Car warranties help relieve some of the burden of car repairs, but it’s important to choose the right provider. The top companies offer multiple vehicle protection plans and reliable customer service.
We’ve reviewed a number of the best extended car warranty companies and rated them on coverage, price, reputation, and customer experience. Today, we’ll give an overview of three car warranty companies we trust. To find the best option for you, get quotes from each provider and compare plans.
What is a Car Warranty?
All cars come with free factory warranty coverage for limited time and mileage. After that, an extended car warranty can help cover repairs that are due to a mechanical breakdown. Damage from accidents isn’t covered by a car warranty – that’s what your car insurance company is for.
Car owners can get extended warranty plans from manufacturers or from third-party providers as vehicle service contracts. For example, you can get a Volkswagen extended warranty from Volkswagen, or you could get a protection plan from Endurance or CarShield instead.
Extended warranties can be customized in a number of ways. Basic extended car warranties cover the powertrain (engine, transmission and drivetrain), while high-level plans almost match factory bumper-to-bumper warranties.
You can choose specific time and mileage limits to suit your driving habits, as well. If you have a breakdown under warranty, the warranty company will pay for the repair, minus a deductible, and it may cover a rental car and reimburse you for towing, too.
Is an Extended Car Warranty Worth It?
Depending on your situation, a car warranty can definitely be worth it. An extended warranty can be a good idea if you don’t have a significant emergency fund set up or if you can’t borrow on credit and pay repair costs back quickly.
Many drivers also appreciate peace of mind that repairs are covered whether they use the full value of the plan by the end of the term or not.
In our research, we found most warranty plans from top companies fall between $585 per year of coverage. Monthly payments are usually between $50 and $150 per month. Making a payment like that can be much easier than paying for a $1,000 or $2,000 repair out of pocket.
3 Best Extended Car Warranties
We’ve chosen Endurance, CARCHEX, and CarShield as our top three extended car warranty providers. All of these providers performed well across categories like coverage, reputation, price and customer experience.
They are all a bit different, but they share some similarities, as well. Each of these companies allow you to go to any licensed repair facility in the U.S. or Canada for repairs. They all pay the repair shop directly. You can cancel any contracts within 30 days for a full refund, and you can transfer them to secondary buyers.
Endurance: Best Provider
Endurance is a direct vehicle service contract provider, which means it administers all its contracts. We recognized it for having the Best Provider overall because it offers a good range of car warranties and some great perks.
Endurance Car Warranty Coverage
Endurance car warranties come in six different types:
|Endurance Car Warranty||Coverage Details|
|Supreme||Factory-level bumper-to-bumper coverage for almost all mechanical|
and electrical parts on the car
|Superior||Coverage for hundreds of parts on all systems of the car|
|Secure Plus||Coverage for most major systems of the car with a short waiting period|
|Select Premier||Covers the powertrain and a few other systems like air conditioning and electrical|
|Secure||Powertrain warranty covering the engine, transmission, and drivetrain|
|EnduranceAdvantageTM||Warranty coverage and routine maintenance coverage combined|
In addition to this, all Endurance car warranties come with one year of Endurance Elite Membership, which includes:
- 24/7 roadside assistance for towing, jump-starts, spare tire installation, lockout service and more
- Personal assistant
- $250 in rewards plus discounts on retail and dining
- Tire repair or replacement (two tires per year)
- Repair financing up to $5,000
- Key fob replacement
- Endurance Protect app
- ID theft protection
Endurance plans can cover vehicles up to 15 years/200,000 miles.
Endurance has been around for 14 years. As a direct provider, it sells warranty contracts to customers on its own, and it also offers warranty services through agents at dealerships. Car warranties from Endurance are available in any state except California.
Endurance has a C+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which is related to advertising practices it used in the past. It has relatively few complaints on the BBB compared to its number of customers.
Endurance Car Warranty Prices
We used two cars to compare quotes between multiple providers: a 2018 Honda Civic with 30,000 miles and a 2012 Subaru Outback with 88,000 miles. These cars apply to the quotes we’ll talk about for CARCHEX and CarShield, as well.
In comparing quotes from multiple providers, we found the average bumper-to-bumper plan was about $489 per year of coverage. An Endurance Supreme plan for the Honda Civic matched up to that average at $475 per year of coverage.
The same Supreme plan rose to $679 per year of coverage for the Subaru Outback. That’s what we’d expect since the Subaru was older and more likely to have repair costs. Overall, car warranty prices from Endurance are about average.
Endurance Customer Experience
Endurance has 3.8 stars from customers on the BBB, which is a high score for companies on the website. Endurance car warranty reviews on Trustpilot give the company a higher 4.3-star rating. Many customers say the sales team is informative and knowledgeable, and that they take the time to explain the differences in coverage options.
CARCHEX: Best for High-Mileage Cars
We think CARCHEX is the best used car warranty option for vehicles with many miles. CARCHEX can cover cars up to 250,000 miles and up to 20 years, which are higher limits than other extended warranty companies.
CARCHEX Car Warranty Coverage
CARCHEX is a warranty broker, so its plans are backed and administered by other companies. This means each coverage option actually has a few different variations depending on the contract. CARCHEX offers five main types of coverage:
|CARCHEX Car Warranty||Coverage Details|
|Titanium||Bumper-to-bumper coverage for almost any component|
|Platinum||Coverage for hundreds of components on all major systems of the car|
|Gold||Best coverage for vehicles over 60,000 miles|
|Silver||Powertrain-plus plan that covers the major systems of the car|
|Bronze||Basic plan for the engine, transmission, and drivetrain|
CARCHEX car warranties come with perks including roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption reimbursement.
CARCHEX has a great reputation on the BBB with an A+ rating and accreditation. The company has fewer than 100 complaints on the BBB, as well. Considering CARCHEX has thousands of customers, that’s a very small number.
CARCHEX Car Warranty Prices
Compared to the average cost per year of coverage we found, which was about $585, our CARCHEX quote was more affordable at about $370 per year of coverage. CARCHEX monthly payments ranged from about $100 to $150, though the quotes we received were for 24-month payment plans. You might find smaller payments with longer terms.
CARCHEX Customer Experience
CARCHEX has a 3.7-star rating from about 1,300 customer reviews on Trustpilot. Positive reviews talk about helpful staff who aren’t pushy. CARCHEX representatives also respond to negative reviews on Trustpilot and try to resolve complaints.
CarShield: Most Affordable
CarShield will show up in any online search for extended car warranties. The company is the most popular provider we’ve researched with over 13,000 reviews between Google, Trustpilot and the BBB. Overall, the quotes we got from CarShield were cheaper than other top providers, so we think it’s the best option for drivers on a budget.
CarShield Car Warranty Coverage
CarShield offers six main plans, though two of them only apply to special situations. Contracts can cover vehicles up to 200,000 miles. Here’s an overview:
|CarShield Car Warranty||Coverage Details|
|New Car Diamond||Bumper-to-bumper exclusionary plan for new vehicles|
|Platinum||High-level coverage for cars with some miles|
|Gold||Mid-tier plan for the powertrain and a few essential systems|
|Silver||Covers the powertrain and cooling system|
|Aluminum||Specialty plan for vehicles with high-tech equipment|
ATV and Motorcycle: Platinum and Silver coverage for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and motorcycles
CarShield perks include roadside assistance, rental car coverage and trip interruption. Another neat thing about CarShield is that it offers month-to-month contracts for each plan, which adds more flexibility.
CarShield isn’t accredited by the BBB, but that’s not necessarily a strike against it. However, the company has a negative rating of F from the organization, which is based on CarShield’s marketing practices.
There are a number of complaints as well, but they only account for a small portion of CarShield customers. CarShield has been around for 15 years and has covered over one million vehicles during that time.
CarShield Car Warranty Prices
From the quotes we received, CarShield prices are very affordable. Monthly payments were about $90, and the price per year of coverage was about $340 for both the Honda and Subaru. A 5-year/70,000-mile New Car Diamond plan was $1,700 in total for the Honda Civic, which is a great price.
Remember that used car warranty quotes are affected by the make, model, and mileage of your car. A Mazda extended warranty from CarShield would be a different price than an Acura extended warranty from the company.
CarShield Customer Experience
Over 10,000 reviewers on Trustpilot give CarShield a 4.2-star rating. Many talk about positive experiences with sales staff, and others say CarShield comes through with coverage for repairs. The company also has a 4.1-star rating from almost 3,000 reviewers on Google.
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.
How to Choose a Car Warranty
A good car warranty is first of all offered by a good company – the customer service staff should be helpful and knowledgeable. As far as coverage goes, you’ll want to look for companies that offer a wide variety.
Coverage should also come with perks like trip interruption, rental car reimbursement and roadside assistance. Make sure the contract is clear about cancellations and transfers, too.
Finally, the warranty should be accepted at any licensed facility, and the company should pay for repairs directly.
While the monthly payment you make toward a car warranty might be small, you should give the purchase decision plenty of thought beforehand. We’ve covered a few of the best providers here, but there are others that are reputable.
Take the time to get multiple quotes for car warranties from different providers. You’ll have to fill in details about your car and possibly wait for a phone call from a salesperson. The beginning of the shopping process should be about gathering information and comparing the plans available to you.
CARCHEX’s No-Haggle, Low-Price, Everyday Guarantee™ means you get the best price available up front. But other companies can give discounts when they know you’re shopping around.
When you want a better price from a particular provider, ask them to match a lower price you found from another company. If you’re looking to purchase an extended warranty, start your search by getting quotes from the three providers we’ve covered today.