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Extended Service Warranties

I am getting ready to buy a used car. I wish to purchase an extended warranty. The independent dealer that I’m buying from is offering a warranty from United Car Care, Inc. They are based out of Greenwood Village, CO. Has anyone had any experience with this company?

Few, if anyone, on this discussion board recommend purchasing an extended warranty…put money in the bank you will probably never use it for the car.

I personally would not buy any of them as the likelyhood of getting your money back or even half of it back is low.

However I DO not recommend any extended warranty’s unless it is backed by the car maker itself.

They make it painful to claim on them and you have to get a preauthorization (another pain). The aftermarket ones also tend to go out of business.

Lastly remember this a pure profit generator and they are typically marked up 100-200%.

You’re better off putting the money in a savings account. Be sure to have the car inspected by a professional before you finalize the purchase.


When you say: “I wish to purchase an extended warranty.”, can you help us understand your vision for how that warranty will be useful for you?

The odds are against you that it will pay for itself. But if you share your thoughts on why you’re buying it, maybe we can specifically address certain points.

These are really pre-paid repair plans, not warranties…They include a considerable mark-up for profit to everybody involved…They usually have hidden co-pays and exclusions that make them almost worthless. Instead, deposit the monthly premium payment into YOUR bank, not theirs…

Given that the 2006 no longer has a warranty from Mazda, I’m under the impression that having an extended warranty could provide some “insurance” if something fails. From the 4 replies already posted to my question, I get the sense that few folks feel good about them.

Not only are they not worth the money, on average, when they work, they often don’t work. Here’s an article describing some of their many problems:

p.s. - the Miata is an exceptionally reliable vehicle, and repairs are not that expensive. Not one for which I’d pay to extend the warranty.

Well any car can have major expensive repairs.

The profit to the salesman and company is usually over 50%. So for every $1,000 you spend the insurance company has less than $500 to pay for repairs or they will loose money, something insurance companies do not do. Some people will get nothing back and some will get a lot more than they pay.  Most will get far less. In addition you need to keep in mind that the insurer has worded it to eliminate as many expensive things as they can.

Remember that the seller is out to make money and they get to write the rules and set the price.  They are not going to sell them at a loss so one way or another they are going to have you pay more than they will pay out.  

Would you gamble with a car dealer who gets to set all the rules and knows all the odds?   

Your decision has to do with the value of the piece of mind it gives you. If that is worth the cost then buy it. Don't expect it to cover everything however, most are written to keep cost down and exempt what they know will cost them money. 

Good Luck

Put the money in the bank. When I worked as a motorhome salesman we often partied after work when an extended warranty was sold with a unit. As JEM said…the salesman and the dealer split 50-60% of the $1900 extended warranty fee immediately. My boss didn’t call it an extended warranty…he called it “free money”. Still want to buy an “extended warranty”?

Putting the money in a seperate bank account and calling it your “extended warranty” account will also provide “insurance” if something fails. The big difference is that if nothing fails you get to keep the money!

Like Andrew said, if you insist on getting one, and it isn’t backed by Mazda itself, then don’t bother. I think Mazdacare handles Mazda’s EWs. Be careful though, some will charge you all that money, then expect you to pay some kind of deductible everytime you make a claim