How Do Warranties Work On Used Cars?

How Do Warranties Work On Used Cars?

How Do Warranties Work On Used Cars?
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Are you planning to buy or sell a used car? If so, you know that one of the vehicle’s must-haves is a warranty. For the buyer, it provides coverage if anything should go wrong with the car within a stipulated period. For a seller, a warranty can make it easier to sell the car faster and at a higher price.

There are different types of used car warranties that vary depending on the repairs covered. At a bare minimum, most cover the internally lubricated engine and transmission parts. Curious to discover what else can be protected under a used car warranty? Keep scrolling, and you’ll find out!

What Does a Used Car Warranty Cover?

In essence, a warranty provides you with cost-free protection should you experience problems with your vehicle. That is, your auto dealer promises to fix your vehicle, at no cost to you, if it has an issue documented in your warranty that arises within the agreed-upon timeframe. If you acquire a warranty from a dealership and your vehicle is found defective in any way, you’re required to file a claim. The dealership will then review your request to see if the repair is included in the used car warranty. If it is, all repairs and replacements won’t cost you a thing.

If you purchase a vehicle that is at least three years old and has fewer than 60,000 km, you might still be eligible for the manufacturer-provided warranty coverage. To be certain, reach out to the manufacturer to confirm that the information is accurate and that the warranty still applies. But what if it doesn’t or you need additional coverage? Here’s where a used car warranty comes into play.

Used car warranties tend to be more flexible than manufacturer-provided coverage. For instance, you can choose a plan befitting your specific needs based on the number of years you’d like to be covered, plus your preferred distance limitations.

As we mentioned, the most basic used car warranty usually covers engine and transmission parts that often need lubrication. However, you can also opt for more comprehensive coverage based on the car’s current condition, mileage, and age. This could guarantee coverage for most electrical parts, brakes, steering wheels, cooling systems, mechanical repairs, suspension, fuel systems, and more.

What Types of Used Car Warranties are Available?

Below are the types of used car warranties to consider, depending on your specific needs.

Standard Used Car

A standard used car warranty usually depends on the vehicle’s age or the distance covered, such as three years or 60,000 kilometres. It protects against mechanical issues and other concerns related to the car’s safety. If you’re a low-mileage driver or plan to trade in the vehicle before the coverage period elapses, this is the warranty for you.

Limited Used Car

As the name suggests, this type of warranty only lasts for a few months. Limited used car warranties cover partial maintenance costs such as workmanship for different parts of the vehicle and defects in materials. However, they don’t cover wear items like tires or brakes and exclude environmental damage like exterior rust or windshield cracks.

Extended Used Car

Extended warranties are also available for used cars and tend to last longer than basic coverage, usually 3–5 years longer. But that’s not all; an extended warranty covers most car components including fuel system, air conditioning, mechanical repairs, electrical parts, and the powertrain. And the best part? This type of warranty can sometimes be transferable, meaning that you can gain maximum value for your vehicle if you intend to sell it.


Service warranties for used cars are generally available at select certified pre-owned dealerships. Basically, they cover every type of repair and maintenance, from oil changes to brake pads, for a stipulated period and mileage. As a result, you may have to dig a little deeper into your pockets to afford a service warranty for your used car.

What’s Protected Under a Used Car Warranty?

While different warranty providers offer varying benefits, below are a few protections you can expect from top-rated companies in Canada.

Roadside Assistance

Nothing is more frustrating than getting stranded in the middle of the road due to a vehicle breakdown. In such situations, you will be less frustrated if you have an extended used car warranty that covers the cost of towing your vehicle to the repair shop. The plan may also include oil or fuel delivery and battery boost services.

Vehicle Repairs

The main reason most people acquire used car warranties is to obtain coverage for the cost of unexpected repairs. The protection includes the cost of labour and the replacement parts required.

Tire and Rim

Unlike new vehicle warranties that don’t cover damage to your rims and tires, most used car coverages do. They’ll protect you against road hazards like tire punctures, blowouts, and other rim-related issues.

Rental Car Coverage

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to leave your car in the garage for an extended period, renting a car could be a viable option. Most plans include a rental car reimbursement arrangement where you get a temporary vehicle for the period in which your car remains at the garage (usually not more than five days).

Is it a Good Idea to Purchase a Used Car Warranty?

In a word, yes! Most used cars don’t come with manufacturer-provided warranty contracts. Even if they do, the plans are usually inadequate because most warranties depend on age and mileage. There’s no harm in extending your used car warranty through either the dealership or an independent vendor. Overall, if you need a cost-effective and hassle-free means of repairing and replacing defects in your used car, getting a warranty is your best shot.

Have you secured your used car warranty yet? How is it working for you? Please share your experience or any other feedback in the comments below.


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