Trucks don’t just get you from point A to point B – they haul a lot of other things as well. From Ford F-150s to Class 8 Peterbilt semis, trucks need care in the form of a truck warranty. When you purchase a new truck, you will have factory coverage. When that expires, extended truck warranties can cover repair costs to the powertrain and more for years.
We found a number of companies that offer great coverage when we reviewed the best extended warranty companies based on industry standing, coverage, cost, transparency and customer service. If you’re thinking of getting extended coverage for your truck, take a look at our recommendations and then get quotes from a few different providers to find the best deal.
Why Consider an Extended Truck Warranty?
Trucks are made for working. Whether you haul gravel for your landscaping or you drive thousands of miles over the road each week, you depend on your truck. A sudden repair can throw a wrench in your operation if you’re unprepared.
Even the best engines need maintenance and repairs. It’s just part of owning a vehicle. Generally speaking, there are a few ways you can handle repairs. You could set money aside and pay for repairs with cash when they come up. If you have good credit, you could also use a credit card or line of credit to pay for repairs and then pay that back down.
The third option is to use an extended warranty plan. Saving money takes discipline and patience, and some people are better at saving than others. On a Ford F-150, you could pay between $891 and $1,119 to replace the oil pump, according to RepairPal.
It’s a good idea to have $2,000 to $3,000 set aside as a fund for repairs on non-commercial trucks, but that might not be doable. A basic extended warranty offers help for very expensive repairs, while a more comprehensive plan can cover hundreds of parts.
The reasoning is the same for commercial heavy-duty trucks, but the stakes are higher. It’s not uncommon for a single repair to cost $10,000 or more. Some estimates say you should put away five to 10 cents from every mile for repairs, but if you’re hauling for 30 to 40 cents per mile, that’s a big chunk of change.
An extended warranty plan usually comes with a monthly payment option, and that can help keep things stable in the finance department. The plan won’t cover absolutely everything, so it’s still prudent to have a savings account for repairs. Popular providers will throw in extra benefits like 24/7 breakdown assistance and instant claims payments.
For Class 8 heavy trucks, extended coverage is usually based around the truck’s engine and powertrain. These trucks can travel 100,000 or more miles in a single year, so it’s important that the heart of the truck is covered for repairs.
The good news is that the manufacturer will offer some form of warranty on new trucks. Paccar engines can be found in trucks by Peterbilt and Kenworth, among others. New 2020 engines come with a 2-year/250,000-mile warranty that covers defects in manufacturing or workmanship. Paccar powertrains and axles are covered for 5 years/750,000 miles, as well.
The Cummins X12 is another popular engine that can be found in Mack, Volvo and International trucks. The X12 engine comes with a 2-year/250,000-mile warranty, which is part of Volvo’s semi-truck warranty.
Cummins and Paccar both offer extended plans to cover trucks beyond the warranty period. Third-party companies and truck dealers also offer extended plans. Arrow Truck Sales has plans that cover up to 4 years/400,000 miles, and National Truck Protection plans can cover up to 36 months or 300,000 miles.
Non-commercial truck warranties are verified by looking up the vehicle identification number (VIN). Heavy-duty trucks are a bit different, though. Since coverage centers on the engine, you can look up warranty information on the manufacturer’s website with the engine’s serial number.
Shopping for Commercial Truck Extended Warranties
There are many different types of extended truck warranties. Most plans cover the internally lubricated parts of the engine plus other parts like the cylinder head castings, fuel pump, injector lines, water manifold and crankshaft. Some companies offer customized coverage plans for heavy trucks, as well.
When shopping around, take a look at truck forums and other places where you can read semi truck warranty reviews. Commercial truck warranty reviews can be a good way to learn about the trustworthiness of a company.
Whether you drive a Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra, your truck has a lot of moving parts to keep in working order. You can find extended warranties through the truck’s manufacturer or through third-party companies.
For example, Ford’s extended warranty comes in four different levels of coverage. Toyota offers three extended warranty levels, while GMC only offers two levels. If you think about it, the manufacturer already has a captive audience. The customer has already bought their truck, and they might be inclined to get whichever warranty plan the dealership recommends.
One advantage of a dealer-backed warranty program is that all repairs are made with OEM parts. Manufacturer protection plans usually last up to 100,000 miles, but some third-party contracts can last twice as long or more.
Third-party service contracts usually offer more coverage choices and just as many, if not more, perks and added benefits. The typical choices look like this:
Powertrain: Covers the engine, drivetrain and transmission
Powertrain plus: Adds coverage for systems like A/C and electrical
Highest stated-component coverage: Covers hundreds of parts on most systems
Exclusionary coverage: Covers over 1,000 parts and is comparable to a new car bumper-to-bumper warranty
Some companies offer five or six different plan levels plus coverage for specialty vehicles and equipment.
What to Look for in the Best Truck Warranties
The bottom line is that it’s hard to compare warranties from two different providers side-by-side. What one company means by “comprehensive warranty” may not be how another contract defines it. Always take your time to read the fine print and see exactly what the covered components are.
For heavy truck warranties, a misunderstanding can put you on the wrong side of a sudden $10,000 repair. That’s pretty significant, even if your business has the cash flow to handle it. The best warranties will list out the coverage in clear terms and also provide contact information if you have questions about the coverage.
Whether the plan is from the manufacturer or a third party, it’s common to pay a deductible when you go in for repairs. You might get to pick between a few different deductible amounts and that could influence the cost of your plan. Keep this in mind when choosing a deductible:
A low deductible will raise the cost of the plan and vice versa.
Try to find a good middle ground.
If the deductible is too high, you might end up paying back the savings
The same goes for non-commercial truck warranties. A plan with a $250 deductible may save you $1,000 over the whole term, but you could end up paying that back in just four repairs.
It’s not all about repairs, though. Most of the top warranty companies will provide perks like roadside assistance, rental car coverage and trip interruption. In addition to the peace of mind that a number of repairs are covered, it’s nice to know that the company would try to make breakdowns easier to deal with.
Advantages of Third-Party Extended Warranties
We’ve already mentioned a couple of companies to try out for commercial truck warranties, but what about companies for non-commercial trucks?
There are some great third-party contracts for these trucks, as well. When you think about it, trucks tend to endure more wear and stress than other types of cars or even SUVs. You wouldn’t haul a boat up over a mountain pass in the dead of summer with a Subaru Impreza, would you? It just wouldn’t get the job done.
Companies like CARCHEX and CarShield offer plans that can help your truck to keep hauling for many years. CARCHEX has five types of plans and can cover vehicles up to 250,000 miles. CarShield has six plans that can go up to 200,000+ miles. Both of these companies have deductibles starting at $0.
Here are a few more things you can find from industry leading providers:
24/7 roadside assistance
Towing, rental car and trip interruption coverage
Pick any certified repair shop
Claims paid directly to repair shop
Some factory protection plans can only be purchased when your truck is still under warranty, and others can only be purchased when you first buy your truck. Third-party companies, on the other hand, allow drivers to add coverage at almost any point in time. For example, autopom!’s powertrain plan can be added to vehicles already 14 years old.
Before you ink a warranty deal with your dealership, take a look around at a few different providers to see what they offer.
Featured Extended Warranty Companies
We reviewed the best extended auto warranty providers, and here are our top picks.