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Vehicle protection plans for used cars

I just buried my 1989 Chevy S-10 in a shallow grave in Western Pennsylvania (God rest her soul) and am shopping for a fancy ‘new’ 1999 or so S-10.

I’ve come across a couple of used car dealerships that offer 3rd party bumper to bumper warranties that are pretty cheap for particularly low mileage vehicles and have seen mixed reviews about them online. The main complaints seem to be that they don’t cover maintenance issues and that the claims they do cover they try to stall and take forever.

My question is whether anyone knows of a warranty company that they feel they can recommend or if they are in general a rip off.

I’ve always thought that most warranties just give you the right to fight and in the end, you lose. These warranties are overpriced insurance policies and what the big print giveth, the fine print taketh away. I think a better “insurance” plan is to take the vehicle you are considering to a good mechanic and pay to have him tell you about potential problems.

I second what T has said above. In addition, I suggest that the amount you would have paid for said policy, you take it and put it in a SavingsAccount/MoneyMarket (see for the highest rates currently being paid across the USA). Tap that account ONLY when you’ll need any expensive repairs.

I third that. Put the money in the bank.

Become “Self-Insured”… If you need it, the money is there…If you don’t need it, the money is yours…

Even if the warranty is perfect, there isn’t that much chance that you will use it enough to get paid back. With a 99, which is old; you should have the freedom of getting away from the car if it goes bad on you. The warranty costs half as much as the vehicle is worth.

Most people wouldn’t consider paying that much for liability and collision together. Plus, you get a refund for the regular auto insurance if you terminate the policy. Compare the two and the warranty looks like a great big ripoff.

The new medical insurance law looks like a bargain when you compare it to an aftermarket warranty, and people buy the warranty without a tea party protest. I don’t always understand why people seem to love mandatory auto insurance either. I vote no on the warranty.

Let me tell you about 2 “great” warranties. Back in the 1960’s, I bought a little transistor AM radio for $3.95. It included a 2 year warranty. If the radio failed during the time period, there was an address to send the radio. However, the radio had to be acompanied by $5.00 to cover shipping and handling. Back in the late 1970’s I bought a tank type vacuum cleaner from Sears. All the tools had been lost, so all that I got was the vacuum cleaner unit and the hose. I already had an upright with tools, so for me this was a bargain at $19.95. I needed something to clean the car. Two days after I bought the vacuum, Sears called me offering an extended warranty for only $20 a year for the next 3 years.

Thanks for all of the quick posts! I guess I should specify that the most recent truck I looked at was a 99 and had only 85,000 miles on it, so the 3 year warranty was only $600. The reason that I was considering it is that my experience with these trucks (and what I do to them) tells me that I’ll likely need to replace the CV joints and maybe even the heater core in the near future.

That being said, I was thinking that the warranty could be worthwhile as long as the repairs are convenient, but I think that I’ve seen all-too-many comments similar to Tridaq’s first post, hinting that most companies would prefer to pay someone $199 to fight me tooth and nail rather than just pay for a $200 repair!