Smart AutoCare warranty products are sold through dealerships and agents across the country. A vehicle protection plan from Smart AutoCare is one way to protect your wallet against sudden, unexpected repair bills if your vehicle malfunctions or breaks down after its factory warranty expires.
Our review team has researched the best extended car warranty providers in the industry, comparing contract details, cost information and customer feedback. In this article, see how Smart AutoCare stacks up against the best in the business, and decide if a Smart AutoCare warranty is right for you.
You can start comparing contracts by clicking below.
Is a Smart AutoCare Warranty Worth It?
Smart AutoCare has been in business since 1990, and all plans are backed by an AM Best A-rated insurance company. According to the Smart AutoCare website, the company pays an average of $5.5 million in claims monthly, and claims are typically paid within two hours.
We like the provider’s fast claims servicing, wide variety of coverage options, mobile app and good customer service record. However, Smart AutoCare warranties are only sold through agents and dealerships, and they may be more expensive than competitor contracts.
|Overall Star Rating||7.0 out of 10.0|
|Reputation||7.0 out of 10.0|
|Coverage||7.0 out of 10.0|
|Price||5.0 out of 10.0|
|Customer Experience||7.0 out 0f 10.0|
Is it worth it? A Smart AutoCare warranty may be worth it for drivers willing to spend a bit more on coverage.
Smart AutoCare Warranty Coverage
Smart AutoCare offers a wide range of coverage options. Contracts are divided into three categories: Advantage Care, 5 Star and Premier.
Smart AutoCare Advantage Care
There are four levels of Advantage Care coverage:
- Total Exclusionary: Exclusionary bumper-to-bumper extended warranty that includes most mechanical vehicle components
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage for everything in lower-tier Powertrain+ plan, as well as audio systems, hybrid systems (excluding batteries), entertainment systems and the navigation system
- Powertrain+: Enhanced powertrain coverage for the engine, transmission, air conditioning, cooling system, gasoline fuel system, electrical components, suspension, brakes, steering and seals and gaskets
- Powertrain: Basic powertrain coverage for the gasoline engine, diesel engine, turbocharger/supercharger, transmission, transfer case and drive axle
The Total Exclusionary Smart AutoCare warranty does not cover wear-and-tear items such as wiper blades, shock absorbers, headlamps and brake pads. It also does not include glass, exterior body components and interior upholstery.
Smart AutoCare 5 Star
The 5 Star contract provides basic coverage for the gasoline engine, diesel engine, turbocharger/supercharger, transmission, transfer case, drive system, air conditioning, engine cooling system, electrical, suspension, brakes and steering. It is designed for high-mileage vehicles that are no longer eligible for Advantage Care.
Smart AutoCare Premier
There are two Premier contracts available from Smart AutoCare:
- Premier Plus: Enhanced coverage that includes everything in the lower-tier Premier plan, plus the air conditioning and select electrical components
- Premier: Powertrain coverage that includes the gasoline engine, diesel engine, turbocharger/supercharger, transmission, steering, transfer case, drive axle and seals and gaskets
All Smart AutoCare vehicle service contracts can be canceled or transferred at any time. In addition to vehicle service contracts, Smart AutoCare also sells:
- Guaranteed asset protection (GAP) coverage
- Lease-end protection
- Paint and interior coverage
- Paintless dent repair coverage
- Road hazard protection
- Tire and rim coverage
- Windshield protection
Cost of a Smart AutoCare Warranty
We found several reviews that shed light on the cost of a Smart AutoCare warranty. One customer reported paying $1,665 for a 3-year/100,000-mile warranty on a 2018 Ford Edge with 35,000 miles. Another paid $2,955 for five-year exclusionary coverage on a 2010 Mercury Mariner.
These prices are within the industry average, but they’re on the expensive side. Our researchers have received quotes under $2,000 for five-year exclusionary contracts from other providers.
However, as extended warranty costs vary based on your vehicle, you’ll need to contact Smart AutoCare directly to see how much it would cost to cover your car. The final price of your Smart AutoCare warranty will depend on:
- Your location
- The plan you choose
- Your vehicle’s make, model, age and mileage
How to Get a Quote and File a Claim
If you have a Smart AutoCare contract and experience a breakdown, take the following steps:
- Contact Smart AutoCare.
- Take your vehicle to any repair facility certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE®).
- Have the repair facility contact Smart AutoCare after diagnosing your vehicle’s issue.
- Smart AutoCare’s warranty claims department will analyze your claim and respond to the repair shop directly. Many claims are handled within hours.
- Smart AutoCare will pay the repair facility.
You can submit a claim online, through the Smart AutoCare claims app or by calling 800-242-731. The claims office is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 am to 7:00 pm CST.
Smart AutoCare Warranty Reviews
Smart AutoCare has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). There have been fewer than 30 complaints filed in the last three years, which is relatively low for an extended warranty provider.
Customer complaints typically involve claims denial and poor claims servicing. Several customers also claimed that Smart AutoCare stated their coverage had lapsed when it had not.
While some customers had a poor experience, the low complaint volume indicates that most are happy with Smart AutoCare services. What’s more, most customers who filed complaints through the BBB website had their concerns resolved to their satisfaction.
Our Verdict on Smart AutoCare: 7.0 / 10.0
Smart AutoCare warranty contracts provide full-coverage options and quick claims servicing. The company is a safe bet for your auto warranty needs, though contract prices are a bit more expensive than competitors.
Our Picks for Best Extended Car Warranties
If a Smart AutoCare warranty is a little too pricey for your budget, consider lower-cost extended warranty contracts from CARCHEX and CarShield.
CARCHEX: Best for High-Mileage Cars
CARCHEX has extended service plans that range from basic powertrain coverage to exclusionary bumper-to-bumper warranties. CARCHEX contract options include:
- Titanium: Covers nearly all vehicle components, except for a short list of exclusions
- Platinum: Covers everything in the lower-tier Gold plan, plus the suspension, high-tech electronics and fuel delivery system
- Gold: Covers everything in the lower-tier Silver plan, as well as the braking system and full coverage for steering, electrical and air conditioning components
- Silver: Includes everything in the lower-tier Bronze plan, plus limited electric, air conditioning and steering components
- Bronze: Provides basic powertrain coverage for the engine and transmission
We reached out to CARCHEX to see how much a bumper-to-bumper Titanium plan would cost for a 2018 Toyota RAV4 and were offered the following terms:
- Term Length: 7 years/125,000 miles
- Financing: $190.00 for 18 months
- Deductible: $100.00
- Down Payment: $342.00
- Total Cost: $3,420.00
CARCHEX is a well-known company in the automotive industry thanks to its strong history of backing customer claims. To learn more about coverage, read our full CARCHEX review, and see what a CARCHEX warranty would cost for your vehicle by getting a free quote below.
CarShield: Most Affordable
CarShield has low-priced coverage plans at a variety of levels. In fact, it has some of the most budget-friendly contracts we’ve seen from any provider. CarShields auto coverage policy levels include:
- Diamond: Exclusionary bumper-to-bumper coverage that includes nearly all vehicle components
- Platinum: Comprehensive coverage for high-mileage vehicles that includes most mechanical parts and systems
- Gold: Expanded powertrain plan that includes all items covered by the lower-tier Silver plan, plus the alternator, starter, air conditioning and power windows
- Silver: Powertrain coverage that includes all lubricated engine parts, as well as the transmission and water pump
- Aluminum: Specialty coverage for many electrical and computer-related parts such as the engine control module (ECM), starter, alternator and GPS
We asked CarShield to supply a quote on Diamond coverage for a 2018 Toyota RAV4 and were offered the following terms:
- Term Length: 5 years/100,000 miles
- Financing: $88.78 for 18 months
- Down Payment: $295.00
- Deductible: $100.00
- Total Cost: $1,893.04
In addition to a low overall cost, CarShield contract financing terms are generous. Learn more in our full CarShield review, and get a personalized quote 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.