to make the most informed and confident decision.

It’s also important to remember that maintenance upkeep is the car owner’s responsibility and neglecting it can void the warranty on your car completely. Car maintenance consists of things like:

  • Oil Changes
  • Tire Rotations
  • Filter and fluid flushes
  • Using the recommended type of gasoline (eg. Not putting Unleaded gas in a Premium car)

An extended warranty is an agreement that covers automotive repairs once the factory warranty has expired. These warranties are something that I recommend you investigate, especially on certain cars. (by this I mean that some cars are bought knowing they will high costs associated)  I also advise that you look into these warranties if you live on a tight budget and typically won’t be able to afford an unexpected expensive repair. I suggest that all my clients know what it covers and what it doesn’t before buying, and to be sure to negotiate a good price if you do choose to go this route.

Not all extended warranty agreements are created equal. The two type of extended warranties you will meet are:

Exclusionary: Covers nearly all the mechanical systems of the vehicle, except for those items on the “exclusions list” (wear and tear).

Listed Component Coverage: Covers the major mechanical systems of the vehicle. It is a list that states which individual items in the vehicle are covered. If it is not listed, then it is not covered.

Self-insurance: is taking all responsivity for repairs beyond the factory supplied warranty.

Most warranties cover other bonus’ for your inconvenience while car is being repaired.  Most cover roadside service at no charge, rental car reimbursement, towing and some cover Trip Interruption Coverage

If you have a covered breakdown more than 100 miles from home, the plan can help with:

  • Meal reimbursement
  • Hotel reimbursement (if car can’t be repaired in a day)
  • Limits of amounts and days will apply. For instance, my extended warranty covers 3 days/$300 per breakdown.
  • Note: Accidents and auto insurance is not a part of this service.

The peace of mind having a warranty on a car is invaluable to some, I have heard one customer say that they love their car but the expenses of repairs would have caused distress, one customer said “I had a seat go out in my car, the electronics in it were bad and replacing it was $6000 dollars, I just paid a $100.00 deductible and I am so happy.” Note: deductibles vary, you may have options of $0-$500.

Again, not everyone will opt for an extension of warranty and that is up to the individual buyer however if you decide you do want one or need one, buying while new or in factory warranty is advisable. As always, I recommend you read the small print and know and understand what you are purchasing.

If you would like to know more, please feel free to reach out to me. For anyone living outside CA. please feel free to rate your car for free on my website. When getting a quote you will need VIN and accurate mileage.