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Car Service Contracts: Full Service Or Foolish Service

By: Gregory Ashton

Upon purchasing a car, one may also be required to avail of an auto service contract to do away with untimely and expensive repairs. Before agreeing into any of it, one should first completely get a grip of both the contract's terms and the one responsible for supplying the coverage.

The following will help in the understanding of the use of a car service contract and what should be considered before getting one.

Car Service Contract mistaken as a warranty

A car service contract should not be mistaken as a warranty as made understood by federal law even if it is sometimes called "extended warranty". Similar to a warranty, a car service contract promises to provide or pay for particular services or repairs.

A warranty goes together with a new automobile and comes together with the original price of the car while an car service contract is sold separately and can be arranged for at anytime.

Things to consider in a car service contract:

o Duplication of car service contract with whichever warranty treatment

Before buying any car service contract, try comparing it with the manufacturer's warranty first. This will avoid shelling out for coverage that may already be provided by the warranty.

o Accountability of car service contract

Check on who is accountable in performing or paying for reparations within the terms of the contract whether it is the dealership, the manufacturer, or an independent company.

A lot of these car service contracts that dealers sell are controlled by companies that are independent or administrators, as they are called. They function as adjusters of claims who authorize payment claims to dealers under service contract. Therefore, any dispute on claims should be discussed or settled with the supervisor.

Once the administrator stops his business, it is a possibility that the dealership may be compelling to execute the terms of the contract. It is also possible that if the dealer runs out of business, the administrator may be the one expected to complete the contract's terms.

It is imperative to know the credibility of the dealer and/or the administrator. Inquire about their references and verify them. The local or state office for consumer protection, local automobile dealers associations, Department of Motor Vehicles, local Better Business Bureau are good sources of references and public information.

It is also important to know the length of time the dealer or administrator have had in the business. It is also vital to determine if the dealer or administrator has the funding to sustain their contractual responsibilities.

Know if the car service contract has an insurance company that has underwritten it. This is mandatory in some states. If it is so, verify the company's solvency with the State Insurance Commission and check for complaints that might have been filed against it.

o Prices of Auto Service Contracts

The cost of auto service contracts are usually known through observing the vehicle's model, make, condition whether it is new or used, the coverage, and the contract's length. The price ranges from hundreds of dollars to over a thousand.

Over and above the initial charge may be an additional fee to pay known as deductible, every time the car is repaired or serviced. In some auto service contracts, one may pay just one charge for each visit for all the required restoration, no matter how many. On the other hand, other contracts demand the client to pay a deductible for each unrelated repair.

Transfer of cancelling fees may also be asked to be paid once the client decides to sell the car or wishes to finish the contract. Contracts usually decrease the payment for towing services and other related car rental expenses.

o Coverage

Only a few car service contracts treat all types of repair. Typical repairs for parts such as clutches and brakes are usually not coming with the service contracts. If some items are not listed in the service contract, assume that it is not included. An example of this is if the contract indicates coverage on the "drive train" only, it will surely not pay for the alternator which is a component of the electrical system.

Beware of absolute rules that reject or deny coverage for any reason. An example of this is if a part that is covered is damaged by a part that is not covered, no claim will be given.

One my not have full protection even on parts that are covered in the contract. This is possible due to some companies using a "depreciation factor" in calculating the coverage. This primarily means that the contract covers only partial repair or replacement costs if they take into consideration your vehicle's mileage for instance.

Gregory Ashton, your resident automobile enthusiast, bringing to you over 20 years of vehicular passion, and expertise; presents for your approval his insider secrets on selecting, buying, and maintianing the car that is ideal for you. http://www.best-car-buying-tips.com.