Your car provides you with freedom and opportunity, but it can also be a burden when components of the vehicle begin to wear out or break. Getting hit with unexpected repair costs can do more than just ruin your day. It could also set you back financially.
Repairs: How Much Do They Cost You?
Modern vehicles offer us many luxuries. Features that were once considered high-end are now included in the standard vehicle, and engines are more reliable than they have ever been in the past. But, computer systems have also made cars much more complicated. When something does go wrong, the repairs might be more expensive or require more parts. Often, too, the electronic and computerized components of a vehicle are not ones that can easily be purchased and installed by the typical car owner.
Routine maintenance can also add up over time. Statistics show that vehicle owners often spend up to $3,000 maintaining their cars or trucks on the journey to 100,000 miles. According to another recent study, the average American family spends $3,269 on repair costs and maintenance each year. These are averages, so while you might luck out and pay little to nothing one year, the next year could be a financial drain. A vehicle service contract could spare you some of these costs.
Protecting Your Vehicle: What is a Vehicle Service Contract?
When your regular manufacturer auto warranty ends, you’ll have the option of purchasing additional protection. This protection comes in the form of a service contract, also sometimes referred to as an extended warranty. A service contract differs from your original vehicle warranty.
Service contracts are typically provided by dealerships, but sometimes they are sold by independent companies. These independent companies have the car owner in mind and are not partial to any particular car manufacturer. Rather, they want to get the vehicle repaired and back on the road.
Making the Choice: Is a Service Contract for You?
There are a few questions you can ask yourself when determining whether you should get a service contract.
1. How Long Do You Want to Keep the Car?
Many people buy cars with the intention of keeping them for as long as possible, but this isn’t always the case. Some people prefer to always drive newer cars, so they trade in their old cars after they reach a certain mileage. Others might need a vehicle only for a certain period of time. For example, if you’re a military service member, and you’re going to be stationed in Hawaii for the next two years, it might be worth it to buy a car while you’re there and sell it before you leave. That way, you will avoid the cost of shipping the vehicle to a new location.
2. Do You Like to Feel Prepared for A Variety of Circumstances?
Some people feel more secure if they know they are covered in case of a disaster, while others prefer to save their money and take their chances. If you would feel more relaxed knowing that a major vehicle breakdown would be covered, then you should consider a service contract. Also, if you do not like to personally do the work to repair your vehicle, a service contract would be the easy answer, saving time, money and aggravation.
3. Do You Have the Savings to Cover a Major Repair?
One of the best things about a service contract is the fact it allows you to get the repairs you need as soon as possible, rather than having to save up the money or put the expense on a credit card. If you have plenty of money stashed for emergencies, a service contract might not be necessary. However, if a major repair would bring a devastating blow to your finances, the peace of mind is probably worth the cost of an automobile service contract.
4. Does Your Vehicle Have Unique Requirements?
Certain vehicles, such as sports cars, might have special maintenance needs. They also might have more expensive parts. If you know that a breakdown would be particularly costly for your vehicle, or feel that the maintenance costs could add up to more than the cost of a service contract, it makes sense to choose the service contract. In some cases, it would be easier for a service contract provider to secure the necessary parts to repair your vehicle than it would be for you to find car components yourself.
Thinking Ahead: How Do You Research and Choose a Contract?
It’s a good idea to ponder whether you’ll need a service contract sooner versus later. It’s important to point out that these contracts begin the day you buy them. While purchasing one earlier will save you some money, you will also be maintaining two types of warranties, making the service contract useless until your other warranty runs out. The best thing you can do is research early, choose the best option, and then purchase your vehicle service contract within a few months of the end of your auto warranty.
This page is sponsored by WarrantyNation.com, the premiere vehicle service contract company dedicated to helping vehicle owners keep their cars in good working order. The company has been in business since 1991, features a BBB rating of “A+” and is backed by an “A+” rated insurance carrier.
Warranty Nation protects you against unexpected and costly vehicle repairs from mechanical and electrical breakdowns. The company is dedicated to finding the plan that best fits you and your lifestyle, with exclusive 25% discounts. Take your vehicle to any licensed repair facility of your choice. Warranty Nation works with more than 60,000 repair shops and dealerships nationwide, manages your repairs directly with the repair facility, and pays them directly for your convenience. They accept all major credit cards and convenient payment options are available. Visit warrantynation.com for additional information.
About Lynette Carrington
Award-winning wordsmith Lynette Carrington has more than 14 years of print, online and television media experience at both local and national levels. She has amassed a portfolio encompassing more than 14,500 published articles, book contributions and duties co-hosting a magazine television show. Lynette sits on the Board of Directors for Southwest Kids’ Cancer Foundation in Arizona. Her work can be seen on Geocentric Media, Inc. sites, including Scottsdale.com. Additionally, her work is featured in her own syndicated column through Geocentric Media, Inc.