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Does a Factory Warranty Start When You Purchase the Auto?

by Hunkar Ozyasar

Warranties on new cars are usually limited in terms of mileage as well as duration. The user must have all required maintenance performed on the vehicle to retain the warranty coverage.

Limits

Warranties on new vehicles are usually quoted in such terms as three years / 36,000 miles, specifying both the maximum mileage and number of years during which the manufacturer will fix mechanical problems. The warranty expires when either of those limits are reached. In this example, a car driven for 37,000 miles within two years will lose warranty coverage, as will a three-and-a-half-year-old vehicle with only 15,000 miles on it.

Start Date

The starting date for warranty coverage is the date you purchase the vehicle, even if the car has been built several months prior to your purchase date. If you are the second owner of the car and the warranty is transferable, the start date is the date which the original owner purchased the car.

Your Obligations

In order for warranty coverage to remain intact, you must ensure that all required maintenance is performed on the vehicle. Keep all paperwork to prove that the work was performed as scheduled and contact the dealership without delay when you encounter a mechanical problem.

About the Author

Hunkar Ozyasar is the former high-yield bond strategist for Deutsche Bank. He has been quoted in publications including "Financial Times" and the "Wall Street Journal." His book, "When Time Management Fails," is published in 12 countries while Ozyasar’s finance articles are featured on Nikkei, Japan’s premier financial news service. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Kellogg Graduate School.

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