- Endurance is our highest rated provider with 4.6 out of 5.0 stars and holds our award for Best Coverage due to its six coverage levels and long term limits.
- ForeverCar offers cheap extended warranty plans and is one of our top-rated providers despite being one of the youngest companies in the industry.
- Olive is one of the most unique aftermarket warranty providers for its subscription-based billing model.
Between the monthly payments, auto insurance, and car repairs, it’s not cheap to own a vehicle. With a new car, you have some protection against mechanical failure with the factory warranty, but what about when that coverage ends? The best option to cover repairs would be an aftermarket car warranty, also called a vehicle protection plan or vehicle service contract.
With so many options to choose from, you have to do some research to find the provider that fits your needs. We’ve done the work for you by researching for 1,475 hours on everything there is to know about aftermarket auto warranties, including the best providers. We’ve compiled our results to explain the best extended car warranty companies. Compare quotes between some of these top-ranked providers.
Aftermarket Car Warranty Overview
An aftermarket warranty provides protection once the factory coverage expires. You can add it anytime, not just when you purchase the vehicle. Aftermarket car warranties can also be called extended auto warranties, though technically, these are both vehicle service contracts commonly provided by third-party providers.
These auto protection plans cover the cost of repair parts and labor, just like the manufacturer’s warranty, and are a common source of vehicle protection, especially for used, older cars.
Where To Get An Aftermarket Car Warranty
You can get an aftermarket car warranty from a dealership or third-party company. Our research team reviewed 46 different warranty providers to help find the provider that best fits your needs.
With the dealership, you have access to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and factory-trained technicians. Usually, you must take your car to that manufacturer’s service center. This can either be a perk or very limiting.
A third-party aftermarket auto warranty offers more flexibility. You can go to any licensed repair shop and visit a mechanic of your choice. Obviously, not all of these companies will provide the same level of service. We also can’t guarantee that they’ll offer the right warranties for your needs. That’s why it’s important to shop around and compare different providers.
Our Aftermarket Car Warranty Review And Methodology
Aftermarket car warranty providers have many different elements that determine whether they’re the right fit for you. We create an overall review score for each provider based on their ratings in five main areas: industry standing, coverage, cost, transparency, and customer service.
How We Rated Aftermarket Car Warranty Companies
To give you the most current information, we update our review standards several times each year. Below are more details for what we look for in each rating category:
Providers are given a high score in this category based on any awards, ratings, or recognitions by trusted warranty evaluators, like Kelley Blue Book, CARFAX, or the Better Business Bureau (BBB). We also consider customer reviews on sites like the BBB and Trustpilot, and how much experience a warranty provider has.
Providers that offer several different coverage options are rewarded with a higher score in this category. If a company offers plans with long-term limits and several benefits, its Coverage score increases.
Providers that offer affordable coverage plans as well as deductible options can expect to see a higher score in the cost category. If these same providers offer discounts, their score will increase.
When it comes to this category, if a company offers a money-back guarantee and allows customers to view sample contracts on coverage plan pages, it will receive a high score. Its website also has to be relatively clear and easy to navigate.
Strong customer reviews online bring providers high scores in this category. If a provider has a mobile app and offers an online chat option for customers, its score for customer service will increase as well.
Best Aftermarket Car Warranty Companies
If you’re looking for extra coverage for car repairs, Endurance, ForeverCar, and Olive.com™ are the extended warranty providers that should be on your shopping list. All of these providers let car owners visit their favorite auto repair facilities, choose deductibles starting at $0, and enjoy a variety of perks.
Endurance: 4.6 Stars
Out of all the companies we reviewed, Endurance made the top of our list for its six versatile aftermarket warranty plans that offer varying levels of protection for drivers of different needs. As a direct provider, Endurance manages all the plans it sells. This makes the claims process much easier, since you’re working with the same company throughout the life of your protection plan.
Endurance extended warranties also come with a free one-year membership of Endurance Elite benefits – that includes roadside assistance, key fob replacement, ID theft services, tire replacement, and more. Endurance Warranty reviews are mainly positive with reports of great customer service. Find out why and get a free quote from Endurance below.
ForeverCar: 4.5 Stars
While ForeverCar isn’t as seasoned as industry giants like Endurance or CARCHEX, this aftermarket warranty provider makes up for that by offering significantly cheaper aftermarket warranty plans.
ForeverCar provides a 30-day money-back guarantee for all four of its different levels of protection. These warranties last for 3 years/unlimited miles, and have sample contracts on the plan page of ForeverCar’s website, which shows that ForeverCar is transparent and upfront with drivers on what it offers.
Despite being less than 12 years old, ForeverCar has over 5,000 reviews on Trustpilot, with 97 percent of them being highly positive. ForeverCar’s record of customer satisfaction mixed with its affordable coverage options makes it into our top three for recommended aftermarket warranty providers.
Olive: 4.5 Stars
Olive doesn’t offer as many coverage options as ForeverCar or Endurance, but its aftermarket car warranties do provide very comprehensive coverage. Olive is our top choice for the best online warranty in the industry. The company is unique in that coverage for customers starts as soon as you purchase your plan online.
It also uses a subscription-based billing model that customers can use to cancel at any time. Olive offers a price-lock guarantee and is one of the best digital experiences in the industry with a website that’s easy to navigate and clear about each of its plans. That’s why in our Olive warranty review, give the company our Best Online Warranty award.
These are just our top three recommendations, but none of them are guaranteed to give you what you need for yourself and your own vehicle. That’s why when you’re shopping for an aftermarket vehicle warranty, you need to decide what the most important thing is for you. Maybe you really want to have roadside assistance or a $0 deductible, or maybe you just want the simplest powertrain coverage for a few expensive vehicle components.
We conducted a survey in 2022 to find which companies customers were purchasing aftermarket warranties from. Although 56 percent of respondents chose CarShield, other popular companies were CARCHEX, autopom!, and Protect My Car. All of these companies have pretty long mileage limits on their protection plans, too.
Types Of Aftermarket Auto Warranty Plans
Aftermarket auto warranties come in many different varieties. Like factory warranties, the limits are designated by year and mileage, with the plan expiring when one of the limits is reached. For example, a 5-year/60,000-mile plan would expire for both of these scenarios: the car is 5 years old and has 40,000 miles, or the car is 4 years old but has 60,000 miles.
The best providers allow drivers to choose from a number of different coverage lengths. They also let drivers choose what items the service plans cover. Many companies have around five basic coverage options that follow a formula like this:
- Exclusionary coverage: The highest level is similar to a factory bumper-to-bumper warranty and lists the things that it doesn’t cover to define the plan. It covers almost all major systems and mechanical parts of the car. Like a factory warranty, it won’t cover wear and tear, misuse, or neglect.
- High-stated coverage: The next level is the highest level of stated coverage. These car warranties cover part is listed out on the contract. This plan level can cover hundreds of separate components.
- Medium-stated coverage: Often, this type of protection plan covers most of the main systems of the car and includes things like A/C, steering, and electrical components.
- Low-stated coverage: Also known as a “powertrain plus” type plan, this covers the powertrain along with a few important systems.
- Basic powertrain: This is the least that an extended warranty covers and is comparable to a powertrain warranty. It covers repair costs of the engine, drivetrain, drive axle, and transmission. These can be costly repairs, so it’s a good idea to protect them on high-mileage cars.
Aftermarket Auto Warranty Flexibility
Aftermarket auto warranties also provide more flexibility compared to factory or dealership warranties. For example, factory extended warranties usually have to be purchased before the standard warranty expires. In some cases, you have to get an extended warranty at the time you purchase your new car – how would you know if you need one that early?
In contrast, aftermarket auto warranties can be added on at any point in time. They can also last a lot longer compared to factory extended warranties. For example, Toyota’s longest extended warranty coverage lasts until 125,000 miles, but plans from our top aftermarket picks can last up to 200,000 or 250,000 miles.
Aftermarket Car Warranty Perks
Many drivers like to stick with dealer-backed coverage for the other perks that come along with it. However, you can get many of the same perks with aftermarket options, too. Here are a few perks that you can find from some of the best providers:
- 24-hour roadside assistance: This is for when your car breaks down on the side of the road. Roadside assistance usually includes towing to the nearest repair facility, along with jump-starts, tire changes, fuel deliveries, and lockout assistance.
- Trip interruption benefits: This benefit typically applies if you break down 100 miles or more from home and need reimbursement for food and lodging expenses.
- Rental car reimbursement: This pays for rental car costs or alternative transportation when your vehicle is in the shop getting covered repairs for mechanical breakdown.
How Much Does An Aftermarket Car Warranty Cost?
Based on quotes we received from more than 40 warranty companies, the average extended car warranty cost is about $2,862 per year. Our team used 2,215 data points to differentiate between many warranty providers. We found that the pricing of an aftermarket auto warranty depends on several factors, which include the:
- Vehicle age
- Vehicle mileage
- Vehicle make and model
- Level of protection you want
- Chosen deductible
- Provider you choose
The only way to know how much you would pay for an aftermarket car warranty is to get a quote. We recommend reaching out to at least three providers as you shop around for coverage.
Do I Need An Aftermarket Car Warranty?
You may never have been in an accident, but you still need car insurance. The reasoning for an extended car warranty follows the same principle. You may not need it right now, but if you ever do, you’ll be glad the protection was in place.
A recent survey from our research team showed that 75 percent of respondents said their extended warranty covered some or all repairs. While the use of an extended warranty is not guaranteed, it could pay off in case you don’t have the money to cover any defects.
According to AAA, 64 million Americans don’t have the funds to cover unexpected car repair costs. Instead, they would be required to go into debt to cover the bill. Are you in this group of people? An average repair bill totals between $500 and $600, but when a major component breaks, you’re looking at far more.
Aftermarket Car Repair Warranty Cost
Repair prices also have to do with the average reliability of your car. Coverage for more reliable vehicles will be cheaper since the warranty companies expect to pay out less. A 2017 Toyota with 30,000 miles will fetch a much different price than a 2012 BMW with 80,000 miles.
Here are a few of the average prices for expensive car components, according to data from DRiV.
|Engine control unit||$500 to $1,500|
|Turbocharger||$500 to $2,500|
|Hybrid or electric car battery||$1,000 to $4,000|
|Airbags||$1,700 to $2,500|
These estimates aren’t even dealing with the cost of replacing an engine or transmission. If you had to face one of these repairs today, could you handle it with ease, or would the costly repair cause a good amount of stress?
With extended car warranties, you can opt for coverage that provides you with peace of mind. That way, if something should break, you don’t need to worry about how you are going to pay for it.
There are a variety of aftermarket car warranty plans available, so you can customize the coverage you want. If you only need protection for the main parts of the vehicle, choose a powertrain warranty. If you feel more comfortable knowing that everything is covered, you might do better with a bumper-to-bumper plan instead.
Why Aftermarket Car Warranties Are Worth It
An aftermarket auto warranty is a good idea to provide peace of mind after your factory coverage has expired, especially if you missed the window for adding a dealer-backed extended plan.
We think there are a few reasons to pick an aftermarket plan over a dealer one, anyway. Aftermarket plans can also be useful if you buy a used car – you might not know its service history, so the added protection could be a lifesaver later on.
Many aftermarket warranties have flexible payment plans to make budgeting easier. But as you shop around, be careful to read the fine print. A number of complaints about extended warranties begin with a misunderstanding of what was covered under the contract. Reputable extended car warranty companies will provide sample contracts and will go over each point of your contract with you in detail.
The main thing to figure out is if a small monthly payment is worth the peace of mind that a warranty can bring. If you go without a warranty, you should definitely keep an extra grand or two of cash in the bank to cover auto repairs once your car has a few miles under its belt.
If you’re new to shopping for warranties, definitely take a minute to get to know the red flags. Learn more in our guide to the worst extended auto warranty companies.
What Aftermarket Warranties Don’t Include
Aftermarket warranties have several exclusions. After all, they only cover repairs for your vehicle similar to a manufacturer warranty.
Extended warranties don’t cover damage to your vehicle while it’s parked. This includes events such as natural disasters, theft, and vandalism. Instead, these events are taken care of by comprehensive coverage. They don’t cover routine maintenance, either. This includes things such as getting new tires, new brakes, or oil changes for your vehicle.
Keep in mind that mechanical breakdown insurance, although similar, is not the same as an extended warranty. Even though they both prevent you from paying out of pocket for vehicle repairs, there are still some differences.
While it can be offered by some warranty providers (usually for drivers in California), mechanical breakdown insurance is usually offered as an add-on product by insurance companies that covers parts from your drivetrain system to air conditioning.
Best Aftermarket Car Warranty: Conclusion
An aftermarket auto warranty can provide you with peace of mind after your factory warranty expires. Most third-party providers offer a range of plan options from powertrain plans to bumper-to-bumper, so you can choose what fits your budget and needs. We recommend reaching out to at least three aftermarket auto warranty providers to compare and contrast coverage options and costs.
Car Warranty Aftermarket: FAQ
Below are frequently asked questions about aftermarket car warranties.