Purchasing an extended warranty for a car with 100,000 miles has it advantages. Learn what providers have the best protection for older vehicles, including why we choose CARCHEX.
See which vehicles last the longest, which ones are deemed unreliable, and how a service contract can benefit you and your wallet.
Affiliate disclosure: Automoblog and its partners may be compensated when you purchase the products below.
Today’s cars last much longer than your grandfather’s first – or even third – car. In fact, the average age of a car in 2016 was nearly 12 years old, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. That’s four to five years older than the average car in the 1990s.
You’re likely to put well over 100,000 miles on your car, and many manufacturer warranties expire before that mark. An extended warranty for cars over 100,000 miles, however, can give you continued coverage and peace of mind for even the most expensive repairs.
Below, we break down reputable options for buying an extended warranty on an older car, including our pick: CARCHEX.
To get a free, tailored-to-you CARCHEX quote from one of their representatives, call 866-254-0205 or visit the CARCHEX website.
Is An Extended Auto Warranty Worth It?
It certainly can be. An extended warranty is a service contract rather than a legal warranty, so it will always cost extra, because it’s not included with your car’s purchase. It’s best to get an extended warranty if the price is the same or less than the cost of expected repairs.
It also depends on your lifestyle and vehicle. Consider getting an extended warranty if these points pertain to you:
Your car’s manufacturer’s warranty only lasts three to five years.
You have an older vehicle that will most likely need major, costly repairs.
Extended warranties are a great option for used cars purchased privately.
Long commutes or frequent travel push you past your factory warranty quickly.
Your vehicle type has known (and often specific) problems, especially as mileage increases.
You find comfort in the idea of something that takes care of all aspects of car repair for you, including towing and roadside assistance.
If your vehicle requires any type of repair related to general wear and tear, then an extended warranty might not be the most cost-effective option. Always make sure to read the provider’s contract for full coverage details.
What Should Your Extended Car Warranty Include?
Don’t choose an extended warranty that skimps on repairs and dodges on its promises. If your engine is kaput and the service contract only covers repairs on the most meaningless parts, then you’re in for a headache. Coverage is key, and there are two main types.
A powertrain warranty covers only the most important components of the car, which makes it a cheaper and longer contract. With powertrain coverage, you’ll get protection for certain parts of these components:
We can’t guarantee every part of your car’s engine or driveshaft will be covered, but many warranty services can have extensive coverage under more expensive plans.
Bumper to Bumper
If your old car is giving you breakdown anxiety, then a bumper-to-bumper warranty is the best type of extended warranty, especially for cars over 100,000 miles. While it won’t cover every single part of the car, it can cover other important components of your braking and electronic systems, along with lighting, suspension, air conditioning, and power steering. Of course, this type of coverage will come at a higher price.
Some extended auto warranties will have an added bonus of flexibility for covered auto repair shops, as well as additional reimbursement for rental car services or towing. It’s always a good idea to ask about these features.
Who Are The Most Reputable Extended Car Warranty Companies?
There are over a dozen extended warranty companies, but we picked five of the top providers for cars with more than 100,000 miles. Most extended auto warranty companies offer multiple plans, from powertrain-only warranties to full-coverage options similar to your car’s factory warranty. We picked plans best suited for high-mileage vehicles.
CARCHEX and Endurance specifically advertise plans meant for vehicles with greater than 90,000 miles, though CARCHEX has many available plans at competitive prices compared to just four plans from Endurance. Delta Auto Protect offers only three warranty plans.
Gold Coverage by CARCHEX
Max 10-year coverage:
Stated Component Coverage by AA Auto Protection
Max coverage varies:
Select Premiere by Endurance
Max coverage varies:
Seals and Gaskets
Diamond by Delta Auto Protect
Max 8-year coverage:
Mid-Level Coverage by autopom!
Max 7-year coverage:
Additional steering, suspension, heating, cooling, braking, and fuel delivery systems.
Customer service can be just as important as warranty coverage. You want a contract with an extended warranty company that is transparent, responsive, and trustworthy.
CARCHEX and autopom! have both received perfect scores from the Better Business Bureau. CARCHEX also won the Golden Bridge award for best customer service three years in a row.
Certain cars are more reliable than others, especially after 100,000 miles. So, which cars will likely need the help of an extended warranty, and which cars can survive without?
Longest Lasting Vehicles
In a 2018 study by iSeeCars.com, experts looked at 13.5 million cars sold in 2017 and determined SUVs, especially those made by domestic automakers, are the longest lasting vehicles. Below are the two highest ranked vehicles in the study.
Make & Model: Toyota Sequoia
Durability: Toyota is famous for reliability, with the Sequoia having strong reliability ratings as far back as 2006. The iSeeCars.com study showed 6.6 percent of these SUVs had over 200,000 miles, and 0.2 percent had over 300,000 miles. According to RepairPal, the Toyota Sequoia has an average repair cost of $621, which is 4th out of 14 for full-size SUVs. We drove the 2018 Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport last year, and gave it a 91 percent grade.
Make & Model: Ford Expedition
Durability: iSeeCars.com reported 5.4 percent of Ford Expeditions have more than 200,000 miles. The average maintenance and repair cost is $833, which is slightly more expensive than RepairPal’s average of $725.
Least Durable Vehicles
Consumer Reports looked into the 10 least reliable cars and found the Volkswagen Atlas and Cadillac CTS to be the worst. Here are a few stats on each:
Make & Model: Volkswagen Atlas
Durability: HotCars.com included this midsize SUV on their 2019 “Built to Crumble” list, noting electrical, engine, and brake issues. The 2018 model has had 10 recalls, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
An extended warranty will lessen the impact of expensive repairs on your pocketbook, regardless of what kind of car you drive. That’s because the warranty’s annual payout is likely to be equal to or less than a costly repair, so you get more bang for your buck with a service contract. In addition, an extended warranty can increase your car’s resale value.
To learn more about what an Extended Vehicle Protection Plan and its cost would look like for you, answer a few questions online or call 866-254-0205 to get a free quote from CARCHEX.
Q&A: Extended Warranties For Cars Over 100,000 Miles
Q: What is the cost of an extended auto warranty?
A: The typical extended car warranty is more than $1,000 on average when you purchase from the manufacturer. However, small down payments and easy monthly payment plans can make repairs much more affordable than an out-of-pocket engine rebuild. After all, it is usually less expensive to repair an older car than it is to buy a new one.
Going with a third-party service that provides a multitude of coverage plans, you can expect a cheaper price tag. CARCHEX also offers payment plans from six months to 24 months, deductible plans, and options with a $0 deductible.
Q: Does AAA offer extended auto warranties?
A: You may already enjoy roadside assistance from AAA, but can it cover high repair costs on an older car? Not all companies offer extended warranty services in every state. AAA is a clear example.
AAA Northeast and AAA Mid Atlantic provide extended warranties and vehicle protection plans, but you may not be able to find this service in other regions of the country. Check with your local AAA site.