Buying a used car can come with a lot of risk. Most used vehicles, except for certified pre-owned cars, are sold as-is and do not include any kind of warranty. If a head gasket blows the day after you sign the deal, sorry Charlie, you’re on the hook for repairs.
Of course, extended warranties or service contracts may sometimes be purchased separately and can be a good investment. Sometimes those warranties are transferable, so if the previous owner bought one, you could inherit it. Since there are so many companies offering those plans, you’ll need to ask the seller if any remaining warranty comes with the car and investigate if it will transfer to you.
But what about the manufacturer’s warranty that comes with new cars? If you can score a late-model car that has any part of a transferable manufacturer’s warranty remaining, you’ve hit the jackpot! So which cars should you look for? Follow the jump to find out!
Let’s start with the automakers offering 100,000-mile warranties, since those are the most likely to be sold during the warranty period.
The famous Hyundai and Kia 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is non-transferable to used-car owners; it’s applicable only to the original owner. Once the car is sold, the coverage stops at five years or 60,000 miles from when it was sold as new. Find yourself a 2008 Sonata with 35,000 miles on it, and you’ve got some warranty life left!
Suzuki’s seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is fully transferable. There is no deductible, which means no charge for any warranty service. Suddenly that 2007 SX4 with 30,000 miles looks pretty good with 70,000 miles of warranty left!
General Motors’ five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is fully transferable to new owners, also with no deductible on covered work. So are the five-year/60,000-mile warranties offered by Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, and Ford.
Chrysler warranties are a little more difficult. Some 2007-2009 vehicles came with Chrysler’s Lifetime Powertrain Warranty, but that is not transferable to other owners. Prior to that, the company’s seven-year/70,000-mile warranty was transferable for a $150 fee, but required deductibles for covered work. On 2010 and 2011 vehicles, Chrysler offers a five-year/100,000-mile no-deductible powertrain warranty that is valid only for the original purchaser.
While you should never buy a car based on the warranty alone, it can be a good consideration if you’re searching for a late-model, low-mileage used car, plenty of which are available through the CarGurus DealFinder.
Is remaining factory warranty a consideration for you when shopping for a used car?