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Here we go again – The BMW Ultimate Protection Program . . .

Here we go again – The BMW Ultimate Protection Program . . .

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If you are looking for a way to get rid of money fast without the hassle of clogging your toilet or that annoying burning smell of $100 dollar bills, I’ve got the perfect alternative — The BMW Ultimate Protection Program!

BMWwarranty

Keep in mind that currently, in the state of California, you can only purchase an Extended Warranty from an automotive dealer as they are not available to the public as direct sale. Here’s a few reasons why this program just plain sucks, and why it could be used for discussion in an Ethics 101 class:

If you thought HMO’s were bad . . . 

A warranty of this nature is a huge conflict of interest, but only for you.  Once you buy this, you’ve basically submitted yourself to the fact that the company who built your car is the only one who is allowed to fix it, they are also the only one that will tell you what is wrong with it, and the only one that will approve any work to it under the contract.  Bad idea.  Dealer technicians work on various types of commission structures and typically get paid less for warranty work.

Imagine your car has a slight oil leak (that you didn’t know about) and it is a hassle to fix.  On the daily docket, ‘Technician A’ has 3 jobs behind your car that are easy jobs and pay well.  In many cases, your oil leak might be ignored, kicking the can to the next time, and again, and again.  Now you are five months out of warranty and that oil leak leaves a drip on your driveway.  Sorry Charlie, your contract has expired.  Had an unbiased repair facility look over the car and identify all the issues that could be covered under the warranty, your driveway would be a a lot cleaner and your wallet a bit heavier.

Timeshares are cheaper, and the terms are better . . . 

It’s Expensive!  I’ve seen the quotes, and they are about 15% higher than the typical extended warranty. Shop for yourself on this one, but I know what folks have paid for warranties over the years for certain amounts of coverage and this one is at the top tier as far as cost.   The coverage is good if you buy the Platinum, but the terms aren’t great.

fineprint

The best you can get is ‘7 years 100k miles’ and that is a bit misleading as well.  This is not a 7 year warranty from the time you buy it, it is 7 years from the day the car was built.  So unless you rack up about 15k miles a year, this won’t make sense for you given the fact that other companies offer better programs. Worse still is that if you buy a low-mileage car, the warranty will certainly expire on time before mileage.

At least Walmart sells 4 different brands of TV’s . . . 

competition

The introduction of this program allows BMW dealers to kill their competition in the warranty market when you buy a car from them. Don’t get me wrong, they are still offering extended warranties from third party companies that allow you to go anywhere, but you better believe that the terms won’t be as good and the price will be higher.  So naturally, their option will seem most attractive.  There are a lot of great extended warranties on the market, but you aren’t going to be offered them.  Personally, I’d go to Carmax and buy the same car (probably at a better price), and get the Max-Care warranty.

I’ve long been a proponent of extended warranties as long as it makes sense for the car in consideration.  Unlike that protection program you are offered at Best Buy for $250 for a $800 TV, they can can actually pay off if you have a good shop that keeps a watchful eye on your ride.  I’ve consulted with countless local customers and folks nationwide on what warranty, if any, would work for their car.  While I thought I’ve seen everything, I guess it was only a matter of time before BMW started offering their own ‘Extended Warranty’ to customers when they purchase a new or used vehicle at one of their dealerships.

This one, by far, is the fastest way for anyone to throw away money . . .

Chris Keefer

Independent Motorcars

5836 Autoport Mall

San Diego CA 92121

858-455-5836

www.independentmotorcars.com

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