If you’re buying a used car from a dealer, they may offer an extended warranty, which covers repairs but costs you money upfront. If the car you are buying is a newer model, the original manufacturer’s warranty may apply. Here are five things you need to know about used car warranties.

1. First, check whether the manufacturer’s warranty applies. Most of the time, manufacturer’s warranties cover the vehicle for the first three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. If you are buying a newer vehicle, the manufacturer’s warranty may still be in place. Check to see whether it can be transferred to you as the new owner.

2. Check the buyer’s guide. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires dealers to display a buyer’s guide with each vehicle. It is usually displayed in the window. The buyer’s guide must state whether a warranty is available and give information on the warranty, including the percentage of the repair cost that the dealer will cover. If you are buying the vehicle from a private party, this does not apply.

3. Read the fine print. Make sure you get a copy of the warranty and read it through to see what it covers and, even more importantly, what it does not cover. This will help you decide whether it is worth the price or not.

4. Decide whether the warranty is worth the cost. Used car warranties typically range in cost from $1,000 to $3,000. Whether it is worth it or not depends on whether you will use it. One thing to consider is whether you must have the repairs done by the dealer. If you have a mechanic you trust who charges fairly, you may not want to have to switch in order to get the repairs covered under a warranty. In that case, it is probably not worthwhile to pay for a warranty. You should also consider how likely it is that the car you are purchasing will need covered repairs. Additionally, if you are financing the car, the cost of the warranty may be able to be financed as well, which will make it more affordable.

5. Consider your options. Buying a warranty is not the only way to deal with car repairs. You could opt instead to set aside a certain amount of money each month to put toward maintenance and repairs. Another option is to lease a car that comes with a warranty. However, buying a used vehicle is usually more economical than leasing one.

When buying a used car, carefully consider the terms and cost of the warranty being offered. Used car warranties can be a worthwhile investment that can save you a lot of money on car repairs, or they can be an additional expense for something that never gets used. By purchasing a warranty, you are protecting yourself from the cost of unexpected repairs by paying for the warranty upfront.

Are you in need of a vehicle? Check out our inventory of reliable used cars in Arizona today.