Transferring an Extended Warranty

Transferring Your Vehicle's Warranty

So, your car has been a solid performer over the years and still runs well, but you decide it’s time for a splashy, new car. Meanwhile, your neighbor thinks your car would be ideal for his teenage daughter.

The car still has 14 months left on its extended warranty. If you sell the car to your neighbor, will the warranty coverage go with it?

The answer? Maybe.

Unfortunately, with warranties―especially extended warranties―there are too many variables and exceptions to give a conclusive answer. After all, you can purchase an extended warranty from a dealer or a third-party provider, and each has its own rules.

Of course, having a transferable warranty is an excellent selling point. Think how relieved your neighbor would feel about buying your car if he knew he wouldn’t be facing major repair bills in the near future. That’s why you should inquire about this before you agree to pay for the extended warranty, perhaps use it as a deciding factor in determining which warranty to purchase.

Vehicle Warranty Transfers

The good news is that many extended warranties can be assigned and transferred. Just check with the provider to be sure. In some cases, you may have to authorize the transfer in writing, or perhaps pay a warranty transfer processing fee.

If you’re buying a car that comes with a transferable warranty, don’t just trust the owner’s word. Warranties can be confusing and the owner may have misunderstood the policy. So, verify the information with the warranty provider before you buy the car, and promptly take care of any required paperwork.

Generally, a new car that is still under a manufacturer's initial factory warranty will transfer to the new owner. Third-party warranties are generally transferable on a case-by-case basis.

Certain warranties are explicitly non-transferable. In those cases, the warranty coverage will end as soon as the vehicle is sold, regardless of how much time or how many miles are left on the warranty.

Along with possible transfer fees, to complete an extended warranty transfer when selling a vehicle:

  • The manufacturer, authorized dealership, or third-part warranty provider may need to inspect the vehicle.
  • You'll likely need to gather all the applicable warranty documents.
  • You may need to transfer the warranty within a specific time frame.

For specific requirements of what will be required to transfer your vehicle's warranty, contact your warranty provider/manufacturer.

To avoid finding yourself in a situation where a car sale falls through because the warranty cannot be transferred, always remember to:

  • Be clear about the terms of your vehicle's warranty when purchasing it.
  • Ask about the warranty transfer process at the time of purchase.
  • Keep records of your vehicle's warranty documents.
  • Think about how long you plan to keep the car.

If you think you'll likely sell a car shortly after a purchase, you should try to make sure the warranty is transferable. If you will likely own the vehicle for longer than the terms of your warranty, being able to transfer it may be less of a concern.

The bottom line is: Be clear about your vehicle's warranty.

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