Jet ski warranties can be confusing and often bring along many questions like…
- During manufacturer promotions, should you get the extra warranty or the money off?
- Do dealers make money off extended warranties?
- Should you get the extended warranty?
- What does your warranty cover?
- Do mods void your warranty?
All these questions and more will be answered.
Disclaimer: I don't sell or give any warranties. You must follow your owner's manual for the full details of your warranty. Every machine is different, manufacturers change things often, and warranties can vary depending on what state or country you live in so contact your manufacturer or your local dealer for the full details of your warranty.
What Warranty Doesn’t Cover
Before I go too deep, I need to clear up some misconceptions about jet ski warranties.
A jet ski warranty will only cover manufacturer defects, nothing else.
This means sucking up rocks, hitting the dock, or any user error is not covered under warranty.
The warranty is also tiered, where body defects are only covered in the first year.
There are cases where it’s extended, but don’t expect the warranty to be strong on cosmetic items.
Abuse, Neglect & Improper maintenance
The warranty can be voided if you abuse, neglect, do improper maintenance, or unapproved mods.
Even leaving your drain plugs in with the seat off during a rainstorm is not covered under warranty, that is user neglect.
Make sure to follow your owner’s manual, get it serviced when you’re supposed to, and avoid most mods.
Why Get The Extended Warranty?
The reason why you get the extended warranty is for peace of mind.
When you get the extra warranty, you’re betting some type of manufacturer defect will happen, and the manufacturer is betting nothing will happen.
Even though jet skis are simpler than cars, they go through a lot more abuse. The more abuse they take, the more manufacturer defects tend to come up.
Let me be honest, getting the extended warranty on a jet ski with a new hull design or new tech just makes sense.
Not saying anything will happen, but you’ll sleep better for sure.
Do Dealers Make Money Off The Extended Warranty?
If the warranty is a part of a promotion from the manufacturer, the dealership gets nothing.
If the warranty is an upsell, then the dealership and often the salesperson gets paid.
The longer the warranty, the more the dealership makes.
So you can negotiate if you want.
The profit margins are not huge, so most people don’t negotiate them.
You’re better off getting the dealership to “throw in” a life jacket when getting the extended warranty.
Is There A Deductible On Your Jet Ski Warranty?
Every jet ski manufacturer has a warranty deductible, and the price of the deductible can also vary from dealership to dealership.
Some dealers may charge $0 to $1,000 per claim.
This is something to keep in mind when price shopping for a new jet ski.
Always Get The Warranty Promotion Instead of the Money Off
A manufacturer will often run a promotion that you can either get a longer warranty or money off the price of a new jet ski.
Always go with the extended warranty over the money!
The money off is always lower than the value of getting the extended warranty.
To give an example, it makes more sense to go with the $1,200 warranty over $750 off, but the marketing material never makes it that obvious.
Depending on the state or country, the default manufacturer warranty is 1 year. Some states and countries can have shorter or longer warranties but 1 year is the most common.
5 Years Total
The max warranty for a jet ski is 5 years. This means if you already have a 3-year warranty, you can only add 2 more years for a total of 5 years.
Sometimes the manufacturer runs warranty promotions to increase sales. You can tell a lot about how well they are selling by the warranty the manufacturer gives.
If the manufacturer is giving a 5-year warranty, then the market is not doing well.
If they offer 1 or 2 years, then the market is doing very well.
The manufacturer may at times give extra warranties to dealers during a special event like a boat show.
Seeing 3 or 4-year warranties is common during boat shows, and one of the reasons I say buying during a boat show is one of the best times.
Warranty and Promotion Dates Are A Hard Cutt-Off
If a warranty promotion ends on May 31st, and you buy on June 1st, you missed the promotion.
Manufacturers are strict on this, so waiting to see if the next promotion is better is impossible. Unless it’s the winter months, the next promotion is not always better.
Leftover and Warranties
It’s common for the manufacturer to give better warranty promotions to leftover models.
So if the 2024 models are shipping, the manufacturer will give better promotions to the 2023 models to help dealers sell the leftover inventory.
Note: A leftover model is still a new, never been registered jet ski but a year or more old. A leftover model is not a used jet ski either, it’s still new.
Does Used Models Have Warranties?
Jet ski manufacturer warranties usually stay with the unit and not the owner.
I say usually because some manufacturers have been cracking down on warranty transfers.
Some manufacturers require the jet ski to be inspected by a dealership within 10 days of buying, and the dealer may charge a fee.
So if you’re buying a used jet ski, there may be a chance it may still have a warranty if it’s under 5 years old.
The only way to know for sure is to contact the dealership and run the VIN. Don’t forget to ask about what is required to transfer the warranty to you.
Buying The Extended Warranty Does Not Speed Up Repairs
Jet ski dealers get behind, as most people only ride during the summer months.
Since there are not many people riding all year long, dealers can’t always hire that many staff. If they did, they would be laying off most of the staff during the slow months, and no one wants to work at a place like that.
So dealers will get backed up and can’t rush warranty repairs through even if you bought the extra warranty.
It’s also not the dealer’s fault all the time.
Sometimes the manufacturer needs proof, like an image or the warranty part sent back.
You also have the issue of back-ordered parts. Things are made in cycles, and some parts may not be in cycled yet, and the manufacturer doesn’t have any in storage.
Sometimes things are out of the dealer’s hands on some warranty repairs and may lead to your jet ski being in the shop for a while.
Does Warranty Cover Loaners?
No, warranties do not offer loaners.
It would be up to the dealership to do loaners, and very few dealers do it.
Do Mods Void Warranty?
Not every modification you make to your jet ski will void the warranty.
But there are a lot of mods that will void the warranty.
When in doubt, contact your local dealer that will handle the warranty repairs to see if the mod you want to do will void your warranty.
Dealer Warranties vs. Manufacturer Warranties
Always go for the manufacturer warranty over the dealer warranty.
The dealer warranties are not always that bad, but just come with a lot more strings attached.
The manufacturer warranty will be easier to deal with, and it just makes more sense to get the warranty from the company that makes the parts for the item.
The same goes for 3rd party warranties; always go for the manufacturer warranty first.