This article has the basics on wear and tear for car warranties, including reviews for the best wear and tear coverage, and how to calculate wear and tear.
Car Warranty Wear And Tear Definition
Wear and tear is inevitable damage that happens naturally as a result of the normal aging and wear that occurs as a car is accumulates mileage. The term is used in a legal stipulation that wear and tear will not be covered in warranties from manufacturers and aftermarket service contracts. Thus, most extended car warranties cover damage from mechanical breakdowns that aren’t a result of wear and tear. Still, there are some car warranties that do offer coverage for wear and tear items, which we’ll discuss below.
General car warranty wear and tear refers to damage caused by regular use of the car that excludes abuse or abnormal use. Some areas covered by warranty are upholstery, paint and even cleaning costs. It is important to understand car warranty wear and tear definition according to your warranty. A wear and tear plan often covers repairs to the interior and some exterior parts of the car and some great plans offer a car cleaning option.
Car Warranty That Covers Wear And Tear
Though finding a car warranty that covers wear and tear on a car is not common the industry, we’ve identified several providers that offer some form of coverage for wear and tear items in our comprehensive extended car warranty reviews. Below are our top top picks:
Along with being one of the most reputable providers in the industry, CARCHEX also offers the most plans that provide coverage for wear and tear parts on the market. Of the 5 plans offered by CARCHEX, the company’s top three coverage levels (Gold, Platinum, and Titanium) include protection for wear and tear items. Below are basic descriptions of these three plans:
- Titanium: An exclusionary plan similar to a new car warranty that also covers wear and tear parts.
- Platinum: A comprehensive stated component plan that covers wear and tear parts and balances cost with coverage.
- Gold: A powertrain plus plan that provides wear and tear protection along with coverage for major systems.
Endurance warranty services provides the best extended car warranty in the industry and has a unique coverage option that covers wear and tear parts. The EnduranceAdvantage™ provides a unique combination of stated component extended warranty coverage and mechanical breakdown insurance that includes coverage for some wear and tear parts.
Though not technically a wear and tear warranty, the Endurance Advantage plan’s mechanical breakdown coverage helps cover the cost for maintenance parts that are defined as wear and tear by many provers. The three coverage levels for EnduranceAdvantage™ all provide high level stated component coverage. All of the plans cover the following maintenance items, many of which are considered or related to wear and tear:
- Yearly Services
- Yearly Tire Rotation
- Yearly Oil and Filter Changes
- Brake Pads/Shoes
- Manufacturer’s Recommended Service Intervals
- Wiper Blades
- Cooling System Maintenance (and lubrication)
Protect My Car
Protect My Car has offered provided vehicle service contracts for 15 years and is rated as one of the top 5 best extended car warranties overall. Like Endurance, Protect My Car also offers a special coverage package that provides some protection for wear and tear parts. A cross between a pre-paid maintenance contract and an extended warranty, the Ambassador plan covers between 50 and 75 percent of covered repair costs. Below are descriptions for the Ambassador Plans:
- Ambassador Platinum: This plan has a deductible that covers 25% of the cost of repairs and doesn’t include roadside assistance.
- Ambassador Pro: The ambassador Pro plan has a deductible of 50% and doesn’t include roadside assistance. Benefits also include free oil changes and tire rotations.
- Ambassador Elite: Ambassador elite is the most expensive and comprehensive plan offered by the company. With a 50% deductible, additional benefits include rental reimbursement, free tire rotations, free oil changes, towing, and roadside assistance.
While the Protect My Car Ambassador technically lists wear and tear items in its exclusion list, the several of the maintenance items it covers are related to wear and tear. This is why this provider comes third on our list.
Wear And Tear Items On A Car
Though different insurance, warranty, lease, and rental providers may define specific wear and tear items differently in for their respective contracts, most wear and tear items on cars are generally the same. For warranties, clutches, brakes, brake pads windshield wiper replacements and headlight/taillight bulbs are the most common types of wear and tear items. The list of wear and tear items on a car could also potentially include other auto parts that are among the most commonly replaced such as air and oil filters, batteries, tires, spark plugs, brake calipers, belts, wheel cylinders, and the master cylinder.
How To Calculate Wear And Tear On A Car
While the primary cost we think of when we think of actually using our vehicles is gas mileage, it is important to understand the cost of your commute in terms of wear and tear. Along with being an important definition in insurance or warranty coverage and leased or rental vehicles, this is also important to understand when it comes to how it affects the valuation of your vehicle, as wear and tear is technically considered a form of depreciation that lowers the cost of your vehicle over time. Below are the steps for calculating wear and tear on your vehicle:
- Determine The Vehicle Type: Different types of vehicles have different wear and tear costs. Rough amounts for each vehicle type (which can also vary by make and model) are: Minivan: $4,100, Large Sedan $5,000, Medium Sedan: $3,500, Small Sedan $2,500.
- Calculate Cost Per Mile: . A rough approximation of average miles driven per year, which is generally 15,000, is used to calculate cost per mile. To do this calculation, divide the type of cost for your specific vehicle by 15,000. For a medium Sedan the calculation would be 3500 / 15000 = 0.23. This means that the vehicle wear and tear for a Medium Sedan should be around 23 cents per mile.
- Factor In The Actual Miles You Drove: Next, we have to factor in how many miles have actually been driven. To do this, multiply your per-mile figure from the previous step by the actual amount of miles you drove. If you drove 20,000 miles and had a Medium Sedan that costs 23 cents per mile to drive, your wear and tear costs would be calculated by multiplying 20000 x .23. This would give you a wear and tear cost of $4,600.
While the expected deterioration of your car can be predicted with a calculation, the actual rate of deterioration can be slowed with proper vehicle maintenance. This care includes scheduled yearly maintenance to keep the car running and looking great making it a fair wear and tear car.
Wear And Tear Warranty Basics
Comprehensive warranty also called Bumper-to-Bumper warranty covers thousands of vehicle components from powertrain parts to high-tech systems and electronics. This coverage will often list the parts that are not covered under the drivers warranty. Even though it is the most expensive plan to purchase, it saves costs over the longterm and keeps the car in its best working condition. This warranty can cost between $500 to $1,500 per year of coverage for 3 years or 36,000miles whichever comes first.
Powertrain warranty covers only powertrain components like the engine, transmission and drive axles. It is basic coverage that is designed to simply keep the car moving. It does not cover high-tech systems and lists all the parts covered by the warranty. Powertrain is the least expensive extended warranty option. This option is suitable for those looking to customize and save costs on their warranty.
Ultimately, wear and tear on a car warranty is best supplemented with packages offered if the driver is looking to save costs on their warranty. There are many options available that a driver can bundle into a package that works best for them.
For drivers for whom cost is not an issue, they can purchase coverage that offers 24/7 roadside assistance, key fob replacement, identity theft protection that comes with a reimbursement for financial loss from identity theft. Tire repairs or replacements for up to two repairs per year, membership rewards and repair financing loans up to $5,000 in loans. Drivers should purchase coverage that syncs with their lifestyle needs for the most benefit.
Normal Wear And Tear Examples
Warranties usually define wear and tear as damage or deterioration resulting from normal use and exposure. This use does not include abuse or misuse of the vehicle that results in damage. One example of wear and tear is bearing down on the alternator so that is begins to wobble and squeak as it becomes worn down. This is considered normal wear and tear. Some exterior examples of wear and tear are dings, dents, chips, scratches, corrosion and poor prior repair. Any damage to the frame or inner structure is considered wear and tear.
Interior wear-and-tear includes burns, stains, cuts, tears and singed areas less than half an inch in diameter. Tires, wheels, windshield, lights, turn signals and lamps are included in general warranty wear-and-tear coverage. Mechanical or electrical maintenance and any missing or broken parts will be covered under what counts as general wear and tear.
Wear And Tear Warranty: Conclusion
In this article we looked at the basics of the definition of wear and tear as related to extended car warranties. We also reviewed the best extended car warranty providers who provide wear and tear warranties.
Wear And Tear Car Warranty: FAQ
What is wear and tear on a car?
Wear and tear is a factor used to account for how much a car’s resale value decreases with each mile it’s been driven. This is important to know when leasing a vehicle, buying or selling a used car, or estimating the cost of an extended car warranty and some forms of car insurance.
How much is wear and tear on a car per mile?
Based on a study published in a AAA brochure, the cost of wear and tear per mile ranges from $0.23 to $0.63 per mile, with most vehicles averaging around $0.03 per mile.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car warranty provider to formulate rankings of the best warranty companies. Our in-depth rating system takes into account coverage, pricing, transparency, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each provider is given a weighted score in five categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto warranty companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.