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Motor1 Reviews Team Take:

  • The best extended car warranty is offered by Endurance. The company offers the widest range of protection plans and was awarded Best Coverage by our team in 2024.
  • Olive, which offers the Best Value, consistently delivers a simple, transparent experience. An affordable alternative is CarShield, which has low monthly payments for standard and electric vehicle owners.
  • On average, the cost of an extended car warranty ranges from $1,600 to $4,500 for three to six years of coverage.
Endurance
4.6
Industry Standing: 4.3/5.0
Coverage: 4.9/5.0
Cost: 4.6/5.0
Transparency: 4.8/5.0
Customer Service: 4.3/5.0
idée Endurance is our top pick for extended warranties.
  • Best Coverage
  • Maximum Mileage: Up to 200,000 miles
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days for full refund
  • Longest Term: 8 years of coverage
  • Coverage Options: 6 plans including maintenance option
  • Discounts: $300 same-day signup discount, $250 shopping voucher, and others
Plan coverage includes Endurance Elite perks™
Exclusionary plan One-year membership for free
Powertrain plan Tire repair and replacement
Maintenance coverage with Endurance Advantage Key fob replacement
Roadside assistance Total loss protection
Towing Collision discount
Rental car $250 rewards voucher
Trip interruption coverage Endurance Protect app

When factory coverage on your new car expires, you may be wondering how to best protect your car. Purchasing an extended warranty can give you peace of mind and cover your vehicle’s most essential components in the case of a mechanical breakdown.

Our expert review team spent over 1,475 hours combing through research to determine the best extended car warranties. To do this, we gathered hundreds of quotes, surveyed thousands of past and present warranty owners, pored over countless customer reviews, and even bought extended warranties for our own cars. In this article, we’ll give an in-depth explanation of our top five choices before highlighting some of the industry’s best coverage plans and cheapest providers.

 


 

Extended Car Warranty Ratings

Based on an extensive research study of the vehicle service contract (VSC) industry, we assessed the available extended vehicle protection plans and rated them on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0 stars. This overall score is weighted based on the factors most important to extended car warranty customers according to our consumer survey: coverage, cost, transparency, customer experience, and reputation.

What Are The Best Extended Car Warranties?

Our study found that the following providers offer the best extended car warranties. All ratings are out of 5.0 stars. You can learn more about how we give scores in each rating category in our methodology section at the end of this article.

Best Extended Car WarrantyOverall RatingIndustry StandingCoverageCostTransparencyCustomer Service
1. Endurance4.64.34.94.64.84.3
2. Carchex4.55.04.84.04.83.9
3. autopom!4.54.84.54.74.34.6
4. CarShield4.44.04.84.04.84.0
5. Olive4.44.84.14.74.54.1

 


 

Best Extended Car Warranties

Endurance is our top pick overall for its wide selection of coverage options and reasonable prices. However, you may find that another auto warranty company on our list is a better fit depending on your situation. In our latest third-party warranty consumer survey, we found that CarShield was the most popular provider among survey respondents, with 60 percent of participants having bought a plan from the company.

Graphic showing most popular warranties

While no one-size-fits-all answer exists, there are a number of extended warranties that rise above the rest in the areas that matter to consumers. To present customers with a range of the top extended car warranties to compare, we’ll review each of our top picks in detail below.

If you’re interested in learning more about different types of warranties before selecting a provider, see our buyers guide.

1. Endurance: Best Coverage

4.6

Overview

Why we chose it: Endurance offers six warranty plans, including one that covers routine maintenance. Most companies offer five or fewer plans with no maintenance coverage.
Number of plans: Six
Average cost per year of coverage: $685
Highest mileage limit: 200,000+ miles

Read more: Endurance Warranty Review

Why We Picked Endurance

Endurance was the top-ranking provider in our review of the best extended car warranties, mainly because the company offers the widest selection of coverage. In our third-party warranty consumer survey, 53 percent of respondents stated that coverage mattered most when choosing an extended warranty company. Some companies offer three or four plans – maybe even five – but few offer six quality plans including both standard warranties and maintenance coverage.

Besides the number of plans, Endurance has a unique plan called Advantage that covers regular maintenance like oil changes along with more substantial services like brake pad replacement and cooling system maintenance. Given the extensive coverage options and other benefits the company provides, most drivers should be able to find Endurance coverage that fits their needs.

 

An Endurance warranty can be worth purchasing for several reasons:

 

  • Collision repair: Endurance Elite Benefits include a reimbursement of $500 per covered collision to help with your car insurance deductible (up to $1,000 total).
  • Highline add-on: The Supreme Highline add-on can cover performance luxury vehicles – for example, many of the Mercedes AMG vehicles and BMW M Series models. Many warranty providers do not cover luxury vehicles.

Endurance Extended Warranty Coverage

Endurance offers plenty of options when it comes to warranty plans, providing six tiers of coverage that range from a basic powertrain warranty to factory-level coverage. While term lengths aren’t specified for each plan, we found through our secret shopper analysis that coverage is offered up to 8 years/200,000 miles.

Endurance Warranty Plans

With six tiers of protection, you can choose the coverage plan that best suits your needs and wallet. One plan in particular, EnduranceAdvantage™, stands out in the industry because it offers both extended warranty coverage and vehicle maintenance.

Let’s take a look at the different tiers and what each car warranty plan covers:

Warranty PlanRecommended ForDetails
SupremeExclusionary coverageThe most extensive plan with bumper-to-bumper protection
SuperiorMost stated-component CoverageCovers hundreds of components
Secure PlusFast coverageCovers steering, electrical, and brakes with a shorter waiting period (30 days and 1,000 miles) than the Select Premier plan
SecureMost affordable coverage optionCovers the most vital car components
PremierOlder vehiclesCovers basic powertrain components
EnduranceAdvantage™Aftermarket auto warranty and maintenance coverageCombines mechanical breakdown coverage with maintenance services like oil changes

*There are three levels of coverage within the EnduranceAdvantage plan – Prime, Plus, and Preferred – all of which include high-level, stated-component coverage and many maintenance services.

Like all extended warranties, Endurance doesn’t cover everything. Plans exclude damage from the environment and lack of maintenance. They also leave out wear items like filters and brake pads unless covered under the EnduranceAdvantage maintenance plan.

Endurance Benefits

Each Endurance plan comes with the following perks:

  • Roadside assistance: Covers battery jump-starts, lockout assistance, spare tire installation, fuel deliveries, and tows up to a maximum cost per occurrence.
  • Rental car reimbursement: Covers rental car costs while your car is in the shop after a covered repair, up to a limit.
  • Trip interruption: Covers food and lodging if your vehicle breaks down over 100 miles from home, up to a limit.

Along with the basic services above, every Endurance plan also includes one free year of Endurance Elite Benefits, which include: 

  • Key fob replacement: Covers up to $500 to replace your key fob if it’s lost or stolen
  • Tire replacement or repair: Covers up to two tires per year
  • Collision repair: Covers up to $500 toward collision damage repairs per accident ($1,000 total limit)
  • Total loss protection: Covers up to $1,000 for a replacement vehicle after a total loss

These unique benefits are some of the best you’ll find in the extended automotive warranty industry. The downside is that you have to pay to get these Endurance Elite Benefits after the first year.

Endurance Car Warranty Cost

Compared to other companies, Endurance offers relatively affordable coverage considering the number of years the plans cover.

 

Endurance plans can range from a total of about $3,200 to $4,900, depending on the coverage and terms you select. Monthly payments range from about $100 to $160 over 24 or 30 months, but the total length of the contract is even longer. You’ll likely pay more than that if you have a luxury vehicle.

Below are several quotes our team received for Endurance warranties:

TypePlan NameTermMonthly CostTotal Cost
ExclusionarySupreme5 years/100,000 miles$114 for 30 months$3,420
Mid-levelSuperior5 years/100,000 miles$134 for 24 months3,224
PowertrainSecure5 years/54,000 miles$133 for 24 months3,199

These quotes have a $100 deductible and apply to a 2017 Honda CR-V with 45,000 miles.

To calculate average cost per year of coverage, our team divided the average total cost of the quotes we received by the average term length to get $685. Note that not all quotes used in this calculation appear in the table above.

Endurance Customer Reviews

In addition to offering comprehensive coverage at affordable rates, Endurance leverages its 18 years of experience to provide a top-notch customer experience. As a direct provider, Endurance cuts out the middleman because it administers the contracts it sells.

This enables Endurance to deliver a smooth claims process for customers, who can easily connect with the provider online or by phone when they need a covered repair. 

The solid customer experience that Endurance offers is reflected in positive online reviews. On Trustpilot, the company has a score of 3.6 out of 5.0 stars based on reviews from more than 7,300 customers.

Though it isn’t accredited and has no rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Endurance has a star rating of 3.6 out of 5.0 from customers on the platform, based on over 3,000 customer reviews.

2. Carchex: Best For Used Cars

4.5

Overview

Why we chose it: Carchex is a good option for a used car warranty because it offers plans up to 10 years in length and is affordable for long-term contracts.

Number of plans: Five

Average cost per year of coverage: $642 per year

Highest mileage limit: 250,000 miles

Read more: Carchex Review

 

Why We Picked Carchex

Based on our research, Carchex is a top choice for the best extended car warranty. Specifically, it’s a good option for people with used cars who want to have coverage for a long time. The company offers plans up to 10 years in length for cars with up to 250,000 miles on them, and we found it to be more affordable than average considering the cost per year of coverage. Carchex has been in business for almost 25 years and offers five coverage levels with several plan options under each tier for a total of 16 warranty plans.

Here’s what makes the company stand out from others in the industry:

  • Coverage selection: The five Carchex plans range from factory-level coverage to basic protection. You can also upgrade different plans to cover luxury electronics or important emissions components.
  • High mileage limit: A limit of 250,000 miles gives you plenty of time to enjoy your vehicle while it’s covered for repairs.
  • Benefits: As an added bonus, Carchex offers 24/7 roadside assistance as a perk with all of its coverage plans. Most plans also come with rental car reimbursement and trip interruption coverage.

Carchex Extended Warranty Coverage

Carchex works with contract administrators including American Auto Shield and Royal Administration Services, so each contract has customization opportunities.

Carchex Coverage Plans

Let’s take a closer look at what a Carchex extended car warranty covers under each tier:

Warranty PlanRecommended ForDetails
TitaniumOwners looking for the most protection availableExclusionary coverage, similar to a bumper-to-bumper warranty
PlatinumLong-term coverage of stated componentsHundreds of specific components covered
Powertrain PlusHigh-mileage vehiclesProvides essential coverage for many major systems
PowertrainDrivers looking for basic protectionPays for the most common and expensive auto repairs
Extra CareEnhanced protection of non-powertrain partsProvides protection for items outside of the powertrain, such as electrical system and suspension components

Carchex Perks

All Carchex plans come with these three standard perks:

  • Roadside assistance
  • Rental car coverage
  • Trip interruption

Carchex Extended Warranty Cost

According to quotes our team received from Carchex, five- and six-year plans range from about $3,200 to $4,000, depending on the coverage and payment schedule you choose. Payment options we received spanned from $177 to $218 per month. You can also pay for your entire Carchex plan upfront and save a small amount of money.

TypePlan NameTermMonthly CostTotal Cost
ExclusionaryTitanium6 years/125,000 miles$182 for 18 months$3,281
Mid-levelPlatinum6 years/100,000 miles$212 for 18 months3,824
PowertrainBronze5 years/100,000 miles$177 for 18 months3,191

*These quotes have a $100 deductible and apply to a 2017 Honda CR-V with 45,000 miles.

To calculate average cost per year of coverage, our team divided the average total cost of the quotes we received by the average term length to get $642. Note that not all quotes used in this calculation appear in the table above.

Carchex Customer Reviews

When we polled consumers who had purchased an extended warranty, the majority were satisfied with Carchex coverage. However, reviews on Trustpilot and the BBB website are mixed. The company earns 2.5 out of 5.0 stars from over 1,500 reviews on Trustpilot and 2.0 out of 5.0 stars on the BBB, though this from fewer than 200 reviews.

3. autopom!: Excellent Customer Service

4.5

Overview

Why we chose it: Thousands of customers on Trustpilot and Google rate autopom! as a reliable warranty provider.
Number of plans: Three
Average cost per year of coverage: $1,105 per year
Highest mileage limit: 150,000 miles

Why We Picked autopom!

In our customer review analysis, autopom! stands out for having high customer satisfaction ratings. For example, customers on Trustpilot give the company 4.9 out of 5.0 stars overall. In the extended warranty industry, companies typically have much lower ratings.

Established in 2009 and based in Lake Forest, California, autopom! offers three warranty plans. We found that the provider offers solid coverage at an affordable price compared to other providers, making it worth consideration if you want an extended car warranty.

The company provides several benefits for drivers, including:

  • High coverage limit: autopom! can cover vehicles up to 150,000 miles.
  • Extra coverage perks: autopom! coverage includes rental car assistance, 24/7 roadside assistance, and tire protection.

autopom! Coverage

autopom! coverage plans are listed below:

Autopom! Warranty Plan What It Covers
Exclusionary This plan is most similar to a bumper-to-bumper warranty or a new car manufacturer’s warranty and covers everything but a short list of exclusions. You’ll get protection for all parts, from the fuel system to seals and gaskets to the navigation equipment.
Mid-Level This plan provides coverage for major systems of your vehicle like the engine, transmission, drive axles, steering, electrical components, air conditioning and braking system.
Powertrain Plus This is a powertrain warranty that covers the essentials in your vehicle such as the engine, transmission, drive axles and air conditioning. It can even include coverage for basic electrical system components, though this varies based on the plans available in your area.

autopom! Extended Warranty Cost

autopom! is typically more expensive than the average warranty coverage cost of $3,026 total. Below are a couple of quotes that we got from the provider:

TypePlan NameTermMonthly CostTotal Cost
ExclusionaryExclusionary5 years/75,000 miles$155$5,580
Mid-levelMid-Level5 years/75,000 miles$1455,220
PowertrainPowertrain Plus4 years/48,000 miles$1304,680

It’s good to note that these plans are for a 2017 Honda CR-V with 45,000 miles. Additionally, payment plans last for 36 months and include a $0 deductible.

autopom! Customer Reviews

autopom! stands out because it has high customer satisfaction ratings, which is fairly uncommon for the extended warranty industry. Trustpilot customers rate it 4.9 out of 5.0 stars. In addition, customers through the BBB rate it 4.7 out of 5.0 stars and Google reviewers rate it 4.6 out of 5.0 stars.

4. CarShield: Best for Electric Vehicles

4.4

Overview

Why we chose it: CarShield offers a plan exclusively for EVs. It also has flexible month-to-month contracts with unlimited terms, while most other companies lock you in for a number of years.

Number of plans: Seven

Average cost per year of coverage: $1,580

Highest mileage limit: 300,000 miles

Read more: CarShield Review

Compare: CarShield vs. Endurance

Why We Picked Carshield

CarShield can be a good idea for drivers who want maximum flexibility in a warranty contract. You can start and end the contract whenever you choose, and payments are made month-to-month. CarShield’s high mileage limit of 300,000 miles and unlimited term lengths are a unique benefit in the industry. We like CarShield for its:

  • Coverage options: CarShield offers a variety of standard plans plus options that cover high-tech components and EVs only.
  • Month-to-month contracts: CarShield provides extra flexibility by letting you decide how long you want to keep a warranty plan.
  • High mileage limit: CarShield’s 300,000-mile limit can cover a wider range of vehicles than most extended warranty companies.

Carshield Coverage

CarShield can cover vehicles up to 300,000 miles, which is the highest mileage limit of any company on our best extended car warranty list. The maximum number of coverage years isn’t listed on the company website.

CarShield Protection Plans

CarShield has seven levels of coverage for new and used vehicles. Though the company offers coverage for nearly any vehicle type, we especially like its specialty coverage for motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), EVs, and vehicles with high-tech systems and components.

Warranty PlanRecommended ForDetails
DiamondOwners looking to maintain factory-level coverageBumper-to-bumper coverage designed to be similar to a manufacturer’s warranty for new cars
PlatinumHigh-mileage vehiclesComprehensive coverage
GoldCoverage for both minor and major vehicle partsPowertrain-plus coverage for the engine, transmission, water pump, air conditioning, and starter
SilverThe most basic coveragePowertrain coverage for the most important parts of your vehicle
AluminumVehicles with advanced electrical systemsProtects the engine control module, alternator, navigation/GPS, electrical system, and starter
Electric VehicleFully electric carsProtects various components for exclusively electric cars, including the electric drive until, electrical system, battery pack, and more
Motorcycle & ATVMotorcycles and ATVsVariety of coverage levels and contracts for specialty vehicles

CarShield Perks

CarShield contracts come with the following perks:

  • Roadside assistance
  • Complimentary towing services
  • Rental car reimbursement (included on most plans)
  • Trip interruption

Like all extended warranties, CarShield plans come with numerous exclusions, so it’s important to make sure that you fully understand what’s covered and what isn’t.

CarShield Cost

With low deductibles and month-to-month coverage, CarShield is also one of the most flexible options for cost and payments. All other companies on our list have contracts that start at three years, but you could get coverage for less than that with CarShield since you aren’t locked in.

Depending on the CarShield plan you choose, your payment may range from $110 to $200 per month. We found that most CarShield warranties cost between $110 and $140 per month on average. The table below shows cost estimates for different coverage tiers.

TypePlan NameTermMonthly CostTotal Cost
ExclusionaryDiamondUnlimited$140Varies
Mid-levelPlatinumUnlimited$120Varies
PowertrainSilverUnlimited$110Varies

*These quotes have a $100 deductible and apply to a 2017 Honda CR-V with 45,000 miles.

To calculate average cost per year of coverage, our team typically divides the average total cost of the quotes we receive by the average term length. However, because CarShield provides month-to-month contracts with no specified end date, we calculated CarShield’s average cost per year of coverage simply by averaging the total amount paid toward the warranty each year. Note that not all quotes used in this calculation appear in the table above.

Since your vehicle’s age and mileage help to determine eligibility, the best way to find out how long you can cover your car is to contact CarShield.

Carshield Customer Reviews

CarShield started in 2005 and has protected over 1 million vehicles. The company has an average rating of 4.1 out of 5.0 stars from over 43,000 Trustpilot reviews and gets 4.2 out of 5.0 stars from more than 1,000 Google reviews.

5. Olive: Best Value

4.4

Overview

Why we chose it: Olive offers a great online experience where you can compare plans side by side.
Number of plans: Three
Average cost per year of coverage: $436
Highest mileage limit: 185,000 miles

Read more: Olive Warranty Review

Why We Picked Olive

Olive is cheaper than many other top providers of vehicle service contracts. Our team reached out for quotes on different vehicles and received extended warranty rates consistently lower than from other leading companies.

If you’re looking for a three-year warranty from a self-serve website, Olive could be a good option. Here are the reasons we like Olive:

  • Affordability: Olive’s plans are typically more affordable than plans from its competitors.
  • Transparency: The company’s modern website makes it easy to compare coverage levels. Olive provides an interactive table that shows coverage by vehicle system.
  • Simplicity: Olive offers three plans that cover up to three years of the car’s life. You can make 36 monthly payments or 3 annual payments.

Olive Extended Warranty Coverage

With Olive, you have access to three plans with varying levels of coverage that range from a bumper-to-bumper warranty to basic powertrain protection. Each of Olive’s plans, which have no waiting period before they take effect, are available in all 50 states.

Olive Extended Car Warranty Plans

The three plans offered by Olive are described in further detail below.

Warranty PlanRecommended ForDetails
Complete CareThe most comprehensive coverageProtects virtually all mechanical and electrical components unless it’s specifically listed as not covered
Powertrain PlusHigh-mileage vehiclesProtects the systems included in the lower-tier Powertrain plan as well as named additional components within the steering, suspension, fuel delivery, cooling, and braking systems
PowertrainPowertrain coverage with optional add-onsProtects named components for the essential powertrain systems, with the option to add electrical, air conditioning, and fuel systems

Olive Perks

Though all plans come with towing and rental car reimbursement, they don’t include roadside assistance or trip interruption benefits. While this is somewhat unfortunate, not providing these services keeps prices low for customers.

Olive Extended Car Warranty Cost

Olive is another company that offers affordable coverage. The total costs we received in quotes ranged from $898 to $2,382 for a 2017 Honda CR-V. Payments were somewhere between $25 and $66 per month for 36 months. Olive offers deductibles of $100, $250, or $500, with higher deductible limits leading to a lower overall cost.

TypePlan NameTermMonthly CostTotal Cost
ExclusionaryComplete Care3 years/unlimited miles$66 for 36 months$2,382
Mid-levelPowertrain Plus3 years/unlimited miles$46 for 36 months$1,668
PowertrainPowertrain3 years/unlimited miles$36 for 36 months$1,310

*These quotes have a $100 deductible and apply to a 2017 Honda CR-V with 45,000 miles.

To calculate average cost per year of coverage, our team divided the average total cost of the quotes we received by the average term length to get $436. Note that not all quotes used in this calculation appear in the table above.

Olive Customer Reviews

Olive was founded in 2000 but only recently began focusing efforts on selling its warranty products online. The company’s website, which includes a helpful chatbot feature, has the sleekest user experience of any site analyzed by our team.

This customer experience is somewhat reflected in online reviews. Olive has an A+ rating and accreditation from the BBB, though customers on that platform only give it a 2.o- out of 5.0-star rating.

 


 

Best Extended Car Warranty Coverage

In our latest third-party warranty consumer survey, 57 percent of respondents said coverage is the most important factor when choosing a warranty company. Our editorial team spent time analyzing the coverage options available from each extended warranty provider. We gave Endurance, CarShield, and Omega Auto Care the highest ratings for the coverage review category. Because Omega Auto Care did not make our list of top five providers overall, you can learn more about the provider in our dedicated Omega Auto Care review.

The table below will provide a look at the score we gave each provider out of 5.0 stars, along with some insight into their coverage options.

Extended Warranty ProviderCoverage RatingNumber of Plans OfferedMaximum Term Lengths
1. Endurance4.968 years/200,000+ miles
2. Omega Auto Care4.9515 years/250,000 miles
3. CarShield4.8710 years/300,000 miles

*The coverage rating given to each provider is based on the types of warranty plans offered, coverage term length, and added benefits like roadside assistance. A provider scores well if it offers more than three plans and has mileage limits over 150,000 miles. You can learn more about how we give scores in each rating category in our methodology section.

Best Auto Extended Warranty Plans

In addition to high ratings across the coverage review category, our team also looked into the providers that offer standout bumper-to-bumper, stated-component, and powertrain plans for the industry. If you’re looking for a specific type of plan, consider the following.

Endurance Supreme Plan: Best Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty Coverage

Because of its comprehensive coverage and included benefits, our editorial team found that Endurance Supreme is the best bumper-to-bumper extended warranty overall. Since Endurance is a direct warranty provider, it can provide coverage for up to 8 years/200,000+ miles with only a short list of exclusions.

We also like that the plan comes with a free year of Endurance Elite Benefits like a tire allowance, key fob replacement, collision discounts, and up to $1,000 in total loss replacement. This is on top of standard benefits that come with the Supreme plan like roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption coverage.

CarShield Platinum: High Stated-Component Coverage

The CarShield Platinum plan provides some of the highest stated-component coverage in the industry. It stands out for being just as comprehensive as the Diamond bumper-to-bumper plan, covering 15 major vehicle systems including the air conditioning and power steering.

All exclusions are clearly outlined in CarShield Platinum sample contracts. This warranty takes care of systems that aren’t protected by many comparable plans, with coverage for the electrical system’s power windows, GPS system, and infotainment system.

Olive Powertrain Plus: Comprehensive Powertrain Warranty Coverage

Olive provides two powertrain plans, including one with coverage slightly beyond the major components. The Powertrain Plus plan covers the engine, transmission, front suspension, electrical, instrumentation, and four-wheel and all-wheel drive just like Olive’s bumper-to-bumper plan. However, it takes a few minor parts out.

With Olive, you get several plan perks like towing and rental car coverage. The company also offers month-to-month contracts that allow you to cancel at any time if you find that coverage isn’t right for you.

 


 

Best Value Extended Car Warranties

In our industry-wide study of the best extended car warranties, we found several providers that stood out in terms of affordability. Olive, autopom!, and Endurance all received high cost ratings from our editorial team while also receiving a positive overall score. Because the warranty market has many low-cost providers with poor reputations, it is difficult to judge a provider purely by using the cost score from our research. 

The table below looks at the cost rating given out of 5.0, along with the cheapest monthly rate we were given.

Cheap Extended Car Warranty CompaniesCost RatingCheapest PlanCheapest Monthly RateLowest Deductible
1. Olive4.7Powertrain$25$100
2. autopom!4.7Powertrain$130$0
3. Endurance4.6Select Premier$107$100

*Our cost rating is determined by the providers that offer great coverage at an affordable price. You can learn more about how we give scores in each rating category in our methodology section.

Our editorial team found that Olive typically offers the cheapest car warranties in the industry. Plans start as low as $25 per month and have no waiting period, meaning that your car is protected as soon as you purchase coverage. Drivers can choose from three plans that range from exclusionary protection to basic powertrain coverage. As stated above, the quotes we received in our secret shopper analysis were between $25 and $66 per month. Worth noting with Olive, there are not many added benefits to the plans – the coverage is simple and straightforward.

In addition, autopom! received one of the highest cost ratings of any warranty provider in our industry-wide study. The company offers flexible monthly payments, so if you are only looking for coverage for a short time your total plan cost may be lower than with another company that locks you in for several years. As one of the largest warranty providers, CarShield has six vehicle service contracts, with powertrain plans starting as low as $130 per month.

While its coverage is not as cheap as Olive’s, we found that Endurance is another one of the most affordable providers. Plans start as low as $107 per month with the lowest deductible at $100. Endurance is our top-rated choice for coverage, in part due to its high cost scores.

Endurance
4.6
Industry Standing: 4.3/5.0
Coverage: 4.9/5.0
Cost: 4.6/5.0
Transparency: 4.8/5.0
Customer Service: 4.3/5.0
idée Endurance is our top pick for extended warranties.
  • Best Coverage
  • Maximum Mileage: Up to 200,000 miles
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days for full refund
  • Longest Term: 8 years of coverage
  • Coverage Options: 6 plans including maintenance option
  • Discounts: $300 same-day signup discount, $250 shopping voucher, and others
Plan coverage includes Endurance Elite perks™
Exclusionary plan One-year membership for free
Powertrain plan Tire repair and replacement
Maintenance coverage with Endurance Advantage Key fob replacement
Roadside assistance Total loss protection
Towing Collision discount
Rental car $250 rewards voucher
Trip interruption coverage Endurance Protect app

 


 

Extended Car Warranty Buyers Guide

If you’re not sure where to start when shopping for extended car warranty coverage, read on to learn more about various types of warranties and plans.

What Is An Extended Car Warranty?

An extended auto warranty, also known as a vehicle service contract or vehicle protection plan, pays for damage caused by defective materials and workmanship after your initial factory warranty expires. By doing so, these plans can protect you from paying for potentially costly out-of-pocket repairs if your vehicle breaks down.

If you experience a covered breakdown after your waiting period is up, you’ll file a claim with the warranty provider. Depending on the contract, you may have to use a network of dealerships or might be able to pick your favorite repair facility. Most plans require you to pay a deductible before the extended warranty covers the rest of the repair cost.

Extended Auto Warranty Vs. Mechanical Breakdown Insurance

Some car insurance providers offer mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI). This is an add-on that covers mechanical issues in a similar way to extended auto warranties. However, MBI often requires you to visit a small network of dealerships, and it usually doesn’t last as long as plans from the best car warranty providers.

Out of the five providers that we’ve detailed in this article, only Endurance and Olive specifically state that they offer MBI. However, autopom! offers MBI for its customers depending on state requirements.

Extended Warranty Coverage

Extended car warranties cover repairs and replacements after breakdowns that come from normal use. Depending on your plan, it may cover the powertrain, electrical system, air conditioning, and other systems.

Most extended warranties don’t cover routine maintenance for your vehicle. Things such as oil changes, brake pads, and tires usually remain the owner’s responsibility. The best extended car warranty providers have several coverage options, so you can select the plan that best fits your vehicle’s needs.

How To Read A Vehicle Service Contract

An extended warranty protects you by covering the cost of certain repairs if a mechanical or electrical component breaks down. Exactly which parts are covered depends on your contract. In terms of how the warranty information is presented, there are typically two types of plans: exclusionary coverage and named-component coverage.

  • Exclusionary coverage: This type of car warranty plan covers all parts of your vehicle in the case of a mechanical breakdown, except for a short list of excluded parts.
  • Stated-component coverage: This type of auto warranty, also known as inclusionary coverage, is essentially the opposite of exclusionary coverage. Your contract will specifically list the covered parts and systems and parts not listed aren’t protected.

Types Of Extended Car Warranties

Another way to compare warranties is by the amount of coverage provided by each plan. Aftermarket car warranties generally fall under three main types: bumper-to-bumper, mid-level, and powertrain. We’ve outlined some of the basics of each warranty type below:

  • Bumper-to-bumper: Bumper-to-bumper warranties usually offer comprehensive, exclusionary coverage similar to the factory warranty that comes with new cars. Most include the car’s major mechanical systems apart from certain excluded items. The excluded components of a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty should be listed in the warranty’s sample contract.
  • Mid-level: Mid-level plans can cover up to a dozen systems on your vehicle. These include the air conditioning, electrical, steering, suspension, and braking along with basic powertrain components.
  • Powertrain: Powertrain warranties only cover the major parts that make your car move. This includes most internal parts of the engine, transmission, and drive axle. Extended powertrain warranties are usually recommended for high-mileage or older cars.

Read the fine print of your warranty or look at a sample contract to know what type of service contract your aftermarket car warranty falls under.

Stated-Component Car Warranty Plans

Within stated-component coverage, you can find various plan levels such as:

  • High-stated coverage: Just one step below factory-level coverage, this level usually covers most of the main systems of the car and can take care of thousands of components in your vehicle.
  • Powertrain plus: This covers the powertrain and a few other important systems like the air conditioning, steering, and electrical systems.
  • Basic powertrain: This is typically the lowest protection level offered by an extended warranty company and is comparable to a factory powertrain warranty. It covers repair costs for the engine, drivetrain, and transmission. These can be costly repairs, so it’s a good idea to protect them if you own an unreliable or high-mileage car.

Venn diagram that shows the similarities and differences between bumper-to-bumper warranties and powertrain warranties

How Do Extended Warranties Work?

Extended warranties function similarly to insurance policies since they protect you from potentially pricey and unpredictable car repair costs. Instead of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars out of pocket, you’ll only need to pay a small deductible if your repairs are covered under warranty.

Extended Car Warranty Coverage Exclusions

Extended car warranties only cover components that break down as a result of normal use. Damage resulting from an accident, misuse, or improper maintenance won’t be covered. Certain items like bumpers, glass, trim, and upholstery won’t be taken care of under any circumstance. Wear-and-tear items such as tires, brake pads, wiper blades, and shock absorbers are also typically excluded from coverage.

When surveying consumers in our 2022 third-party warranty survey, over 40 percent of respondents said their warranty claim was denied due to their contract not covering the specific part or component that needed repairs. Be sure to read the fine print in your contract before signing to fully understand what is and isn’t covered by your warranty plan.

Extended Car Warranty Waiting Period

After purchasing your contract, most warranty providers require you to go through a waiting period before you can use coverage. This protects the provider from someone purchasing a warranty right after discovering a major issue with their car. Most extended warranties require you to wait 30 days and 1,000 miles before making a car repair claim.

Canceling Extended Car Warranty Coverage

Reputable extended car warranty companies will allow you to cancel coverage for a full refund within 30 days. They’ll also provide prorated refunds after that. You must contact the contract administrator and provide a written odometer statement to cancel an extended car warranty.

Extended Car Warranty Cost

Based on our research, extended warranties that last between three to six years cost anywhere from $1,600 to $4,500 on average. Bumper-to-bumper warranties tend to be costlier since they cover more vehicle components, and long-lasting coverage also increases the contract price. Other factors that affect car warranty costs include:

  • Deductible
  • Vehicle age, make, model, and mileage
  • Existing coverage
  • Selected provider

What Is A Good Price For An Extended Car Warranty?

A good price for a comprehensive extended car warranty is between $2,000 and $3,500 in total. Prices vary depending on the coverage and limitations you pick. Many companies offer monthly payments in the range of $80 to $160, though you can find higher and lower options.

Can You Buy An Extended Car Warranty After Purchase?

You can buy an extended warranty from reputable third-party providers at almost any time after purchase. Manufacturers, on the other hand, usually require you to buy an extended warranty before the factory warranty expires. Some only allow you to get one when you buy the vehicle.

Are Extended Warranties Worth It?

You may have never 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 today, but you’ll likely be glad to have protection if an issue pops up. However, it’s important to note that car warranties are not required by law.

The typical automaker offers bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage for 3 years/36,000 miles. Ford, Honda, Toyota, and others all offer this term limit. While some manufacturer warranties, like the Hyundai warranty, cover you for longer, they still fall short of the 150,000 miles that the average car owner can expect to put on their vehicle throughout its lifetime.

For this reason, those who are planning to keep their vehicles for a while might consider an extended warranty. Owners who plan to sell may want to think about coverage, too. If you plan to sell your vehicle on the private market after a few years, a transferable service contract could make your car more appealing to potential buyers.

According to Jessica Campbell, Director of Marketing at Endurance, “Whether or not an auto protection plan or extended warranty is ‘worth it’ largely depends on a vehicle owner’s needs and the quality of the vehicle itself.”

To be sure that the extra coverage is a wise decision, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of extended car warranties.

In addition, car owners should read the fine print of a vehicle service contract to understand what’s excluded and what could void the warranty. You should also make sure that you’re signing up for a monthly payment plan that fits within your finances.

Benefit Of Extended Warranties On Cars

Extended car warranties keep your vehicle covered in the case of a mechanical or technological failure. Based on the type of car you have and how much it costs to own over its lifetime, this could save you money in the long run.

Besides protecting your vehicle after the manufacturer’s warranty expires, the best extended car warranties provide benefits such as:

  • Convenience: If an issue is covered by your service contract, you’ll know exactly who to call for a fix. Most providers let you choose your own mechanic or repair facility. The best extended car warranty companies will even pay your repair shop directly.
  • Risk mitigation: While some vehicles cost less than others to repair, recurring issues – or even just one costly repair – could quickly add up to a hefty repair bill. An aftermarket car warranty alleviates the cost of repairs as your vehicle ages.
  • Added perks: Many of the best extended car warranty companies include benefits with their protection plans like roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and towing.

Remember that car insurance generally doesn’t cover vehicle repairs due to mechanical breakdowns. It covers damages caused by collisions and environmental factors, so don’t think that you’re in the clear just because you have auto insurance.

If you want financial peace of mind, an extended warranty can be worth thinking about. Considering that vehicle repairs become more frequent as cars age, it may be worthwhile to invest in an extended warranty for an older model before repair bills start to pile up.

Car Maintenance Costs

According to AAA, 64 million Americans don’t have the funds to cover unexpected car repair costs. Instead, they’d go into debt to cover steep repair bills. An average car repair costs between $500 and $600, but you’ll be looking at much more if a major component breaks.

Here are a few average prices for some of the more expensive car repairs according to data from RepairPal.

Car ComponentAverage Price
Engine control module (ECM) replacement$1,010 to $1,081
Turbocharger assembly replacement$2,028 to $2,429
Fuel tank replacement$1,408 to $1,529
Catalytic converter replacement$2,224 to $2,309
Head gasket replacement$1,915 to $2,220
Water pump replacement$732 to $866

Jessica Campbell, quoted earlier, states that the most common types of repair claims with Endurance are repairs dealing with transmissions and water pumps. She also mentions that costs vary due to factors “including vehicle type, model, age, and the complexity of the individual repair.”


 

Best Extended Auto Warranties: Bottom Line

While there are many providers in the industry, we think Endurance has the best extended car warranty overall. The company offers a wide range of coverage options that last for several years and a significant number of miles. Endurance is also a direct warranty provider, so you’ll never have to worry about dealing with another company. Our team also recommends CARCHEX for its high mileage limits and Carshield for both standard and electric vehicle coverage.

Getting a free quote online and comparing prices from several extended warranty providers can help you find the best fit for your car and budget.

Endurance
4.6
Industry Standing: 4.3/5.0
Coverage: 4.9/5.0
Cost: 4.6/5.0
Transparency: 4.8/5.0
Customer Service: 4.3/5.0
idée Endurance is our top pick for extended warranties.
  • Best Coverage
  • Maximum Mileage: Up to 200,000 miles
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days for full refund
  • Longest Term: 8 years of coverage
  • Coverage Options: 6 plans including maintenance option
  • Discounts: $300 same-day signup discount, $250 shopping voucher, and others
Plan coverage includes Endurance Elite perks™
Exclusionary plan One-year membership for free
Powertrain plan Tire repair and replacement
Maintenance coverage with Endurance Advantage Key fob replacement
Roadside assistance Total loss protection
Towing Collision discount
Rental car $250 rewards voucher
Trip interruption coverage Endurance Protect app

Extended Car Warranty: FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions about extended car warranty coverage plans:

 


 

Extended Warranty Reviews: Our Process

Each year, our research team collects hundreds of data points on extended car warranty plans to rank the best coverage on the market. We compare pricing from quotes obtained via secret shopping, analyze coverage quality and plan options, and evaluate contract transparency and customer satisfaction.

The extensive data we collect is used to create a score in each review category based on a systematic rating methodology. To keep our data current, we refresh our data points throughout the year. Below, you can learn more about how ratings are determined in each category:

Coverage

Focused on overall coverage quality, this rating is based on types of extended warranty plans, coverage term length, and added benefits like roadside assistance. A provider scores well if it offers more than three plans and mileage limits over 150,000 miles. Because it’s uncommon in the industry, coverage options for maintenance items like brake pads are also noted.

Cost

The overall cost of coverage is one of the most significant factors that impact customers’ decisions about buying an extended warranty. The review score for cost is determined by comparing the price per year of coverage from various providers, with higher scores being awarded for lower average rates.

To accurately estimate warranty pricing information, our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of plans and vehicles. This data is compiled from over 140 individual quotes we receive each year from different companies for a range of plans and payment options. We present example quotes in this article, but be aware that you may find different prices based on personal factors like vehicle type, provider, length, and level of coverage.

Contract Transparency

Transparency is an important quality to look for in extended warranty providers. Some companies make it easy to find sample contracts and read the fine print, while others make it difficult. Our transparency score takes into account sample contract accessibility as well as the presence of a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Customer Service

Great coverage options and prices mean nothing if the company lacks good customer service. We comb through customer reviews and perform our own shopper analysis to get a sense of the responsiveness and helpfulness of each warranty company. When speaking to representatives, our researchers assess issues like whether agents are more likely to explain coverage or are focused only on making a sale. 

Industry Standing

Warranty providers with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category. We look at the longevity of a company, its availability by state, partnerships with industry leaders like RepairPal and CARFAX, and Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings.

Extended Warranty Customer Survey

How we weigh each of our review categories to determine the overall score for a provider is influenced by a survey conducted by our research team. To complete the survey, we polled 1,000 consumers who have bought or thought about purchasing an extended warranty. We repeat this survey every two years.

Below are the top five factors most important to extended warranty customers, according to our most recent 2023 survey data:

  • Coverage (57 percent)
  • Cost (14 percent)
  • Transparency (13 percent)
  • Customer service (10 percent)
  • Industry standing (6 percent)

Our survey process allows us to gain valuable insight into consumers’ purchasing decisions and satisfaction. Respondents in our most recent survey were overall satisfied with their coverage.

*Data accurate at time of publication.