Ever noticed the buyer’s guide on the side of a used car’s window for sale? Well, it’s something that the FTC require for any car of this ilk – and it’s something that can tell you everything you need to know about the warranty situation.
When buying a new vehicle we almost take the warranty for granted; it’s something which will give us ‘x’ amount of free time and pretty much guarantees that the vehicle is going to be in great working condition, just as you would expect from a new item. As soon as we start going down the ‘used’ path we start dicing with potential problems. Those parts which were once in sound working condition no longer are and it means that we should be very careful with how we proceed.
It’s for this reason why a warranty can be an absolute godsend. Sure, the likes of Omega Auto Care have made life a lot easier in this regard and provided buyers with another option. In terms of what most used cars arrive with though, there are three possible options:
In simple terms, if you’re buying a vehicle “as is”, you’ve just elected to purchase one which doesn’t have a warranty. This is where an external auto service contract is absolutely essential, although in truth it can be used alongside any of the options we’ll look at.
There’s plenty to take in when it comes to the “as is” model. You’ll have to pay for each and every repair and perhaps the most telling part is that this even includes the journey back from the dealership.
Some states offer more protection than others with the “as is” policy. Some have banned the practice entirely, while others will provide leniency to the buyer if the vehicle is seriously defective.
On the flip side, we have the vehicles which are transferred with a standard warranty. This is the manufacturer’s warranty which hasn’t yet expired.
If we return to the topic of service contracts, some dealerships may charge you to take over this warranty and this in essence makes it a contract. If the cost is included in the purchase price, it means that you have a vehicle with a standard manufacturer’s warranty and have the most protection available.
To make matters even more complicated, you may purchase a used car with an implied warranty. To add further complexity, there are two forms of this option.
The first is a warranty of merchantability, with this guaranteeing that the car must run or the dealer must fix it.
The second is classed as a “warranty of fitness for a particular purpose”. Suffice to say, this offers far less protection and means that you must study the contract before agreeing. The vehicle is sold under the premise that it will function for certain purposes, not necessarily related to driving a car. For example, it might be sold to haul a trailer.