Circle Auto Protect Blog

Extended Car Warranty: Do You Really Need One?

Oct 16, 2019
Michael Robinson

One question we hear a lot here at Circle Auto Protect is: “Do I really need an extended car warranty?”

As with many things in life, the answer is: It depends.

If you’re a driver who likes to get a brand-new car every few years and will sell or trade-in your vehicle while it’s still under the manufacturer’s warranty, then an extended car warranty probably isn’t something you need. 

However, if you plan on keeping your car past the time of the original warranty, then an extended car warranty (technically known as a “vehicle service policy”), may make sense for you. It all comes down to the likelihood of your car needing repairs, and whether you prefer to pay those expenses out of pocket.

For some people, writing a check for $3600 when their transmission suddenly breaks down is in their budget. If you’d prefer to pay a much smaller fee over time as a kind of “insurance” against costly repairs, then you probably want to look into your options for an extended car warranty.  

To give you a better sense of how the warranty process works, here’s a breakdown of the 3 most common types of car warranties:

1.    A Manufacturer’s Warranty

This is the kind of warranty most drivers know best. The manufacturer’s warranty is the warranty placed on a new vehicle by the manufacturer that will cover repairs for a limited time or mileage, typically around 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.

If your vehicle breaks down while it’s under the manufacturer’s warranty, typically you have to go to an authorized dealer (sometimes the specific dealer where you purchased the vehicle) in order to get repairs – this is an important consideration to keep in mind.

Also, once you go even 1 day or 1 mile past the expiration, any repairs you may need will no longer be covered.


2.    A Dealership’s Extended Car Warranty

It’s likely that the first time you may hear about an extended car warranty is at the dealership when you’re purchasing your vehicle. 

As you decide on any add-ons to your purchase, the salesperson may try to convince you to add-on an extended warranty to cover the costs of repairs once your manufacturer’s warranty runs out.

While the extended warranty offered by the dealership may sound attractive, you probably want to do your homework first before you sign on the dotted line.

First, dealership extended warranties are frequently much higher priced compared to third-party extended warranties. 

Also, a warranty from a dealership also frequently comes with many more restrictions, for example, it may only cover repairs done at the dealership.

Although you may decide you want and need an extended car warranty, the dealership is often not the option that provides the most value to the consumer. It’s smart to shop around and explore your options.

3.    A Third-Party Extended Car Warranty (or Vehicle Service Policy)

Although you can purchase an extended car warranty at any time, many car owners find that it’s best to start shopping around close to the end of the manufacturer’s coverage. It’s smart to lock-in your new plan before the manufacturer’s warranty expires!

There will be different plans for you to choose from based on how much coverage you decide is best. (Some plans might include coverage for parts or components that may not even apply to your vehicle, so you want to be sure to ask questions and get a plan to fit your needs).

Also, different third-party providers will offer different special services. For example, here at Circle Auto Protect we work directly with ASE certified facilities and your vehicle can be repaired at any ASE certified shop nationwide.

If you want to find out more about the coverage options we can offer you at Circle Auto Protect, give us a call at: 833-247-2530 (833-CIRCLE0). 

Or, you can get a quote by filling out our quick online form! 



Vehicles up to 140k miles are eligible for our Auto Plans.

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