When looking into vehicle protection, you’ll see that there are a few types of warranties on cars. But what does each cover, and which is best for you?

In this article, we’ll explain the five most common types of warranties on cars so you can make the best decision for your vehicle and wallet. We’ll also introduce you to some of the best extended car warranty providers that have multiple coverage options for drivers to choose from.

If you want to start comparing free quotes from our top recommended providers right away, click below.

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5 Basic Types Of Warranties On Cars

The five most common types of warranties on cars are bumper-to-bumper, powertrain, corrosion, emissions control, and accessory warranties. These generally come included with your new vehicle and last for your first few years of ownership. After your car’s original warranty expires, you can purchase an extended warranty to cover these items.

Types of Warranties on CarsDetails
Bumper-to-Bumper WarrantyThis is the most comprehensive type of protection, covering most vehicle systems and parts. Routine maintenance services and wear-and-tear parts are not included.
Powertrain WarrantyThis covers the parts of the car that make it move, including the engine, transaxle, driveshaft, transmission, and front- and rear-wheel drive systems.
Rust and Corrosion WarrantyThis type of car warranty covers repairs or replacements of rusted-through body sheet metal.
Federal Emission Control or California Emission Control WarrantyThe federal government requires automakers to offer a limited warranty on many emission-related parts. California has additional emissions laws, which many other states also elect to follow.
Accessory WarrantyA wide range of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) auxiliary components are covered, like air bags, sound and navigation systems, and seat belts. Sometimes, safety features are broken out into their own warranty.

On paper, understanding what’s covered by each of these plans might seem easy. But specifics vary from company to company, so make sure to ask exactly what’s covered when you purchase a vehicle or extended warranty.

Some companies offer unique warranty coverage. For example, Subaru warranties include seat belt coverage that lasts the lifetime of the vehicle. Other unique types of warranties on cars include hybrid and electric vehicle protection, and battery warranties. When it comes to extended warranties, some companies, such as Endurance, even offer plans that combine mechanical breakdown coverage and routine maintenance services.

Exclusionary Vs. Stated-Component

You might run into some car warranty terminology you’ve never seen before when comparing extended car warranty companies, such as exclusionary and state-component coverage.

Exclusionary coverage is the most comprehensive extended warranty on the market. These types of warranties on cars, also sometimes called bumper-to-bumper warranties, are so comprehensive that the contracts don’t list every part covered. Instead, they only list the parts that aren’t covered.

Stated-component warranties will list all covered vehicle components in the contract. If something isn’t listed, then it isn’t covered. A powertrain warranty is an example of a stated-component plan. All in all, what is covered and what isn’t covered boils down to the warranty agreement itself.

Where Can You Buy An Extended Auto Warranty?

You keep your car protected after your original factory warranty has expired, you have two options: purchase a service contract from your vehicle manufacturer or from an independent warranty company.

If you buy a brand-new car, it will likely come with a limited warranty at no additional cost. For long-term coverage, an extended service agreement can be purchased from your car manufacturer before your limited new-car warranty expires, which is typically before the 3-year/36,000-mile mark.

Extended vehicle service contracts are also available from independent warranty companies. An aftermarket car warranty offers more flexibility in terms of coverage, pricing, and benefits. Plans can also be tailored to your specific needs and budget.

Many independent companies also include a number of perks with their warranties. For example, Toco gives drivers roadside assistance, rental car reimbursements, trip interruption coverage, and hotel discounts. You can get a free quote from the independent provider by visiting TocoWarranty.com.

Factory Vs. Independent Extended Warranty Coverage

There are pros and cons of extended car warranties with either option, and it’s up to your unique needs to decide what you want to get out of coverage. If you’re looking for more inclusive and customizable plans, often at better rates, an independent warranty is a better option for you. But if using OEM parts for repairs is more important, a factory-backed warranty is likely better.

While most automakers and dealers offer extended warranty plans during the sale of a vehicle, there are many reasons to go with a third-party provider.

Manufacturer WarrantyThird-Party Extended Warranty
Shorter periods of coverageLimits up to 250,000 miles, plus specific types of warranties on cars over 100,000 miles
Generally offers two to three plans to choose fromUsually between four and six plans to choose from
Repairs can only be made at dealership service centersDrivers can choose any certified repair facility, including dealerships
May or may not come with added perksReputable extended car warranty companies offer added perks like roadside assistance, towing, and rental car reimbursement

Used Car Warranties And CPO Warranties

If you’ve recently purchased a used or certified pre-owned car, you can still qualify for certain types of warranties on cars. Some automakers will guarantee a transfer of the new vehicle warranty to the next car owner when a car is resold on the private market, and you can often get extended used-car coverage through your manufacturer or an independent warranty company.

More often than not, purchasing a warranty from a third-party company is a better choice for your used or CPO car. The higher terms of an aftermarket warranty provide peace of mind no matter the age or condition of your car.

We recommend shopping around, comparing quotes, and reading reviews of the types of warranties on cars to get a sense of what a plan would look like for you. If you’re not sure where to start, Endurance, CARCHEX, and Protect My Car are three of our highest-rated providers that are certainly worth a look.

FAQ: Types Of Warranties On Cars

Methodology

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.