When you purchase a new car, you expect that the car warranty will start from the day of purchase. In theory, this is true; however, there are some exceptions to this rule. The average warranty on a new car is approximately 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Some car warranties can last up to five years or 60,000 miles.
To get a better understanding of when a car warranty begins, I contacted GM's Communications Director Patrick Morrissey. He explained that the warranty begins when the vehicle is put into service. On a new vehicle, this will be the day it is delivered to the owner. The only exception is if the vehicle is intended for some other service before being sold to a customer, such as a company car or a courtesy car from the dealer.
In these rare cases, the warranty begins when the vehicle begins its initial use. It's important to note that many car companies start the warranty on the day the dealer first marks a vehicle as “in service”. This can be for various reasons, such as if it is used as a demonstration vehicle or is classified as sold to benefit from an incentive from the manufacturer for a limited time. According to Ford's website, the warranty will begin when the vehicle is sold or when it is first put into service. If you know your vehicle's VIN number, you can check the start date of the warranty on the manufacturer's website. However, in some cases buyers may end up with less warranty on a new car than they expected if they are not careful and check all details before purchase.
For example, if you buy a demonstration vehicle, the warranty will begin operating from the day it entered service. It's important to read all of the fine print and understand all of the details before purchasing a new car. If you have any questions or concerns about your car's warranty start date, talk to your dealer or contact the car manufacturer.