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When you purchase a new vehicle, it typically comes with a factory warranty to protect you from the expenses associated with mechanical breakdowns. Once that warranty expires, you may be considering buying an extended warranty to cover your car for additional years or miles. But how long do extended car warranties last, and where is the best place to get one?


What Is An Extended Car Warranty?

An extended car warranty, also known as a vehicle service contract, is a protection plan that covers the cost of unexpected repairs for certain parts in your car. The type of coverage you receive depends on the terms of your contract, which can be purchased from a dealership or a third-party provider like CarShield. Two standard coverage options are bumper-to-bumper warranties and powertrain warranties.

A bumper-to-bumper warranty is an exclusionary contract that covers most components between your car’s bumpers. A powertrain warranty generally only covers essential components like the engine, transmission, and drivetrain. You can also get mid-level plans with some of the best extended car warranty companies.

Generally speaking, extended car warranties don’t cover oil changes, brake pad replacements, or other wear-and-tear parts or routine maintenance services.

Your vehicle service contract is only valid when you use approved repair shops, but thankfully, third-party warranty companies typically allow any certified mechanic to perform auto repair work on a car with coverage. Extended warranties purchased from car dealerships usually require you to visit the dealership for repairs.

How Long Do Extended Car Warranties Last?

Most extended warranties come with a year and mileage limit, and the warranty expires when you pass one of those limits. For example, many dealerships offer bumper-to-bumper warranties lasting 36,000 miles or 3 years, whichever comes first. Powertrain warranties typically last a little longer, such as 50,000 miles or 5 years. Knowing how long you plan to own your car can help you determine the right coverage plan for you and your vehicle.

Third-party warranty companies tend to offer longer coverage terms than vehicle manufacturers. One of our top-rated aftermarket providers CarShield covers up to 300,000 miles. That’s one of the longest terms in the industry.

Here are a few other popular warranty companies that we recommend for high-mileage vehicles:

  • CARCHEX: Coverage up to 250,000 miles
  • Endurance: Coverage up to 200,000+ miles
  • Protect My Car: Coverage up to 125,000 miles

CarShield: Best Value For Vehicle Protection

In our industry-wide review of extended auto warranty providers, our team recognized CarShield for having the Best Value. CarShield offers competitive rates and a discount for purchasing coverage for multiple cars. Unlike most extended car warranty companies, CarShield offers month-to-month contracts (usually around $99 per month) in addition to contracts with a set limit for years and mileage, adding an extra layer of flexibility.

CarShield Plans

CarShield’s affordable rates don’t come at the expense of quality. The provider has six coverage levels – five dedicated to cars and one for motorcycles and other specialty vehicles.

CarShield Plan What It Covers
Diamond This exclusionary contract is comparable to a car manufacturer’s warranty and includes coverage for the engine, transmission, fuel pump, starter, and more. Only aesthetic components and wear items are excluded from this plan.
Platinum The highest level of stated-component coverage offered by CarShield, this warranty covers the engine, cooling system, transmission, and other parts.
Gold The Gold plan offers enhanced powertrain coverage and covers the engine, drive axle, alternator, and more.
Silver This plan is CarShield’s version of standard powertrain coverage, and it includes all lubricated engine parts, the drive axle, transmission, and water pump.
Aluminum Luxury vehicles and vehicles with complex electronic systems can benefit from the Aluminum plan, which covers LCD monitors, the GPS, voice activation control, and other parts.
Motorcycle & ATV Motorcycle and ATV owners have a coverage plan specifically tailored to them.

Whether you choose the comprehensive Diamond plan or go for basic powertrain coverage in the Silver plan, you can find contracts extending up to 300,000 miles. Make sure to read the fine print of your vehicle protection plan to understand the exact details of coverage, including whether or not you are responsible for paying a deductible.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are extended warranties worth it on cars?

Extended car warranties are worth the price for many drivers based on the research conducted by our review team. If nothing else, extended warranties give you peace of mind knowing you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket for mechanical breakdowns and unexpected repair costs.

How long is a CarShield contract?

CarShield contracts can cover your vehicle up to 300,000 miles.

Are extended warranties a waste of money?

Whether an extended warranty is worth it for you will depend on your vehicle and your personal finances. We recommend researching your vehicle reliability and determining whether you have money set aside should an expensive or unexpected repair arise.

How much are extended warranties?

According to our secret shopper analysis, extended warranties cost an average of $2,862, but that number can vary widely depending on your vehicle and level of coverage. An extended auto warranty typically costs between $1,600 and $4,500 and lasts three to six years.

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