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Extended Warranty?

I am looking at two used Toyotas - one is a Toyota Certified Used that offers 7 years/100K miles from original date in service on the drivetrain, etc. The other is private sale that has 5 yrs/60K miles from original date in service for the same.

Just my luck, I like the private sale car more. And it’s in better shape cosmetically. Does anyone have any advice on purchasing extended warranties? My goal would be to achieve coverage on the private sale that is the same as the Certified.

And, any thoughts on buying a car whose CARFAX report shows “repossessed” after 16 months ownership? Any concerns that someone who did not make payments did not maintain car? Would a good mechanic be able to discern red flags?

Thank you

I wouldn’t let the longer warranty be a deal-breaker, especially with a Toyota. Chances are you’ll never use the warranty on either car-- part of the reason why carmakers are offering longer warranties these days is that they’ve figured out that most warranty issues come up in the first few thousand miles and that extending the warranties doesn’t significantly increase warranty claims. Are the two cars otherwise roughly equivelant in condition and price?

A repo on the title wouldn’t make me any more concerned than the general process of buying a car with an unknown service history. Most people who get their cars repo-ed aren’t necessarilly irresponsible people, they just overextend themselves or have financial emergencies. Just from personal experiance, I would prefer the private sale car, especially if they have service records. The service records would be FAR more valuable to me than the longer warranty, if that’s the situation.

I don’t believe in certified being any better. Repossessed is the red flag which has already been discerned. The year of the car may matter.

 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 peop;le 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

Well, I got saved a by a warranty once, and burned by being out warranty, so it’s mostly peace of mind - both cars are 2006 - both cars have apprx 31K miles on them - one was an Enterprise rental car, the other was a rental (CARFAX says only “major rental company”) for six months/18K miles, it was then sold to the next owner who held for about a year and half, 12K miles, before it repossessed.

The prices are within $600 of each other. Service records available for neither of them. The less-expensive repo is better cosmetically, and has 4K miles left on the bumper-to-bumper and 2.5 yrs on the 60 mos./60K warranty -

Thank you,

Take Joseph Meehan’s advice to heart. The odds are very much against you that you’ll come out ahead with an extended warranty. As he noted, they definitely are written in a way that allows them to not cover claims you believe should be covered.

Go to this site and ask about extended warranty

It is much more likely that the reposessed car had less TLC. It may not have had an oil change in the 12,ooo miles or any other maintenance. Is it worth paing a mechanic $200 to check it out?

The “.htm” is needed for the above URL (

However, note the disclaimer that the car warranty companies pay to to advertise on that site, which provides the money to keep the site up and running. That would make me wonder what information isn’t being conveyed on that site.

Sorry about the “.htm” I read the complete site. Exchanged several E-mails with the owner.He is telling the bad and the good about extended warranty,although he could be scamming me,all I said was take a look evaluate his objectivity and decide.There are circumstances were he says dont get the warranty.He advises how dealers “trick” you and tells you how to read a extended warranty contract.There is alot of tricky language used in the extended warranty business

I thought about the oil change/repo issue - the vehicle was purchased in 12/06, CARFAX lists a dealer-performed oil change in 3/07, the car was repossessed in 3/08. The first oil change was probably a comp, the other 12 mos. are a “?” - I have a fellow who will remove the engine cover and take as best a look as he can -

The Toyota Used Car Certification means nothing. My mother bought a certified used Toyota only to get it home and discover the windshield wipers didn’t work. Of all the things they check to “certify” a used car, don’t you think it would have been pretty easy to check the operation of the windshield wipers? That certification only means they put a fancy sticker on it. It doesn’t mean the car is mechanically sound. Make sure you get the car checked by your mechanic before you buy. Would you let the seller of a house pay for the home inspector? No. You would hire the person yourself to remove any conflict of interest.

The repossession conserns me because I know a guy whose car was repossessed. He hadn’t had the oil changed in years. That isn’t necessarily typical though. If it checks out with your mechanic, I would get it. Toyota typically makes very reliable cars. I buy reliable cars so I won’t need an extended warranty. That strategy has saved me a lot of money.