The best extended car warranty companies are Endurance, CARCHEX, CarShield, Protect My Car, and autopom! based on cost, coverage, reputation, & service.
In this article, we’ll highlight the best car warranty companies that stand out for their reputations, customer service, affordability and overall quality. Our team thoroughly researched and ranked the most reputable extended car warranty companies to help bring you this review. To make the most informed decision about which of these car warranty companies best fits your needs, we recommend getting quotes from at least three providers so you can compare their pricing and coverage side by side.
Best Car Warranty Companies
Our research team reviewed the major aftermarket service contract companies (brokers and direct providers), using a thorough review process to determine the best extended auto warranty. To select the five most reputable extended car warranty companies, we reviewed every leading provider in the warranty industry in the areas of coverage, cost, transparency, customer experience and, of course, reputation. Based on this research, Endurance, CARCHEX, CarShield, Protect My Car were rated as the best extended car warranty companies.
Best Extended Car Warranty Companies
The table below highlights the ratings scores for the best extended car warranty companies in 2022:
|Car Warranty Company||Award||Extended Car Warranty Ratings||Coverage||Warranty Cost & Affordability|
|#1 Endurance||Best Provider||9.6 / 10.0||10.0||9.0|
|#2 CARCHEX||Best for High-Mileage Cars||9.4 / 10.0||9.5||9.0|
|#3 CarShield||Most Affordable||9.0 / 10.0||9.5||10.0|
|#4 Protect My Car||Best Long-Term Financing||8.7 / 10.0||9.0||8.0|
|#5 autopom!||Runner-Up||8.5 / 10.0||8.0||8.0|
Extended Car Warranty Ratings
We use an in-depth analysis of the best aftermarket extended car warranty provider to rank the top companies. The overall score for each provider, as seen in the table above, is aggregated from scores in the following categories:
- Warranty cost
- Customer experience
Best Auto Extended Warranty Coverage
When choosing the best extended warranty plans, the most important consideration should be your needs. Once that’s determined, you can do a car warranty comparison to find the best plan to fit your budget.
Compare Extended Car Warranties
The chart below contains a side-by-side comparison of the best extended car warranty coverage from the top three providers in the industry:
|Perks||Roadside assistance, towing and rental car coverage||Roadside assistance, concierge, shopping discounts, tire repair and more||Roadside assistance, towing and rental car coverage|
|Repairs||Any ASE-certified mechanic||Any ASE-certified mechanic||Any ASE-certified mechanic|
|30-Day Money-Back Guarantee||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Reputable Extended Car Warranty Companies
Based on our research, we’ve rated Endurance Warranty Services as the Most Reputable Extended Car Warranty company in 2022 because of its excellent coverage, competitive pricing, and solid customer service.
Reputable car warranty companies help protect your car over time and provide impeccable customer service and a smooth claims process during the stressful experience of an unexpected mechanical breakdown.
Being the best car warranty company is different than simply offering one or more of the best extended car warranty plans. Making the list of best car warranty companies requires meeting the standard of a more all-around rating system of auto warranty services, including coverage plans, prices, customer service, and ease of use during the claims process (via an app or website self-service).
The following sections provide more detailed information about the most reputable extended car warranty companies and the extended warranties they offer, including the coverage, cost, customer experience and industry reputation for each provider.
#1 Endurance: Best Provider
Endurance has the top rated aftermarket car warranty in the business and is the most reputable extended car warranty company. Endurance Warranty Services, LLC has 14 years of experience – fewer than many competitors – but it has already built a strong reputation for customer service. In 2020, the company was listed as one of the countries fastest growing companies in the Inc. 5000. The provider also has several prominent industry partners and has been sponsored by the Andretti racing team.
As a direct provider of extended car warranties, Endurance takes care of customers from beginning to end. Because you will deal with Endurance directly, the filing process will be simpler and faster, because you wont have to go through a middleman when you file a claim. With Endurance, you can file claims either by phone or through an online portal. Additionally, service is available through an online concierge with the Endurance app. These customer friendly features that come as a benefit of working with a direct provider result in better customer service overall and make Endurance a great fit for drivers who want an easy and fast claims experience.
Direct provider (no middleman)
Friendly customer service
Extra perks through Endurance Elite Benefits
Generous roadside assistance, including towing and other emergency services
Not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
60-day waiting period for some plans
The company has a 3.4 star rating and C grade on the BBB, the latter score of which came as a result of using promotional mailers in Chicago that confused customers. A downside to Endurance is that the company is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has a C rating. However, the company’s awards, years in business and partnerships speak to its excellent reputation as an extended car warranty provider.
Endurance warranties cost between $85 and $125 per month, which is affordable by industry standards. Your specific price for coverage will depend on factors like your plan, the deductible, and your vehicle. Exclusions for Endurance plans, which are common in the industry, include things like lack of maintenance, environmental damage, and wear and tear (unless covered under the Endurance Advantage Plan.
Endurance Warranty Plans
The most obvious distinction between Endurance and the competition is that the company is the direct administrator of its plans. Other companies market plans that are administered by a separate company. Endurance offers six coverage levels that are cancellable/transferrable and range from powertrain to bumper to bumper levels with periods available for up to 8 years and 200,000 miles. Below are basic descriptions of each plan:
- Supreme: Bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage with only a a few exclusions for total peace of mind
- Superior: Highest stated-component coverage, covers hundreds of parts
- Secure Plus: Covers powertrain components as well as some electrical systems and has the shortest waiting period (30 days/1,000 miles)
- Secure: Basic, affordable powertrain coverage for the engine, transmission and water pump
- Select Premier: Designed with high-mileage vehicles in mind (up to 200,000+ miles), offering coverage for powertrain, air conditioning and electrical parts
- EnduranceAdvantage™: Combines mechanical breakdown coverage with routine maintenance items (which is uncommon for an extended car warranty), including oil changes, engine diagnostics and brake pad replacements.
All Endurance car warranties come with roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement and trip interruption coverage. Additionally, extended auto warranty contracts include one free year of Endurance Elite Benefits, which offers perks that include:
- Key fob replacement
- Tire repair/replacement
- Total loss protection
- Collision discount
- Up to $1,000 toward replacing a totaled vehicle.
Endurance’s prices are competitive with other popular extended warranty companies. The best way to find out how much each Endurance plan will cost you is to reach out for a quote.
#2 CARCHEX: Best for High-Mileage Cars
We’ve rated CARCHEX as one of the most reputable extended warranty companies in the business. The company has been in the car warranty industry for more than 20 years. Their motto is “Customer experience above all,” and it boasts an A+ rating and accreditation from the BBB. This shows its ability to handle and respond to customer complaints in a timely manner.
CARCHEX also has several trusted endorsements from brands like Repair Pal, Edmunds.com, CARFAX, and Kelly Blue Book. Along with high customer ratings and industry partnerships, CARCHEX has won several awards including a 5-star rating from TopConsumerReviews.org, Thoroughly Review’s 2017 Top Pick, and 4 consecutive Best Choice Awards on BestReviewHub.org. See our CARCHEX review to learn more about our second overall pick.
Knowledgeable customer service representatives
Large network of authorized repair facilities
Many industry endorsements and partnerships
No-Haggle, Low-Price, Everyday Guarantee™
Limited coverage for luxury vehicles
Exclusionary coverage not as comprehensive as other warranties
Additional charges for hybrid/electric vehicles
Compared to the other providers on our list, CARCHEX uses its buying power to find competitive rates for customers. Touting its No-Haggle, Low-Price, Everyday Guarantee™, CARCHEX is known for its low prices and haggle-free quote processes. Any time you call CARCHEX, you can be sure that you’ll get concise and accurate explanations on coverage terms and prices without the level of annoying sales pressure you may experience from other providers.
While the various contracts offered by CARCHEX can be confusing, a representative from the company can help answer any questions you may have about them. CARCHEX extended warranties cost between $100 and $220 per month with total costs ranging from $2500 and $3200. Your specific price will depend on your plan and vehicle make, model, age, and mileage. Many vehicle warranty plans come with deductibles as low as $0. Also, if you decide to cancel, CARCHEX has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
CARCHEX Warranty Plans
CARCHEX markets service contracts from a network of administrators that are 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: Exclusionary bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage much like the factory warranty Covers most of your car’s systems and components
- Platinum: High-level stated-component coverage for hundreds of parts and systems, including your car’s electrical components
- Gold: Covers all major systems and is best suited for high-mileage vehicles
- Silver: Offers coverage only for your most essential systems
- Bronze: Protects powertrain components like the engine, drive axle and transmission
Here’s what’s included in each CARCHEX plan:
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Rental car reimbursement
- Gas delivery
- Trip interruption service
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. However, we were impressed with coverage options for older vehicles, with plans covering up to 10 years or 250,000 miles.
CARCHEX is a great fit for those who have their own preference for a mechanic, as they have a network of providers that spans nationwide. Also, car owners don’t have to go through long claims processes. Instead, the repair facility files the claim directly with the provider., This can save you lots of time and stress.
If you’d like to see how the top two providers in our study stack up against each other, check out our Endurance vs. CARCHEX review.
#3 CarShield: Most Affordable
CarShield has covered over one million vehicles since it was established in 2005.
CarShield is a company commonly featured in radio and television ads. Upon closer review, we found it to have low prices and some of the best extended auto warranty plans in the industry. However, it is not a direct provider of warranty coverage. CarShield plans are administered by established companies such as American Auto Shield.
CarShield was named Most Affordable by our research team for its low-cost coverage plans that include great perks, such as roadside assistance and your choice of repair shop. Possible downfalls to CarShield include mixed customer reviews and some nontransferable contracts. While CarShield’s BBB rating may be lower than competitors, customers are overall pleased with its professionalism and how it handles its claims process.
High-tech and specialty vehicle coverage plans
Allows repairs at your dealer or any mechanic certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
Mixed customer reviews
Not all contracts are transferable
CarShield Warranty Plans
CarShield offers more coverage tiers than competitors, including specialized contracts for specific vehicles and high-tech equipment. The company is able to offer several plan options because it is a vehicle service contract broker, meaning that CarShield’s offers are carried out by another administrator. Because of this, CarShield plans are not defined by one administrator, and the company is able to offer six more tailored levels of coverage, including:
- New Car Diamond: Exclusionary, bumper-to-bumper coverage
- Platinum: Covers the engine, transmission, air conditioning, electrical system and more
- Gold: Mid-level coverage for some of your vehicle’s essential components and some accessory parts
- Silver: Affordable, no-frills powertrain coverage
- Aluminum: Covers many of your car’s electrical components, such as your alternator, and computer-related parts
- Motorcycle and ATV: Covers motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles
CarShield markets itself as an affordable option for extended car warranties, and it offers plans with low or no deductibles.
#4 Protect My Car: Best Long-Term Financing
Founded in 2005 in St. Petersburg, Florida, Protect My Car is a popular and reputable provider that has offered vehicle service contracts for 15 years. Rounding out our top four best extended car warranty providers, here are some pros and cons about Protect My Car to help you make a more informed decision about your extended warranty.
There are hundreds of positive reviews for Protect My Car customer reviews on the BBB. Protect My Car has an A+ rating from the BBB and a 4.5-star customer review rating from the organization, as well as a 4.5-star rating on Trustpilot. Complaints have shown a pattern of the provider not providing the services that it contracted for. For this reason, you should read the terms of the contract before signing.
Our research team recognized Protect My Car to have the Best Long-Term Financing for its discounts and flexible monthly payment plans. However, Protect My Car does not offer a basic powertrain warranty and is not available in all states.
Covers cars up to 10 years old
Extensive coverage with all plans
High customer satisfaction rating
Some plans have no deductible
Military and student discounts
Long payment plan terms
Only three plan options (no bumper-to-bumper or basic powertrain plan)
Plans not available in all states
Protect My Car Warranty Plans
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 levels of coverage, 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 will have more exclusions than 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.
While vehicles over 13 years old can’t benefit from an extended warranty offered by Protect My Car, the company’s Ambassador maintenance plans cover routine maintenance services like brake pad changes.
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. While Ambassador plans don’t provide the same level of coverage as extended car warranties, they do provide guaranteed discounts that cover between 25 and 50 percent of repairs, rental reimbursement, 24/7 roadside assistance, and more. You also get a few free regular maintenance services, such as three oil changes and two tire rotations per year.
These plans combine an extended warranty with prepaid maintenance and can cover most car repair costs with the three plans offered:
- Ambassador Elite
- Ambassador Pro
- 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 60 months, which is significantly longer than much of the competition and allows the company to offer plans that are more affordable on a monthly basis. The deductible for visits to the repair shop is $100 or $200 for its extended warranties and either 25% or 50% of the repair cost for maintenance plans. 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.
We took a closer look at the provider in our Protect My Car review, where you can learn more detailed information about coverage, pricing and reviews.
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.
autopom! is a reputable provider that has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and an impressive customer rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Excellent claims servicing
Quick customer service
Plans specifically for California customers
Coverage up to 150,000 miles
Lack of coverage for some luxury vehicles
autopom! is an extended warranty broker that offers three coverage levels for most new and used vehicles, with the exception of luxury vehicles. autopom! plans are administered by reputable providers like Enterprise financial group, Mercury Select Management, and Royal Administration.
The three coverage tiers offered by Autopom include:
- High Level: There are 5 plans in this coverage tier, all of which provide a high level of stated component coverage.
- Mid-Level: There are three plans in the Autopom! Mid Tier that cover all of the powertrain plus components plus braking and steering systems.
- Powertrain Plus: The Powertrain Plus plan has 5 tiers that cover the most essential parts to make a vehicle run.
Extended Car Warranty Reviews
An extended warranty can help you protect your finances from expensive unexpected car repairs. But determining which extended car warranty plans offer the best coverage, prices, and convenience during claims processing can be tough. To make an informed decision, customers should read throughly-researched industry reviews and reviews from individual customers. We’ve included both in the sections below:
Best Auto Extended Warranty Reviews
Industry reviews of the best aftermarket car warranty companies can be extremely helpful for those who are unsure about which coverage to choose. Below are some of our top extended auto warranty reviews, including comparison and reviews of individual providers.
Car Extended Warranty Comparison
For those who need to compare auto warranty companies, below are some of the top resources on the subject:
- Best Car Warranty
- Best Used Car Warranties
- CARCHEX vs. CarShield
- CarShield vs. Endurance
- CARCHEX vs. Endurance
- Protect My Car vs. Endurance
- Cheapest Car Warranties
- Modified Car Warranties
- Wear And Tear Warranties
Auto Extended Warranty Companies Reviews
For those who want to know more about individual aftermarket extended car warranty companies, is the complete list of the 39 car warranty companies we reviewed, including the best extended car warranty companies with ratings and rankings for the top 10. The rest of the providers in our list of extended car warranty companies are in alphabetic order. For each of the providers, there is a link to our complete review for the respective company.
Extended Car Warranty Companies List
Here’s how 10 of the most popular companies stack up to one another:
- Endurance Warranty Reviews: 9.6 / 10.0
- CARCHEX Reviews: 9.4 / 10.0
- CarShield Reviews: 9.0 / 10.0
- Protect My Car Reviews: 8.7 / 10.0
- autopom! Reviews: 8.5 / 10.0
- Concord Auto Protect Reviews: 8.3 / 10.0
- Carvana Extended Warranty Reviews: 7.9 / 10.0
- Infinite Auto Protection Reviews: 7.4 / 10.0
- USAA Extended Warranty Reviews: 7.4 / 10.0
- Zurich Insurance Group Reviews: 6.7 / 10.0
The rest of our complete list of the extended warranty companies we reviewed includes:
- AAA Extended Warranty
- Ally Extended Warranty
- ASC Warranty
- Assurant Extended Warranty
- Autozone Warranty
- Carmax Warranty
- Cars Warranty
- Carsure Warranty
- Century Warranty Services
- Continental Warranty
- Delta Auto Protect
- Easycare Warranty
- Elite Warranty
- Fidelity Car Warranty
- First Extended Warranty
- Mastertech Warranty Review
- Members Choice Extended Warranty
- MPP Warranty
- National Auto Care Warranty
- National Warranty Services
- NVP Warranty
- Fidelity Car Warranty
- Platinum Auto Warranty
- Route 66 Extended Warranty
- Smart Autocare Warranty
- The Warranty Group Reviews
- Vehicle One Warranty
- Warranty Direct
- Warranty Solutions
Auto Extended Warranty Reviews From Customers
We hope our rating guides help you make an informed consumer decision so you can choose the best extended warranty that fits your need. In addition to industry resources like the ones listed above, reading real aftermarket auto warranty reviews from car owners who purchased an extended warranty from companies you are considering is one of the best ways to identify which extended warranty plans come with the best customer support.
The best extended warranty reviews come from third-party agencies like the Better Business Bureau and platforms like Trustpilot. Below are examples of positive and negative reviews:
Positive Extended Car Warranty Customer Reviews
Below are examples of positive extended warranty reviews of our top picks from car owners on Trustpilot:
Feeling Very Protected. I had a wonderful experience and was given plenty of information that I was unaware of and I appreciated it all. job well done I felt taking care of.David Gladden via Trustpilot Endurance Review
Great Service. My experience with your company was a very pleasant one. The representative assisted me was Ralph. Very polite and informative. He was very thorough and made sure I understood everything he explained to me. He was very professional. I would highly recommend this company. Thank you.Valerie Miller via Trustpilot CARCHEX Review
At first I thought it was like all other companies that make these kind of offers, and I say that out of experience. But as I talked and asked many questions which were answered to my liking and going over the prices . I was reassured after talking to several reps , it was then that I decided to try car sheild, and also ice T is as real real can get.Fredie Fowler via Trustpilot CarShield Review
The representative was very helpful and answered all the questions, the work was done professionally! Thank you.Alex via Trustpilot Protect My Car Review
Extended Warranty Customer Complaints
Below are examples of negative customer reviews:
When I signed up for the extended warranty plan I asked specifically about 3 parts on my car and was told that it was covered if they were to go bad and today I go to get my car fixed and was told neither part is covered under my warranty planBBB Customer Endurance Review
I paid carchex 135.38 September 22, 20p20. i cancelled this services in a few days which was way within 30 days and never received a refund! refund!BBB Customer CARCHEX Review
The AC went out in my Mother’s van. She was going to have it fixed since she’s had CarShield for 11 months. The Dealer told her the parts are $1100 for 2 pipes and CarShield won’t cover it. She should get her 11 months worth of payments back if they are not going to cover it. What is she paying for if they can’t pay for 2 pipes what are they going to do if something more serious happens and it can’t be driven?BBB Customer CarShield Review
I signed up for protect my car. And my engine failed. I contacted them to file claim as they say do and they made up excuses of why they couldn’t repair my engine. All the way to me having rims on my car. Basically saying they just didn’t want to pay the claim i was entitled toBBB Customer Protect My Car Review
Car Warranty Companies
Because warranty prices are heavily affected by your vehicle’s make, model, mileage, what’s best for your neighbor may not be best for you. We recommend reviewing sample contracts online and getting quotes from the industry’s most reputable extended car warranty companies so you can compare your options and better understand what the warranties cover.
The last time you purchased a new car from a dealership, you may have been offered an extended auto warranty as a way of extending the coverage you got with your manufacturer’s warranty. You can purchase coverage from your dealer or from an aftermarket provider.
Third-party extended warranty providers offer car owners many benefits, including longer coverage terms, lower prices, and the flexibility to take their cars to any authorized auto repair shop. However, it’s important to know all of the fine print and details of your vehicle protection plan, including a list of covered repairs. Otherwise, you could end up with an unexpected repair bill for something your extended car warranty plan doesn’t cover.
Types Of Car Warranty Companies
There are two types of aftermarket extended car warranty companies: extended warranty brokers and direct providers. There are pros and cons to each type of provider:
- Extended Warranty Brokers: Brokers are essentially a third party that sells extended warranties on behalf of another company that administers the claims. Brokers can be beneficial because they sometimes offer more flexible plans at a lower price (CarShield) or work with several reputable providers who compete over your business and thus provide better service (CARCHEX). On the other hand, because brokers don’t administer claims directly, the claims process can be more frustrating and the customer service can be less consistent.
- Direct Providers: Direct extended warranty providers administer the plans they sell, meaning there are no middlemen. Because of this, the customer service and claims processing are usually more consistent and streamlined, meaning you are more likely to actually get the coverage you paid for.
Best Auto Warranty Companies: What To Look For
When comparing extended car warranty companies in order to decide on which provider to choose, below are some important factors to take into consideration:
- The Most Value: The best extended warranty companies offer the best value, meaning you get the best coverage at the fairest price.
- Excellent Customer Service: Reputable extended warranty companies provide timely, respectful, and personable customer service, with customer service reps who are available when needed. In addition to strong customer service, reputable extended warranty companies provide a great overall customer experience from end to end, which includes the sales process, the ability to make payments online, the ease of the claims process, and overall flexibility.
- Positive Reviews From Real People: Platforms like the BBB, Trustpilot, Yelp, and Google provide transparent company reviews with scoring systems. Also, many users who are members of online communities like Reddit or specific auto forums trust reviews from members of their community. Positive reviews are an effective indicator of the customer service provided by service contract providers. Look for companies that are accredited with the Better Business Bureau, especially ones with an A+ rating. Strong Better Business Bureau grades indicate effective communication, and timely problem solving when faced with difficult customer issues.
- Transparency: Is the extended warranty company open and honest about what plans they offer and their exclusionary policies? A good indicator of whether or not a provider is transparent is whether or not you can find a sample contract on the provider’s website or via email. Along with readily available pricing and sample service contracts, reputable extended warranty companies have simple marketing that allows potential customers to easily understand what’s included in their offering of products. Also, providers that require an in-person visit are phone call for a quote are generally less transparent than those who provide quotes upfront through the internet.
- Company History: In most cases, the most reputable extended warranty companies have a long history of providing quality service to their customers. While there are surely some quality young providers, the industry overall is a competitive environment with high turnover for companies with untrustworthy business practices or too many negative reviews.
- Sound Financials: Some extended warranty companies hire underwriters to ensure that the company is able to make claims reimbursements payments when customers need them. Ratings of these underwriters by companies like AM best are a good way to check trustworthiness and financial soundness of extended warranty providers.
- A Strong Industry Reputation: More specifically for the auto industry, strong ratings and endorsements from automotive experts and companies like CARFAX, Kelly Blue Book, and Edmunds show that an extended warranty company is well-respected within the industry. Partnerships with well-known auto brands and celebrities are also an indicator of trustworthiness.
Worst Extended Auto Warranty Companies: What To Avoid
Not being able to trust your extended warranty company nullifies the peace of mind that is the reason many people purchase extended warranties in the first place. Much of the concern comes from the nature of the business model; as the company loses money whenever they cover a repair.
In this, compromising position, the worst extended warranty companies don’t give claims upfront or provide example contracts, using legal loopholes and extensive fine print to dupe their customers. All the while, the same companies use high-pressure sales tactics and make promises they cannot keep. Such untrustworthy providers go to great lengths to make the claims process difficult, with the aim of preventing paying reimbursements, so that it is very hard for you to get the coverage you paid for.
Watch Out For Extended Auto Warranty Scams
In addition to shady business practices, beware of some companies posing as extended warranty providers who are taking part in scams. According to the FCC, there are many ongoing scams where entities posing as a representative from an extended warranty company use automated robocalls to trick people into believing their car warranty has or is near expiring.
Often using information about your vehicle acquired through public databases, these calls are often a phish attack designed to gather one’s personal information to exploit via identify theft. If you receive one of these calls, don’t give away personal information and notify the FCC.
Extended Car Warranty
After your manufacturer’s warranty expires, any auto repairs that your vehicle needs will no longer be covered. This means you could end up paying hundreds of dollars out of pocket in repair bills if your car breaks down.
What is an Extended Car Warranty?
An extended car warranty covers repair costs and replacements for certain vehicle components after a mechanical breakdown. Also called a vehicle service contract, this plan takes effect after your factory warranty has expired. For many, these plans can help keep auto repair costs manageable and help drivers maintain peace of mind on the road.
Understanding How Extended Auto Warranties Work
While providers market their products as “extended warranties”, the term is misleading. Extended warranties are actually “service contracts” that provide coverage for specified vehicle parts and labor for an agreed-upon price.
Although it’s a contract, an extended warranty works in a similar way to car insurance policies. In exchange for an upfront payment, your vehicle is covered and you are protected from unexpected costs during the specified coverage period.
Extended Car Warranty vs. Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI)
If you’re shopping for an extended car warranty, you may have also come across what is known as MBI. These are similar products. Both offer extended auto protection against unexpected repairs after your car’s factory warranty expires. The major difference is that MBI is an add-on for your auto policy sold by your insurance company. Extended car warranties, on the other hand, are bought independently of your insurer or car manufacturer.
Extended Car Warranty Coverage
All extended car warranties cover a vehicle’s repair expenses, including the labor for repairs, replacement parts, and other costs directly related to vehicle repairs. What parts, repairs, and additional services are covered vary depending on your specific plan. This is especially the case if you need a used car warranty. Extended warranty providers offer comprehensive coverage options, so you can avoid footing a huge bill. Most third-party providers will give you the option of paying the entire extended warranty cost upfront or through monthly payments. You will also have your choice of repair facilities.
Inclusionary Vs. Exclusionary Coverage
All extended warranties fall into two categories: exclusionary and exclusionary. While inclusionary warranties only cover explicitly stated components, exclusionary items are more comprehensive because they cover all components except parts that are excluded in the contract. Besides true bumper-to-bumper plans, most other warranties are inclusionary contracts.
Extended Auto Warranty Coverage Periods
New car warranty periods typically last between three and five years or 36,000 and 60,000 miles, varying by vehicle make. Even with a 5 year/60k mile warranty, new car warranty periods are still below the average of 150k miles most people put on a vehicle during ownership. In order to prevent people from purchasing a plan when vehicle issues arise, most aftermarket extended warranties do not begin until 30 days or 1,000 miles after purchase.
What Extended Auto Warranties Don’t Cover
While some extended warranties cover items related to regular maintenance, wear and tear, and electrical/cooling/tech, below are items typically not covered:
- Regular maintenance– new tires, tire rotations, filters, oil changes.
- Wear-and-tear- windshield wipers, brake pads.
- Damages/liability from accidents– typically covered by car insurance.
- Factory defects: vehicle brand-related issues concerning factory recalls.
- Corrosion– damage related to rust and perforation.
- Modifications– alterations made to the vehicles to improve performance/looks.
- Interior- issues related to carpeting, interior panels, and upholstery.
- Pre-existing conditions– damage occurring before warranty coverage
- Weather- damage from hail, flooding etc.
- Cosmetic- body work, paint, wheel scratches.
- Auto glass parts– lightbulbs, headlights, windshields.
- Misuse- damage related to the vehicle being abused (racing, off-roading).
Extended Car Warranty Cost
To determine whether purchasing an extended warranty is worth it, compare the vehicle maintenance costs with the extended warranty prices in this section. This comparison, along with your financial preparedness and tolerance for the unanticipated, should determine whether it is worth it to purchase an extended warranty.
How Much Should an Extended Car Warranty Cost?
Based on our research, the average extended car warranty cost is between $300 and $700 per year of coverage, but prices can vary widely based on your vehicle and the plan you choose.
The point of an extended warranty is to protect you from having to pay high repair bills out of pocket. In some cases, you will end up paying more for an extended warranty than you would pay for repairs as they arise. Even still, warranties can be worth it for the peace of mind they bring, but you don’t want to pay much more for coverage than what repairs would cost.
To determine a fair cost for an extended car warranty, researching your vehicle is a smart first step. Try to plan out how much you expect to pay for repairs over the course of your warranty’s lifetime. This can be done by using cost estimate sites such as RepairPal. For more on service contract price info, check out our guide on extended car warranty cost.
What Factors Affect Extended Car Warranty Cost?
Our research team obtained quotes from several major independent warranty companies and found that a comprehensive protection plan from a reputable extended car warranty company costs around $2,500 on average. That said, extended car warranty costs vary due to factors like:
- Vehicle make and model
- Vehicle age and mileage
- Level of coverage
- Length of coverage
- Deductible amount
*Coverage may not be available in all states
The cheapest extended car warranties are offered for low-mileage, highly reliable cars. The age of your vehicle is likely to have the biggest impact on cost. You can get the best price for an extended warranty by purchasing coverage as soon as your bumper-to-bumper factory warranty expires.
Prices will also vary depending on your coverage level and contract length. Exclusionary warranties with a lot of additional benefits will cost more than basic, bare-bones coverage plans. Some providers also offer add-ons such as coverage for routine maintenance services. Finally, the lower the deductible you choose, the higher your contract cost will be.
With most of these plans, you can either pay for the entire policy up front or break it up into payments. Most providers offer financing options to help you pay off your extended car warranty cost over a number of months. In many cases, contracts can be financed with zero interest.
Is an Extended Warranty Worth It?
Deciding to buy an extended auto warranty is ultimately left to the vehicle owner. Typically, car owners pay more for an extended warranty than they receive in coverage. Also, over half of customers never using their warranty plans during the coverage period. This may leave you wondering if an extended warranty worth it.
To help gauge the value of extra protection, our review team conducted a survey of 1,000 consumers who had either purchased an extended auto warranty or had considered buying a service contract.
Here are some of the numbers we saw:
- Around 41% of respondents said they were satisfied with their purchase because it covered critical repairs.
- Approximately 24% said they were satisfied with their warranty despite never filing a warranty claim.
- Factors like cost, covered components and warranty terms were listed as the most important factors for consumers.
Still, an extended warranty may not always be the smartest investment. It’s possible that your extended car warranty cost could exceed repair costs, and there’s no guarantee your service claim will be approved. If you do choose a third-party provider for an extended auto warranty, you could also lose access to genuine replacement parts from the manufacturer.
Vehicle Maintenance Costs
To decide if extended car warranties are worth it consider how much common repairs costs and if you are in a good position to pay those costs out of pocket.
It’s no secret that the cost of auto repairs really adds up. In fact, the average annual cost of owning a car is $8,469, with the average American spending nearly $2,000 in vehicle maintenance/repair costs every 5 years. After selecting a few common repairs and costs, below are how much you would save in out-of-pocket costs:
|Car Repair||Average Repair Cost||Cost with Extended Warranty|
|Fuel injector replacement||$1,009–$1,416||$0|
|Steering column replacement||$450–$1,100||$0|
Pros and Cons Of Extended Car Warranties
Choosing to buy an extended warranty is like most purchase decisions; there are benefits and downsides. Below are the pros and cons of extended warranties:
Benefits Of Extended Car Warranties
Extended warranty PROS include:
- Peace of Mind: Unexpected vehicle expenses come at the worst moments. If worry about the unexpected, knowing your coverage will prevent unanticipated vehicle expenses from emptying your wallet can reduce stress.
- Predictability: Not having to deal with unexpected auto expenses allows you to more accurately predict your monthly costs in general, making budgeting a simpler task.
- Convenience: Having an extended auto warranty removes the added inconvenience of dealing with the unexpected, making car repairs less of a hassle.
- Reliability: Extended warranties allow drivers extend standard warranty coverage, helping the vehicle run longer with less hassle due to better maintenance.
- Your Financial Situation: Around 30% of Americans don’t have the cash on hand to pay the average repair bill of around $500. If you are near this category, an extended warranty could allow you to spread costs out over time instead of facing a large payment (and potential financial emergency).
- Potential Savings: The cost of an extended warranty is cheaper than many common car repairs, especially if your vehicle is unreliable.
Why You Shouldn’t Purchase An Extended Car Warranty
Extended warranty CONS include:
- Exclusions: If the plan that fits your price range contains exclusions on several parts likely to wear out on your vehicle, it may not be worth it.
- Cost: Financing car repairs out of pocket may cost you less than the warranty. Many personal finance experts recommend a you set aside an emergency fund instead.
- You Might Not Use It: If you have a plan that doesn’t cover the costs of regular vehicle maintenance, you may never use your extended car warranty, especially if your vehicle is reliable.
- Limited Approved Repair Providers: For some providers, the list of approved repair shops may be sparse.
- Your Vehicle Is Already Under Warranty: If your vehicle is already under warranty, you may not need coverage. You can find out by a vin lookup.
When To Buy An Extended Car Warranty
Your needs are the most important factor when considering an extended car warranty. Below are things to take into account if you are still unsure. You should by an extended warranty if:
- You’ll keep your vehicle awhile: One thing to consider when deciding if an extended warranty is right for you is how long you plan to keep your car. Extended warranties can save money if you put lots of miles on your vehicle. There are many excellent extended warranty companies for used cars that specialize in this type of coverage. Most warranty plans are transferable, which means one could help increase the resale value of your car.
- You plan to use your coverage: It’s wasteful to purchase a warranty if you don’t use it.
- Good timing: It is best to buy a warranty when maintenance costs exceed the cost of the warranty, meaning it may be best hold off for now and purchase a plan when you’ll need it.
- You prioritize convenience/predictability: Though the cost of a warranty may be more than vehicle maintenance, removing inconvenience of dealing with unexpected vehicle repair costs is worth it for some, especially those who find it hard to save money.
- You will read the fine print: Understanding what is in your contract is critical. Only sign up for an extended car warranty if you are willing to read the service contract. Often, people are unhappy with their plans because they didn’t read the service contract, leading to out-of-pocket costs they assumed would be covered.
How To Shop For An Aftermarket Car Warranty
Below are our recommendations for how shop for an extended warranty in order to the get most value for your money.
How To Get The Best Price On An Extended Car Warranty
When shopping for an extended car warranty, you should get quotes from multiple warranty companies. We recommend getting quotes from at least three different car warranty providers.
Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate for the best price, as some companies may provide price matching or other benefits that aren’t openly available. If all else fails, you may want to reach out to a contract broker, who work with several extended warranty companies to help you get the best deal.
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. The company rep 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.
How To Get The Best Value On An Extended Car Warranty
Price is not the only factor to look at when considering the best extended car warranty. To get the most out of your extended car warranty, you’ll need to know how to shop for an extended warranty to get the best value for the money, recognize unreliable providers, and use your warranty effectively when you need coverage. Finding the best extended warranty requires you to read reviews, learn about the claims process, understand the exclusions, and thinking about your own needs.
In order to get the best value from your plan, make sure to you should also read the fine print of service contracts prior to signing to ensure the coverage you will be getting is as good as the company says it is. Make sure you are sure your contract explicitly lists the exclusions or covered repairs/parts. make sure you know details such as when the warranty starts and ends, what voids the warranty, where you can get your car serviced, and is the price of the warranty fixed.
One of the most common reasons customers are unhappy with extended warranties is they wrongly assumed they were covered, only to learn that they have to pay out of pocket for a repair that is excluded in their plan, a misunderstanding which happened because they failed to read the fine print and didn’t fully understand their coverage.
What To Look For To Find The Best Extended Car Warranty
Below is the complete list of factors to take into consideration when looking for the best extended car warranty plan:
- What is covered? What is included and excluded in your coverage is the most important characteristic of a plan itself. Ranging from warranties that are extensive and similar to your factory warranty all the way to plans that cover only the major drivetrain systems, providers usually offer multiple tiers of coverage at different price ranges.
- When does the plan start and end? The length (and end date) of a policy is either determined by miles, years, or both (which ever comes first). When a plan begins is determined by specified the waiting period , as most plans don’t start until at least 30 days after purchase.
- What is the cost and payment policy? What the plan costs overall in relation to coverage determines how much value you are getting. Another important factor in price is the payment policy, including the overall payment period, whether or not you can pay in installments, deductible types and cost, and any additional fees. Also, many providers require you to pay out of pocket and then reimburse you later, which is generally less convenient.
- What restrictions/exclusions are stated in the plan? Ask about any mileage or year restrictions and any conditions that might void your warranty and make sure to read the fine print to know what parts/services might be excluded. A service contract can be voided due to things like misuse/abuse, a total loss, odometer tampering, unauthorized modifications, improper maintenance, or environmental damage.
- Can you customize your plan to fit your needs? In addition to having multiple coverage options available, the best extended warranties can be customized, allowing you to add/remove coverage items to fit your needs. Pay attention to what added perks are included, such as trip interruption, roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, towing and recovery, or even rewards programs.
- What is the cancellation and transfer policies? It’s important to know if, when, and how difficult it is to cancel your plan, whether or not there is a money-back guarantee, and how long the refund window is.If there’s a chance you’ll sell your vehicle before your warranty expires, make sure you know the transfer policy. Warranty coverage can increase the selling price of a vehicle and/or be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations.
- How easy is the claims process? Some providers make you pay for repair expenses out of pocket and reimburse you later, which is a hassle. The best extended warranty plans pay for repairs directly and have an easy claims process with great customer service.
- What mechanic can you use? If you strongly prefer that a particular mechanic works on your vehicle or like to do some minor repairs yourself, this will be an important question for to ask. The best extended warranty plans cover repairs made by mechanics ranging from a limited network of providers they work with to any ASE-certified mechanic in the country, allowing you to use your preferred mechanic that works out of a gas station, as long as he/she is ASE certified.
Using Your Extended Auto Warranty Coverage
In order to get the most out of your extended warranty, you need to know how to use your coverage when you need it. If you have a warranty and need service, the steps below will help with this process:
- The first thing you’ll do is gather your warranty documentation and get an estimate for the repair from an approved auto shop.
- Next, you’ll submit a claim to the warranty company. They will confirm whether the repair you need is covered and whether they’ll pay for the repair directly or if you’ll get reimbursed, depending on your contract.
- Then, you can take your car in for the repair with the peace of mind that it’s covered. Your provider may even cover rental car expenses, if necessary.
- When taking your car to get repaired, make sure to take your records with you to the service provider for reference, including the paperwork you have for the car and your service contract.
- In addition to your service contract, make sure to present the original, dated copies of service done on your vehicle, including routine maintenance.
- Be sure to save records of any emails, records, receipts, and other evidence of repairs done outside of regular vehicle maintenance. These will be helpful if you need to present them to the provider or for legal action.
How to Cancel an Extended Warranty on a Car
It is common for auto warranty companies to offer 30-day money-back guarantees where customers can receive a full refund. If a customer decides to cancel coverage outside of the first few days of coverage, most providers will send them a prorated refund. Read the fine print of your contract to see how cancellations work.
Best Extended Car Warranties: Conclusion
Our study found that Endurance is the best extended car warranty provider, based on its combination of prices, coverage, and reviews. However, CARCHEX, CarShield, and autopom! weren’t far behind and one may be the best option for you and your vehicle. This article reviewed the cost, coverage, plans, and claims process of these companies and included an informative section that included all of the characteristics of the best car warranty providers. Additionally, we’ve provided a list of all of the car warranty companies that we’ve reviewed. Shopping around and getting quotes from multiple providers will allow you to see who offers the best coverage at the lowest cost.
Best Extended Auto Warranty: FAQ
Below are some common frequently asked questions about the best extended car warranties:
What is the best extended car warranty company?
In our research into the best extended car warranty plans, our experts picked Endurance as the best extended car warranty company in the market for its coverage options, claims experience, and cost. Along with Endurance, each brand that made our list could be a good fit for you depending on your needs, as each has several levels of coverage, good customer reviews and competitive pricing. For example, drivers with older vehicles may want to consider CARCHEX since it offers automotive coverage up to 250,000 miles. We recommend getting a quote from at least three extended car warranty companies before deciding who offers the best extended car warranty to meet your needs.
Can you buy an extended warranty after purchase?
Yes, you can purchase an extended warranty from an independent provider at almost any point in the vehicle’s life, although different plans may have age or mileage limits. Drivers can also usually buy coverage from the manufacturer while the factory warranty is still active. Most limited warranties expire after three years or 36,000 miles.
How much does an extended car warranty cost?
Generally, the average cost of an extended car warranty is $1,800 for a quality plan with good customer service. The average annual cost of a plan from one of the best extended warranty companies ranges from $700 to $1500. Our team recently polled 1,000 consumers, with 45% stating that they paid between $1,500 and $2,500 for extended warranty coverage. You may be able to get a discount for paying upfront, rather than in monthly installments. Note that most extended car warranty plans come with a deductible, typically $0, $50 or $100.
Is an aftermarket car warranty worth It?
To determine whether purchasing an extended warranty is worth it, compare the vehicle maintenance costs with the extended warranty prices in this section. This comparison, along with your financial preparedness and tolerance for the unanticipated, should determine whether it is worth it to purchase an extended warranty.
How do I cancel an extended warranty on a car?
Many warranty providers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee when you purchase coverage. After that period, read the fine print to see if the company offers a prorated refund or if there are any administrative fees for ending coverage early.
What does an extended car warranty exclude?
Most auto protection plans exclude regular maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotations and replacement of windshield wiper blades. Plans may also not cover electrical components unless clearly stated. Make sure to check the list of covered repairs before signing up for an extended warranty.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car warranty provider to formulate rankings of the best warranty companies. Our in-depth rating system takes into account coverage, pricing, transparency, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each provider is given a weighted score in five categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto warranty companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best covera