Should you get an extended warranty for a second hand car?

Focus RS We’re going to go ahead a spoil things; the answer is yes, an extended warranty is definitely a worthwhile investment.

It might not seem like it at first though—why pay extra on top of the cost of the car, fuel, insurance, and road tax? That’s what we’re about to explain.

Why Get a Warranty?

A warranty is like an insurance policy to cover your car against non-accidental damage, that means replacing parts lost to wear and tear and breakdowns, with additional services like roadside recovery and car hire often available as extras.

The basic appeal of something like this is that it protects you from suddenly finding yourself faced with a bill you weren’t prepared for. This is why a lot of people can see the appeal of warranties on new cars, which are often offered by dealerships. For used cars you often need to go to external companies like ALA Warranty and you might doubt that the expense is worthwhile for an older vehicle that might already be in rough condition.

Warranties for Used Cars

The logic is simple enough and might seem sound at first; it may not be worth your while to repair an older, cheaper car if the damage is minor, and if it really is necessary to get something fixed you might only be able to source cheaper generic parts. With all that being the case, regular payments and an excess to pay on repairs might seem like too big of an investment.

In fact, this doesn’t always pan out. For one thing, not every used car is necessarily old or in bad condition—a lot of people pick up models that are one or two years old to take advantage of the rapid depreciation in price more expensive cars tend to suffer from. For another thing, repairs tend to be pretty expensive regardless of how much the car costs. This actually makes a write-off more likely in a cheaper car, and you don’t want to find yourself needing to buy an entirely new vehicle without even the old car to act as capital.

It’s also worth considering that used vehicles, with all their existing wear, are more likely to suffer breakdowns than new ones, so it is probably more worthwhile getting an extended warranty on a second hand car. Reliability isn’t even a matter of how much the car cost when new; the list of the most breakdown-prone cars includes everything from the Renault Megan and the Volkswagen Passat to the Mercedes-Benz CLS and the BMW 7 Series.

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