New Toyota owners get a nice perk called ToyotaCare. It’s a free program that covers normal factory scheduled maintenance for 2 years/25,000 miles, whichever comes first. ToyotaCare also includes 24-hour roadside assistance for two years and unlimited miles.
While that’s a good deal, the ToyotaCare plan covers maintenance – not repairs. The factory Toyota warranty covers your car for 3 years or 36,000 miles, but you might consider adding an extended auto warranty. We’ve researched the best extended car warranty companies on the market to help you in your search.
Your Toyota’s warranty doesn’t last forever. Learn about your options for a Toyota extended car warranty from our recommended providers below.
What is ToyotaCare?
Every new Toyota comes with a ToyotaCare maintenance plan that covers the vehicle for 2 years/25,000 miles. ToyotaCare plans cover routine maintenance items that most extended car warranties don’t cover, such as oil changes, filter replacements, tire rotations, multi-point inspections, and more.
In order to qualify for a ToyotaCare plan, your vehicle must have less than 31,000 miles and be within 37 months of the vehicle’s date of first use. These plans come with 4 years/unlimited miles of roadside assistance that grants the following services:
- Battery jump-starts
- Lockout services
- Fuel deliveries
- Flat-tire changes
There are over 30 car brands on the market today, but only about a third of them offer free maintenance plans for new cars. Toyota is one of them, and it definitely makes getting a new car from the brand a more attractive deal.
Here’s a breakdown of ToyotaCare:
- Eligibility: ToyotaCare comes standard on all new Toyota models. ToyotaCare has been around for a number of years, so two-year-old models could still be eligible depending on mileage. You can check your car’s eligibility on Toyota’s website.
- Coverage period: The free factory scheduled service is available for 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. Roadside assistance is available for two years and unlimited miles.
- Scheduled maintenance: ToyotaCare covers scheduled maintenance at 5,000-mile or 6-month intervals. That means a car would get about four free services during the plan. The standard service types include oil changes, fluid adjustments, tire rotations, and multi-point inspections performed by Toyota-trained technicians.
- Roadside assistance: The 24-hour roadside assistance program includes lockout protection, battery jump-starts, spare tire installation, towing, winching, and emergency fuel delivery. It doesn’t include parts and fluids except for emergency fuel. Roadside assistance is only valid in the continental U.S. and Alaska.
- Transferability: ToyotaCare is fully transferable to private buyers as long as the coverage period hasn’t expired.
- Mirai: If you own a Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, ToyotaCare extends to 3 years or 35,000 miles. Enhanced 24-hour roadside assistance is also included with quicker towing service and generous trip interruption benefits.
While you are required to keep up with regularly recommended maintenance and inspections, ToyotaCare doesn’t provide coverage for new brake pads, windshield wipers, or other wear items. The program also won’t cover excess service visits.
Your Toyota dealer can deliver timely reminders so you don’t forget your service date. The dealer keeps track of all services, and you can view a complete history of service in the owners’ section of Toyota’s website.
Toyota’s maintenance guide suggests services every 5,000 miles or 6 months, so if you bring your car in 2 months after a regular service, you’ll probably have to pay for that. Unless you drove 5,000 miles during that time, that is.
Here’s Toyota’s recommended service schedule for the first 25,000 miles (conventional oil changes will happen every 5,000 miles):
|6 months/5,000 miles||Tire rotation, inspection, fluid adjustment|
|12 months/10,000 miles||Oil change, tire rotation, inspection, fluid adjustment|
|18 months/15,000 miles||Tire rotation, inspection, fluid adjustment|
|24 months/20,000 miles to 25,000 miles||Oil change, tire rotation, inspection, fluid adjustment|
ToyotaCare Plus Overview
If you think 2 years and 25,000 miles sounds a bit short, you can extend your maintenance program. However, this option isn’t free. ToyotaCare Plus extends the same coverage offered through the ToyotaCare program. Here are the different plan options you can choose from:
|3 years||35,000 miles|
|4 years||45,000 miles|
|5 years||60,000 miles|
You can see that there are three time limit options but six mileage options. Many prepaid maintenance plans work in this way. It gives drivers a way to choose based on their driving habits. For example, if you put more miles on your car than the average person per year – about 17,000 miles for men and 10,000 miles for women, according to the Federal Highway Administration – you could choose a higher mileage limit. On the other hand, if you don’t drive very often, you can keep a lower limit with the same amount of time.
In addition to the four standard service types that ToyotaCare provides, ToyotaCare Plus will also cover more involved scheduled maintenance. This includes inspecting the transmission, driveshaft, and fuel line systems at 30,000, 45,000, 60,000, and 75,000 miles and covering any recommendations outlined in your car’s maintenance plan under normal driving circumstances.
Here are a few more things to know about ToyotaCare Plus:
- Eligibility: To get ToyotaCare Plus, your car needs to be less than 37 months old with less than 31,000 miles on the odometer.
- Roadside assistance: 24-hour assistance is included for the duration of your plan.
- Transferability: ToyotaCare Plus is fully transferable, but you’ll have to pay a $50 fee to transfer it.
- Cancellation: You can cancel a ToyotaCare Plus plan within 30 days if you haven’t used coverage. If you have used the plan, or if it has been more than 30 days, you’ll have to talk to your Toyota dealer for details on cancellation.
Why You Might Need An Extended Warranty
So far, we’ve only talked about maintenance. When you think of maintenance costs, you might also think of the cost to repair things that malfunction. But strictly speaking, mechanical failure isn’t an aspect of maintenance. Once your car breaks down, ToyotaCare won’t help out, and neither will other prepaid maintenance plans.
To offset repair costs, we recommend looking into your extended warranty options, also called vehicle service contracts. Toyota offers its own extended warranty, but you also have the option to purchase from a warranty company. Third-party companies can offer more flexibility. Plus, contracts are often cheaper than going with a dealer-backed plan, especially since they don’t require you to go to the Toyota dealership for repairs. The main reasons why customers choose extended warranties is shown in the graphic below:
When you buy an extended warranty plan, the provider will cover certain breakdowns or malfunctions. You can choose what’s covered through different plan levels. When a covered breakdown happens, you call up the provider, and they can pay the repair shop to get your car fixed.
When it comes to Toyota repair costs and the car brand’s reliability, we recommend drivers turn to RepairPal’s 2020 Reliability Ratings. This rating bases reliability on three measures: Average annual repair cost, frequency of trips to the repair shop, and likelihood that a repair will be severely expensive. See how Toyota ranked in those categories compared to the average across all car types:
|Average Annual Repair Cost||$441||$652|
|Frequency of Annual Trips to the Repair Shop||0||0.4|
|Likelihood of Severe Repairs||12%||12%|
Overall, Toyota earns a 4.0 out of a possible 5.0, placing the car brand above average in reliability.
Best Third-Party Extended Warranty Providers
One of the main benefits of an extended warranty is the peace of mind that many repairs are covered. Instead of paying $1,000 to get your car fixed, you could pay a small or $0 deductible depending on your coverage. It definitely makes budgeting for auto costs easier.
Another nice thing about all of our recommended providers is they can pay repair shops directly. That means you don’t have to pay much, if at all, out of pocket when you go to the shop. And speaking of shops, many providers let you choose your own certified shop from thousands across the country.
Third-party providers usually have much more flexibility in terms of when you can add a plan. You have to add Toyota’s extended warranty before the factory warranty expires, but you could add a third-party contract at almost any time. Similarly, some warranty companies can cover Toyotas for up to 250,000 miles, while a dealer extended warranty would only last 125,000 at most.
In our comparison of the top providers, we named Endurance the best choice overall for its coverage options, customer service, and prices. We also think CARCHEX offers great service based on stellar customer reviews, an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, and strong endorsements from reputable organizations.
Because Toyota is known for its reliable cars, coverage plans can be cheaper than plans for other brands. Learn about your options for an extended car warranty for your Toyota by visiting our top recommendations below.
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.