If you’ve bought a new or used Ford from a dealership, you’ve probably heard about the Ford Extended Service Plans, also called ESPs, which is provided through the Ford Motor Co. As your Ford gets older, repair costs can start to grow. According to RepairPal, Ford drivers spend about $775 per year on repairs compared to the industry average of $652.
An extended warranty can give you the peace of mind that you won’t lose a whole paycheck or more for just one repair. It can be a good thing to have, but it’s also important to choose the right one. We’ll cover every aspect of Ford’s Extended Service Plans here and compare them to third-party options.
If you’re thinking of extending coverage for your Ford, check out our review on the best extended car warranty companies. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, so the best thing to do is to get multiple quotes.
Ford Extended Service Plan Review
Ford’s extended warranty is called the Ford Protect Extended Service Plan, or ESP for short. No, it won’t give you extra-sensory perception. An extended service plan can be offered by the manufacturer or a third party. It’s basically a promise for the factory or third party to help with the cost of repairs in exchange for the plan’s sale price.
|Ford ESP Extended Warranty||Coverage Terms|
|PowertrainCARE||8 years/150,000 miles|
|BaseCARE||3 years/36,000 to 8 years/150,000 miles|
|ExtraCARE||3 years/36,000 to 8 years/150,000 miles|
|PremiumCARE||8 years/150,000 miles|
Ford Extended Service Plans cover repairs due to mechanical failure or defects on specific parts and systems outlined in the contract. They don’t cover routine maintenance, cosmetic items or wear and tear items. You can get Ford Protect Premium Maintenance Plans to help in those areas.
Furthermore, Ford Protect warranties require you to follow your car’s maintenance schedule. You may be asked to provide proof of maintenance to validate a repair. That makes sense, because Ford shouldn’t have to pay for a repair that could have been prevented by routine maintenance.
Ford has four main plans that differ by the components they cover. Each plan can cover the same length of time or mileage as the others, and they all come with the same perks. Here are the common requirements:
- Eligibility: Ford ESPs are applicable to new and used vehicles that are still within Ford’s factory warranty period of 3 years/36,000 miles. Limited coverage may be available for used Ford vehicles outside the factory warranty.
- Coverage terms: Plans can extend coverage to a maximum of 8 years/150,000 miles from the in-service date.
- Deductibles: Ford ESP warranties for new cars can come with $0, $50, $100 or $200 deductibles. Ford ESPs for used cars will require a deductible of $50, $100 or $200. Plans can also come with a disappearing deductible, which is a deductible that is waived if the driver visits the local Ford dealership that sold them the plan.
PowertrainCARE: 29 Covered Components
PowertrainCARE is the simplest Ford Extended Service Plan. It covers 29 components in the powertrain – the core that makes your car run. Here’s what this plan includes:
Each of these systems is made up of many parts, and the PowertrainCARE plan doesn’t cover all of them. This plan can be a good idea for cars with high mileage as a defense against the most expensive repairs.
BaseCARE: 84 Covered Components
BaseCARE adds coverage for the engine’s harmonic balancer and bolt but keeps the same coverage for the drivetrain and transmission as PowertrainCARE.
Beyond that, this plan adds new coverage for the systems below:
- Front suspension
- Air conditioning and heating
Like PowertrainCARE, BaseCARE doesn’t cover every part in each of these systems (except for steering). As far as the electrical system goes, this plan covers the basics like switches, wiper motors and the starter motor. But it doesn’t cover things like the intelligent 4WD system or power mirrors.
ExtraCARE: 113 Covered Components
Moving on up, ExtraCARE adds coverage for the following high-tech parts:
- Instrument cluster (excludes dash pad)
- Keyless entry system (excludes door handles)
- Power antenna
- Power door locks and retainer clips (excludes door handles)
- Power seat motors
- Power window motors/regulators
- Speed control
Now, some of those parts seem more like “regular-tech” instead of “high-tech,” especially power door locks. Things like navigation and anti-theft systems are not covered under ExtraCARE.
ExtraCARE also adds coverage for new parts under these systems:
- Air conditioning/heating
PremiumCARE: 1,000+ Covered Components
Ford extended warranty PremiumCARE is the highest level of coverage. At first glance, it might be surprising that this plan jumps up to cover over 1,000 parts while the previous plan only covered 113.
What’s different is that this plan is an exclusionary contract. That means it lists the items not covered to define the limits. So, if something isn’t listed in a PremiumCARE contract, it’s covered. New car warranties are exclusionary contracts, and they typically cover over 1,000 parts.
Ford’s PremiumCARE plan covers most mechanical parts on the car. It provides extra coverage in the transmission, drivetrain, steering, electrical and high-tech systems. Here are some covered items unique to this plan:
- Powertrain control module
- Reverse camera
- Stability control
- Rear console refrigeration
- Temperature gauge
- Vista roof
- Rear suspension
- Emissions system
- Audio system
- Safety features
Perks Common to All 4 Plans
The following perks apply to all Ford Extended Service Plans:
- Roadside assistance: Each plan comes with 24/7 roadside assistance. Coverage includes spare tire installation, lockout services, jump-start, fuel delivery and towing.
- Emergency travel expense: If your car is disabled more than 100 miles from home, Ford will cover up to $1,000 of travel expenses within the first five days.
- Destination assistance: Ford will provide up to $75 to help you get to your destination after a breakdown.
- Rental car coverage: ESPs come with rental car coverage of $30 per day (up to 10 days) for covered repairs.
- Transferrable coverage: ESPs can be transferred to secondary owners with a $75 transfer fee.
- Ford extended warranty refund: ESPs can be canceled within 60 days for a full refund if no claims were made. After that, drivers can get a prorated refund based on time spent and claims paid minus a small fee.
Ford Extended Service Plan Cost
We pulled up a PremiumCARE plan quote for a 2018 Ford Explorer. As of 2020, this car still had one year left on its factory warranty.
The quote tool gave us the option to extend coverage up to 2026 and 150,000 miles. That makes sense because 2026 is eight years after the in-service date for this vehicle. We selected three different mileage choices all with coverage ending in 2026 for the purpose of this review.
In the chart below, you can see the price to finance a $0 deductible plan over 24 months, as well as the pay-in-full prices for $0, $50, $100 and $200 deductible plans. Financing was available for each plan in six-month increments up to 24 months. Here’s what we found:
|8 Years/150,000 Miles||8 Years/100,000 Miles||8 Years/75,000 Miles|
|$0 Deductible Financed Over 24 Months||$545 down + $204 per month||$343 down + $129 per month||$309 down + $116 per month|
|$0 Deductible Paid-In-Full Plan||$5,545||$3,430||$3,085|
|$50 Deductible Paid-In-Full Plan||$4,995||$3,125||$2,895|
|$100 Deductible Paid-In-Full Plan||$4,770||$2,975||$2,775|
|$200 Deductible Paid-In-Full Plan||$4,520||$2,815||$2,645|
It seems that choosing a $50 deductible reduces the price of the plan more than going up to higher deductible amounts, comparatively speaking.
For our first choice of 8 years/150,000 miles, a $50 deductible discounts the plan by about $500, but going up to a $200 deductible only discounts the plan by another $500. You might pay that extra $500 in repair costs with the higher deductible.
So, how can you buy a Ford extended warranty? Well, you can get an ESP online, over the phone or through a dealership. Remember that your Ford still needs to be within the factory warranty period of 3 years/36,000 miles to get the best coverage selection.
If you are unsure whether or not your Ford is still under warranty, you can check its warranty online by entering your VIN on the Ford owners website. After you have a Ford ESP, you can check your Ford extended warranty or ESP status by calling Ford Protect customer service and giving a representative your VIN.
What Affects Ford ESP Warranty Costs?
The prices above only apply to the model and mileage that we gave to the quote tool. You might find different prices for other Ford models and for cars with higher or lower mileage.
When you look at Ford’s ESP warranty selection online, you can’t negotiate for a better price. But if you go see a dealer, tell the representative that you’re shopping around. In reality, you should be. It’s good to have a few different quotes from third-party providers, so you can compare your options.
The Ford dealership might be able to move the price around a little bit to compete with your other choices.
Conclusion: Is a Ford Protect ESP Worth It?
To summarize, here are the pros and cons of Ford’s Extended Service Plans:
|Four different coverage options||Can only go to Ford or Lincoln dealer for repairs|
|$0 to $200 deductibles||No $0 deductible for used Fords|
|Genuine Ford parts||Not the cheapest option|
When you shop around for coverage from third-party providers, you might be able to find comparable plans that cost less. Coverage options are influenced by many things, but Ford’s extended service plans seem to be on the expensive side.
Another benefit of third-party plans is that you can visit any mechanic certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence that you choose, and many providers will let you go to a dealer if you still would like to. On the other hand, Ford ESP warranties are only valid at Ford and Lincoln dealers. That limits your options, and it means getting repairs can be a hassle if you live far from a dealership.
Dealerships aren’t the cheapest place for repairs, and Ford Extended Service Plans don’t cover everything. You might come across non-covered parts that need to be fixed in conjunction with a covered repair, and those would be more expensive to fix at a dealership.
Third-Party Providers Offer Longer Coverage and Better Perks
While 150,000 miles of coverage is a lot, it’s still not the longest available on the market. For example, CarShield offers plans that can cover up to 200,000 miles. Plans from CARCHEX, another popular provider, can cover up to 250,000 miles. Ether of these companies would make a great choice for drivers who want extended warranties for cars over 100,000 miles.
Plans by the most popular providers usually include many perks, as well. Endurance is a good example of this. Its plans include a one-year membership of Endurance Elite with perks like roadside assistance, concierge service, ID theft protection and tire replacement.
The moral of the story is that it can pay to shop around and get multiple quotes from different extended warranty providers. Just write down your VIN and mileage and then get free quotes from at least three providers to find the best deal.
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.