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Vehicle Protection Plans

Should I Buy a Car Warranty?

Car Service Contract Considerations

Should I buy a car warranty? That's a great question -- but it's also the wrong question and it could leave you vulnerable to exploitation by unethical companies in the automotive service contract industry.

Only manufacturers have the ability to offer a car warranty, typically at the time your vehicle's initial purchase. Third-party firms can offer you a "vehicle service contract" that allows you to protect your investment in your vehicle after the warranty expiration date, but they can't offer you a "car warranty" or even an "extended car warranty".

The good news is that if you are asking "Should I buy a car warranty?" then you've come to the right place to learn about buying vehicle service contracts. The VPA is a not-for-profit industry association, comprised of providers that have agreed to play by the rules and do right by consumers.

This site is full of discussions about why you should only buy from VPA members (preferably from VPA-certified members). But to give you an idea of some of the rules that VPA members follow, let's take a look at the association's requirements for advertising.

How the VPA Protects Consumers

The VPA protects consumers through a range of standards, including standards for the marketing and advertising of vehicle service contract products. VPA members are restricted from making untrue or misleading claims in advertising and must be prepared to substantiate any claims they advertise with solid facts.

Likewise, VPA members are required to make sure their sales leads are obtained lawfully and that the vendors or partners they use for advertising and marketing also live up to VPA Standards of Conduct.

Although VPA advertising standards require members to adhere to many other specific guidelines, the bottom line is that VPA members will always promote their products and services in a clear and concise manner, intentionally avoiding the kind of deceptive advertising language that is often featured in ads by less scrupulous vehicle service contract providers.

VPA Certified Members vs. "Car Warranty" Providers

The best way to ensure a successful vehicle service contract buying experience is to purchase your automotive service contract from a VPA Certified Company. In stark contrast to companies that sell "car warranties" to unsuspecting buyers, VPA certified companies participate in a voluntary, yet comprehensive audit process conducted by an independent third party.

The VPA certification process is designed to prove ongoing compliance with industry Standards of Conduct and regulations. It's a complete appraisal of the provider's processes, contracts and sales methods, giving consumers the assurance of a safe and reliable buying experience.

Bottom Line for Vehicle Service Contract Buyers

Now that you are equipped with the right answer to the question of whether or not you should buy a car warranty, it's up to you to take the next step. The VPA encourages you to join us in our efforts to create a more consumer-friendly automotive service contract industry by focusing your purchasing decisions on products offered by VPA certified members.

Find a Certified Member

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