An extended auto warranty, sometimes called a vehicle service contract, is an optional plan that helps minimize the financial risk associated with car repairs. Most people get an extended auto warranty when their manufacturer’s warranty expires, but Santa Barbara residents can purchase extended coverage at any time, even if their vehicles have higher mileage.
Considering that California consistently ranks as one of the most expensive states for car repairs, an extended auto warranty in Santa Barbara helps to ease financial worries related to unpredictable mechanical failures and breakdowns.
Extended auto warranties are particularly advantageous in areas like Santa Barbara where lengthy commutes and stop-and-go traffic exacerbate wear and tear on your engine, brakes and transmission. The salty ocean air in Santa Barbara also contributes to corrosion and rust that make parts fail faster.
Many extended warranties are similar to original factory warranties. Extended auto warranties pay for the cost of specific repairs during an agreed-upon period of time or mileage. Extended car warranty providers typically offer a choice of three to four plans with coverage ranging from only major systems and common repairs to nearly any malfunction or mechanical failure.
coverage for essential systems that keep your car moving
coverage for a more extensive list of components and systems
|Transfer case (if equipped)||Transfer case (if equipped)|
|Drive shaft||Drive shaft|
|N/A||Seals and gaskets|
Some extended warranties also include perks such as:
It’s important to note that extended car warranties in Santa Barbara don’t cover everything that could happen to your car. For example, extended warranties do not cover damage from accidents, vandalism or natural disasters (your auto insurance policy covers those repairs). Extended warranties also don’t normally cover routine maintenance, such as oil changes, windshield wiper replacement and new tires.
The cost of an extended auto warranty in Santa Barbara can range anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Cheaper warranties cover fewer parts and have more restrictive fine print. Coverage options vary widely, and numerous other factors determine the price of your plan, including:
Similar to car insurance, you can choose extended car warranties with different deductibles, usually from $0 to $250. If you’re considering a service contract with a deductible, it’s important to find out if it will be charged on a per-visit or per-repair basis. Let’s say you have two repairs to be made on your car:
This makes a big difference in your out-of-pocket expenses, depending on how your garage bills the warranty provider.
When it comes to paying for an extended warranty in Santa Barbara, some people like to pay for the entire warranty upfront to ensure they’re always covered. Other people prefer to start with a down payment and spread the rest of the payments over six to 24 months. Choose a payment plan that suits your finances throughout the term of the warranty.
An extended auto warranty could save you thousands of dollars, whether you need many small repairs over time or just one major repair. With flexible plans customized to your needs, extended warranties also:
That being said, an extended car warranty can be expensive, doesn’t cover all repairs and may never actually help you. You have to weigh the odds of needing repairs and the cost of those repairs against the price of your coverage. It’s a good idea to research reliability ratings for your car’s make and model to predict how well the vehicle will hold up.
While you can get an extended warranty through your local car dealership in Santa Barbara, independent car warranty providers usually offer more competitive pricing.
When purchasing an extended auto warranty, your goal is to get the cheapest policy that still covers the parts you’re most likely to need fixed. As with any major purchase, read reviews and shop around to get the best deal.
As you consider different extended auto warranties and contact providers, here are some questions to ask:
Most importantly, carefully read the fine print on your contract so you know what is covered, what is not and what your commitment is.
As one of the largest providers of extended auto warranties, CARCHEX provides comprehensive, insurance-backed coverage at an affordable price. In addition to covering repairs, CARCHEX care coverage includes 24/7 roadside assistance, towing, rental cars and gas delivery. Local reviewers say the plans are a great value and the company’s representatives are both knowledgeable and helpful.