If you were to get hit with unexpected car trouble today, what would you do to get back on the road and keep your life moving? It’s a stressful scenario no one wants to think about, but it’s worthwhile to have a get-back-on-the-road plan. So, stick with us.

If a part of your vehicle fails, breaks, or simply wears out, the first question you might ask yourself is: Am I still under my warranty? Or, what’s the next-best option if I’m not?

Spoiler Alert! Manufacturer’s warranties eventually expire — and they often don’t cover as much as you may assume. If you want peace of mind, a vehicle service contract (VSC) can provide you coverage that extends beyond your manufacturer’s warranty, so you don’t have to worry about paying out of pocket for covered vehicle repairs during the term of the VSC.

So, what’s the difference between a vehicle service contract and my manufacturer’s warranty?

Your manufacturer’s warranty covers certain vehicle repairs during the first few years (typically until your car is three years old or has 36,000 miles on it), when you likely won’t need anything more expensive than a basic repair. A vehicle service contract like Flex Coverage provides similar coverage (plus some convenient perks) but extends beyond your original manufacturer’s warranty.

Once the original warranty expires, you can’t reinstate that coverage from the manufacturer. (For example, if you buy a used car and the original warranty has already expired, you don’t get a manufacturer’s warranty even though the vehicle is new to you.) A vehicle service contract gives you flexibility to choose how long you’d like extended coverage similar to what the warranty would have provided.

Does it make sense to have both?

If you’re still covered under your original manufacturer’s warranty, adding a vehicle service contract can help keep you ultra-protected and ensure you don’t have any interruption in coverage when your warranty does expire. Typically, the earlier you purchase, the less expensive your coverage will be. So, purchasing coverage sooner rather than later can help you get a more affordable price.

Plus, there are perks!

And unlike traditional warranties, Flex Coverage includes additional perks that add convenience like towing and roadside assistance, so you have a go-to if your vehicle breaks down on the highway.

Flex Coverage even provides trip interruption protection. So, if you’re halfway through a 2,000-mile-long road trip and your car breaks down, not only would most or all of your towing and repair expenses be covered, but any hotel and restaurant expenses you accrue while your car is being fixed could be reimbursed up to a certain amount too.

What if you need a rental car or public transportation? That’s also covered (within limits and up to a certain amount)!

Your average manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t offer that level of financial safeguard and added convenience.

What Does a VSC Actually Cover?

A VSC can help cover both major and minor repairs and labor costs beyond your manufacturer’s warranty you can’t plan for, like a transmission that needs replacing or a new electronics system.

What doesn’t a VSC cover? Cosmetic fixes like paint scrapes, dents, or a blemish to the interior, as well as routine maintenance like oil changes and new tires. Check out the full list of exclusions on flexcoverage.com.

Sure, you’ll still be responsible for your car’s basic maintenance schedule, like getting oil changes or replacing the brake pads, but unwelcome surprises could be taken care of with a vehicle service contract.

Learn More About Flex Coverage