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CarShield Extended Warranty Review
In Our Opinion:
In its 16 years of business, CarShield has covered over 1 million vehicles and its administrators have paid out over $1 billion in claims. What makes CarShield such a popular provider? We think it's the company's below-average prices and flexible month-to-month coverage plans.
Six plans available, including those for high-tech features and speciality ATVs
Long-term and month-to-month coverage options
Covers some vehicles up to 200,000 miles
Low rating and warning of complaints from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
CarShield is one of the country’s most popular independent warranty providers, offering drivers month-to-month contracts, flexible protection plans, and a range of deductibles. In our review of the best extended auto warranty companies, we gave CarShield the distinction of Most Affordable. But do CarShield reviews from customers suggest the low-cost option is the best choice?
Below, we delve into CarShield reviews, coverage options, and costs to help you determine whether a CarShield extended warranty may be right for your vehicle.
Compare Carshield Plans
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Comparable to a new car’s manufacturer’s warranty
Exclusionary coverage – all systems and components of your vehicle are included except a short list of non-covered parts
In our industry-wide review of the top warranty providers, CarShield emerged as one of the top options in the industry, earning a score of 4.2 out of 5.0 stars. The company performed especially well when it comes to affordable coverage and benefits, which is why we named CarShield “Most Affordable” in our study of best extended car warranty companies.
CarShield offers plans for cars with up to 300,000 miles and includes roadside assistance with each plan. Some coverage plans even come with rental car reimbursement.
Founded: 2005 Headquarters: St. Peters, Missouri Coverage Levels: 6
Our research found that CarShield offers a useful range of plans and very reasonably-priced coverage for such a reputable extended car warranty company. That’s why we named it “Most Affordable” among the providers in our study.
CarShield is technically a vehicle service contract broker, meaning it offers protection plans administered by other companies such as American Auto Shield, called obligators. This setup gives drivers a wider variety of coverage options and price points. You can even find coverage for ATVs and other alternative vehicles.
CarShield has been featured on ESPN, CNN, HGTV, and TBS and has a number of celebrity endorsements, including one from rapper and actor Ice-T.
CarShield Pros and Cons
Makes direct payments to repair shops
Coverage can be used at any ASE-certified mechanic
High maximum mileage limit of 300,000 miles
Not all plans come with rental car reimbursement
Relatively high number of negative reviews
CarShield Extended Warranty Costs
When we reached out to CarShield for a quote for a 2018 Toyota Camry with 28,000 miles, the total cost of CarShield’s most comprehensive protection plan was $1,794.04.
CarShield is an affordable provider compared to other extended car warranty companies. Our research team conducted a 2021 warranty survey polling 1,000 drivers, and most said they paid $1,500 to $2,500 for their vehicle service contracts.
CarShield Warranty Cost Factors
Your extended car warranty costs with CarShield will vary depending on your situation. Here are some of the main factors that affect the cost of your warranty:
Your car’s age, make, model, and mileage
The deductible you choose
CarShield Extended Warranty Cost Estimates
We reached out to CarShield for free quotes on a few vehicles, and the company gave us the following pricing:
2018 Toyota Camry
5 years/100,000 miles
$83.28 for 18 months
2013 Honda Accord
2016 Chevrolet Silverado
5 years/100,000 miles
2017 Honda CRV
With CarShield, drivers can choose from multiple deductibles, starting at $0. The company also offers monthly payment plans, so you don’t have to worry about being locked into a long-term contract.
Comparable to a new car’s manufacturer’s warranty, CarShield Diamond coverage is an exclusionary plan. This means all systems and components of your vehicle are included, except for a short list of non-covered parts.
Good for high-mileage vehicles or used cars, the Platinum plan covers certain parts of your vehicle’s engine, transmission, cooling system, air conditioning, steering, brakes, electrical components, and fuel pump. CarShield Platinum is stated-component coverage, meaning each covered part is listed in the vehicle service contract.
As CarShield’s enhanced powertrain coverage, the Gold plan focuses on common powertrain components such as the engine, transmission, and drivetrain. It also includes parts such as the alternator, power window motors, and starter.
The Silver plan is CarShield’s most basic (and most affordable) powertrain plan. It covers only the most important parts of your vehicle, including your engine, transmission, water pump, and drive axle.
The Aluminum plan covers most computer-related and electrical components, including the power seat control, sensors, cruise control, electronic gauges, and LCD screens.
Motorcycle & ATV
If you have a motorcycle or all-terrain vehicle that needs coverage, CarShield offers plans for specialty vehicles.
Most of CarShield’s plans allow customers to transfer coverage to subsequent owners. The process requires a $50 administrative fee, and customers cannot transfer coverage to other vehicles.
CarShield contracts can be canceled at any time.
CarShield Warranty Exclusions
Even the most comprehensive extended auto warranties have their limits. The exclusions in CarShield plans are common among almost every extended warranty provider on the market.
CarShield does not cover:
Parts that have been modified or altered
Wear-and-tear components such as brake pads and air filters
Damage caused by acts of nature, collision, vandalism, or lack of proper maintenance
Auto repairs that have been made without pre-authorization from a CarShield claims representative
CarShield Warranty Benefits
In many CarShield reviews, customers touted the company’s benefits. With CarShield warranty contracts, drivers also receive the following perks:
24-hour roadside assistance with services such as fuel delivery
Courtesy towing for breakdowns (not included with all plans)
Rental car reimbursement (not included with all plans)
CarShield Sample Contracts
The more you research before you make a decision, the more likely it is that you’ll find the best coverage for you. CarShield offers sample contracts to help you get a clear understanding of what each plan does and doesn’t cover.
CarShield Mobile App
The CarShield Mobile app, available for Android and iOS, allows policyholders to view details of their contracts on their mobile devices. On the app, you can quickly find information for warranty claims, customer service, and roadside assistance.
CarShield Mobile has overall positive ratings from users online. The app has an average rating of 3.8 out of 5.0 stars on the Apple Store and 3.4 out of 5.0 stars on the Google Play store.
How Do CarShield Extended Warranties Work?
According to many of the CarShield reviews we saw, the company offers an easy process for purchasing an extended warranty. To get a quote, you can call the warranty provider directly or input your information on its website. When our team called to inquire about a quote, the hold time was less than a minute and the whole call took about 10 minutes.
How to Use a CarShield Warranty
If you have a CarShield vehicle service contract, covered repairs can be made at any dealership or repair facility certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE®).
If your repairs are covered under warranty, CarShield will pay the repair shop directly. You will only have to pay a deductible for service. More than a few of the CarShield reviews we read mentioned a smooth, easy repair and claims process, meaning you can reasonably expect the same from the provider.
How to Cancel Your CarShield Contract
You can cancel a CarShield policy at any time. However, to cancel your contract you’ll need to contact customer support directly and submit a policy cancellation notice.
If you cancel within the first 30 days of your policy, you’ll get a full refund. After 30 days, you can get a prorated refund for the amount of time left on your policy in most cases.
CarShield Waiting Period
Like most vehicle service contract providers, CarShield plans come with a mandatory waiting period on covered repairs of 20 days and 500 miles. This helps the provider ensure that warranty coverage won’t be used on pre-existing conditions.
CarShield Warranty Transfer Policy
CarShield allows you to transfer your warranty to another owner if you sell your vehicle for a $50 fee. However, the coverage follows the vehicle. You can’t transfer your warranty to another vehicle you own or buy. Instead, you’ll have to sign up for a new policy.
CarShield Ratings and Reviews
There are thousands of online CarShield reviews from customers, most of which are positive. The company holds a rating of 4.1 out of 5.0 stars on Google, with more than 8,000 reviews. It also has 4.0 out of 5.0 stars on Trustpilot, with over 22,000 driver ratings.
Despite these positive CarShield reviews, the BBB gives the company an F rating and indicates a pattern of complaints involving pushy or misleading sales and advertising, difficulty canceling policies, and rude CarShield representatives.
There are more than 1,100 CarShield customer reviews on the BBB website, with an average rating of 1.4 out of 5.0 stars. CarShield customer service responds to many comments, and about 1,200 complaints have been closed in the past year. The complaints actually represent a small number in comparison to the more than a million contracts the provider says it has sold.
Here’s what a few customers had to say in CarShield reviews:
Positive CarShield Reviews
In many of the positive CarShield reviews we saw, customers wrote about how easy it was to use their warranty to pay for car repairs.
“I have had to use CarShield two times. Both times they responded and covered my repairs without any hassle.”
– Mary M. via BBB
“We bought a car warranty for our 2007 Impala. We were in California when the transmission went out. CarShield stepped in, got the claim approved quickly, and we were back on the road. Don’t know what we would have done without them.”
– Marion Roth via Google
Negative CarShield Reviews
Customers who reported a less-than-fulfilling experience in their CarShield reviews tended to focus on certain components not being covered under the extended warranty contract.
“Paid $121 per month, and when my car broke down, they didn’t pay a cent.”
– Lee via BBB
“I bought CarShield because of the awesome commercials. On the phone, the salesperson said that ‘anything that is not a wear item is covered, so no brake pads, no tires, etc.’ … Turns out that a lot of things are not covered. There are 10 pages of fine print.”
– Marco Borrillo via Google
Conclusion: Is A CarShield Warranty Worth It?
Our research on CarShield’s coverage options, costs, and customer service shows that CarShield could be worth it if you want to protect your vehicle in the long run. The company earned a 4.2 out of 5.0-star rating, placing it fourth among all providers. CarShield’s pricing on its warranty plans was the reason we named it “Most Affordable” among providers in our study. The company’s prices make it an especially attractive option if you’re on a tight budget and in need of a used car warranty.
Although the company has received complaints, CarShield reviews are predominantly positive, and the company has a good name in the industry. Considering CarShield is one of the best extended warranty companies and says it has covered more than 1 million vehicles in 16 years, a few hundred negative comments barely make a dent in the company’s reputation.
It’s always smart to shop around for extended warranty plans to make sure you’re getting the best deal for the coverage you need. We recommend comparing free quotes from CarShield with quotes from other reputable extended car warranty companies. Below, we spotlight two of those companies: Endurance and CARCHEX.
Endurance: Best Overall
Endurance is a reputable extended car warranty provider that’s been in business since 2006. The company stands out in the vehicle protection industry for being a direct extended warranty provider rather than a broker or reseller. This means that Endurance provides and fulfills most of its plans without any outside help.
Endurance offers six levels of coverage. Each plan comes with one year of Endurance Elite Benefits, which include perks such as tire repair or replacement, a collision discount, and 24/7 roadside assistance. Endurance has solid reviews from customers, with a 4.4-star rating out of 5.0 on Trustpilot and a 3.4-star rating out of 5.0 on the BBB website.
Based on our research, the average cost of a CarShield Diamond plan for a late-2010s SUV with fewer than 50,000 miles is between $100 and $130 per month with a $100 deductible. A Gold plan for a 2013 sedan with just under 100,000 miles would also cost $130 per month with a $100 deductible.
Is CarShield worth having?
As our pick for Most Affordable third-party warranty provider, CarShield can be a good choice for drivers seeking low-cost coverage. The provider offers multiple coverage plans and month-to-month contracts, but buying any protection plan carries the risk of paying for services you may not need.
What repairs does CarShield cover?
CarShield repair coverage depends on the extended auto warranty you purchase. The provider offers basic powertrain warranty plans that cover the engine, transmission, and drive axles. CarShield also offers exclusionary bumper-to-bumper warranties that cover almost every mechanical and electrical component.
Most of the company’s protection plans provide coverage somewhere between a powertrain warranty and a bumper-to-bumper warranty.
Does CarShield cover electrical problems?
CarShield’s Platinum plan and Diamond plan both cover electrical systems. The Aluminum plan covers most electrical parts, including the starter and navigation systems.
Are extended car warranties worth it?
An extended car warranty can be worth it for owners of older vehicles who want peace of mind and want to avoid paying for unexpected repair costs out of pocket. But this depends on your needs and your vehicle. Check average repair costs on sites such as RepairPal to compare them to your extended car warranty quotes.
Does CarShield have a deductible?
With CarShield, customers can choose the deductible – as low as $0 – with their plans. However, just like with car insurance, a lower deductible means a higher premium.
What is the average cost of a CarShield warranty?
The average cost of a CarShield warranty varies based on several factors, including your vehicle’s age and mileage and the deductible and level of coverage you choose.
Does CarShield cover brakes?
Four of CarShield’s warranty plans cover the actual brakes on your vehicle. However, normal wear items like brake pads are not covered.
What is CarShield’s waiting period?
All CarShield plans come with a 20-day/500-mile waiting period before becoming active. This is to prevent the company from covering pre-existing mechanical issues.
How do you contact CarShield customer service?
To get support for your issue, you can use a form at CarShield.com to submit a request for help. If you need immediate help during business hours, you can call their customer service phone number at 1-800-974-9385. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
Is CarShield a ripoff?
Some internet complaints have attempted to label CarShield as a scam, but its warranty coverage is real and not a ripoff. While it’s true that the company does have a poor rating and a warning from the BBB, it also serves warranties to thousands of customers every year across the country. The amount of positive reviews on multiple sites also suggests that many CarShield customers are happy with their coverage.
Is CarShield mechanical breakdown insurance?
CarShield offers vehicle service contracts, which work similarly to mechanical breakdown insurance. However, mechanical breakdown insurance is sold by insurance providers and typically comes with fewer coverage options and benefits than third-party 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.
Affordability: A variety of factors influence cost, so it can be difficult to compare quotes between providers. Our team performs ongoing secret shopper analyses for different vehicles, mileages, warranty plans, and locations to give this rating.
Coverage: Because each consumer has unique needs, it’s essential that a car warranty company offers an array of coverage options. We take into account the number of plans offered by each provider, term limits, exclusions, and additional benefits.
Industry Standing: Our team considers Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, availability, and years in business when giving 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.