April 24, 2014 - by
When you walk into a dealership intending to buy a new car, you will quickly find that it isn’t always as simple as picking out a car and signing on the dotted line. Buying a car, whether brand new or used, can be a process, and there are plenty of decisions to make aside from make, model, color and interior fabric choices. You’ll need to decide between additional warranties, and there are several to choose from at each dealership. So, exactly what do all of those warranties actually do, and are they really necessary?
Undercoating may be billed under several different names, and it can also come in several package options. Many dealerships will offer basic undercoating or premium undercoating. Undercoating is a special coating applied to the vehicle to prevent rust and other coercion over the life of the vehicle. Premium undercoating warranties often include soundproofing services, as well. While undercoating was once a useful warranty, industry experts suggest that it is no longer necessary on new cars, as paint has advanced significantly, as have the materials used on cars. Experts argue that rust protection is provided in the factory, and additional protection is not necessary. With that being said, many dealerships will offer a lifetime warranty on their undercoating protection plans.
Like undercoating, paint protection is touted by dealerships as an easy and convenient way of keeping your car looking newer longer. Paint protection is an added package when you buy a new car. The dealership applies a long lasting wax product that create a shine that will not wear over time. The shine promises to stand up to harsh elements, as the specially formulated spray creates a thin, shiny barrier between the exterior paint and the outside elements. This can be particularly helpful for people who live in harsh climates, and climates with excessive sunshine.
Tire Protection Warranties
In the last few years many dealers have begun offering tire protection warranties as an add-on when you buy a new or used car. Tire protection plans allow drivers to replace tires at no additional cost, as long as they bring the car back to the dealership when a tire needs to be changed. The fine print notes that hitting curbs, or similar hazards are not covered under the warranty, but flat tires resulting from road hazards are covered. Blow outs, and normal wear are also covered. When considering this warranty it is important for the buyer to read the fine print. In some cases, the owner will have to lay out the money first, before being reimbursed through the tire protection program. Regardless of the fine print, over the life of the car a tire protection plan can be huge money saver.
Window Etching Warranty
Window etching is billed by many car dealerships as a theft deterrent option. Window etching, simply put, etches each window with the VIN number of the car, either in part or in whole. Dealers argue that window etching deters would-be thieves from stealing the car, because of the visible VIN number on all of the vehicles windows. A buyer can choose to decline such a warranty, however, many cars already come with window etching completed. A warranty charge of $250 – $1,000 may apply.
Fabric Protection Warranty
Fabric protection is a service provided at dealerships on new cars that aims to protect the interior of the car over the life of the vehicle. Most fabric protection plans is a simple spray that is placed over the interior; it creates a barrier between the body and seat, thus protecting the fabric and keeps it looking brand new for longer. Many dealerships will charge about $100 for such a service. While it can protect a car for an extended period of time, there are products that any layman can apply that will do the same, and those products cost mere dollars at an automotive supply store.
Extended warranties are common on used cars. These warranties will cost a buyer between $500 and $2,000 at the dealership. In many cases, when a person buys a used car the factory warranty is already expired, or will expire in short order. Many current warranties only last for 36,000 miles or three years.
Longer warranties are often only valid for the first buyer of the car. Because of this, dealerships offer extended warranties. These warranties protect the cars mechanics and electrical systems beyond the factory warranty the car comes with. This means if you encounter a problem with the vehicle you can bring it back to the dealership or an approved mechanic to have the work completed free of charge. When considering an extended warranty do ask questions before you purchase. Some extended warranties are very specific and preclude the dealership from liability for common repairs. To find the best extended auto warranty companies read our recent articles “2014 Best Extended Auto Warranty Service Reviews.”
Before you head into a new or used car dealership make sure you are aware of what you are walking into. For many consumers it can be an overwhelming experience, and being caught off guard with options and warranties, and additional charges can turn the buying process from exciting to exhausting quickly. As long as you are informed you should have no problem making the right decisions for you and your new vehicle.