There is no definitive extended auto warranty that everyone should buy.
Every policy and contract is going to depend on the driver's financial situation, how long they are going to own the car and how much repair the car is estimated to need. However, there are some common misconceptions and beliefs that are widely held, and it is important to know the facts when purchasing extended coverage.
The belief that double coverage is an issue is widespread on the internet. The cautious researcher won't be able to help seeing that myth splashed on many warranty websites. These places claim that once you purchase an extended auto warranty, it goes into effect immediately, whether you have still have the manufacturer's coverage or not. Double coverage is actually not really an issue, since an extended warranty's price mostly depends on how new the car is and how many miles it has on it. The coverage is designed to extend the original warranty, not to uselessly overlap it. In fact, the earlier a driver buys the extended warranty, the cheaper it will be.
It should come as no surprise that dealers can be pushy, but many new and used cars salesmen will also downright lie when it comes to extended warranties. They will say that the warranty has to be purchased with the car, claim that there is only one kind of warranty, and that the contract cannot be reviewed before it is signed. None of these things are true. It is essential to always review the warranty before allowing it go into effect, to get a written copy before leaving, and to get the coverage that best suits the driver and vehicle.
One thing to look out for with an extended auto warranty is the driver's maintenance requirements. In one sense, maintenance requirements are nice. The driver is given periodic notices about what processes need to be done and when. These are small things that keep the car running, like oil filter and coolant changes, and must be done out of the driver's pocket. Beware contracts that have demanding requirements or large amounts of maintenance. When a real break down occurs, it could be too easy to blame it on lack of upkeep.
The most important thing to know when shopping for extended warranties is that personal research and preference is important. Year, make and model will change what policy the car and the driver need.