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Are extended warranties worth it?

Snapshot: Extended warranty is a concept not unheard of, and for a minimal investment, you can save yourself and your car from the hassles!

While looks, fuel economy, and performance are certainly a part of car-buying criteria, there's something that we all want from our cars, and that is peace of mind. You don't want to make frequent visits to the service stations, you don't want a leaking radiator every now and then, and more importantly, you don't want to have a hard time getting your car fixed, especially once your car's original warranty is over. The only solution to the plethora of issues is, as carmakers would suggest, extended warranty.

It's a concept not unheard of, and for a minimal investment, you can save yourself and your car from the hassles. Most carmakers offer it, and some would even notify you to renew the warranty near its completion. 

Before you go ahead and purchase the warranty: 
It's necessary to make your mind about getting it in the first place. It would be a relatively small amount, but it is an investment. So, if you are ready to take the plunge, which is advisable, here's what you should keep in mind:

Buying an extended warranty at the time of purchase of the vehicle or while the vehicle is still under warranty is the right thing to do. Because most manufacturers have support for cars till a particular time (from the date of purchase/kilometers run), and cost of buying the extra warranty is low.

Also, apart from the manufacturers' warranty, dealers and third party offers might still be present, but it's also safer (albeit possibly expensive) to stick to the manufacturer only. There's always car insurance but there's a difference between the two: Extended Warranty comes straight from the carmaker, so if there's a trouble you can go to any of the service outlets and get it rectified. You might also get a couple of free services as well. In case of insurance, the cash-less service stations (where you don't need to pay to get the car repaired at the arrival) are limited. Also, the carmaker isn't directly involved in the case.

Manufacturers ranging from the 'king of the small-car segment' Maruti Suzuki to premium ones like Audi offer extended warranty packs, which can offer coverage up to 1,00,000kms as well. For instance, Volkswagen and Ford offer an extension of up to 2 years or 1,00,000kms. Brands like Honda offer a 2-year/40,000km extension, whereas carmakers like Hyundai and Maruti have multiple schemes, depending on the model (in case of Hyundai) and duration (both).

All in all, an extended warranty promises a trouble-free car ownership experience. The money you would invest in buying the warranty pack is bound to give you a peace of mind, and in an unfortunate case of a breakdown, it will save you from the hassles (both on mind and pocket) of making numerous visits to the service station and negotiating for the best offer.

While all that sounds great, but it is always advised to read the terms and conditions before applying for a warranty. There could be clauses which might void the warranty, so it's better to read the documents first and make sure that the warranty stays intact. Otherwise there's no point in buying it, is there?

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