The warranty is a key factor when evaluating a used-car dealership

If the dealer doesn’t have confidence in his product, why should you?

File Photo
Richard Perry.

■ Richard Perry / The Hemet Car Guy

Greetings from the Hemet Car Guy!

Everybody wants a good and cheap used car. The problem is, by the time a car has been on the road long enough to be “cheap,” there are too many things that may be wrong with it. That’s why many good dealers do a complete safety check and reconditioning of the cars they take in. At our dealership, we certify our vehicles and typically carry an inventory of later-model used cars.
When you’re shopping for a used car, look over a dealer’s entire inventory. If the selection of vehicles on a lot looks like it’s been around the block a few too many times, it probably has. Wander on over to another lot and compare their inventory.
Buyers are much better off working with a dealership that offers its own warranty. The longer the warranty, the better. No used-car dealer can afford to offer a “bumper-to-bumper” warranty on the cars it sells. Some dealers will offer a 30-day, 50/50 warranty. If a dealer offers a 60- or 90-day warranty, that’s even better. And if the warranty covers 100 percent of the cost of any repair, rather than only 50/50, consider that excellent.
If the dealer is proud of his warranty, he is far more likely to make it easy to use it than if he agrees only to go by state law. By all means, ask the dealer about its free warranty coverage. Also, ask if there is any remaining factory coverage. What choices do you, as the buyer, have for purchasing an extended warranty or service agreement? Does the dealer offer a 1-year buy-back guarantee through Car Fax? Listen closely to the dealer’s answer to that important question. The dealer’s attitude here goes a long way toward learning if he or she stands behind their cars.
The dealer earns a commission on the sale of any warranty. Again, pay attention to the coverage. Like most contracts, there is usually too much verbiage to read the entire warranty agreement, so make sure the dealer offers a 30-day, 100-percent money-back guarantee in case you need to cancel. Keep in mind that an extended warranty is no substitute for a dealer’s confidence in the product he’s selling.

Hope this helps,
The Hemet Car Guy

Richard Perry is The Hemet Car Guy and the owner of VIP Autos in Hemet. For more information, visit

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