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Compare car manufacturer warranties
Find out how long you're covered and extra features you can take advantage of.
A manufacturer’s warranty is there to give you peace of mind when you buy a new car, but not all warranties are created equal. How long they last and extra features included vary widely between automakers. And most come with restrictions on what’s actually covered.
What is a car manufacturer warranty?
A car manufacturer warranty is a promise made by the manufacturer to take responsibility for any faults that occur in a motor vehicle during a specific period. Should a fault occur during that time, the manufacturer is responsible for fixing the problem and paying for the costs, including parts and labor.
Car warranties are usually expressed as a number of years and miles, with the warranty expiring once either milestone has been reached. For example, a warranty of three years or 100,000 miles would expire three years after the date of purchase or after you’ve driven 100,000 miles — whichever comes first.
Automakers typically offer a few different warranties, including a new vehicle limited warranty — also known as a bumper-to-bumper warranty — as well as coverage for corrosion, perforation, powertrain and even emissions systems.
How do car manufacturer warranties compare?
Highlights of warranty plans* from major manufacturers include:
*Warranty information accurate as of July 2019. All warranties are limited and may come with exclusions.
How does it work?
If your car has a defect covered by the warranty, the first step is to contact the dealership where you purchased your car. In most cases, you’ll bring your car to the dealership’s auto shop or a licensed mechanic that partners with the car dealer. The mechanic will fix the car, and all costs will be covered by the warranty.
What is usually covered under my warranty?
Warranties vary by automaker, but generally speaking they’re designed to fix manufacturer defects that already exist in the car or become apparent during the warranty period. A warranty is not an insurance policy designed to cover you for accident damage or wear and tear that occurs after you purchase the car.
Most warranties will also be broken down into categories, each of which will be valid for a specific length of time. For example, your car might be warrantied against rust for three years, but only be covered for tire damage for two years or 20,000 miles.
To find out exactly what your warranty covers, read through the warranty documents that came with your new car or contact the dealership where it was purchased.
What restrictions usually apply under a car warranty?
A warranty generally does not cover cosmetic damage or wear and tear that occurs to the car, even during the warranty period.
A car warranty also doesn’t cover:
- Damage to the car resulting from an accident
- Damage resulting from misuse of the car
- Items that tend to wear out over overtime, such as brake pads and tires
- Routine servicing and maintenance.
Other exclusions may apply, so check with your car’s manufacturer for more details.
Types of car warranties
Understand your rights under different types of car warranties:
- Manufacturer’s new car warranty. Every new vehicle is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. These are the most comprehensive warranties and cover almost all manufacturer defects for a limited time.
- Used car warranty. A used car purchased from a dealership will typically come with a warranty, but this will be a much shorter and more limited warranty than that offered by a new car manufacturer.
- Extended warranty. Extended warranties or vehicle service plans are offered by dealerships and third-party companies. They’re intended to provide coverage after your warranty expires, but they can be pricy. Check out our page on whether extended warranties are worth it to help you decide if it’s right for you.
- Lemon laws. While not technically a warranty, you may have legal protection if you’re sold a faulty car. Lemon laws vary by state, so research your state’s laws to find out how you’re covered if your new or new-to-you car has an issue.
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All major automakers that sell cars in the US offer some sort of warranty, but some are much more comprehensive than others. Opting for a car brand that offers an extensive warranty can help you save on maintenance costs down the line. And choosing the right car loan can help you save on costs throughout the life of your car.
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