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Difference Between New & Used Car Warranties?

Having a reliable car is one of the most important qualities savvy car shoppers have in mind. But even if you feel you’ve bought a reliable new or used car, a car warranty adds an extra layer of protection against anything that can go wrong. That’s true as long as you invest in one with the right price and the right terms. A lot of consumers don’t know the difference between a manufacturer’s car warranty or an extended car warranty and many also don’t know the difference between repair protection for a new or a used car. It’s no secret that car warranties are generally misunderstood. Here we breakdown the differences between a car warranty for a new car and a used car.

What is a car warranty?

A car warranty is often a “blanket” term that’s used to describe many different types of protection for repairs or replacements on certain components of a car

However, technically speaking, the term “car warranty” should only be used to describe the type of protection that’s provided by the original manufacturer (OEM) of the product. How it works is that when you buy a new car from a manufacturer, they essentially vow to take financial responsibility for parts that fail for the first few years or for x amount of miles (usually two to three years or 36,000 miles after your purchase).

A car warranty is often used to refer to coverage that extends the manufacturer’s warranty (such as an extended car warranty or vehicle service contract) or any other type of protection for car repairs and car parts replacements.

Are car warranties only available for new cars?

There are car repair protection options available for people’s whose manufacturer’s warranty has expired or people who have bought a used car. These are called Vehicle Service Contracts but are commonly referred to as extended warranties, vehicle repair protection or mechanical breakdown protection. They function as an extension to the OEM warranty that came with the car when it was new. They are available for new or used cars. 

You don’t have to buy this extended protection through the original manufacturer of the car or the dealership where you bought the car. You can get one, usually at more affordable prices and with a wider range of options, through an independent company that’s not connected to the car’s manufacturer, such as

What are the differences between a new car warranty and a used car warranty?

In most cases, there are three key differences between a new car warranty and a used car warranty.

The Cost

A new car warranty comes with the price of the car (it’s included with your purchase price). A used car warranty comes with an additional fee (either monthly or a multi-year contract).

The sign-up process

New car warranties are something you’re signed up for automatically. Used car warranties are something you sign up for yourself. This also means that with a new car warranty, you can’t choose the coverage or the price. On the other hand, on a used car warranty, you can.

The coverage

A new car warranty provides comprehensive protection, but it has its limits. A used car warranty provides comprehensive protection AND coverage for parts not normally covered through a manufacturer’s warranty. For example, you may be able to get coverage on your key and fob, your tires and wheels, and more

What does a car warranty cover?

Manufacturer’s car warranties give you comprehensive protection with some exceptions on any repairs that have been caused by wear and tear. Because they offer coverage on so many components, they are sometimes called “bumper-to-bumper” warranties.

Some examples of parts usually covered through a manufacturer’s car warranty are:

After the car warranty expires on a new car, usually after three years or 36,000 miles, major parts of the car are no longer covered. A manufacturer may still give you some protection on the powertrain of your car (the engine, transmission, driveshaft, differentials and axles) but paying for repairs on other major components becomes your responsibility. Just before the manufacturer’s warranty expires, it’s a good time to look into extended warranties or vehicle service contracts if you want to ensure you won’t have to pay a big repair bill on your own.

Is it worth it to get a used car warranty?

Because it’s highly likely that a used car is no longer covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, you’ll want to consider buying coverage when you purchase the car.  Getting a car warranty on a used car is worth it if:
  • You plan to keep your car for a long time. You’ll get to take your car to the repair shop as soon as something goes wrong. Getting repairs done as soon as issues come up will keep your car running great.
  • You don’t want to pay for a big bill out of your pocket. According to AAA, the average car repair bill in the U.S. is around $500. Paying that amount for a single repair at a given moment can mean having to dip into savings or having to borrow money.
  • You don’t want to have to negotiate prices at the repair shop. When you’re covered for repairs, you won’t have to haggle with mechanics for a good price. You simply pay your deductible (if you have one) and the vehicle service contract provided will handle the rest.
When considering a used car warranty, it’s important to know two things: 
  • No car warranty will cover everything 
  • No two car warranties are exactly the same
Take your time and don’t be pressured into buying one, get a quote in writing and read the fine print of the contract to be sure what exactly is covered.

What is Vehicle Repair Protection?’s Vehicle Repair Protection is a great option if you’re looking for coverage on a new car whose manufacturer’s warranty is soon to expire or a used car that’s no longer covered through a manufacturer’s warranty.

There are different options for coverage to choose from based on the number of components, annual claim limits and extras.

You get the best protection available and it’s all for a low-cost monthly subscription.

  • The claims process is simple (you choose the repair shop, pays the bill directly).
  • The service is 100% online and offers the best in the industry 90-day money back guarantee. 
  • The sign up takes less than 5 minutes.

Get an instant free quote to see the Vehicle Repair Protection options for your car.

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