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When Is an Extended Car Warranty Worth It?

Consumer Reports logo Consumer Reports 2017-12-31 Consumer Reports
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My car salesman was pushing me to buy an extended warranty because I put a lot of miles on my car per year. Is it worth it?

"You might be tempted to roll the cost of an extended warranty into your new car purchase, but that means you're paying up front—including interest—for a service you won't use for years," says CR auto analyst Mel Yu.

Yu recommends waiting until your car is near the end of its original warranty and then shopping around for a factory-backed extended warranty if you still want one. By then, you'll know how reliable the car is and how much repairs cost. (Check our new-car reliability ratings.) In our 2013 survey, many car owners told us that they wound up spending more on the extended warranty than they would have to fix it during the coverage period. Get quotes from several dealers, not just the one you bought your car from, and don't be afraid to haggle.

For more, watch our video below, and check "Extended Car Warranties: An Expensive Gamble."

Editors Note: This article also appeared in the February 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2017, Consumer Reports, Inc.


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