Understanding what kind of warranty a used car comes with can save you money and headaches later on. If you buy from a dealer, the Buyers Guide will tell you about the warranty – if there is one – and what it covers. 


  • Read the Buyers Guide carefully. Dealers have to post it in every used car. Find out:
    • Is the car sold “as-is”? That means you pay for any and all repairs.
    • Is the car sold with an implied warranty? That means the car is mostly as-is – but in some states, you might be able to get the dealer to pay for serious problems that weren’t clear when you bought the car.
    • Is there a warranty? Is it full or partial? What does it cover? Who pays for how much of the repair?
    • Is the car under the manufacturer’s warranty? Make sure the Buyers Guide says so under “Systems Covered/Duration.” Is a service contract available for the car? Service contracts always cost extra, and you can buy one any time. An existing  service contract might not transfer with the car when you buy it. Find out if it does. Know what your warranty coverage is before you buy a service contract.
  • Compare and negotiate warranty coverage. The terms and conditions vary with every used car.  
  • Keep the final Buyers Guide that was posted in the vehicle. The Buyers Guide, not the sales contract, determines the warranty you get.
  • Ask for the car’s warranty documents from the dealer. Call the manufacturer to confirm – you’ll need the car’s VIN when you call.
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