What’s the difference between express and implied warranties?

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2023 | Auto Warranty

When it comes to purchasing a vehicle, understanding the warranties provided by auto dealerships is crucial. Warranties serve as a safety net, assuring consumers that they won’t be left in the lurch if issues arise post-purchase.

In the automotive industry, two primary types of warranties exist: express and implied. Understanding the nuances of these warranties can shed light on their differences and help you make informed decisions before driving that car off of a lot.

What is an express warranty?

An express warranty is a specific and clear guarantee made by the auto dealership regarding the condition and performance of the vehicle. These warranties are explicitly outlined in writing or verbally communicated during sales. Express warranties may cover various aspects, including the vehicle’s durability, specific features or a promise to repair defects within a defined period.

One of the key advantages of express warranties is the transparency they offer. With explicitly stated terms, consumers clearly understand what is covered, allowing them to anticipate potential expenses and obligations.

What is an implied warranty?

Unlike express warranties, implied warranties are not explicitly stated by the dealership. Instead, they are assumed or “implied” by law based on the nature of the transaction. Two common implied warranties in the automotive industry are the warranty of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.

This implied warranty assures buyers that the purchased vehicle is fit for ordinary use and is of acceptable quality. It also comes into play when a buyer relies on the dealership’s expertise to select a vehicle suitable for a specific purpose. Essentially, the implied assurance is that the vehicle is fit for the intended purpose, as suggested or specified by the buyer.

While express warranties offer transparency and clear-cut terms, implied warranties provide a safety net based on legal assumptions. As a consumer, being aware of your rights and the type of warranties in place can empower you during the purchasing process and in the event that something goes wrong once you’ve driven away from a dealership.