By: Gov Auctions | 12 October 2015

Do Cars Sold at an Auto Auction Come with a Warranty?

One of the things a person should ask or look for when buying a vehicle, whether brand-new or used, is whether it’s still covered by a warranty.

To be clear, a car’s warranty is different from auto insurance, though both are meant to offset costs that can possibly drain your savings and even other investments. An auto insurance policy is meant to protect you in case you meet an accident. This way, you don’t have to pay entirely for the repair of the other vehicle. Some policies can also cover you in case you become injured or meet your untimely death.

A car warranty, on the other hand, is provided by the manufacturer on their vehicles. Like any other object, cars, no matter how well built they are, can sometimes break down and need repairs. They may, for example, require a new engine or tire that can cost a whole lot of money. Depending on the exact terms and conditions, the warranty can cover these things.

Warranties come in many different forms and stipulations. More often than not, they can provide coverage of up to 3 years or around 30,000 miles, depending on which comes first.

However, more manufacturers are offering extended warranties. This is because more people are traveling, so 30,000 miles can be consumed in less than 3 years. Moreover, more recent cars are reliable, sturdy, and efficient. Thus, they can last beyond 3 or even 5 to 7 years.

Then there’s a used car warranty, which means the car can already be covered by guarantees, but they are expected to be limited. For instance, the limit to claim can be as low as a little over $2,000.

The question now is if you buy vehicles at an auction, will there be a warranty? The answer is both a yes and a no.

You cannot expect auctioneers to offer any guarantees or warranties to vehicles sold. In fact, they are offering the vehicles as is, which simply means you buy them at your own risk.

But the used vehicles can still have warranties, although many factors can also have an impact on these. First, will the seller pass such warranties to you? How much is it going to cost you to maintain the warranty?

You also have to keep in mind that a lot of cars that will be sold at an auction are already years old or have considerably low mileage. Some of them may already be deemed lemon, junk, or salvage—all indicators that the possibility of having a warranty is slim.

When you’re looking for a car to buy at an auction, it’s incredibly important to pay attention to the things you don’t really see, such as warranties, titles, and VINs. These can have a huge effect on the value of the vehicle, how much you should pay for it, and even whether you should buy it or not. The last thing you want to do is to spend money on a vehicle that you cannot take full advantage of.