Vehicle Guarantee vs. Warranty: What Is the Difference?

July 10th, 2017 by

Guarantee vs. Warranty

The vehicle industry is full of puzzling concepts and phrases, so we’re answering one of the most common questions we receive: What are the differences between a guarantee and a warranty?

Are There Differences Between Vehicle Guarantees and Warranties?

Yes. The words guarantee and warranty are interchanged often in conversation, but there are subtle differences between the two.

To put it simply, a guarantee is a broad assurance of satisfaction while a warranty generally refers to a specific list of features and items that can be repaired or replaced. A warranty is, in fact, a kind of guarantee that’s typically created and provided directly by the manufacturer and shouldn’t require any more payments from the customer. While warranties come directly from the product manufacturer, guarantees are generally provided by particular stores or individuals and relate more closely to returns and refunds.

Regardless of the terms’ differences, it’s crucial that customers read the disclaimers attached to any warranties or guarantees they’re provided to ensure they know what’s covered and what isn’t.

Examples of Vehicle Guarantees and Warranties

Warranties and guarantees often work together. At Wilsonville Subaru—similar to the above description—guarantees are often applicable to broad coverage while warranties are more relatable to replacements and repairs that are a lot more specific.

Guarantee Example

You can compare that information with the primary guarantee we provide as a no-bull dealership. Wilsonville Subaru has a 5-Day Money-Back Guarantee that lets customers return their vehicles within 5 days of the purchase no questions asked—under reasonable conditions. This guarantee is fairly broad in that it doesn’t include itemized coverage for numerous parts but instead promises customers can return their vehicles to the dealer for various potential reasons.

Warranty Example

Our vehicle warranties are provided by Subaru and include coverage of various items, such as parts of the engine, transmission, braking system, steering system, suspension, and more. For a thorough example of what warranties may cover, check out our used car warranty page, which includes an itemized list of components that are covered within 3 months or 3,000 miles of your vehicle ownership.

Service Plans vs. Maintenance Plans (Also Important)

Service plans and maintenance plans are similar to guarantees and warranties, but they are distinct services typically provided by a third party. The differences between service plans and maintenance plans are easy to confuse in everyday conversation, but their differences should be discussed; these plans are often purchased to provide additional coverage for vehicles beyond a standard guarantee or warranty.

Maintenance plans include a series of maintenance appointments set throughout the plan’s lifespan. These plans are proactive in nature and aim to prevent anything from going wrong within the vehicle. Common maintenance services include spark plug replacements, tire rotations, oil changes, and more.

Alternately, service plans can be considered more reactive and generally extend beyond the manufacturer warranty; these become important after a vehicle has already experienced some form of damage. Service plans include expanded coverage and can be applied to many vehicle items if they ever need to be repaired or replaced.

Posted in Parts, Service