One of the biggest purchases anyone can make is a car of their own. Whether it’s your first-ever car, your dream car or the last vehicle to carry you through your golden years, a car is a major investment beyond monthly payments and insurance. Maintenance and unforeseen troubles mean spending money to keep your vehicle on the road.

One of the best ways to save money on unforeseen expenses with your car is a car warranty. Nearly every brand offers a warranty on all of their models, covering three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Not only that, but new cars come with a whole suite of warranty protection covering everything from the powertrain to corrosion and emissions. The MSRP bakes in the cost for such warranties, while aftermarket warranties require a purchase when the manufacturer’s warranty runs out. Certified pre-owned cars come with their own manufacturer warranties, as well, though those vary in mileage/time period, depending on the manufacturer.

What does a car warranty afford the owner or lessee? Protection from expenses that would otherwise heavily impact one’s finances, possibly enough to unload the vehicle onto someone else or scrap it outright. Car warranties cover not only defective or damaged parts during normal driving that can’t otherwise be considered normal wear and tear, but also the labor required to replace such parts.

Once the manufacturer’s warranties expire, an aftermarket, also called an extended warranty, provides peace of mind for as long as you own your car. After all, it’s only right to have as much protection as possible for one of your biggest investments.