After your car’s factory warranty expires, you might invest in ongoing protection via an automaker’s extended auto warranty. In this article, we’ll look at the top five manufacturers’ extended warranties, including differences in coverage and factors that affect the price you pay. We’ll also recommend some of the best extended warranty companies, if you decide an extended warranty from an auto manufacturer isn’t for you.
The top extended manufacturer warranties come from Audi, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, and Toyota.
Your vehicle make, model, and the type of coverage you purchase affect the cost of an extended warranty.
Typically there are three types of extended warranties: bumper-to-bumper coverage, a mid-tier option, and a basic powertrain warranty.
An extended manufacturer warranty is a vehicle protection plan designed to cover car repairs after the initial factory warranty has expired. Much like a manufacturer’s original warranty, an extended warranty is limited to covering the cost of repairs or replacement for components that fail but were not caused by neglect of maintenance.
Factory defects and workmanship problems are covered. Depending on which plan you purchase, the extended warranty might cover your powertrain, electrical system, or other parts.
Top Extended Manufacturer Warranty Companies
Here’s a look at how our top-rated warranty providers scored across four key categories:
As you can see, the top five providers received similar overall scores but some have preferred pricing while others excel in the range of coverage options. Keep in mind that some aspects of coverage may not be available in every state.
Audi’s Pure Protection plan covers your vehicle for up to 10 years or 150,000 miles. You can purchase plans online and select a level of protection for all your vehicle’s major components. There are three choices for an Audi-backed extended warranty:
Platinum: This comprehensive protection plan offers bumper-to-bumper coverage for all vehicle parts except those listed as exclusions in the contract.
Gold: This plan protects your powertrain, suspension, electrical components, and climate control and fuel systems.
Powertrain: This is Audi’s most basic plan, but it covers expensive repair items including the engine, transmission, and drive axles.
Audi extended warranties cost an average of $469 per year with a $100 deductible. The plans also include several benefits such as roadside assistance, towing, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption coverage.
Ford Protect premium extended warranty lasts up to 10 years or 175,000 miles. Other plans may have adjustable limits. The average warranty cost is about $527 per year with a $100 deductible. Ford sells the following four coverage options:
PremiumCARE: This plan covers over 1,000 components and is similar to a bumper-to-bumper warranty.
ExtraCARE: This vehicle service contract covers most major systems that impact drivability and performance (not including exhaust, airbag systems, or audio, for example).
BaseCARE: This covers A/C and heating systems, front- and rear-wheel drive, the engine and transmission, steering, front suspension, and more.
PowertrainCARE: This is the most basic plan by Ford, covering 29 components in the engine and transmission.
A Honda Care vehicle service plan includes just one option for coverage that lasts up to eight years or 120,000 miles after your factory warranty expires. Honda doesn’t rank quite as high as others in this review as the best terms and pricing are only available if you buy the coverage alongside a new car (or within the first 6,000 miles). Otherwise, coverage is only available for a Honda made in 2021 or later with less than 36,000 miles.
Honda offers the lowest average cost on its extended warranties in the industry with an annual cost of $243, based on a $100 deductible (a $0 deductible option is also available). Honda Care offers protection for the:
Your extended warranty also comes with several benefits including roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption coverage.
Volkswagen’s Drive Easy program includes three types of coverage for your vehicle, each lasting up to 10 years or 150,000 miles. The options are:
Platinum: This is Volkswagen’s most comprehensive coverage, which is basically a bumper-to-bumper plan that covers the engine, suspension, power windows, fuel system, and anything else not specifically excluded in your service contract.
Gold: The mid-tier plan offers protection of the powertrain as well as front and rear suspension, the fuel system, electrical components, and climate control parts.
Powertrain: This is the most basic coverage and covers important parts such as the engine, transmission, and drive axles. Some hybrid/electric vehicle parts are included.
On average, a Volkswagen extended warranty costs $391 per year with a $100 deductible and each level includes roadside assistance as well as trip interruption protection and rental car reimbursement. The protection plans may be transferred to a new private owner if you sell your car (incurs a $50 fee).
Toyota’s Extra Care program offers three Vehicle Service Agreements with varying term limits. Deductibles are $100 per visit, with some participating dealerships offering a disappearing deductible. The average annual cost of Toyota’s extended warranty is $274. Below we’ve listed the three plan options:
Platinum: Toyota’s most comprehensive coverage is similar to a bumper-to-bumper warranty. Term limits vary but can go up to 10 years/125,000 miles.
Gold: This mid-tier plan offers coverage for many components including the engine, transmission, and steering systems with terms lasting up to 8 years/125,000 miles.
Powertrain: The basic option for the protection of systems and parts such as the engine, transmission, and axles with term limits of up to 6 years/100,000 miles.
Toyota Vehicle Service Agreements for used cars may only be purchased at the time of lease or point of sale at the dealership. Owners may purchase extended coverage for a Toyota bought new up to three years or 36,000 miles after the car is first in service.
Extended warranties cover damages and replacements that are a result of breakdowns from normal use. Most extended warranties don’t offer routine maintenance coverage, but some sell prepaid maintenance plans. Repairs and services considered wear-and-tear items are paid for by you, the car owner.
Types of Extended Car Warranties
Extended warranties from third-party companies and those sold by car manufacturers are typically offered in three forms: bumper-to-bumper, mid-tier, and powertrain. Here’s what to expect with each:
Bumper-to-bumper: This typically covers most systems in your vehicle excluding a few specific parts. Under exclusionary terms, any components not protected in the warranty should be listed in the contract you sign.
Mid-tier: This plan is more limited than comprehensive coverage but generally will include electrical systems, the vehicle’s suspension, powertrain, steering system, and air conditioning/heating parts.
Powertrain: These plans offer the most basic coverage, typically limited to the engine, transmission, and drive axles.
Every provider will have a variation on extended warranty options. Read your warranty documents carefully to understand what’s covered.
Extended Warranty Cost
The cost of an extended warranty can vary based on several factors. Based on quotes we received, extended warranties from automakers carry an average total cost of $2,601 for coverage lasting three to seven years.
What Affects Extended Warranty Costs?
You may be able to finance your extended warranty coverage if you purchase a plan along with a car from a dealership. Rolling the cost into your auto loan could increase the expense, due to fees and interest. Here are some other factors that affect pricing:
Level of coverage
Years and miles of coverage
Why You Should Purchase an Extended Warranty
There are plenty of reasons you should consider purchasing an extended warranty to help in the event of an unexpected breakdown:
Aside from deductibles, vehicle service contracts can protect your wallet if you end up with a major repair bill.
In case a component needs to be replaced, you’ll know which repair facility to go to as it is often your nearest dealership.
Several of the industry’s top providers offer benefits such as roadside assistance, towing, and rental car reimbursement along with the coverage on your vehicle.
What Other Extended Warranty Options Are There?
You don’t have to refer to one of the above automakers to find an extended warranty. There are many independent warranty companies that offer varying levels of vehicle service coverage for all kinds of vehicles, makes, and models.
Third-party extended warranty companies are sometimes more attractive options than automakers because their coverage plans are often cheaper, have longer mileage limits, and can be bought at any time. While Ford’s extended manufacturer warranty goes to 175,000 miles, for example, you can get coverage for your Ford vehicle for up to 250,000 miles by going to CARCHEX, a third-party warranty company.
Extended manufacturer warranties are solid options if you’re considering adding more protection to your vehicle. Often dealerships will sell extended vehicle service contracts at the time you buy a new car. In some cases, you may be able to purchase a manufacturer-backed extended warranty for a used car.
There are many options available, so take your time to research to find the one that fits your needs best. You can also collect quotes from third-party companies to see how prices stack up against extended manufacturer warranty costs.
Featured Extended Warranty Companies
We reviewed the best extended auto warranty providers, and here are our top picks.
Best Overall Warranty Provider
6 plan options, from routine maintenance to full coverage
Several discounts available
Smooth claims experience as a direct provider
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding extended warranties:
Are car manufacturers’ extended warranties worth it?
Extended manufacturer warranties are worth it if you lack the means to pay for an unexpected repair and you think your car might not be the most reliable. These warranties may help in the long run or in cases of an unexpected breakdown.
What is the difference between a manufacturer’s warranty and an extended warranty?
An original factory warranty or limited vehicle warranty is automatically included with a car’s purchase and is rolled into the cost of the car. An extended warranty is optional and covers many of the same parts and systems as a factory warranty, but with separate payments and longer term and mileage limits.
What is normally covered under an extended warranty?
This depends on what type of plan you purchase. Basic coverage includes the most important components of your vehicle such as the engine and transmission. Comprehensive extended warranty coverage is comparable to bumper-to-bumper factory warranties.
Our expert review team takes satisfaction in providing accurate and unbiased information. We identified the following rating categories based on consumer survey data and conducted extensive research to formulate rankings of the best extended auto warranty providers. Here’s more about our process:
Industry Standing: Our team considers Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, availability of coverage, and the company’s years in business when giving this score.
Coverage: Because each consumer has unique needs, a car warranty company must offer an array of coverage options. We take into account the number of plans offered by each provider, term limits, exclusions, and additional benefits.
Affordability: Various factors influence cost, so it can be difficult to compare quotes between providers. Our team performs ongoing secret shopper analyses for different vehicles, mileage, warranty types, and locations.
Transparency: We consider the transparency of each company’s contracts and the availability of a money-back guarantee when determining this score.
Customer Service:Reputable extended car warranty companies operate with a certain degree of care for consumers. We take into account customer reviews, BBB complaints, and the responsiveness of the customer service team.