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As more consumers buy used, they may need car repair insurance

The state of the economy has been a big drag on the auto manufacturers, as more Americans drive their cars longer or buy used cars instead of new ones. As drivers rack up the miles on older vehicles, experts say they may want to consider car repair insurance.

Car repair insurance is a type of policy that covers vehicle repairs after the manufacturer's warranty has run out. Usually, warranties only last for three years or a certain number of miles.

For older vehicles that may need expensive repair, car repair insurance could save consumers the extra cost, experts say.

Americans are certainly looking to save money by purchasing older vehicles. Used vehicle loans accounted for 68 percent of all auto loans in the first quarter of 2009, an increase from 64 percent of auto loans in the first quarter of 2008, according to Experian.

Some car repair insurance policies only cover vehicle breakdowns, so consumers should investigate the different policies to find out what they cover. A wear and tear policy covers parts that wear out over time.

There are nearly 430,000 auto repair service facilities in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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