Car Warranty Reviews: Making Sure You Get the Best Car Warranty

February 16, 2012

Warranty shoppers should be judicious about their sources for car warranty reviews. Find out which online publications have are the most reputable.

Repair Under Car Warranty

When considering various extended warranty options, you should search for car warranty reviews from as many reliable sources as possible. With the aid of the Internet, finding useful information, opinions and reviews of warranty companies is easy and certainly worth the effort.

Check Warranty Company Ratings and Reviews
Because an extended warranty is usually rather expensive, you will find that many consumers have posted useful information regarding their experiences with many different warranty companies.

For example, websites like the Bizrate, Epinions and ResellerRatings all have information about various car warranty companies. On these sites, you can find both positive and negative reviews about many different extended car warranty companies.

While all of the information contained on these websites is not always accurate or even truthful, the comments listed on these types of websites will certainly help you make a better buying decision. Just be sure to try to find as many different opinions and postings as possible before deciding if you believe a particular warranty company is ethical, honest or provides good warranty service.

Ask Other Consumers
You should also search car related websites that have forums or areas that allow site members to post messages or questions related to car insurance or car warranties.

Once you have found a website that has a high number of useful messages or posts, you can post your own questions to other members on the site. For instance, if you're considering a particular warranty plan or policy, you may want to post questions about both the plan and the company that provides it.

Once your question is posted, you will find other members on the sites are willing to share their experiences and opinions about the company with you. This will also help other consumers that consider the company in the future.

Check with the Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an excellent source of information on most car warranty companies authorized to do business in your state. In fact, the BBB also provides information on fraudulent or dishonest companies that are not authorized to sell warranties.

If you visit the Better Business Bureau website, you can enter the city and state where you live and search for complaints about a particular warranty service company. You should also check to see if the warranty company is an accredited member of the BBB. If the company is not a member of the Better Business Bureau, you may want to consider other companies that with a BBB membership. This is usually an indication of their commitment to engage in only ethical and honest business practices.

Common Themes in Consumer Reports

While Consumer Reports has provided information on factory warranties and extended warranties for other types of products for many years, the organization only recently started offering detailed data and information regarding extended car warranties. Their findings and opinions regarding car warranties may surprise you.

Consumer Reports vs. Extended Car Warranties
Because extended car warranties are often promoted as a way to give a new or used car buyer peace of mind at the time of purchase, it may surprise you that Consumer Reports often speaks out against purchasing these types of coverage plans.

In fact, Consumer Reports' data and information shows that most consumers seldom break even when purchasing an extended car warranty, as many new vehicles are now much more reliable than they were in years past. Many dealerships often sell extended warranties that cost in excess of $1,000. The costs for warranties are often more than repairs needed during the term for which the extended warranty is valid.

Consumer Reports notes that even with vehicles that are reportedly less dependable or reliable, many consumers seldom recover the cost of an extended car warranty. The problem is not so much with the warranties themselves, but rather with the price tag of the protection plans. If an extended warranty is able to be purchased at a reasonable price, then it can be a good and reasonable value for the consumer.

Times You May Want to Purchase a Car Warranty
While many reviews by Consumer Reports regarding car warranties have been somewhat negative, the watch dog organization does admit that warranties can offer additional protection for motorists that drive an unusually high number of miles, or purchase vehicles that are often found to be suspect or less reliable than many others.

Consumers who purchase typically very reliable Japanese vehicles such as Honda or Toyota usually lose the most money in connection with an extended car warranty. On the other hand, owners of less reliable but very expensive vehicles, such as those manufactured by Mercedes-Benz, often use car warranties the most and lose the least amount of money.

Overall, Consumer Reports recommends that new car owners avoid purchasing an extended car warranty unless they are sure they will be driving a very high number of miles and exceeding the mileage covered under the factory warranties.

They also recommend that people that tend to trade vehicles every two or three years or so avoid purchasing a warranty, as they seldom receive little (if any) benefit under the terms of the warranty contract. In short, Consumer Reports suggests that you not purchase an extended warranty unless you feel it is absolutely necessary.