Available for both new and used vehicles, extended warranties are normally pitched as extra security for car buyers, reducing the risk of expensive repairs that might not be covered by the factory warranty. Indeed, peace of mind was the most common reason given by our survey respondents for purchasing the coverage, and for many that may be a sufficient motive.
Many types of plans are offered, both through dealerships and from other sources, such as auto clubs and insurance companies. And most extended-warranty-service purveyors offer more than one plan, with everything from comprehensive bumper-to-bumper coverage to more targeted protection for the powertrain only or specific components. Plans can also vary in duration.