I remember the day the world changed.
We tend to remember exactly where we were when momentous events mark a distinct “before” and “after” in our lives.
In this particular case, many years ago I was watching television, casually unaware my world would change with the very next advertisement.
It was an ad from Hyundai, the laughable Korean car company, promoting a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
“How could this be?” I thought, “Cars aren’t even supposed to last much past 100,000 miles.”
Of course, today we all know differently, as cars routinely pass that mark and even double it.
Now there’s another warranty on the market that might keep pace with the life of current vehicles: the 20-year, 200,000-mile warranty.
While this extra-long coverage does exist, it’s not offered by any automaker. It’s offered by some dealers. But, as you might assume, there’s a catch.
One thing for sure, customers are better off with a 20-year warranty than without. That said, a dealer wouldn’t offer such a long warranty if it didn’t have a financial benefit. What better way to secure a couple of decades worth of service visits than requiring owners to return to the dealer for maintenance in order to keep the warranty in effect?
AutoExpress made this comment about the lengthy coverage:
A deal like this creates countless pros and cons. And there are unanswered questions, too. Such as will a near-worthless 19-year-old, 190,000-mile Hyundai that blows its engine really be fitted with a new power unit, free of charge, on the eve of its 20th birthday?
The details of one such offer are here, and it looks like as long as the dealer maintained the car according to the vehicle’s recommended service schedule for the original owner, a new engine would indeed be covered with just a $100 deductible.
That’s where the breakdown starts. How many people hold on to their cars for 20 years? By the time a car hits 200,000 miles, it’s often on at least its second or third owner, rendering the warranty worthless.
Plus, having a dealer maintain your car according to the recommended guidelines is an expensive endeavor. While the 200,000-mile warranty is enticing, I won’t get too excited until it’s offered by an automaker as factory coverage.
Would a 200,000-mile warranty, supplied by a dealer, entice you to buy a car?