A car warranty can increase your peace of mind when it comes to coverage for mechanical repairs and replacements. If your vehicle experiences a breakdown or you notice a manufacturer defect, you can simply take your vehicle to a repair shop and file a warranty claim. While this process is fairly easy, many car owners wonder, “Does warranty work on cars get done slower?”
While some fear that mechanics don’t prioritize warranty claim repairs, it’s not likely that warranty work on cars is done slower than regular customers’ repairs. It is possible, however, that you might experience a delay if your warranty provider takes too long to approve your claim. Because of this, it’s best to stick to a warranty service that will address needed repairs quickly.
When looking for the best extended warranty for your vehicle, we recommend that you get customized quotes from several providers.
How Does The Warranty Repair Process Work?
The warranty repair process is similar to getting a car repaired after an accident through your auto insurance. If your vehicle experiences a mechanical problem or breakdown that is covered by your warranty, you can take it to a licensed repair facility. The mechanic will examine your vehicle and contact your warranty provider before any work begins. Once your warranty provider approves your claim, the mechanic can repair your vehicle.
The claims process can be difficult or prolonged if you don’t choose a good extended car warranty provider, especially if you have to pay up front and wait to be reimbursed for these repair costs later. It’s best to look for a provider that will pay the repair shop directly as this can shorten the overall process.
How Long Should A Warranty Repair Take?
While the amount of time varies based on the type of work that needs to be done, a repair under warranty should take less than 30 days. Most insurance and warranty companies require a car to be fixed within a certain time frame, usually between 15 and 20 days, with a maximum of 30 days. The average warranty repair takes about 12 days, but the timeframe depends on what needs to be fixed.
When dropping off your vehicle at a repair shop or franchised dealership, you should always be given an estimate of how long it will take. Some possible factors that could slow down the repair process are:
- Delayed approval from your warranty provider, whether it be a manufacturer’s or a third-party warranty
- The mechanic finding additional damage or issues while performing work on your vehicle
- The repair facility or dealership service department having to wait for additional parts to be delivered
Unless you have unexpected complications or your mechanic has specified that repairs will require more time, warranty work on a car should not take longer than a month. The process begins the day you drop your vehicle off and ends the day you pick it up, so keep this in mind when you’re given a time estimate.
How Do I Get My Car Fixed Under Warranty?
For repairs covered under your vehicle service contract, you will need to bring your car to a licensed repair shop or car dealer for an inspection. Once a claim has been filed, you must wait until your warranty service authorizes your repairs before any work can begin. With a reliable extended warranty provider, this should not take more than three to five days.
When you purchase a new vehicle, you should be given an owner’s manual with more information about your manufacturer’s warranty, how it works, and what to do if you experience any mechanical problems. The manual reviews what you must do in order to keep the warranty active for any future repairs. This usually includes:
- Having your vehicle serviced at regular intervals
- Performing routine maintenance (oil changes, fluid flushes, and other services)
- Avoiding any vehicle misuse (off-road racing or reckless driving)
If you keep your car well maintained and follow the guidelines, then a warranty repair should be quick and efficient. Make sure you take the time to understand what your warranty covers and how the process works – it will give you greater peace of mind throughout the repair process.
Does Warranty Work Have To Be Done At A Dealership?
Most manufacturer extended warranties require you to have repairs done at a dealership, but third-party extended warranty providers such as Olive and autopom! offer you the option to take your car to a repair shop of your choice. If you want the flexibility to take your car to any licensed repair facility you choose, a third-party warranty might be the best option for you.
Top Recommendations For Extended Warranties
Our team has reviewed the best extended warranty companies in the industry based on factors like customer service, cost, and coverage.
Endurance: Best Coverage
As one of the largest and fastest-growing extended warranty providers in the industry, Endurance offers comprehensive coverage, great customer service, and additional benefits, such as:
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Rental car reimbursement
- Trip interruption coverage
- Free Endurance Elite Benefits for one year
Endurance offers six levels of extended warranty coverage: Supreme, Superior, Secure Plus, Secure, Select Premier, and EnduranceAdvantageTM. Whether you’re looking for bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage or a plan that includes routine maintenance, you can likely find a good fit for your vehicle from Endurance’s range of top-rated plans.
Read our Endurance review to learn more about this extended warranty provider.
CarShield: Best Value
Founded in 2005, CarShield stands out among competitors for its flexible protection plans and coverage for specialty vehicles and high-tech systems. The provider offers low or $0 deductibles and is a good choice for those who want a vehicle service contract at a lower price.
CarShield has five warranty plans for automobiles and one specifically designed for motorcycles and ATVs. Most plans with low deductibles have monthly payments starting at $99. CarShield also makes direct payments to repair facilities instead of reimbursing you for costs later, making it a great option for quick and convenient warranty repairs.
Extended coverage from a company like CarShield can help you avoid high, unexpected repair costs at an affordable price point. You can learn more about this provider in our CarShield review.
Olive: Best Short-Term Warranty
This fairly new company launched in 2020 as a modern, digital-focused extended warranty provider. Olive’s subscription-based payment model is attractive to many car owners who don’t want to be stuck in a long-term contract. Olive has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a 5.0 industry rating.
Olive offers three coverage plans that last for up to three years or until your vehicle has reached 185,000 miles. Its warranty plans include several benefits, including towing and rental car reimbursement. Most Olive warranty plans range from $30 to $80 a month with a $100 deductible, making them fairly affordable compared to competitors’ plans.
To learn more about this extended warranty provider, read our Olive review.
Autopom!: Best Claims Process
Autopom! is one of the most reliable extended warranty companies in the industry with affordable coverage options. Autopom! offers four levels of coverage and its average plan costs between $1,500 and $4,000 according to our secret shopper analysis.
Autopom! is best known for its seamless claims process, and customer reviews highlight the company’s excellent customer service.
With every level of coverage, you have access to:
- Roadside assistance 24/7
- Choice of repair shop
- Rental car assistance
- 30-day money-back guarantee
If you want to know more about this provider, read our complete autopom! review.
CARCHEX: Best for Used Cars
CARCHEX offers five customizable protection plans and is a good choice to consider for used vehicles in particular. CARCHEX’s extended warranty plans range from powertrain coverage to more comprehensive, exclusionary coverage, and the provider offers plans up to 10 years/250,000 miles.
Each plan comes with a $100 deductible. The provider also pays the repair shop directly in the case of covered repairs, which helps remove the hassle from the process.
You can find more about this extended car warranty provider by reading our CARCHEX review.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.