What’s Better: OEM or Extended Warranty for Your Used Vehicle?

Whether you buy a used vehicle from an OEM (an original equipment manufacturer) or independent dealer, you usually have warranty options. In this blog post, I’ll explain some of the issues you should be on the watch for when researching extended warranties. I’ll use Lubrico as an example for extended warranty and three OEMs (Ford, Kia, Honda) as examples for OEM warranties. Remember, though, that it’s up to you in the end to do the research and ask your dealer questions so you understand exactly what you’re getting.

Make Is Irrelevant

Extended warranties are warranties offered by third parties and not the manufacturers. You can certainly buy them for used cars. Lubrico, for example, allows you to buy it through one of their 4,000 dealerships in the country or through them directly if where you bought it doesn’t offer their warranty. This includes if you bought your used car privately. By contrast, OEM warranties can only be purchased for vehicles certified by the OEM and sold at an OEM dealership. (Referred to as certified used or certified preowned vehicles.)

Repair Options

Lubrico has a network of 3,000 repair shops in Canada. So, if something goes wrong, you call their number and they’ll hook you up with an authorized repair shop who will bill the company directly. Manufacturer warranties, by comparison, only allow you to get repairs done at their dealerships . However, if you have to file a claim through your manufacturer’s warranty at an OEM dealership, the repairs will be done using genuine OEM parts. This gives some buyers peace of mind, knowing that all the parts in their vehicle are backed by a parts warranty of the parent company. (However, these repairs typically do not extend the warranty you purchased with the vehicle.)

Auto repair
Auto repair

Selection of Extended Warranties

Here is where the real homework begins. Whereas the provider of your warranty will be determined by where you buy your car—and you may automatically go to your favourite dealership—some will offer different types of warranties at different costs. For example, Honda only offers a two-year/60,000-km warranty on the powertrain that extends beyond the original factory warranty, whereas Kia offers a one-year powertrain warranty that includes three oil, lube and filter changes. However, Kia also offers what they call “appearance protection,” i.e., looking after dings, chips and scratches, on any Kia vehicles that are within 10 years of the model year and have no more than 200,000 km on the odometer. As you’re researching OEMs, make sure you’re on their Canadian websites. Ford, for example, offers both a comprehensive and a powertrain warranty in the U.S. but only a comprehensive warranty in Canada, according to their two websites.

Roadside Assistance

One benefit all three OEMs shared was 24-hour roadside assistance. Lubrico’s phone lines are only open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET. However, they explain on their website what you need to do if you need a repair started outside of those times.

Roadside assistance
Roadside assistance

Research Your Used Car Warranty Options

I have to admit, my head hurt a bit by the time I’d finished researching warranty options for this article, because each used car warranty provider presented different information in different ways. So take your time, be thorough and don’t forget, you can also not buy warranty coverage. The choice is yours.

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