On paper, it might seem tempting to get a vehicle service contract when buying a new or used car, and indeed, it often makes sense to get a vehicle service contract in addition to the warranty. However, it helps to know in advance what exactly you’re going to get with a vehicle service contract.
In this article, we’ll be going over everything you need to know about vehicle service contracts, including how they differ from warranties and what benefits you can get from a typical vehicle service contract.
What’s the Difference Between a Vehicle Service Contract and a Warranty?
On the surface, a vehicle service contract and a warranty are pretty similar since they’re both essentially contracts that guarantee free repairs for certain issues. The difference between the two lies in when each of these contracts goes into effect and the specific coverage that each contract offers.
A warranty goes into effect immediately after you buy your car and lasts for a set number of years or miles. Warranties are usually included with the initial purchase of your vehicle, and the extent of the coverage you get depends on the warranty you go with.
Basic warranties may only offer coverage for powertrain repairs, while “bumper-to-bumper” warranties offer coverage for a much more comprehensive range of issues.
On the other hand, a vehicle service contract usually goes into effect after the original warranty has expired. Vehicle service contracts are often referred to as “extended warranties,” although legally, these contracts are not actually warranties.
Unlike warranties, vehicle service contracts can be bought at any point, not just when you first buy the car. Some vehicle service contracts are offered by the vehicle manufacturer, while others are offered by third parties. This means that the type of coverage offered by vehicle service contracts varies greatly.
For example, some vehicle service contracts act as extensions for your original warranty, increasing the amount of time/distance you can go while still being able to claim free repairs for certain problems. Other vehicle service contracts, on the other hand, might cover the cost of regular maintenance services, like oil changes or filter replacements.
What Do Vehicle Service Contracts Cover?
When considering what kind of vehicle service contract to get, it’s important to consider what kind of equipment your car has in order to determine what coverage best fits your needs.
In addition, the coverage of your existing warranty may overlap with the coverage of your vehicle service contract, so if you do intend to get both, you want to make sure that you’re getting the most comprehensive amount of coverage possible.
No matter what kind of car you have or what sort of coverage you’re looking for, however, there’s bound to be a vehicle service contract out there that suits your needs. Case in point, we have Veritas Global Protection, a company that offers protection plans for cars, RVs, motorcycles, four-wheelers, jet skis, and even snowmobiles.
Here’s the type of coverage you can expect to get from Veritas Global Protection and other similar companies:
Coverage for All Types of Cars
No matter what kind of car you have, whether it’s a humble econobox or a high-end sports car, it’s important to have the right coverage for it. A good vehicle service contract company will offer you specialized coverage for all of the most important parts of your car.
For example, a vehicle service contract that covers electric or hybrid vehicles may cover powertrain components that are normally excluded from standard warranties, like batteries that have degraded due to regular wear and tear.
Or, if you have a vehicle service contract for an exotic car where the reliability of certain parts is questionable, that contract might specifically cover the parts of that car that are the most likely to fail.
Different Coverage Levels to Suit Your Budget
The amount of coverage you get with a vehicle service contract depends on both the type of contract you get and the level of coverage within that contract you ask for.
For example, Veritas Global Protection offers a vehicle service contract specifically for a vehicle’s powertrain. But within that contract, you can choose exactly what level of powertrain coverage you want.
Suppose you only need the most basic coverage. In that case, you can get the basic coverage plan, which just covers the most important powertrain components like the engine transmission, drive axles, and transfer case. However, if you opt for a more comprehensive plan, you could also get coverage for stuff like the cooling and fuel systems or your car’s electrical components.
A vehicle service contract company might also offer you other benefits to incentivize you to get the contract. These could include things like free roadside assistance, rental car coverage, fuel delivery if you happen to run out of gas, and partial financial compensation if you break down far away from home and need to rent a hotel until your car is fixed.
These companies may also offer nationwide protection, with access to mechanics and repair centers all over the country. Some companies also allow you to transfer your coverage to another vehicle if you sell your current car before your coverage has expired.