Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components such as air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance such as fluid top-offs and oil changes, but a growing number of brands have separate free-maintenance provisions. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties. Terms are typically three years or 36,000 miles, although some have terms as high as six years or 60,000 miles. Check the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications for bumper-to-bumper warranty limits.
If you want more context on the vehicle's selling price, Edmunds can help with its True Market Value tool. You'll get an idea of what people are paying for vehicles that are similarly equipped to the one you're considering, and it's a good reference point for negotiations. Edmunds also has a tool to help you appraise your potential trade-in to determine if you might trade it in or sell it on your own.
When you take delivery, either at home or at the dealership, have the salesperson walk around the vehicle with you. Check that there are no scratches, dents or dings. Make sure you get the owner's manual, a spare key and the original window sticker. The window sticker shows you the price and a list of your vehicle's features, which is useful later when you sell or trade in. Most dealers include a full tank of gas and a detail with your new vehicle, so ensure you receive those. Now is also the time to ask any last-minute questions you may have about the vehicle. Ask the salesperson anything you want to know, from how to pair your phone to how to use all the latest advanced safety features.
There's a big safety benefit to buying the newest car you can afford. When you buy a new car, you're ensuring you're getting a car that's up to the most recent safety standards in both crash testing and in safety technology. A new car compared to a used car from even five years ago can have big safety advantages with things like more airbags, a more rigid construction, and more advanced technology like a backup camera which is now mandatory on every new car sold in the U.S.