CARCHEX and CarShield are two of the most popular extended warranty companies in the industry. If you’re trying to decide which provider is a better fit for you, we’re here to help. In this article, our review team examines CARCHEX vs. CarShield on several criteria, including coverage, cost and reputation. We can help you make a more informed decision on which extended warranty company is right for your specific needs.
CARCHEX Vs. CarShield: Overview
CARCHEX is a Baltimore, Maryland-based provider that has been offering extended auto warranties since 2004. It is known for its high-mileage contracts and numerous industry partnerships. CarShield is a slightly younger company, but also well-established in the industry. It is based in St. Peters, Missouri and has been offering extended warranties since 2005. We think both providers offer high-level coverage and superior customer service, but how do the two compare head to head?
|Overall Score||9.4 / 10.0||9.0 / 10.0|
CARCHEX Vs. CarShield: Coverage
CARCHEX and CarShield are fairly similar in terms of their coverage options, with each offering five levels of coverage ranging from basic powertrain coverage to exclusionary bumper-to-bumper contracts. The following chart offers an overview of the coverage options from each provider.
|Provider||Number of Coverage Plans||Maximum Mileage for Coverage||Covers Specialty Cehicles Such as Motorcycles and ATVs||Covers Hybrid Batteries and Parts||Roadside Assistance||Towing Assistance|
|CARCHEX||5||250,000 miles||X||Only some plans||$50 max per occurrence (up to 10 occurrences)||$100 per occurrence|
|CarShield||5||200,000 miles||✓||X||$400 limit per contract||$75 per occurrence|
Of course, while plan options offered by each company are similar, they are not identical. The five CARCHEX coverage options include:
|CARCHEX Warranty Plan||Years of Coverage||Coverage Overview|
|Titanium||Up to 10||The highest level of coverage available, the Titanium plan offers bumper-to-bumper protection similar to a factory warranty. There are very few exclusions.|
|Platinum||Up to 10||The Platinum warranty provides the highest level of stated-component coverage with hundreds of specific components covered in all major vehicle systems.|
|Gold||Up to 10||This plan offers some protection for all major systems and is a good fit for vehicles with over 60,000 miles.|
|Silver||Up to 7||The Silver plan provides essential coverage for major systems as a powertrain plus plan.|
|Bronze||Up to 6||This is the most basic level of coverage that can protect you from the most expensive repairs to the engine and transmission.|
CarShield offers the following coverage levels:
|CarShield Warranty Plan||Overview||Best For|
|Diamond||Covers everything from engine and transmission failures to starter problems and fuel pump breakdowns. This is CarShield’s most comprehensive plan.||A new car owner looking to protect their investment and add to coverage from a manufacturer’s warranty.|
|Platinum||Covers your vehicle’s engine, transmission, A/C, electrical system, and more.||An owner of a high-mileage car that wants the most protection.|
|Gold||Covers a variety of major and minor vehicle parts, including your water pump, alternator, and starter.||An owner of an older or high-mileage vehicle that’s in good shape. The components covered are generally related to expensive repairs.|
|Silver||Covers the most important parts of your vehicle, including the transmission and water pump. This is CarShield’s most affordable plan.||An owner of an older vehicle that wants basic coverage for expensive repairs without paying a premium price.|
|Aluminum||Covers most electrical and computer related problems, including the engine control module and starter.||An owner primarily concerned about potential electrical and/or computer related vehicle problems.|
|Motorcycle & ATV||Covers motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.||An owner looking to cover their motorcycle or ATV.|
One major difference between the coverage options from each provider is that CARCHEX does not cover specialty vehicles such as motorcycles or all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). CarShield is your winner if you are looking to purchase an extended warranty for one of these types of vehicles. On the other hand, if you need an extended warranty that covers a hybrid vehicle’s batteries and parts, only CARCHEX offers to cover these items. CARCHEX also has a slightly better allowance for roadside assistance and towing.
Winner: Tie. Both of these providers have a solid number of different coverage plans to choose from. CARCHEX offers slightly higher allowances for roadside assistance and towing, but each of these providers has important coverage advantages over the other.
CARCHEX Vs. CarShield: Cost
Our review team has reached out for quotes from both CARCHEX and CarShield for both bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranty plans. In the following section we compare the cost between both providers. However, keep in mind that extended warranty cost is determined by several factors, including your vehicle’s mileage, age, and model. While the following quotes reflect contract costs for two particular vehicles, you may get different quotes for your own car. The only way to know for sure which provider offers a lower cost for you is to reach out for individualized offers.
The following chart shows quotes for powertrain warranties from CARCHEX and CarShield. The vehicle used to request the following contract quotes was a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox with 90,000 miles.
|Plan Length||5 years / 75,000 miles||4 years / 100,000 miles|
|Monthly Cost||$225.00 for 18 months||$127.67 for 18 months|
|Down Payment||First payment||$99.99|
For a powertrain warranty quote on a relatively high-mileage vehicle, CarShield offered the lower price. While the coverage length was one year shorter, the CarShield plan still offered a lower total cost per year.
The next chart shows contract offers for bumper-to-bumper warranty plans from each company. These following quotes were offered to provide coverage for a 2018 Toyota RAV4 with 30,000 miles.
|Plan Length||7 years / 125,000 miles||5 years / 100,000 miles|
|Monthly Cost||$190.00 for 18 months||$88.78 for 18 months|
Again, the CarShield contract cost was lower than the cost of a similar plan from CARCHEX. Even with the CARCHEX plan term being two years longer, the cost per year of coverage was lower for the CarShield option ($378.60 versus $488.57).
Winner: CarShield. CarShield offered lower prices for both bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties, even accounting for the longer CARCHEX contract lengths. However, your own offers may differ so be sure to compare prices between providers for yourself before making a final decision.
CARCHEX Vs. CarShield: Reputation
When comparing extended warranty companies, it is important to evaluate the reputation of each provider you are considering. The better the reputation of the warranty provider, the more likely it will be to provide high quality plans and deliver great customer service. The chart below compares CARCHEX vs. CarShield on a few common factors related to a company’s reputation.
|Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accreditation||Yes||No|
|BBB Complaints||Over 100 in last 3 years||Over 1,000 in last 3 years|
|Industry Partnerships||Edmunds.com, CARFAX, Kelley Blue Book, and RepairPal||None|
|National Awards||Eight-time Inc. 5000 Hall of Fame honoree|
Baltimore Sun Top Workplaces Award (7 times)
|Inc. 5000 Hall of Fame Honoree|
2018 Glassdoor Best Place to Work
CARCHEX has a strong industry reputation and is endorsed by numerous industry leaders. Most negative CARCHEX reviews complain about claims denial, while positive reviews mention excellent customer service.
“I looked into a couple of options including a proposal from BMW… By far CARCHEX seemed the most thorough, and their agreement listed the exclusions and it was easy to understand… I had no apprehension to move forward with CARCHEX.”
– Al via Trustpilot
CarShield has a poor rating on the BBB website, though it does have a 4.2 / 5.0 star rating on Trustpilot. Customer complaints were similar to those lodged against CARCHEX and regarded claims denial. In some cases, customers reported confusion with contracts. Positive reviews mention good customer service and strong claims servicing.
“Excellent service. Paid my claims without issue. Staff were always courteous and friendly. It was worth the investment to have this insurance. If you have any kind of major or minor repairs, you will be glad you purchased this service.”
-Edgar K. via BBB
The low number of BBB complaints filed against CARCHEX is impressive considering that the company receives an estimated $80 million dollars in revenue every year. CARCHEX also boasts more industry partnerships and awards.
Winner: CARCHEX. CARCHEX holds a superior reputation to CarShield based on its BBB accreditation and rating, fewer customer complaints, and strong industry partnerships.
Our Conclusion On CARCHEX Vs. CarShield
Generally, CARCHEX is a better extended warranty provider than CarShield. CARCHEX has a stellar reputation and we believe that reputation is indicative of a better overall customer experience. That said, CarShield offers lower-cost contracts, so is the better option if a low-cost policy is important to you. Before making a final decision, we recommend that our readers receive a free quote from each provider and also check out their sample contracts.
Read our other guides for more information:
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.