Once your factory warranty expires, an extended warranty can save you money in the event of a mechanical breakdown. We researched the industry’s top providers to find the best extended car warranty on the market. Read the results of our research below and compare quotes between our highest-rated picks. At minimum, we recommend getting three price estimates for extended auto warranties, since costs will vary by your location, vehicle, and more.
|Best Provider||Best for High-Mileage Cars||Most Affordable|
|Editor’s Rating:||Editor’s Rating:||Editor’s Rating:|
|Get Quote||Get Quote||Get Quote|
|(877) 374-1840||(866) 254-0205||(800) 563-2761|
Table of Contents
- What is an Extended Car Warranty?
- Best Extended Car Warranty Comparison
- #1 Endurance: Best Provider
- #2 CARCHEX: Best for High-Mileage Cars
- #3 CarShield: Most Affordable
- #4 Protect My Car: Best Long-Term Financing
- Runner-Up: autopom!
- Runner-Up: Liberty Bell Auto Protect
- What Should You Look for in an Extended Car Warranty?
What is an Extended Car Warranty?
An extended car warranty covers repairs and replacements to certain vehicle components after a mechanical breakdown. Also called a vehicle service contract, this optional plan is generally paid in monthly installments and usually takes effect after your factory warranty has expired.
The last time you purchased a car from a dealership, you may have been offered an extended auto warranty. You can purchase coverage from your dealer or from one of the nation’s top third-party extended warranty companies. Third-party providers offer many benefits, including longer coverage terms, lower prices, and the flexibility to take your car to any authorized repair shop. However, it’s important to do your research and find a reputable company for vehicle protection.
Best Extended Car Warranty Comparison
We performed an in-depth analysis of the industry’s most popular extended warranty companies and ranked each company in the following categories: reputation, coverage, warranty cost, transparency, and customer experience. Based on our findings, these are the best extended warranty companies in 2020.
|Best Extended Car Warranty||Superlative||Overall Rating||Coverage||Warranty Cost|
|#1 Endurance||Best Provider||5.0||5.0||4.5|
|#2 CARCHEX||Best for High-Mileage Cars||4.5||5.0||4.5|
|#3 CarShield||Most Affordable||4.5||5.0||5.0|
|#4 Protect My Car||Best Long-Term Financing||4.0||4.5||4.0|
|#6 Liberty Bell Auto Protect||Runner-Up||4.0||4.0||4.0|
#1 Endurance: Best Provider
Endurance Warranty Services, LLC has 13 years of experience – fewer than many competitors – but it has already built a strong reputation for customer service. As a direct provider of extended car warranties, Endurance takes care of customers from beginning to end. It’s our first choice for the industry’s best extended car warranty.
The most obvious distinction between Endurance and other third-party auto warranty companies is it is the direct administrator of its plans. Other companies market plans administered by a separate company. Endurance offers five, transferable/cancelable plans to fit your individual needs:
- Supreme: Exclusionary coverage
- Superior: Highest stated-component coverage
- Secure Plus: Shortest waiting period (30 days/1,000 miles)
- Secure: Basic, affordable powertrain coverage
- Select Premier: For high-mileage vehicles (up to 200,000 miles)
In addition to roadside assistance, extended auto warranty contracts include the one-year Endurance Elite Membership service, which offers perks like merchant discounts, a personal concierge and ID theft services.
Endurance prices are competitive with other popular extended warranty companies. To see how much you would pay for an Endurance auto warranty, get a free quote. You can also learn more about coverage in our complete Endurance warranty review.
Read our head-to-head comparison of Endurance vs. CARCHEX.
#2 CARCHEX: Best for High-Mileage Cars
CARCHEX has been in the car warranty industry for more than 20 years. The company’s motto reads, “Customer experience above all,” and it boasts a high customer satisfaction rating on the BBB and other review sites.
CARCHEX markets plans backed by insurance carriers with A and A+ ratings. Whether you’re looking for a basic powertrain warranty or a bumper-to-bumper warranty, CARCHEX offers five coverage levels: Titanium, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. The Titanium plan offers exclusionary coverage, but paint, interiors and other cosmetic components are not covered. Roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement and trip interruption benefits are included in most contracts.
Plans cover new vehicles and used vehicles over 150,000 miles, but do not expect your Porsche or exotic vehicle to have very many coverage options. Though, we were impressed that some cars can be covered for up to 10 years old or 250,000 miles.
Compared to the other best extended warranty companies on our list, CARCHEX uses its buying power to find competitive rates for customers. CARCHEX touts its No-Haggle, Low-Price, Everyday Guarantee™ and offers contracts from a network of administrators. Some plans come with deductibles as low as $0.
Read more about the provider in our full CARCHEX review, and get a free, personalized quote from CARCHEX below.
#3 CarShield: Most Affordable
CarShield is a company commonly seen in radio and television ads. Upon closer review, we found it to have some of the best extended auto warranty plans in the industry at low prices.
CarShield offers more coverage tiers than competitors, including specialty coverage for high-tech components, such as the navigation and starter, and coverage for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. Automobile coverage ranges from powertrain to bumper-to-bumper. Though all plans can be canceled, some coverage plans are not transferable to a new owner. You must inquire about transferability for each plan.
CarShield markets itself as an affordable option for extended car warranties. Plans with low deductibles or no deductible are available, and customers won’t have to pay for costs other than their deductible. Learn more about coverage in our in-depth CarShield review or by getting a custom quote for your vehicle.
Affordable plans with great perks, such as roadside assistance
#4 Protect My Car: Best Long-Term Financing
Protect My Car has offered vehicle service contracts for 15 years. Rounding out our top four best extended car warranty providers, here are some helpful pros and cons about Protect My Car to help you make a more informed decision about your extended warranty.
With Protect My Car, you have the choice between an extended auto warranty and an Ambassador maintenance plan. If you opt for an extended warranty, there are three types of plans – which isn’t as many as our other top providers.
- Supreme: This plan is Protect My Car’s highest level of coverage. However, it’s stated coverage, so it’s not going to cover as many things as a bumper-to-bumper warranty. Most systems are covered though, such as turbochargers and high-tech equipment (optional).
- Select: The Select plan covers everything the Supreme plan covers except for turbochargers and high-tech equipment. It’s also a great option for cars with over 50,000 miles.
- Driveline: This “powertrain plus” plan covers the basic essentials, plus a few major systems like the air conditioning and cooling system. It’s available for cars that have more than 80,000 miles and are between four and 10 years old.
The Protect My Car Ambassador maintenance plans are a hybrid between prepaid maintenance and an extended warranty. Repairs are covered, but only up to a certain percentage. You also get some free maintenance, like three oil changes and two tire rotations per year. You similarly have three plan options here: Ambassador Elite, Ambassador Pro and Ambassador Platinum. Almost any car can be covered by an Ambassador plan. That makes it a good option for older cars.
Protect My Car has payment terms from 36 to 48 months, so plans can be affordable on a monthly basis. The deductible is generally $100 for visits to the repair shop. If you’re not sure about your decision to purchase an extended car warranty, it’s good to know that Protect My Car offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Learn more in our Protect My Car review. You can also see how much coverage would cost for your vehicle by getting a free quote.
Best Long-Term Financing
Long-standing provider with flexible payment terms and some discounts
Don’t be fooled by this company’s age. Even though autopom! is only 10 years old, it has some of the highest customer service ratings on our list. If you are a California resident, then autopom! is one of the best extended car warranty providers catering to California vehicle service contract regulations.
Runner-Up: Liberty Bell Auto Protect
Our second and final runner-up, Liberty Bell Auto Protect has also been in business for 10 years and has high ratings from industry experts.
What Should You Look for in an Extended Car Warranty?
Here are a few quick questions to ask as you start shopping for auto warranties:
- Who backs the warranty? Is it backed by an insurance company that can ensure claims are paid?
- What are your responsibilities? What kind of regular maintenance is required under the contract?
- How are claims handled? Do you have to pay the repair facility upfront? Can you choose your own repair facility?
- What is not covered? Will a claim be denied if a covered part is damaged by an uncovered part?
- Are you being pressured to buy? Are you able to compare multiple offers at once?
What to Expect When You Get an Extended Auto Warranty Quote
When you reach out to an extended car warranty company by phone or online, you’ll speak to a member of that provider’s team. Normally, they will ask you questions about your location and car (make, model, year, mileage, etc.). These factors determine what plans you’re eligible for, as well as your price estimate. They should also be able to answer any questions you have about the coverage, claims process or auto warranties in general.
It may be a red flag if you’re not impressed with the customer service on this initial phone call. This is one reason we recommend calling around and getting several quotes. You’ll also be able to compare prices and negotiate for the best extended car warranty price.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock, © Piyawat Nandeenopparit