Are vehicle service warranties transferable?

Dear Consumer Ed: 

Are vehicle service warranties transferable to new owners of those vehicles?

Consumer Ed says:

Usually. Keep in mind, however, that the transferability of a given warranty is generally governed by the terms of your written agreement so ensure that you read the terms of your contract before you purchase your vehicle to understand when and if the contract can be transferred. If you purchased a new vehicle, it likely came with several different types of warranties, most, if not all, of which may be used by subsequent owners.  If you are considering selling your vehicle that is still covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, you should check the terms of the various warranty documents to verify transferability.

In addition to the warranties offered from auto manufacturers on new vehicles, automobile dealers sometimes offer warranties themselves or you can purchase vehicle service contracts from third parties not affiliated with the manufacturer. These service contracts are often transferable as well, but much like new car manufacturer warranties, the ability to transfer is determined by the terms of the actual contract. It is important that you read the terms of any warranty or service contract that you purchase.  Unlike manufacturer warranties that are included with your new vehicle, if you are purchasing a service contract from a third party, you are likely paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars for it.  Before you agree to purchase, always ask for a copy of the service contract and read through it.  Also, be mindful that if you still have remaining manufacturer warranty coverage, additional service contract coverage could be duplicative.  Careful reading can ensure that the service contract you are purchasing has the coverage and characteristics that you are looking for, including transferability to future owners.

Submit your own question to Consumer Ed.  Remember…we do not give legal advice. Always consult a lawyer about legal issues.

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