Both CarShield and CARCHEX are popular third-party extended warranty companies.
While CARCHEX is known for providing quality coverage for high-mileage vehicles, CarShield is considered one of the most affordable providers in the industry.
Read our CarShield review and see how the company’s coverage compares to CARCHEX.
Affiliate disclosure: Automoblog and its partners may be compensated when you purchase the products below.
For a relatively small monthly payment, an extended car warranty can protect your wallet from expensive repair bills and provide peace of mind. These warranties come in all shapes and sizes and can be purchased through a dealership or a third-party company, of which there are hundreds. Below, we review one of the more popular third-party warranty companies, CarShield, and compare it to another industry leader, CARCHEX.
When shopping for an extended auto warranty, the best thing to do is call around, ask questions, and get quotes. As you research the best extended car warranty companies, we recommend you consider both CARCHEX and CarShield.
CarShield vs CARCHEX: Extended Warranty Highlights
Each extended car warranty has its strengths, and below we’ve compiled the key benefits of CarShield and CARCHEX coverage.
If you’re someone who squirms at the thought of an unexpected repair with a hefty bill, you may wonder if car warranties are worth it. Vehicle service contracts can provide a sense of relief by offering assurance that your car’s covered repairs will be taken care of both mechanically and financially.
When looking for the best third-party auto warranty, it’s important to research your options. Some of the most important considerations include:
Deductibles and premiums
Where the vehicle can be serviced
The period of time of the coverage
Parts of the car the protection plans cover
Whether the warranty has geographic restrictions
CARCHEX has a strong reputation for quality customer service, as evidenced by the company’s Better Business Bureau A+ rating and accreditation, as well as other online review scores. The company’s mission has always been to act as a consumer advocate and to help them throughout the entire process of buying and owning a car, and it shows in their policies and practices. CARCHEX takes a customer-centric approach to their sales process, advising shoppers on the best plan for them rather than pressuring them to make a decision.
CARCHEX is also known throughout the automotive industry as trustworthy. The company has been around for over 20 years and has partnerships or endorsements from premier brands like CARFAX, Kelly Blue Book, and Edmunds.
We’ve done the research for you on CarShield’s extended warranties. Here’s an overview of the pros and cons of CarShield’s coverage plans.
CarShield and CARCHEX: Pros & Cons
We outlined the pros and cons of both providers below.
Covers new and used cars
Excludes hybrids from coverage
Covers ATVs, motorcycles, and RVs
Low BBB rating
Transferable to any subsequent owners
Difficulty finding warranty plan details
Over 20 years of industry experience
Coverage up to 10 years or 250,000 miles
Extra cost for hybrid vehicles
“Customer Experience Above All” promise
Limited coverage for luxury vehicles
CarShield vs CARCHEX: Coverage Options
Below, we compare CarShield and CARCHEX based on their car coverage options.
CarShield Coverage Plans
CarShield advertises that it has a plan for every type of driver, whether you have just purchased a new car, are trying to extend the life of an aging car, or have an expired factory warranty. Let’s dig into its plan options to see what they actually cover:
Diamond: Similar to a manufacturer’s warranty for a new car, this is a bumper-to-bumper warranty and covers everything from the engine and transmission to the starter, fuel pump, steering, brakes, electrical, air conditioning and heating, and more.
Platinum: A comprehensive coverage plan for high-mileage vehicles, Platinum protects parts that tend to wear out over time, like the engine, transmission, air conditioning and heating, starter, fuel and water pump, among others.
Gold: This mid-level coverage option is a basic plan that covers a nice balance of vehicle components. Things like the engine, transmission, A/C, and power windows are covered, and it’s a sensible choice for lower-risk vehicles, like those with less than 100,000 miles.
Silver: This is CarShield’s most affordable policy with coverage for your vehicle’s most important parts, such as the transmission, alternator, and water pump.
Aluminum: This unique plan is tailored for modern vehicles with advanced electrical and electronic systems. Complex systems are covered, but they can also cover basic control and infotainment systems.
Motorcycle & ATV: As mentioned, CarShield offers two levels of coverage for motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, RVs, and other vehicles.
Each of the six coverage levels has several contract options, so you can further customize your protection.
CARCHEX Coverage Plans
CARCHEX offers five coverage plans with term limits up to 10 years or 250,000 miles, whichever comes first. These contracts range from basic powertrain protections to exclusionary coverage similar to a bumper-to-bumper warranty.
Titanium: Exclusionary coverage that protects most mechanical and electrical components except for normal wear-and-tear parts and routine maintenance components
Platinum: Covers many stated components like your electrical, steering, suspension, brake, and high-tech systems
Gold: Protects most major systems and suited for vehicles with more than 60,000 miles on the odometer
Silver: Covers your powertrain components alongside a few additional components like your air conditioning and electrical systems
Bronze: Powertrain coverage for your engine, transmission, and drive axle
CarShield vs CARCHEX: Reviews & Ratings
Customer reviews can be another factor when considering a provider’s overall quality. Below, we’ve included customer reviews for both companies so you can get a better understanding of what your customer experience may look like.
We already mentioned CarShield’s less-than-perfect BBB rating. The BBB has also issued one warning about the company regarding a pattern of complaints alleging misleading sales and advertising practices. While this may sound alarming, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
If you compare the number of complaints to the number of policies sold over the same time period (36 months), a very small percentage of customers take issue with CarShield.
Not all companies respond to BBB comments or get accreditation, as it can be expensive for large companies.
Positive reviews on other websites somewhat quell the initial reaction from these red flags. On Trustpilot, CarShield has 4.1 stars with over 16,000 reviews. The company has close to 6,000 Google reviews, also averaging at 4.1 stars.
Of his customer service experience, one Trustpilot reviewer wrote:
“The agent was very helpful and thorough in explaining the plan for my vehicle. The agent explained how the plan works for me and the options I have to seek repairs. I asked enough questions to feel that the plan was well suited for my vehicle.”
Others describe the coverage as “simple” and “excellent.” CarShield contract owners said the customer service is professional, gracious, courteous, and kind.
However, there are patterns of frustration among mediocre and negative reviews. Most notably, reviewers complain that their claims are denied. (This is one reason why it’s so important to read your contract and know exactly what is and isn’t covered.)
Customers are also frustrated that the claims companies that work with CarShield are closed on the weekends and that the process from accepted claim to repair is too long.
On the other hand, CARCHEX received an A+ rating from the BBB and a similarly high rating from Trustpilot. However, like many extended car warranty providers, CARCHEX has overall mixed reviews. Here are a few customer reviews about the company.
“CARCHEX had what I was wanting in terms of duration of contract, items covered and price. This is my second CARCHEX contact purchase this year and my representative was knowledgeable and personable. No pressure sales, no crazy discount deadlines or other tactics.” -Mark E. via BBB
“I called to get a quote on my new car, and I dealt with a very pushy salesman. I told him I just wanted a quote, background on the company, to go over their plans, and then to call a few other places to compare. He proceeded to call me stupid and dumb for doing that because the other companies I was looking into didn’t have good ratings.” -Shannon F. via BBB
CarShield vs CARCHEX: Cost
Below, we’ve outlined what the most comprehensive coverage plan from each provider would cost for a 2018 Toyota Camry with 28,000 miles on the odometer.
CarShield’s Diamond plan
5 years / 100,000 miles
$83.28 for 18 months
CARCHEX’s Titanium plan
5 years / 100,000 miles
$136.17 for 18 months
CarShield has an extended warranty plan for almost any budget. We particularly like the flexibility of the company’s month-to-month options. CarShield also has low deductible options. Though, keep in mind that a lower deductible means a higher premium.
When we called for quotes, the price we received for bumper-to-bumper coverage was $1,000 cheaper than some of the other providers we contacted. Another perk is that CarShield doesn’t require a down payment in addition to the first installment of your payment plan. With other extended warranty companies, we’ve seen these range from $50 to $350.
To get a free quote customized to your vehicle, provide CarShield with basic contact information and your car’s year, make, model, and mileage.
Our research found this provider to be the most affordable. Plus, it offers monthly plans.
When it comes to coverage, you won’t be short on choices with CARCHEX. There are several warranty coverage options under each of the five coverage tiers. Those contracts can be further customized. CARCHEX covers some vehicles until they hit the 250,000-mile mark, which is ideal for drivers who want to continue protection for their older vehicles.
Like CarShield, CARCHEX is known to be a budget-friendly extended warranty provider. You can choose a deductible as low as $0, and the quotes we received were some of the lowest on the market. The company’s No-Haggle, Low-Price, Every Day Guarantee™ means that you don’t have to ask for discounts – you’re given the best price upfront.
Long coverage terms protect your high-mileage vehicle for years to come
Comparing CarShield & CARCHEX
When focusing on one third-party car warranty company, it can be eye opening to see how they compare to other providers. While CarShield has many facets that shoppers will find attractive, like the length of time it’s been in the industry and the broad range of contracts it offers, CARCHEX is worth considering for these two reasons, as well.
The two companies are similar, offering plans for both new and used vehicles through a variety of tiered, customizable contracts, but the difference is in the details. Like CARCHEX, CarShield plans include 24/7 roadside assistance, towing, and rental car reimbursement, and it also allows drivers to choose an auto repair facility. When the fine print of the vehicle protection contracts is examined, CARCHEX tends to offer slightly higher allowances.
According to Angie’s List, the national average towing cost is $109 and a battery service can cost between $75 and $120. That means you can expect either provider to cover most of the costs, but it may not be completely free.
If you own a hybrid, it’s worth mentioning that it may be difficult to find coverage through CarShield. Some CARCHEX contracts do cover hybrids, but you can expect to pay extra.
A glance at the above chart reveals that, on paper, there aren’t stark differences between the two companies. When it comes to picking the best extended car warranty provider, it comes down to the details. A lot of that will be based on what you value in a provider, your specific vehicle, and how much you want to pay.
The best way to know that you are getting the best coverage for the best prices is to get quotes from several providers, starting with these two industry leaders. That way, you can talk to their specialists and get customized quotes based on your car – and get a taste for customer service.
Another provider to consider is Endurance. With six coverage plans and coverage for up to 200,000 miles, Endurance was named the Best Overall. This provider also stands out as a direct provider, instead of working through a broker or middleman like most warranty providers do. To learn more about this provider, check out our full Endurance warranty review.