Beware of these expensive extras when car shopping
TORONTO -- If you're shopping for a new or used car, you’ll often be asked if you want to pay extra for things like an extended warranty or gap insurance.
While these added costs may be beneficial if you keep a vehicle a long time, they can be an added expense if you don’t.
Rebecca Ellis of Whitby, Ont. bought a 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander in December of 2019 and in January of this year someone lost control and smashed into it as it was parked in her driveway.
"The driver supposedly had a seizure and drove her car up the driveway into my car which went into the wall of the garage smashing the car from the back and the front," Ellis told CTV News Toronto.
When Ellis bought her SUV, she paid more then $6,000 for additional products at the dealership.
“When I purchased the vehicle, I bought gap insurance and I bought an extended warranty outside the manufacturer's warranty," she said.
At the time of the crash, Ellis had an outstanding loan of $31,500 on the vehicle. The insurance pay out was just over $21,000, so she still owed more than $10,000 on her loan.
Ellis thought the gap insurance would cover the difference and said “the gap insurance was explained to me that it would pay the remaining balance of whatever the primary insurance didn't cover."
Ellis paid just over $2,800 for the Gap insurance and when her case was reviewed she was paid out almost $2,400 from the Gap insurance policy.
Ellis also paid almost $3,400 for the aftermarket extended warranty, which had still not taken affect as her SUV had 100,000 km at the time of the accident and the extended warranty was to begin at 160,000 km when the manufacturer’s warranty ran out.
The dealership where she bought the extended warranty said there were no refunds. The warranty was with Global Warranty and it did agree to refund her $309.
“I thought I was trying to do the right thing by purchasing all this extra stuff from these companies to cover myself and it didn't help me at all,” Ellis said.
CTV News Toronto reached out to the gap insurance provider, Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company.
“As a follow-up, we have been in discussions with Ms. Ellis over the past couple of days and have resolved her complaint to her satisfaction. We thank you for bringing this matter to our attention,” a Trisura spokesperson told CTV News Toronto.
Trisura agreed to give Ellis almost $3,400 dollars more. Ells was relieved to get more money from the gap insurance product, but was upset that the refund for the extended warranty that she didn’t use didn’t refund her more money.
“Honestly I wasn't sure I was going to get anything, but I will use that money (from the gap insurance) to buy a new car,” said Ellis.
If you're buying a new or used vehicle be careful if you're pitched extra products as they can be expensive and you may not need them.
You should also ask if there are refunds available if you decide to sell the car or it's written off in an accident.