If your vehicle is nearing the end of its factory auto warranty, you may find yourself looking for a way to keep the vehicle covered against the ominous threat of repair costs. If that’s the case, then you have options, but the trouble is figuring out how to make the right decision for your needs, and your budget.

Everyone knows that if something breaks in their car, it suspiciously tends to happen right after the car is outside of its factory warranty. When that happens, you find yourself on the hook to cover repair costs.

For some it could be the difference between driving to work, or taking the bus until their vehicle repairs can be afforded. With that much too worry about, it’s important to figure out the best steps to take in making the decision between an extended auto warranty and a vehicle service contract. Let’s navigate those decisions below.

An autowarranty comes directly from the vehicle manufacturer and can mean several different things. Though extended car warranties differ in longevity, they commonly range from three to five years in length. They also offer a limited amount of mileage applied to them. That is typically 60k-100k total miles on the car.

While it’s most common for a dealership to sell an extended warranty as “bumper to bumper” coverage, it’s also possible that they could be offering less coverage that only covers powertrain components. This is especially true on used vehicles. Auto warranties are seldomly available on vehicles outside of the factory warranty.

Carefully review your paperwork if you have an extended auto warranty to see exactly how long it is good for, what type of coverage you purchased, as well as any exclusions on the coverage. It is important to note many after-market modifications can void a car’s warranty, so be mindful of those if you purchased a used car with modifications or plan on making some yourself.