Car warranty insurance is another name for an extended car warranty. This type of coverage is also sometimes referred to as a vehicle protection plan. Despite its name, warranty insurance does not offer the same protections as auto insurance.
In this article, we’ll explain the ins and outs of car warranty insurance and how it may benefit you in the long term. We’ll also recommend top-rated extended car warranty providers if you’re keen on buying a warranty.
Our review team has researched and rated the best extended car warranty companies available. In our industry-wide review, we considered customer feedback, scrutinized contracts and compared contract costs. Click below to start comparing free quotes from our vetted picks.
Are Car Warranty Insurance and Auto Insurance the Same?
Car warranty insurance and auto insurance do not offer the same coverage. Both are contracts that promise to help customers pay for repairs under certain circumstances. Standard car insurance takes effect only after an accident. Car warranties cover specified parts and components in the event of mechanical failure.
Below, we’ve outlined key differences between car insurance and car warranties.
|Car Insurance||Car Warranty|
|Regulated by state insurance commissioners,|
and can only be sold by companies licensed
to deal property and casualty insurance
|Not subject to state insurance regulations (in most states)|
|Pays for car repairs after an accident||Pays for repairs to specified components|
after a mechanical failure
|Often includes a deductible||Often includes a deductible|
|Typically purchased on an annual or semi-annual basis||Contract terms typically range between 3 and 10 years|
|Will pay to fix any part of a vehicle damaged in an accident||Will only pay for the repair|
or replacement of specified components
If you are in a collision, an insurance policy will pay for repairs. Most auto insurance companies will not pay to replace a cracked engine, malfunctioning navigation system or broken air conditioning unit unless these components are damaged in an accident. However, these types of repairs are covered by an extended car warranty.
How Much is Car Warranty Insurance?
The cost of an extended warranty depends on a few key factors, including:
- Vehicle make and model
- Vehicle age and mileage
- Coverage level and deductible
- Coverage terms
- Existing coverage
Probably the most consequential factors in determining car warranty insurance costs are vehicle age and mileage. Older, higher-mileage vehicles are more likely to experience mechanical failures, making them expensive to cover. It’s generally best to purchase a long-term contract on a newer vehicle.
Our researchers have reached out to several leading extended car warranty companies to request cost information. The data below shows estimated costs for high-level vehicle service contracts on a low-mileage vehicle (around 30,000 miles).
|Provider||Bumper-to-Bumper Plan||Term||Deductible||Total Cost|
|Endurance||Supreme||5 years/100,000 miles||$100||$2,951.15|
|CARCHEX||Titanium||7 years/125,000 miles||$100||$3,420.00|
|CarShield||Diamond||5 years/100,000 miles||$100||$1,893.04|
|Protect My Car||Supreme||4 years/100,000 miles||$100||$96.95 monthly|
|autopom!||Exclusionary Plan||7 years/70,000 miles||$0||$2,125.50|
Coverage for older vehicles can be more expensive, even for a lower level of protection. The chart below shows quotes we received for powertrain warranties for a high-mileage vehicle (over 80,000 miles). These contracts cover components such as the engine, transfer case and transmission,
|Provider||Powertrain Plan||Term||Deductible||Total Cost|
|Endurance||Secure Plus||5 years/50,000 miles||$100||$3,626.83|
|CARCHEX||Silver||5 years/75,000 miles||$100||$4,050.00|
|CarShield||Gold||4 years/100,000 miles||$100||$2,398.05|
|Protect My Car||Driveline||4 years/75,000 miles||$100||$67.22 monthly|
|autopom!||Powertrain Plus||4 years/48,000 miles||$100||$2,620.00|
Find and compare free quotes specific to your own vehicle by clicking below.
Who Has the Best Extended Car Warranty?
There are no one-size-fits-all auto warranties, but there are a few reputable extended car warranty companies that stand out from the competition. Based on our examination of cost, customer experience, contract information and industry reputation, Endurance and CARCHEX are our top two picks for extended warranty coverage.
Endurance: Best Provider
In addition to providing some of the most comprehensive contracts, Endurance offers a wide range of added perks, including:
- Rental car reimbursement: $30 per day reimbursement up to $150 total
- 24/7 roadside assistance: Includes towing, battery jump-starts, mechanical first aid, tire repair services and fuel deliveries
- Trip interruption reimbursement: Covers meals and lodging if your car breaks down more than 100 miles from home
- Endurance Elite Membership: Provides customers with a $250 entertainment voucher, 24/7 roadside assistance, ID theft services, key fob replacement, tire repairs and replacements, and access to a personal concierge service for one year at no additional cost
Read more about the provider in our full Endurance warranty review, and click below to get a free quote.
CARCHEX: Best for High-Mileage Cars
CARCHEX offers some of the longest-lasting contracts in the industry, making it an excellent option for high-mileage vehicles. While plan benefits are not as extensive as those offered by Endurance, they are convenient. In addition to warranty protection, CARCHEX customers get:
- 24/7 roadside assistance: Includes emergency tire services, lockout services, battery jump-starts, fuel deliveries and winching
- Towing: Receive up to $75 per occurrence
- Rental car reimbursement: Pays up to $40 per day for a maximum of $160 per occurrence
- Trip interruption reimbursement: Covers meals and lodging if you’re more than 100 miles from home
CARCHEX is a trusted company backed by industry leaders like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com and CARFAX. Read more about the provider in our CARCHEX review, and click below to get a free, no-obligation quote.
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 coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best car warranty insurance?
In our industry-wide review, we named Endurance the Best Provider for extended car warranty coverage. Car warranty insurance can also be referred to as an extended car warranty, vehicle protection plan or vehicle service contract. Endurance customers can choose between six comprehensive coverage plans at an affordable price.
Are car warranties worth it?
Car warranties cover repairs caused by defective parts after your factory warranty expires. They offer peace of mind and an easy way to budget for your vehicle’s repairs. However, if you own a highly reliable vehicle or feel comfortable footing the bill for repairs, an extended warranty may not be a worthwhile investment.
What does the car warranty cover?
A car warranty covers defective materials and workmanship. It does not cover wear-and-tear parts, like brake pads, nor does it cover damage caused by an accident, the environment or misuse.