Reader Writes: Should I Buy an Extended Warranty for my Used Mercedes-Benz?


I got an email from DaveKnowsCars.com reader Viet Bui over the weekend about extended warranties for Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The questions are fairly short and sweet, the answers may not be. Read on…

Hello Dave,

I have read your articles and I like them very much.  Anyway, I have a few questions for you.

1) Do you recommend on extended warranty contracts for Mercedes ?

2) Do you have to purchase them at the Mercedes dealers or you can get it from elsewhere?

Before I give my two cents here regarding extended warranty contracts, spcifically extended warranties for Mercedes-Benz vehicles, I should first mention that I have no personal vested interest in a customer’s decision to buy, or not to buy, an extended warranty. I don’t get anything if someone buys a warranty on a car I’m selling, it’s just not how we’re set up at Feldmann Imports. Some dealerships are different, but in my case, I don’t get anything if you buy an extended warranty.

The answer to the question “Do you recommend on extended warranty contracts for Mercedes” is basically yes. I suppose it would depend on how you plan to use the car, if you plan to keep it for an extended period of time, and if you drive a lot, put a lot of miles on the car. Those are the pieces of information someone putting a warranty package together for you will ask, those are the important questions. Do you need a high miles with a shorter term warranty or a longer term warrant with less available miles?

If you’re buying a late model Mercedes-Benz you should absolutely buy a warranty for it. When these cars are properly maintained they’re wonderful, if you’ve got a warranty and you can just say… “Do it” when the service advisor suggests a repair that’s covered under warranty you will be much less apt to defer any maintenance. Of course, you need to be aware of the kind of warranty you’re buying.

If you’ve got a Certified Pre Owned Mercedes-Benz you can purchase an additional 1 or 2 years of Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre Owned warranty or up to 100,000 miles on the car. If you have a regular used Mercedes, perhaps an older, non certified car, that maybe you bought at an independent dealer or from a private party, you can still purchase an extended warranty, but be careful where and what you buy. This leads us to the answer of Mr. Bui’s second question…

“Do you have to purchase them at the Mercedes dealers or you can get it from elsewhere?”
We have quite a few people who buy older Mercedes other places and just come to our finance department for an extended warranty, it’s normal and perfectly acceptable. You don’t HAVE to purchase your extended warranty from a Mercedes-Benz dealer, there are all sorts of warranty places out there, online, you often get things mailed to your house about extended auto warranty options, junk mail style, but is that really the route you want to go?

I would suggest ONLY buying an extended Mercedes-Benz warranty from a franchised Mercedes-Benz dealer. For several reasons, you have a physical place to take the car to be fixed, a service department full of knowledgable techs happy to share their knowledge with you.  Another good reason is that a Mercedes-Benz dealer handles hundreds of similar Mercedes-Benz warranties every month, they know and understand them, you can be sure you’re getting a solid product that will be accepted at service facilities nationwide.

The third reason I would only buy from a franchised Mercedes-Benz dealer is integrity. A new Mercedes-Benz dealer has too much to lose by trying to sell you a junky warranty for a high price. They have a reputation to uphold and a clientele that will not tolerate shady practices you might find at other places that sell extended warranties. And if all else fails, there is a physical place you can go in to pound your fist on a table if you think something hasn’t been handled the right way.

If you’re concerned about the price of the warranty once you find out what you need, ask the person putting the warranty package together for you if that’s the best they can do in terms of price. While I believe that you get what you pay for, it never hurts to ask, maybe there’s a deal on warranties for a particluar model that month from the after market warranty company, it never hurts to ask.

So, in conclusion, I think extended warranties are a no brainer with used Mercedes-Benz vehicles. While solid reliable cars, it’s not secret that when a Mercedes-Benz has a problem, it’s more expensive to fix than a Toyota or Hyundai. Think of an extended warranty like life insurance. You don’t buy life insurance because you think you’re going to get hit by a bus, you buy it just in case you do. You don’t buy a warranty because you think you’re going to blow your engine, you buy the warranty just in case the engine blows. A franchised Mercedes-Benz dealer is the best place to make sure you’re getting a quality warranty for a fair price. You get what you pay for, and if it means paying a bit more for a really good warranty you’re going to be happy with, it’s worth it.

 (After reading this article I just wrote, it really sounds like I’m towing the company like here, but it truly is how I feel, objectively… this is the what I really think about warranties. I’ve just heard too many horror stories from people who tried it a different way and ended up with something not worth the paper it was printed on.)

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