If you’re looking to purchase a used car or if you’re worried about your used vehicle experiencing mechanical problems, you may benefit from investing in an extended warranty. But with so many providers out there, it can be difficult to narrow down the best extended warranty companies for used cars.
We’ve done the homework for you, and in this article, we’ll discuss what we’ve found to be the four top extended warranty companies for used cars. By taking a look at each company’s plan options, coverage eligibility requirements, industry reputations and more, you can narrow down which provider may offer you the best peace of mind on the road.
However, you won’t truly know the best extended car warranty provider for you unless you get personalized quotes from multiple companies. You can start getting free quotes from our highest-rated providers below.
What is an Extended Car Warranty?
An extended car warranty protects your wallet after a mechanical breakdown or factory defect. For example, if you’re driving down the road and your engine suddenly fails, an extended warranty would cover the cost of repairs.
You can purchase extended warranty coverage from your vehicle manufacturer or from a third-party provider, but most automakers require you to either opt-in for extra coverage at the time you buy your vehicle or before your original factory warranty expires. Because of these restrictions, it can be easier to buy a used car warranty from a third-party provider.
Best Extended Warranty Companies for Used Cars
Based on our research, the four best extended warranty companies for used cars are:
- CARCHEX: Best for High-Mileage Cars
- Endurance: Best Provider
- CarShield: Most Affordable
- Protect My Car: Best Long-Term Financing
Here’s a quick provider comparison. You can read more about each car warranty company below.
|CARCHEX||Endurance||CarShield||Protect My Car|
|Level of Coverage||5||6||6||3|
|Availability||50 states||All states except CA||All states except CA||All states except AK, CA, |
HI, MO, OK, WA
|Highest Term Limits||10 years/250,000 miles||8 years/200,000+ miles||200,000 miles||125,000 miles|
|Deductible Options||$0, $50, $100, $200||$0, $50, $100, $200||$0, $50, $100||$100|
|Get a Free Quote||Get Quote||Get Quote||Get Quote||Get Quote|
- Top choice for high-mileage cars
- Contract term limits up to 10 years/250,000 miles
- Partners with industry experts like Kelley Blue Book and CARFAX
Based on our research, CARCHEX ranks highest among the best extended warranty companies for used cars. The provider has five coverage levels to choose from, including a few basic plans that are great for older vehicle protection. It also offers some of the highest contract term limits we’ve seen, so if your used car has a lot of miles on it or if you plan on keeping it for a long time, CARCHEX may be a great option for you.
CARCHEX makes warranty use easy for drivers, offering flexible repair facility options and paying repair shops directly after work has been completed. This way, customers don’t have to pay upfront and wait around for a reimbursement check. We also like that CARCHEX is accredited and holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
For an in-depth look at the provider’s plans, benefits and pricing, read our CARCHEX review.
- Our pick for overall top provider
- Contract term limits up to 8 years/200,000 miles
- Plans come with a variety of benefits
Endurance offers six coverage tiers, including a plan called Select Premier that’s uniquely designed to suit the needs of high-mileage vehicles with up to 150,000 miles on the odometer. The Select Premier plan covers major systems including your engine, transmission, drive axles, air conditioning and select electrical components.
Endurance also offers the industry’s best benefits package, which is another reason it ranks highly on our list of the best extended warranty companies for used cars. Roadside assistance, trip interruption coverage and rental car reimbursement are all included for the duration of your warranty. Plus, the provider throws in a year of Endurance Elite Membership, which gives drivers perks like free key fob and tire replacements, identity theft recovery services, a personal concierge and more.
Endurance provides sample contracts and free, online quotes. For a full look at this provider, read our complete Endurance warranty review.
- Generally the most affordable option
- Contract term limits up to 200,000 miles
- Sample contracts and online quotes easily available
When we reached out to major car warranty companies for quotes, we found CarShield to offer the lowest prices. The company has six total coverage options, including those for new and used cars as well as a motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle plan.
CarShield doesn’t advertise its upper contract limits, which is likely because it’s a warranty broker and plan administrators may offer differing terms. However, when we called to get a quote for a basic powertrain warranty on a 2012 vehicle with 90,000 miles on it, we were offered a 4-year/100,000-mile contract. So we’re confident the provider can cover cars up to at least 12 years/190,000 miles.
To read more about this provider, read our comprehensive CarShield review.
4. Protect My Car
- Best for long-term financing options
- Contract term limits up to 125,000 miles
- Maintenance contracts for older cars
Although its contract term limits are shorter than other extended warranty companies for used cars, we like Protect My Car for its long-term financing options. Having a lower monthly payment over a longer period of time can make an extended warranty affordable for many drivers.
Established in 2005, Protect My Car offers three plan options that stretch up to 125,000 miles.
For used cars, the company’s Driveline plan is the way to go. Intended for vehicles between four and 10 years old with more than 80,000 miles on the odometer, Driveline covers all the components of a powertrain warranty as well as air conditioning and electrical systems. If you’re looking for more coverage, check out Protect My Car’s Select and Supreme plans. There are also maintenance contracts for those looking for coverage for regularly scheduled services.
You can read our comprehensive Protect My Car review to learn more.
Is an Extended Warranty Worth It for Used Cars?
A plan from one of the best extended warranty companies for used cars can give drivers added peace of mind on the road, but at the end of the day, is the coverage really worth the price tag?
There are a few pros and cons of extended car warranties to consider when determining whether extra coverage is a good investment for your vehicle. For example, you won’t have to worry about not being able to afford sudden, costly repairs, but you’ll still have to shell out money for wear-and-tear parts and scheduled maintenance services that warranties don’t cover.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding on an extended warranty for your used car:
- Do you intend to keep your car for a long time? Statistically, you will. According to IHS Markit, drivers keep their cars for an average of 11.8 years. If you purchased a used car that was already four or five years old, you’re looking at driving a 16-year-old vehicle down the line. With age comes repairs, and if you don’t have some protection plan in place, you’ll pay for them outright.
- Can you pay for out-of-pocket expenses? For some drivers, a $500 unexpected repair bill is no problem. But for most car owners, this isn’t the case. By financing repair costs over time, you won’t be stuck worrying about how to cover a major expense when it arises. However, you may also end up paying for coverage you don’t use if your vehicle never breaks down.
- Is your used car reliable? Reliability is based not only on your car’s age but also its make. It’s no secret that some car manufacturers are more dependable than others, and as cars begin to age, this becomes even more apparent. If you believe you’ve purchased a reliable used car, maybe skip the extended protection. If that doesn’t sound like your situation, at least reach out for a few quotes.
- Is there any remaining warranty coverage on the car? Depending on your used vehicle’s age, it may have remaining factory warranty coverage. Most coverage plans transfer to the subsequent owner either for free or with a small fee, so make sure to ask about it if you’re purchasing from an individual seller. You don’t want to pay for coverage you already have, so this is an important question to ask buying a used car.
What is the Average Cost of an Extended Warranty for Used Cars?
According to our research, the average extended car warranty will cost anywhere from $1,700 to $4,000 in total. The price of coverage for used cars varies so widely because it’s based on a number of unique factors, including:
- Your vehicle’s age, make and model
- The deductible you choose
- The provider you choose
- Your coverage level
- Your contract term limits
With used cars, the age component of extended warranty costs is especially important. Often, vehicle service contracts scale upward in price as a vehicle gets older.
If you’re interested in purchasing coverage from one of the best extended warranty companies for used cars, it’s smart to get multiple quotes before choosing a provider. That way, you can be sure you’re getting the coverage you need for the price that best suits your budget.
To start getting free, personalized quotes from our top recommended providers, click below.
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.