Extended warranties offered by car dealerships provide a considerable amount of coverage and often offer perks similar to those of a third-party provider. However, if you aren’t careful, you may overlook markups on your car loan, add-ons you don’t need, or coverage that doesn’t last the amount of time you need.
You may have also noticed that extended warranties from a dealership can be more expensive than ones from third-party companies. It may have left you wondering how much money dealerships make on warranties and whether a dealership extended car warranty is even worth it.
If you’re debating whether to buy an extended warranty plan from a dealership or a third-party company, we recommend comparing several quotes to decide what will work best for your vehicle. Click below to get started with quotes from a few of our recommended reputable extended car warranty companies.
What is a Dealership Warranty?
Dealer warranties are manufacturer-backed extended auto warranties that provide coverage for production defects with vehicle parts or make sure your car is at a certain standard of quality. Like most warranties, a dealership warranty does not cover wear and tear damages. These types of warranties can be purchased from any authorized dealer under your automaker.
Dealership Warranty Pros And Cons
When you’re offered an extended warranty when purchasing your vehicle at the dealership, it can be difficult to know on the spot what type and length of coverage you need, as well as what cost to expect.
Our team has put together a few of the pros and cons of buying an extended warranty from a dealership to help you make an informed decision.
Pros Of Dealership Warranties
Consider the pros of dealership warranties to determine it it’s the best option for you:
- Reliable coverage: Buying a manufacturer-backed extended warranty from a dealership can give you more comprehensive coverage than one backed by a third party. You’ll have access to higher-quality service from licensed dealerships and factory-trained technicians who use factory parts for your car.
- Benefits: Dealership warranties offer an array of benefits like roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement. Manufacturer’s warranties also remove the hassle of paying for services up front and having to be reimbursed later.
- Convenient for car buyers: Buying an extended warranty at the same time you purchase your used or new vehicle eliminates the need to search for one later. Any deals you’re offered during your car purchase may make warranty pricing seem more reasonable as well, and you may even be offered a reduced down payment.
Cons Of Dealership Warranties
Take the time to look over some of the disadvantages of buying a dealership warranty as well:
- Unnecessary interest rate: When you accept an extended warranty offer from a dealer, your warranty payments may be combined with your regular monthly auto payment. This results in paying interest on your warranty along with your car, making your purchase more expensive.
- Fees and unwanted add-ons: A dealership warranty can come with additional fees and unnecessary add-ons. While you may be able to negotiate with the salesperson, these fees and add-ons are usually set in place, and the overall plan isn’t as customizable as a third-party warranty plan.
- Poor return: Dealership extended warranties take effect almost immediately, which means that you may be paying for a warranty well before you need to use it. Depending on the length of the warranty, there’s a chance it could expire before you’ll need any repairs.
How Do Dealerships Make Money On Warranties?
Dealerships make most of their big profits from aftermarket sales, which includes selling gap insurance, car products and accessories, and extended car warranties. Each warranty plan a dealership sells can add up to $2,000 per purchase to its bottom line. The average dealer generally makes up to half of the selling price of an extended warranty. For example, if you purchase an extended warranty for $2,000, the dealer may make a profit of up to $1,000.
Plus, when you purchase a dealership extended warranty, dealers make money for the duration of your vehicle service contract because you’ll likely bring your car to their service department whenever you need repairs or factory parts replaced.
Why Do Dealerships Charge More For Warranties?
Because dealerships make a significant portion of their profits from aftermarket sales rather than new car sales, they want to be your primary source for an extended car warranty. Dealers want to make the car buying experience as easy and efficient as possible, so they will try to sell you a warranty based on convenience and accessibility.
However, dealerships often mark up the prices of the extended warranties they offer since these sales are highly profitable for them. Because the cost of a dealership warranty is likely more expensive than a third-party warranty, it is worth evaluating your options and trying to negotiate a lower price for the dealership warranty, if that is the plan you choose.
Are Dealership Warranties Worth It?
It can be challenging to determine whether the additional benefits and reliable coverage of a dealership warranty are worth the higher costs. Dealership warranties offer unique advantages in terms of convenience and the high-quality service they provide through factory-trained technicians who use manufacturer-recommended parts. However, you also run the risk of not using the extended warranty to its full benefit.
Many drivers find the peace of mind that comes with knowing their vehicles are covered in the case of a mechanical breakdown worth the higher price of a dealership warranty.
To help make your decision, consider the type of coverage you would want, the average cost of repairs for the car you’re buying, and potential add-ons and fees you want to avoid. Research the average extended warranty cost, types of coverage, and perks offered by third-party providers as well so you are prepared to compare those packages to the dealership offer.
Dealer Warranty: Conclusion
Dealership warranties, while expensive, can provide more comprehensive coverage than other options. A dealer warranty can also provide a convenient way to get your car serviced since it can be done at any automaker dealership. However, whether this type of warranty is right for you depends on whether you find the benefits worth the extra cost. We recommend that you shop around and compare options to find the best deal for your situation.
You can start comparing third-party extended warranty offers below.
Recommended Third-Party Extended Auto Warranty Providers
To help you compare dealership warranties to third-party vehicle service contracts, our team has reviewed the best extended car warranty companies and rated them based on average costs, coverage, customer service, available perks, and more. We highlighted three reputable providers below to help you determine what type of extended warranty is right for you.
|Company||Motor1 Rating||Coverage Levels||Longest Term Available|
|CarShield||4.2||6||Offers month-to-month payment plans|
Endurance: Best Coverage
As one of the largest third-party extended warranty companies on the market, Endurance provides multiple coverage options for car owners and holds a gold-level certification from the Vehicle Protection Association. Our team gave Endurance a 4.6 overall rating for its commitment to excellent customer service, positive reviews, reasonable costs, and quality coverage options.
All Endurance protection plans come with additional benefits such as 24/7 roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and free Endurance Elite Benefits for a year. As a member, you’ll receive up to $1000 toward a replacement vehicle in total loss protection. You also have the option to add additional services to your chosen warranty plan.
To find out more about this provider, check out our Endurance warranty review and get a free quote below.
Olive: Best Online Warranty
This relatively new, digital-focused extended warranty company offers three coverage options that last for three years, or until your car reaches 185,000 miles. Olive is subscription-based, meaning you can cancel your warranty plan at any time. The company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a 4.7-star rating on Google.
Olive offers warranty coverage ranging from its basic Powertrain plan to its exclusionary Complete Care plan. Each plan also comes with three deductible options – $100, $250, and $500 – which gives customers the chance to choose between nine different affordable price points for coverage.
To find out more about this provider, you can take a look at our complete Olive review and get a quick personalized quote below.
CarShield: Best Value
CarShield offers six types of extended warranties for both new and used cars, with some plans providing coverage up to 300,000 miles. The company has affordable monthly payments that start around $100, making it a popular choice among buyers looking for a budget-friendly warranty plan.
A few advantages of an extended warranty with CarShield are the ability to choose the certified repair shop of your choice, 24/7 emergency roadside assistance, and transferable vehicle service contracts if you sell your car. Our team gave the company a 4.2-star rating, and we think CarShield’s comprehensive coverage and low rates are worth considering.
Read our CarShield review to learn more and click below to receive a free quote.
Dealership Service Warranty: FAQ
Below are some common frequently asked questions about dealership warranties:
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of extended auto warranty companies to formulate rankings of the best providers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Warranty providers with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of extended warranty plans available, coverage terms, and added benefits like roadside assistance.
- Cost: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of plans and vehicles. Companies with lower prices per year of coverage receive the best scores.
- Transparency: This score takes into account contract transparency and the availability of a money-back guarantee.
- 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.