Extended auto warranties are a way to offset repair costs and provide peace of mind.
With so many providers and contract options, it’s hard to know what to look in a used car warranty company.
Read our shopping tips, then see our top six used car warranty picks, including our top choice, Endurance.
Affiliate disclosure: Automoblog and its partners may be compensated when you purchase the products in this article.
After buying a used vehicle, many people look to a used car warranty to help them manage and prepare for the inevitable repair costs. While a good warranty at the right price can help you avoid expensive repair bills, not all of them offer a solid value. That’s why our team took an in-depth look at extended auto warranty providers that offer plans for used cars.
After comparing six of the top used car warranty companies, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of choosing the best extended car warranty for a used car so you’ll make the right decision for your wallet. However, we always recommend requesting a free quote from multiple providers and comparing them to see who offers the best rates and best coverage for your needs.
Based on our research, the average price of an exclusionary auto warranty is around $2,400. That could range to about $100 to $200 per month, depending on your payment plan and if the provider requires a down payment.
Extended Car Warranty Cost Estimates
Our research team obtained quotes from each warranty company for a 2018 Toyota Camry with 30,000 miles. Here are the prices we saw:
Car Warranty Provider
Extended Car Warranty Cost
5 years/100,000 miles
5 years/100,000 miles
Protect My Car
4 years/100,000 miles
5 years/100,000 miles
5 years/51,000 miles
3 years/185,000 miles
*This quote for Olive is based on a 2017 Toyota Camry with 50,000 miles on it, so the actual warranty cost is probably slightly lower than the price you see here.
All of the warranties we obtained quotes for had deductibles of $100.
What Factors Affect Warranty Costs?
Pricing of extended auto warranties varies from customer to customer for a variety of reasons. Here are some things warranty providers consider when crafting a warranty quote:
The vehicle make and model
The condition of the vehicle
The level of coverage
The deductible amount
Your location (some warranties are not available in every state)
Who Has the Cheapest Used Car Warranty?
We found that CarShield was the cheapest option in our study. However, since the quote we received from Olive was for a slightly older Toyota Camry with 20,000 extra miles on it, it is very possible that Olive may actually have lower prices. Endurance proved to be the most expensive of the bunch, although it had the lowest monthly payment at about $76 for 36 months.
In our own warranty survey, we polled 1,000 consumers who have either bought an extended auto warranty or considered buying one. Out of those respondents, we found that most paid between $1,500 and $2,500 for their extended coverage.
The Top 6 Used Car Warranty Companies
Owners of older cars are twice as likely to spend more than $1,000 on maintenance and auto repairs, according to the NPD group. In 2017, Growing Industry Analysts, Inc. found that cars – including older model-year vehicles – are lasting longer, and the global aftermarket industry is projected to grow to $1 trillion by 2022.
It’s no wonder there are so many extended auto warranty companies. It can be hard to navigate all of them, but we picked six well-known used car warranty companies and carefully examined their strengths and weaknesses.
Years in Business: 15 Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating: C (not BBB accredited) Affordability: Endurance claims to save you up to 60 percent more than brokers. Featured Plan: The EnduranceAdvantage plan is best for used vehicles and high-mileage vehicles. It can cover vehicles for over 200,000 miles.
Endurance Pros & Cons
Your choice of licensed repair facility
Lack of customizable plan options
Endurance takes care of all claims itself
Endurance Elite Benefits are only free for one year
Covers up to 200,000 miles
Endurance has been in business for over 15 years and is known for being one of the only direct warranty providers in the industry. The company also has many comprehensive coverage options and many positive reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot, which is why we gave Endurance the Best Overall award in our best extended car warranty review.
Endurance Warranty Plans
Endurance currently offers six car warranty plans for drivers, which can cover 200,000 miles or more:
Supreme: This exclusionary bumper-to-bumper warranty provides maximum protection for your vehicle with only a shortlist of exclusions.
Superior: This vehicle protection plan offers the highest level of stated component coverage.
Secure Plus: This plan offers drivers premium powertrain plus protection and a short wait period.
Select Premier: This plan is designed specifically for high-mileage vehicles and protects the most essential components of the vehicle.
Secure: This most affordable vehicle service contract offers basic powertrain coverage.
EnduranceAdvantage: This plan offers extensive component and maintenance coverage.
Every Endurance auto warranty comes with roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption coverage. Drivers will also receive one free year of Endurance Elite Benefits. Some of the program’s perks include:
Industry veteran that handles your plan directly, from quote to claim
#2 CARCHEX: Best for Used Cars
Years in Business: 22 BBB Rating: A+ (BBB accredited since 2009) Number of Plans: 5 levels (21 available contracts from suppliers) Affordability: Monthly payment plans and $0 deductibles available Featured Plan: The Platinum and Gold plans are best for high-mileage cars.
CARCHEX Pros & Cons
Coverage can last as long as 10 years
There are many different contracts to read to fully understand the terms among suppliers
Affordability with small or no down payments and $0 deductibles
Coverage for hybrid vehicles costs extra
Excellent customer reputation
Among used car warranty companies, CARCHEX has one of the best reputations in the industry. The company has an A+ rating from the BBB and is backed by several industry experts, including CARFAX, Kelley Blue Book, and Edmunds.com. CARCHEX offers five vehicle service contracts with coverage up to 250,000 miles.
CARCHEX Warranty Plans
Here’s an overview of the plans CARCHEX offers:
Titanium: This exclusionary plan is similar to a manufacturer’s warranty and covers all systems and components of your vehicle, except for a few parts.
Platinum: This vehicle service contract offers the highest level of stated-component coverage.
Gold: This vehicle protection plan is for vehicles over 60,000 miles and provides comprehensive powertrain coverage.
Silver: The plan offers essential coverage to major systems of your vehicle.
Bronze: This vehicle service contract provides basic powertrain coverage to your engine and transmission.
All CARCHEX plans come with 24/7 roadside assistance, towing, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption coverage.
Top-rated provider with unmatched customer service and affordable coverage
#3 Protect My Car: Best Maintenance Benefits
Years in Business: 16 BBB Rating: A+ (not BBB accredited) Number of Plans: Three plans, as well as the Ambassador Maintenance Plans Affordability: Flexible payment terms make monthly payments affordable, and deductibles are $100. Featured Plan: The Supreme vehicle service contract is the most comprehensive, offering optional coverage for navigation systems.
Protect My Car Pros & Cons
Protect My Car Pros
Protect My Car Cons
Oil changes and tire rotations are included
Not available in every state
Warranty and maintenance plans are available
Not available for vehicles older than 10 years
Long payment terms
Protect My Car is unique amongst used car warranty companies because it offers traditional warranty coverage and maintenance plans. The company has been in business for 16 years and offers extended warranties in every state except Alaska, California, Hawaii, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Washington.
Protect My Car Warranty Plans
Protect My Car offers three vehicle service contracts that can protect your vehicle up to 125,000 miles. Here’s a breakdown of the plans:
Supreme: This vehicle protection plan is similar to a manufacturer’s warranty and covers most major components of the vehicle.
Select: This policy was designed specifically for vehicles with over 50,000 miles and covers most of the same components as the Supreme plan, excluding the turbocharger and navigation systems.
Driveline: This plan provides protection for vehicles that are 4 to 10 years of age with more than 80,000 miles.
The vehicle service provider also offers three maintenance plans: Ambassador Elite, Ambassador Pro, and Ambassador Platinum. These contracts cover most vehicles, regardless of age or mileage.
Protect My Car Benefits
All Protect My Car plans come with free oil changes and tire rotations that last for the duration of the contract.
Its Ambassador Maintenance Plan guarantees 25-50% off repairs plus covered oil changes
#4 CarShield: Most Affordable
Years in Business: 16 BBB Rating: F (not BBB accredited) Number of Plans: Six coverage levels and 19 plans (including motorcycle and ATV coverage) Affordability: Month-to-month plans and $0 deductibles available Featured Plan: The Diamond plan is the company’s most popular because it’s comparable to a manufacturer’s warranty.
CarShield Pros & Cons
Month-to-month contracts allow flexibility
Catalytic converters aren’t covered
One plan is specifically for covering electrical and high-tech features, which can be expensive to repair
Rental reimbursements are lower than average
CarShield stands out from many competitors due to its low prices and comprehensive coverage. The company says it has covered more than a million vehicles and that its administrators have paid out over $1 billion in claims during its 16 years in business.
CarShield Warranty Plans
CarShield offers six comprehensive coverage plans that can be paid in month-to-month installments. Here’s an overview of each plan:
Diamond: This vehicle service contract covers everything from engine and transmission failure to starter and fuel pump breakdowns.
Platinum: This plan is designed for high-mileage vehicles and protects your vehicle’s engine, transmission, air conditioning, electrical system, starter, water pump, and fuel pump.
Gold: This vehicle protection plan covers major and minor vehicle parts, including your engine, transmission, water pump, alternator, and starter.
Silver: This affordable plan option provides powertrain coverage to your vehicle.
Aluminum: This vehicle service contract is geared toward covering most electrical and computer-related problems.
Motorcycle & ATV: This plan is designed to provide protection for specialty vehicles.
CarShield plans come with 24-hour roadside assistance, courtesy towing for breakdowns, and rental car reimbursement.
Well-known provider that offers great coverage with great pricing
#5 autopom!: Best Customer Service
Years in Business: 11 BBB Rating: A+ (BBB accredited) Number of Plans: Four coverage levels with 19 plans available Affordability: After your initial down payment, you have up to two years to pay the remaining balance. Featured Plans: Exclusionary Plans are comparable to manufacturers’ original warranties. Some of these warranty options are technically mechanical breakdown insurance for customers in Idaho, Oregon, and California.
autopom! Pros & Cons
Variety of plan options
No coverage for luxury brands and only limited coverage for Audi, BMW, and Mercedes vehicles
Excellent customer service team
Not as affordable as other providers
Offers coverage in California
autopom! differentiates itself from other extended car warranty companies by working with A-rated insurers and administrators. The company works with third parties to provide extended warranty plans in all 50 states.
autopom! Warranty Plans
autopom! offers 19 vehicle service contracts that can be classified into four levels. Coverage is offered up to a maximum of seven years or 150,000 miles. Here’s what’s covered under each plan level:
Exclusionary: Exclusionary plans offer bumper to bumper protection for your vehicle. There are currently six contracts to choose from within this level of coverage.
High-Level: These stated component plans provide coverage for a vehicle’s major vehicle systems, including the engine, transmission, and drivetrain. There are five contracts available within this coverage level.
Mid-level: These plans provide comprehensive powertrain coverage in addition to the braking suspension and cooling systems. There are three contracts to choose from in this coverage level.
Powertrain Plus Plan: These plans cover your vehicle’s powertrain, including the engine, transmission, and drive axle. There are three contracts available.
In addition to these plan options, autopom! also offers several benefits to drivers who purchase a plan. These include trip interruption reimbursement, rental car assistance, and 24-hour roadside assistance.
Customer service advocates with a variety of plans for your vehicle
#6 Olive: Best Online Warranty
Years in Business: Three (Founded 2019) BBB Rating: A+ (BBB Accredited) Number of Plans: Three coverage levels Affordability: Affordable, based on a subscription model that allows you to easily start and cancel coverage Featured Plan: Complete Care offers the most comprehensive coverage, with exclusionary coverage that rivals many factory warranties.
Olive Pros & Cons
Easy-to-use online platform
Can’t cover rideshare vehicles
No waiting period
Coverage only available for up to three years at a time
Subscription model coverage is easy to start and easy to cancel
Olive is the newest entry into the used car warranty market on this list, having just started selling coverage earlier this year. But already, the Chicago-based online warranty provider has made a name for itself among the best used car warranty providers—both for its quality service and unique subscription-based business model.
Rather than a multi-year plan, Olive allows users to sign up for month-to-month coverage that works via subscription, much like Netflix or your mobile phone service. This allows drivers to start and cancel plans easily using a convenient online platform.
But based on the company’s industry reputation and online reviews, Olive isn’t just a novelty act. The company is accredited by the BBB and holds an A+ rating from the organization. Warranty plans sold by Olive are underwritten by QBE, a well-established company with an A financial strength rating from AM Best.
Olive Warranty Plans
Here are the three levels of coverage you can get with Olive:
Complete Care: Exclusionary coverage for your vehicle. With very few exclusions, Olive’s top-shelf extended warranty plan compares to many factory warranties.
Powertrain Plus: Very comprehensive stated-component coverage. This plan covers the same major systems as the powertrain plan along with many additional stated components, such as the fuel pump.
Powertrain: Powertrain-only coverage. Olive’s least expensive plan still covers the most vital parts of your engine and drive train.
An online-only provider with a unique subscription-based business model.
Finding the Best Used Car Warranty Company
There are three types of car warranties you’ll come across in your search.
The worst-case scenario when buying a used car is that it doesn’t even make it through the drive home. One of the most basic types of car warranties is the one provided by the dealership. These plans usually cover limited vehicle repairs, and coverage ends within a few months of the purchase or at a certain mileage.
A manufacturer’s warranty or factory warranty comes at no additional cost with the purchase of a new vehicle. This new car warranty covers auto repairs and replacements due to faulty factory materials or workmanship.
Be aware that while the levels of coverage are comprehensive, these warranties tend to be more expensive than warranties from third parties.
Manufacturer Extended Warranty
Some manufacturers do have quality coverage options when it comes to used car warranties, especially for certified pre-owned vehicles. Programs like HondaCare from Honda tend to offer good coverage a reasonable price.
However, If you purchase an extended warranty from the manufacturer, chances are you’ll also have to take the vehicle to a dealership for covered repairs.
Third-Party Extended Car Warranty
This type of extended auto warranty can be administered by a broker or a company that directly handles car repairs. A broker is an intermediary that will help you choose a service plan normally backed by a car insurance company.
Because independent extended used car warranty companies are not highly regulated, their reliability varies. Some third-party providers have the financial responsibility to meet claims and others do not. Different states have different regulations. Always check the BBB for ratings and customer complaints.
The biggest advantage of a third-party extended car warranty is flexibilty. Most third-party providers allow you to have repairs done at any certified mechanic, making it much easier to use your coverage and work with a mechanic you trust.
Types of Used Car Warranties
Extended car warranty companies offer a variety of coverage plans, but there are several main categories of vehicle service contracts.
This warranty, also known as a drivetrain warranty, covers the engine, transmission, and related components. Powertrain warranties are normally less expensive, as they don’t include electrical systems, braking systems, heating/cooling, etc. They tend to last five years or 60,000 miles on average.
Powertrain Plus Warranty
This common type of plan includes powertrain coverage and additional components, such as air conditioning, electrical components, and fuel delivery systems. These stated-component plans offer broad protection for many listed parts but do not offer the same level of coverage as exclusionary warranties.
Sometimes called exclusionary plans, these warranties come with a short list of components that are not covered rather than a list of items that are covered. A bumper-to-bumper warranty is the closest to the comprehensive coverage offered by many manufacturers. Though more expensive, this protection can be the difference between a small deductible and a costly repair.
What to Look For In A Used Car Warranty
If you believe buying a vehicle warranty will help you breathe a bit easier, then you should know the criteria for a good coverage plan.
A good warranty plan for a used car will have most, if not all, of the following qualities:
Useful benefits: Roadside assistance and related services are included in most extended warranty plans. Make sure these perks are part of your contract.
Direct pay policy: Find a service contract that pays repair bills upfront rather than reimbursing you later. Reimbursement could take months in some cases.
Large repair shop network: Some extended car warranty companies do not allow you to choose your own repair facility. A good third-party warranty will let you have your car repaired at any ASE-certified mechanic you choose.
Low deductibles: If a deductible is required for each repair, your repair should cost more than the deductible.
Strong industry reviews: Search a company’s BBB rating to gauge trustworthiness or see common customer reviews.
Few and reasonable limitations: Is there a mileage limit or waiting period on the contract? Some companies provide coverage for high-mileage vehicles – protection your used vehicle probably requires.
Reliable underwriters: Service contracts underwritten by insurance companies are more reliable, so stick to those. Insurance regulations require companies to maintain enough financial reserves to pay its claims.
These are all important factors to consider during your research. Don’t allow price to be your only driving factor when buying an extended auto warranty.
Extended Warranty Fine Print to Watch Out For
Always read the fine print in a contract before making a decision so you don’t fall victim to certain limitations. Vehicle service contracts often have the following exclusions and limitations:
Limited choices for local repair shops
Items such as brake pads, tires, wiper blades, etc.
Ineligibility for car owners who fail to perform routine maintenance
Repairs due to normal wear and tear (covers only a mechanical breakdown) or pre-existing conditions
What to Avoid When Buying an Extended Warranty for Your Used Car
Just as there are many features to look for in a service contract, there are also red flags to avoid. It can be costly to succumb to the pressure of buying a used car extended warranty right away.
Avoid these warning signs and drawbacks:
Sample contracts that aren’t readily available
Pressure to buy coverage immediately over the phone
Contracts that don’t explicitly explain the claim process
Providers that seem like a scam and do not have online reviews
No choice of repair facility or extreme limits when away from home
Contracts that don’t allow cancellations or a typical 30-day money-back guarantee
Lack of roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, trip interruption service, or towing reimbursement benefits
Deceitful coverage (e.g. something that says the plan covers the engine yet excludes most of the engine’s internally lubricated items)
Remember, the most important thing you can do is read the entire contract, fine print included.
Is A Used Car Warranty Worth It?
A used car warranty may not be the best choice for everyone, but it can certainly be worth it in a number of ways:
Financial value: While it’s true you may spend more on a warranty than you would on repairs, there’s no way of knowing that. And the opposite could be true. A blown transmission, for example, can cost far more than the average extended warranty to fix.
Predictability: When you buy a used car warranty, you’re making regular payments to avoid surprise repair bills, some of which can climb into the thousands. Having a used car warranty can help you plan your finances and get peace of mind around auto expenses.
Cost coverage: Having a warranty on your used car can also help you avoid a dire financial situation in which your car needs repairs that you can’t afford. While you may not always be able to come up with a few thousand dollars out of pocket when you need it, a monthly payment might be more manageable.
Our Verdict: Endurance Is Best Overall For Used Car Warranties
Based on our research, these companies provide the best combination of cost, coverage, and service for used car warranties:
#1 Endurance: Best Overall
#2 CARCHEX: Best for Used Cars
#3 Protect My Car: Best Maintenance Benefits
#4 CarShield: Most Affordable
#5 autopom!: Best Customer Service
#6 Olive: Best Online Warranty
While Endurance is our choice for the best overall used car warranty provider, we encourage you to consider the other car warranty providers and to get quotes so you can easily compare them. Some providers may be able to provide better coverage at a better price, depending on the age, make, and model of your car. For some helpful info, check out our Endurance vs. CARCHEX, CARCHEX vs. CarShield, and CarShield vs. Endurance warranty reviews.
What are the top-rated extended auto warranty companies?
Our research team named companies such as Endurance, CARCHEX, CarShield, and autopom! as some of the best auto warranty providers. These companies earned that distinction based on their service, industry reputations, and cost.
Is it worth getting an extended warranty on a used car?
Cars become more prone to mechanical breakdowns as they age, which means more time in the repair shop. An extended warranty on an older vehicle can help offset those out-of-pocket costs, but there’s no guarantee a protection plan will cover every repair.
How much is an extended warranty on a used car?
An extended car warranty on a used car can cost as lost as a few hundred dollars to as much as several thousand dollars. It depends on the car, plan provider, length and amount of coverage, deductible, and other factors.
Will my extended warranty coverage start right away?
Most extended warranties do not start until after 30 days or a certain number of miles (usually 1,000 or 3,000).
What is an aftermarket warranty?
An aftermarket warranty is from a third-party company. These warranties do not always use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. This shouldn’t have any serious effects, but it isn’t always ideal to have parts that are not specifically made for your car.
Is AA Auto Protection part of AAA?
No. They are separate companies that offer different vehicle services.
Can you buy an extended warranty on a used car?
You can buy an extended warranty on a used car from a wide variety of sources. Some car manufacturers offer their own extended warranties, but you can also buy coverage from one of many reputable used car warranty companies on almost any vehicle.
Is there a 30-day warranty on used cars?
Some states, such as California, do have laws that require a certain category of car dealerships to have a 30-day warranty on used cars that they sell. However, the vast majority of states and used car dealers do not fall under these laws.
Can you take a car under warranty to any dealership for repairs?
If you have a manufacturer’s warranty, you will most likely need to take your car to the dealership for repairs. However, with most third-party used car warranty companies, you can take your vehicle to any certified repair facility you choose.
Do car warranties transfer?
In most cases, car warranties transfer when the vehicle changes ownership. A used car warranty is attached to the vehicle’s vehicle identification number (VIN) and will cover repairs for the duration of the warranty period, as long as the premiums are paid for.
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.