Vehicle Warranty vs. Guarantee: What’s the Difference?
The auto industry is full of puzzling words and concepts, so we’re here to answer one of the most common questions we get: What’s the difference between a warranty and a guarantee?
Is There a Real Difference Between Vehicle Warranties and Guarantees?
Yes. The words warranty and guarantee are often interchanged in common speech, but there are subtleties that differentiate one from the other.
Simply put, a guarantee is a broad, high-level promise of satisfaction while a warranty typically refers to a specific collection of items and features that can be replaced or repaired. In fact, a warranty is a type of guarantee that’s often written and provided directly by the manufacturer and should never require extra payments from the customer. While warranties come straight from the product manufacturer, guarantees are often provided by specific stores or individuals and ultimately relate more to refunds and returns.
Regardless of the differences, it’s important that customers read the disclaimers attached to any provided warranties or guarantees to ensure they know what is and isn’t covered.
What Are Some Examples of Vehicle Warranties and Guarantees?
Warranties and guarantees often work hand in hand. At Wilsonville Toyota—much like the description above—guarantees typically apply to broad coverage while warranties relate to repairs and replacements that are much more specific.
Our vehicle warranties are provided by Toyota and cover a variety of different vehicle components, including parts of the engine, suspension, transmission, steering system, braking system, and more. For a detailed example of what a warranty may cover you can take a look at our used car warranty page, which provides an itemized list of items covered within 3 months or 3,000 miles of ownership.
You can compare that with the main guarantee we provide as a no-bull dealership. Wilsonville Toyota has a 5-Day Money-Back Guarantee that enables customers to return their vehicles within 5 days of purchase under reasonable conditions—no questions asked. This guarantee is very broad in that it doesn’t provide itemized coverage for various parts and repairs but instead promises customers they can return their vehicle to the dealer for a variety of potential reasons.
Maintenance Plans vs. Service Plans (Also Important)
Maintenance plans and service plans are closely related to warranties and guarantees, but they are distinct offerings often provided by third parties. The differences between maintenance plans and service plans are easy to mix up in everyday conversation, but their differences should be noted; these plans are typically purchased by customers in order to provide additional coverage for their vehicles beyond a standard warranty or guarantee.
Maintenance plans involve a series of maintenance appointments interspersed throughout the plan’s lifespan. These plans are proactive in nature and are intended to prevent anything from going wrong within the customer’s vehicle. Common maintenance services include oil changes, tire rotations, spark plug replacements, and more.
Alternately, service plans could be considered a more reactive approach and typically extend beyond the manufacturer warranty and come into play after a vehicle has already experienced some form of damage. These plans provide expanded coverage and are applicable to an array of vehicle components should they ever need to be replaced or repaired.