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What Are The 6 Best Used Car Warranty Companies?

  • Extended auto warranties are a way to offset repair costs and provide peace of mind.
  • With so many providers and contract options, it’s hard to know what to look for when purchasing an extended warranty for a used car.
  • Read our shopping tips, then see our top six used car warranty picks, including our top choice Endurance.

Affiliate disclosure: Automoblog and its partners may be compensated when you purchase the products below.

When you buy a used car, you may not know the whole story about its current condition. An extended warranty may be your best hope for keeping repair costs low.

After our comparison of six of the best used car warranty companies, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of getting the best extended warranty for a used car to help you make the best decision for your car.

Top Used Car Warranty Companies
We reviewed the top extended warranty providers, and here are our top picks.
Best Direct Coverage Best for Older Vehicles Best Prices
logo endurance logo logo carshield
Endurance CARCHEX CarShield
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Get Quote Get Quote Get Quote
(877) 374-1840 (866) 254-0205 (800) 563-2761
     

The Top 6: Comparing Used Car Warranty Companies

Owners of older cars are twice as likely to spend more than $1,000 on maintenance and repairs, according to the NPD group. In 2017, the Growing Industry Analysts, Inc. found that cars are lasting longer, including used cars, and the global aftermarket industry is projected to grow to $1 trillion by 2022.

It’s no wonder there are so many extended auto warranty companies. It can be hard to navigate all of them, but we picked six well-known used car warranty companies and compared their strengths and weaknesses.

 

 

 

 

Best Used Car Warranty Companies Our Rating Superlative Coverage Levels Highest Mileage Limit BBB Rating
Endurance black star small grey bgblack star small grey bgblack star small grey bgblack star small grey bgblack star small grey bg Best Direct Coverage 5 coverage levels (21 plans) 200,000 miles Get Quote
CARCHEX black star smallblack star smallblack star smallblack star smallblack star small Best for Older Vehicles 5 coverage levels 250,000 miles Get Quote
CarShield black star small grey bgblack star small grey bgblack star small grey bgblack star small grey bgblack half star small Best Prices 5 coverage levels (19 plans) 200,000 miles Get Quote
Protect My Car black star smallblack star smallblack star smallblack star smallblack half star small Best Maintenance Plans 3 coverage levels (plus maintenance plan option) 125,000 miles Get Quote
autopom! black star small grey bgblack star small grey bgblack star small grey bgblack star small grey bgblack half star small Best Customer Service 4 coverage levels (19 plans) 150,000 miles  Get Quote
Liberty Bell Auto Protect black star smallblack star smallblack star smallwhite star smallwhite star small Best Military Discount 3 coverage plans 140,000 miles Get Quote

1. Endurance: Best Direct Coverage

Years in Business: 14

BBB Rating: C+ (not BBB accredited)

Number of Plans: Five levels (direct supplier)

Affordability: Endurance claims to save you up to 60 percent more than brokers.

Featured Plan: The Select Premier plan is best for used vehicles and high-mileage vehicles.

Endurance Pros Endurance Cons
Endurance warranties are honored nationwide at a variety of repair facilities. There aren’t many plans to customize to your vehicle’s needs.
Endurance is a direct supplier, so you won’t have confusion about who takes care of the claim. While Endurance Elite Membership is a great benefit, it is only included for the first year.
Endurance Elite Membership includes extra perks like tire repair and replacement.  

Best Direct Coverage

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logo endurance

Get Quote

(877) 374-1840

A direct supplier of five protection plans honored at repair facilities nationwide

2. CARCHEX: Best for Older Vehicles

Years in Business: 21

BBB Rating: A+ (BBB accredited since 2009)

Number of Plans: 5 levels (21 available contracts from suppliers)

Affordability: Monthly payment plans and $0 deductibles are available.

Featured Plan: The Platinum and Gold plans are best for high-mileage cars.

CARCHEX Pros CARCHEX Cons
Some coverage plans have terms as long as 10 years. As a broker, there are many different contracts to read to fully understand the terms among suppliers.
Small or no down payments and $0 deductibles make CARCHEX an affordable option for budget-conscious car owners. Coverage for hybrid vehicles costs extra.
CARCHEX has an excellent reputation, few customer complaints, and endorsements from Kelley Blue Book, the Vehicle Protection Association, The Motoring Club, Edmunds, and more.  

Best for Older Vehicles

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Get Quote

(866) 254-0205

Top-rated provider that protects cars up to 250,000 miles

3. CarShield: Best Prices

Years in Business: 15

BBB Rating: F (not BBB accredited)

Number of Plans: Six coverage levels and 19 plans (including motorcycle and ATV coverage)

Affordability: Month-to-month plans and $0 deductibles available.

Featured Plan: The New Car Diamond plan is the company’s most popular because it’s comparable to a manufacturer’s warranty.

CarShield Pros CarShield Cons
Month-to-month contracts allow flexibility. Catalytic converters aren’t covered.
One plan is specifically for covering electrical and high-tech features, which can be expensive to repair. Rental reimbursements are lower than average.

Best Prices

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Get Quote

(800) 563-2761

Our research found this provider to be the most affordable. Plus, it offers monthly plans.

4. Protect My Car: Best Maintenance Plans

Years in Business: 14

BBB Rating: Not rated (not BBB accredited)

Number of Plans: Three plans, as well as the Ambassador Maintenance Plan.

Affordability: Flexible payment terms make monthly payments affordable, and deductibles are $100.

Featured Plan: The Supreme vehicle service contract is the most comprehensive, offering optional coverage for navigation systems.

Protect My Car Pros Protect My Car Cons
The Ambassador Maintenance Plan includes free oil changes and tire rotations, as well as 25 to 50 percent off repairs. You have to wait for repairs to be approved before they can begin. If you need a rental car while you’re waiting, Protect My Car provides only $30 a day.

Best Maintenance Plans

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Get Quote

(888) 430-0227

A provider that offers maintenance and warranty plans to fit your needs

5. autopom!: Best Customer Service

Years in Business: 10

BBB Rating: A+ (BBB accredited)

Number of Plans: Four coverage levels with 19 plans available

Affordability: After your initial down payment, you have up to two years to pay the remaining balance.

Featured Plans: Exclusionary Plans are comparable to manufacturer’s warranties. Some of these options are technically mechanical breakdown insurance for customers in Idaho, Oregon, and California.

Pros Cons
The variety of plans makes it easy to find the right fit for your vehicle. autopom! doesn’t cover luxury brands and limits coverage for Audi, BMW, and Mercedes vehicles.
The customer service team acts as an advocate and consultant for customers. Other providers may be more affordable, as deductibles cost up to $500.
The Powertrain Plus tier also includes traditional powertrain coverage options.  

Best Customer Service

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(888) 691-2354

Customer service advocates with a variety of plans for your vehicle

6. Liberty Bell Auto Protect: Best Military Discount

Years in Business: 10

BBB Rating: B+ (not BBB accredited)

Number of Plans: Three coverage levels

Affordability: Affordable but you may be asked to pay a down payment.

Featured Plan: Platinum Prime is the most comprehensive, including coverage for high-tech electronics and turbo/superchargers.

Liberty Bell Auto Protect Pros Liberty Bell Auto Protect Cons
Plans are transferable. Platinum Plus only covers one more system than Platinum (steering).
ASE certified master technicians are available to assist in the claims process. Customer service hours are limited.

Best Military Discount

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Get Quote

(732) 963-0063

 

A solid provider that offers a price match guarantee

Finding The Best Extended Warranty For Your Used Car

There are three types of car warranties you’ll come across in your search.

Dealer Warranty

The worst case scenario when buying a used car is that it doesn’t even make it through the drive home. One of the most basic forms of a car warranty is one covered by the dealership. These usually cover limited repairs, and coverage ends within a few months or years after the purchase or a certain mileage.

Manufacturer’s Warranty

A manufacturer’s warranty or factory warranty comes at no additional cost with the purchase of a new car. It covers repairs and replacements due to faulty factory materials or workmanship. Many of these warranties are transferable to a subsequent owner.

On the other hand, an extended manufacturer’s warranty or service contract offers continued coverage at an extra cost. Be aware that while coverage is usually comprehensive, these warranties tend to be more expensive than warranties from third parties.

Third-Party Warranty

This type of extended auto warranty can be administered by a broker or a company that directly handles repairs. A broker will help you choose a coverage plan that we normally see backed by an insurance company. In other words, the broker itself is just an intermediary.

Because independent extended used car warranty companies are not highly regulated, their reliability varies. Some companies have the financial responsibility to meet claims and others do not, according to the South Carolina Bar, so you should check the BBB for ratings and customer complaints.

Man with broken car in middle of the road.
When your car breaks down, a third-party extended auto warranty offsets repair costs.

Used Car Coverage Options

Before you decide on a coverage plan for your used vehicle, you should have a local repair shop do a health check. You’ll learn about any warning signs or weaknesses that could leave you stranded on the side of the road in the future. Plus, you’ll gain better insight into the level of coverage you need.

There are several types of vehicle service contracts, but most companies focus on these few:

  • Powertrain/Drivetrain: This warranty covers the engine, transmission, and related components. Powertrain warranties are normally less expensive, as they don’t include electrical systems, braking systems, heating/cooling, etc. They tend to last five years or 60,000 miles on average.
  • Powertrain Plus: This common type of plan includes powertrain coverage and additional components, such as air conditioning, electrical systems, and fuel delivery systems. It’s still a step below full coverage.
  • Bumper to Bumper: Sometimes called exclusionary plans, you’ll get a short list of components that are not covered rather than a list of items that are covered. It’s closest to the full coverage offered by many manufacturers. Though more expensive, this protection can be the difference between a small deductible and a costly repair.

Always read the contract before making a decision so that you don’t fall victim to certain limitations. Vehicle service contracts often have the following exclusions and limitations:

  • Mileage limits
  • Commercial vehicles
  • Limited choices for local repair shops
  • Items like brake pads, tires, wiper blades, etc
  • Ineligibility for owners who fail to perform regularly scheduled maintenance
  • Repairs due to normal wear and tear (covers only a mechanical breakdown) or pre-existing conditions

What To Look For In A Warranty

If you believe buying an extended auto warranty will help you breathe a bit easier, then you should know the criteria for a good coverage plan.

What should you look for in the best used car warranties?

  • Search a company’s BBB rating to gauge trustworthiness or see common customer complaints.
  • Service contracts underwritten by insurance companies are more reliable, so stick to those. Insurance regulations require companies to maintain enough financial reserve to pay your claim.
  • Is there a mileage limit on the contract? Some companies provide coverage for high mileage vehicles – protection your used vehicle probably requires.
  • Find a service contract that pays for the repairs up front rather than reimbursing you later. Reimbursement could take months in some cases.
  • Look for a service contract with low deductibles, especially if a deductible is required for each repair. Your repair should cost more than the deductible.
  • Roadside assistance and related services are included in most extended warranty plans. Make sure these perks are part of your contract.
  • Some extended warranty companies do not allow you to choose your own repair facility. Companies that offer more flexibility are a better option.

These are all important factors to consider during your research. Don’t allow price to be your only driving factor when buying an extended auto warranty.

What To Avoid When Buying An Extended Auto Warranty

Just as there are many features to look for in a service contract, there are also red flags to avoid. It can be costly to succumb to the pressure of buying a used car extended warranty right away.

Avoid these warning signs and drawbacks:

  • Non-transferable warranties
  • Sample contracts that aren’t readily available
  • Pressure to buy coverage immediately over the phone
  • Contracts that don’t explicitly explain the claim process
  • Contracts that don’t allow cancellations or typical 30-day refunds
  • No choice of repair facility or extreme limits when away from home
  • Lack of roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, travel interruption service, or towing reimbursement
  • Deceitful coverage (e.g. something that covers the engine yet excludes most of its internally-lubricated items)

Remember: the most important thing you can do is read the entire contract.

Couple looking at car warranty contract
No matter the provider, it’s important to read your auto warranty contract to understand exactly what’s covered and what’s not.

Our Verdict

The Best Used Car Warranty Companies:

  • #1 Endurance: Best Direct Provider
  • #2 CARCHEX: Best for Older Vehicles
  • #3 CarShield: Best Prices
  • #4 Protect My Car: Best Maintenance Plans
  • #5 autopom!: Best Customer Service
  • #6 Liberty Bell Auto Protect: Best Military Discount

While Endurance is our top recommendation, we do encourage you to consider the other providers and to get quotes to make it easier to compare. Some providers may be able to provide better coverage at a better price, depending on the age, make, and model of your car.

If you want to learn more, feel free to continue to our article on extended warranty for cars over 100k miles, where we take a look at warranty providers for cars with high mileage.

Why Endurance Is Our #1 Used Car Warranty Company

After reviewing Endurance’s plans and ratings, we think that the provider is a trustworthy and reputable extended auto warranty company. Their coverage options and exceptional benefits are just some of the reasons why they stand out compared to other providers.

Not only will you save money on expensive car repairs, you’ll also receive these benefits:

  • Transferable contracts
  • Tire repair and replacement
  • Direct payment to repair shops (no waiting for reimbursement)
  • Full refund if you decide to cancel your contract in the first 30 days
  • 24/7 roadside assistance, travel interruption service, towing, and rental car reimbursement
  • Network of 30,000 mechanics and flexibility to use smaller repair shops or large chain facilities

Get A Free Used Car Warranty Quote

With Endurance, you can speak to a used auto warranty and insurance expert over the phone to answer your questions and get a free quote based on your budget, driving habits, and vehicle.

Best Direct Coverage

black starblack starblack starblack starblack star

logo endurance

Get Quote

(877) 374-1840

A direct supplier of five protection plans honored at repair facilities nationwide

 

Auto Service Maintenance

Q&A: Used Car Warranty Companies

Q: What’s the cost of an extended warranty?

A: An extended car warranty can cost as lost as a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars. It depends on the car, plan provider, length and amount of coverage, deductible, and many other factors.

Q: Will my warranty coverage start right away?

A: Most extended warranties do not start until after 30 days or a certain number of miles (usually 1,000 or 3,000).

Q: How do I know if the used car I want to purchase already has a warranty?

A: When purchasing a used car from a dealership, you will typically find a Buyer’s Guide sticker on the car. This guide will tell you whether the vehicle is covered by a warranty or if it’s being sold “as is.”

Q: What is an aftermarket warranty?

A: An aftermarket warranty is from a third -party company. These warranties do not always use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. This shouldn’t have any serious effects, but it isn’t always ideal to have parts that are not specifically made for your car.

Q: Is AA Auto Protection part of AAA?

A: No. They are separate companies that offer different vehicle services.

Q: What is the difference between a certified pre-owned vehicle (CPO) and one that’s not?

A: A CPO vehicle is likely to come with a manufacturer’s warranty and a pre-inspection. You will pay a premium for these used vehicles over a non-certified used vehicle.



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