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While some extended car warranty companies require down payments upfront, providers generally offer flexible monthly payment plans.
Providers offer different extended car warranty plan options, ranging from powertrain warranty coverage to bumper-to-bumper coverage.
Extended warranties are generally suited for car owners whose original manufacturer’s warranty has expired or people who bought a used car no longer covered by the factory warranty.
The best extended car warranties protect the mechanical components of your car that are susceptible to costly repairs. This kind of protection brings drivers peace of mind on the road knowing that if their car breaks down, they’re protected and roadside assistance is just a call away.
If you’re considering purchasing an extended auto warranty, you’ll want to learn more about the best car warranty companies and how much comprehensive coverage costs. Our team did much of this work for you, factoring in industry standing, coverage, affordability, and customer service. Get quotes from several companies to find the right plan and price for your vehicle.
When were compared some of the most popular warranty companies based on factors such as industry standing, coverage, affordability, and customer service, we found these to be the 10 best extended car warranty providers.
Below, we’ll take a deeper look at our top three providers: Endurance, CARCHEX, and CarShield.
1. Endurance: Best Overall
Endurance is known for its comprehensive benefits and positive customer service experiences. We named it “Best Overall” for these reasons and because it’s one of the few direct providers that administers the plans it sells. That removes the middleman from the process.
Endurance has been underwriting extended car warranties for 14 years, which bodes well for the company’s standing. It has a good reputation with experts in the auto warranty industry like AM Best, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Trustpilot.
Here’s a breakdown of Endurance’s ratings:
What This Means
A+ in financial strength (Superior)
The company is reliable financially to pay out customer claims.
Endurance’s rating recently dropped due to advertising issues, which have since been resolved.
Customers have a positive experience with the extended warranty services from Endurance.
Endurance offers five plans that provide different levels of coverage. All plans come with your choice of a $0, $50, $100, or $200 deductible, which is the price you’ll pay to the repair shop out-of-pocket for any covered repair. If you choose a higher deductible, your monthly plans will be lower and vice versa. Endurance will handle the rest of the repair cost.
Here’s a breakdown of Endurance’s vehicle service contracts:
Type of Coverage
New, high-tech, commercial, or hybrid vehicles
Drivers who want comprehensive coverage
Highest level of stated-component coverage
Drivers who need coverage soon
Powertrain plus coverage with the shortest waiting period
Drivers of high-mileage vehicles
Specifically designed powertrain plus coverage for high-mileage vehicles
Drivers on a budget
Most affordable powertrain coverage plan
With Endurance, customers get their first year of Endurance Elite Membership benefits for free. After the first year, customers have the choice to renew their membership for a small fee.
Repair financing: Receive up to $5,000 in repair loans.
Tire repair/replacement: Get reimbursed for up to two repaired or replaced tires per year.
Key fob replacement: If your key fob is lost or broken, Endurance will cover the cost of a new one.
Identity theft protection: This tool can help reimburse you for the finances you lost as a result of identity theft.
Member rewards: Get up to $250 in vouchers to be used at select merchant, hotel, and restaurant locations.
Rental car reimbursement: Get reimbursed for $30/day up to $150 for a rental car while your car is in the shop for a covered repair.
Trip interruption: If your car breaks down over 100 miles from home, you will be reimbursed up to $150/day up to $450 for meals or lodging.
24/7 emergency roadside services: When your vehicle is disabled, call Endurance claims services, and the company will send you a tow, battery service, mechanical first aid for minor adjustments, tire service, fuel delivery, or lockout service.
Add-on options to Endurance’s highest coverage plan (Supreme) make this option particularly useful for drivers of high-tech, commercial, or hybrid vehicles.
Tire modification or suspension lift: Covers tires including oversized tires, body lifts, and suspension lifts
Hybrid vehicle coverage: Covers the electronic motor, power controller, inverter assembly, generator, electronic air conditioning compressor, and electronic power steering pump
High-tech coverage: Covers back-up sensors and camera, video system and display screen, GPS/navigation systems, blind spot sensors, electronic driver display, and anti-theft systems
While Endurance contracts tend to be on the more expensive side, we think it’s worth it for the perks and comprehensive benefits. Our review team found that on average, the best extended car warranty from Endurance, the Supreme plan, costs around $70 per month for 36 months for five years/100,000 miles of extended car warranty coverage.
In general, we found that Endurance plans of all levels cost about $69 to $180 per month and require a down payment of $150 to $350.
Customer reviews for Endurance speak for themselves. On the BBB, Endurance has over 1,000 customer reviews rating the company at over 3.6 stars out of a possible 5.0-star rating.
Positive reviews of Endurance customer service as reported to the BBB include praise for non-pushy salespeople, a simple buying experience, and saving money.
Negative customer reviews shine a light on long wait times to speak to customer representatives, slow claims approval, and phishing emails.
2. CARCHEX: Best for Older Vehicles
Founded in 1999, CARCHEX is known for excellence in the industry. The company has a long history of positive customer experiences, along with a strong reputation among industry experts, such as CARFAX, Edmunds.com, and Kelley Blue Book. We named it “Best for Older Vehicles” because it covers cars with up to 250,000 odometer miles.
CARCHEX has an A+ rating on the BBB and won the BBB Greater Maryland’s Torch Awards for Marketplace Excellence in 2012. Trustpilot consumers rate CARCHEX at 3.4 out of a possible 5.0-star rating. CARCHEX’s years in business and positive ratings bode well for the company’s reliability and ability to pay out customer claims in a timely manner.
CARCHEX offers five Extended Vehicle Protection Plans with several contract options under each tier:
Type of Coverage
Drivers who plan to own their car for a long time
Bumper-to-bumper, exclusionary contract
Car owners who want comprehensive coverage
Highest level of stated-component coverage
Vehicles with over 60,000 miles
Second-highest level of stated-component coverage
Older cars more liable to hefty auto repair costs
Powertrain plus coverage
Reliable vehicles expecting infrequent repairs
Basic powertrain coverage
Some benefits that come with all CARCHEX plans include:
24/7 roadside assistance: Includes emergency tire service, lockout service, battery service, fuel delivery, and winching
Towing reimbursement: Up to $75 per occurrence
Rental car reimbursement: Up to $40/day up to $160 per occurrence
Trip interruption service reimbursement: Up to $50/day for three days maximum if your vehicle breaks down over 100 miles away from home
Reimbursements may vary by contract.
CARCHEX plans cost about $100 to $200 per month. For example, a Titanium plan can cost about $136 for 18 months for five years/100,000 miles of coverage. The deductible with this plan is $100.
CARCHEX has over 90 customer reviews on the BBB. Positive reviews detail speedy claims servicing, satisfactory service for luxury vehicles like BMW, and friendly, professional customer service representatives.
CarShield is known for having unbeatable prices for their extended car warranty coverage options. The company doesn’t underwrite its own policies but administers vehicle service contracts from other highly ranked providers.
Here’s a quick snapshot of how CarShield ranks by our standards:
CarShield’s BBB rating could be higher. It’s currently rated the lowest rating (F). This is because an alarming number of consumers have reported a pattern of behavior regarding misleading sales and advertising practices, rude customer service, failure to cover repairs needed, and difficulty canceling a policy for a refund, despite the 30-day money-back guarantee.
A certain amount of negative customer reviews are to be expected with any company, and these complaints are not uncommon in the car warranty industry. When you consider that CarShield has covered over one million vehicles, the number of complaints is small.
CarShield received higher scores on other customer review sites. For example, the company has 4.0 stars on Google. Trustpilot scores are calculated from first-person customer reviews, where CarShield has received 4.1 stars out of a possible 5.0-star rating. This is a good indication that customers are largely satisfied with their extended car warranty experience from CarShield.
CarShield offers six coverage plans:
Type of Coverage
New cars that will be kept for a longer period of time
Protection for most of your car’s vital parts
Drivers of unreliable cars liable to hefty repair bills
Powertrain plus coverage
Drivers on a budget
Drivers of high-tech vehicles
Specialty plan for electrical and computer-related problems
Motorcycle & ATV
Drivers of specialty vehicles
Platinum or Silver coverage
Some benefits that come with all CarShield plans include:
Rental car reimbursement: Get reimbursed for a rental car while your car is in the shop for a covered repair.
Towing: When your car breaks down, CarShield will tow your car to the nearest certified repair facility. Get up to $75 per occurrence.
24/7 roadside assistance: CarShield will send roadside services for flat tires, lockouts, dead batteries, fuel delivery, and winching out to your location if your car is disabled.
Our research indicates that the highest level of coverage from CarShield (the Diamond plan) costs around $83 per month for 5 years or 100,000 miles. This coverage is unique from Endurance or CARCHEX because the term length is unlimited. As long as you keep paying for coverage, your contract will not be canceled.
The Diamond plan is the highest level of coverage, making it some of the most expensive. We found some plans to be as low as $70 per month.
There are over 500 reviews on the BBB for CarShield. Positive customer reviews detail excellent claims service, courteous staff, and fair rates.
Negative reviews report unsolicited sales calls, pressure marketing tactics, and trouble canceling a policy.
FAQ: Best Extended Car Warranties
What exactly is an extended warranty?
Extended auto warranties provide coverage for mechanical components that are liable to hefty car repair bills. Unlike car insurance, an extended car warranty is not legally required and helps protect your finances against the cost of expensive repairs when your car has a mechanical breakdown.
What do extended warranties cover?
Extended warranties cover select mechanical components. Basic extended warranties (typically referred to as powertrain or drivetrain warranty coverage) protect the parts of your car that help the vehicle move like the engine, transmission, drive axle, and more.
A more comprehensive coverage plan (typically referred to as a bumper-to-bumper warranty) covers the same components as a powertrain plan plus your car’s cooling and electrical systems, high-tech components, and more.
What do extended car warranties not cover?
Extended car warranties do not typically cover the following damages and car parts:
The cost of routine maintenance
The interior/upholstery, paint, carpeting
Damage from misuse, abuse, or corrosion
Auto glass parts like windshield, headlights, and light bulbs
Damage from a collision, weather event, or environmental damage
Some of the best extended vehicle warranties are exclusionary contracts. This means the items listed on your contract are not covered. Anything not listed would be covered. Be sure to read the fine print of your contract carefully to know what a car warranty covers. If you have not purchased a warranty, look online or reach out to a provider, as most companies offer sample contracts.
Are extended car warranties worth it?
A study released by software manufacturer Pegasystems Inc. shows that over half of Americans (60 percent) see the value in a car warranty. Out of the survey respondents who own an extended car warranty, 62 percent reported benefiting from this coverage over the past year.
Reasons why people don’t buy an extended car warranty include lack of availability, high cost, and not thinking that they need one. However, this study suggests that most drivers would benefit from the coverage. Luckily, affordable car warranty options are available.
What do extended warranties cost?
The average annual cost of an extended car warranty from one of the best extended warranty companies ranges from $700 to $1,500.
What is the best extended car warranty?
We think you can find the best extended car warranty from these companies:
CARCHEX:Best for Older Vehicles
CarShield: Best Prices
Protect My Car: Best Maintenance Plans
Autopom!: Best Customer Service
Liberty Bell Auto Protect: Best Military Discount
Concord Auto Protect
Infinite Auto Protection
AA Auto Protection
Ultimately, getting quotes from several providers is a tried and true way to find the right plan for your vehicle from a reputable provider.