Both are popular extended warranty providers, but which is the better choice?

 

While shopping for an extended auto warranty, you may wonder how industry leaders CARCHEX and CarShield compare in quality and service. Below, we put CarShield vs. CARCHEX side by side and evaluate each company's coverage, cost, claims process, and customer service.

CarShield and CARCHEX are among the best extended car warranty companies. Get free, personalized quotes from both providers below.

 

In this article:

Overview Of CarShield And CARCHEX

Choosing between CarShield vs. CARCHEX can be a difficult decision for many drivers, as both are leading providers in the auto warranty space. CarShield has covered millions of vehicles since 2005. Known for affordable plans and low deductibles, the company offers vehicle service contracts for new and pre-owned vehicles, as well as motorcycles. 

Started in 1999 as a vehicle inspection service company, CARCHEX has offered extended auto warranty plans since 2004 and is endorsed by a number of industry heavyweights, such as CARFAX, Kelley Blue Book, and Edmunds.com

  CarShield CARCHEX
Superlatives Best Value Best Service

Overall Rating

 4.5  4.5
Coverage  5.0  5.0
Cost  5.0  4.5
Transparency  4.0  4.0
Customer Service  4.0  4.5

 


 

CarShield Vs. CARCHEX: Coverage

When choosing between CarShield vs. CARCHEX, it's important to evaluate the different coverage options of each provider. 

CarShield offers six coverage plans, which include two specialty plans for high-tech vehicle components and motorcycle components. Protection ranges from basic coverage to coverage that more closely resembles a factory warranty. CarShield coverage plans also include 24/7 roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption coverage. 

Take a glance at this overview of each coverage tier:  

Plan What It Covers
New Car Diamond CarShield offers total new car coverage that protects all major components of the car. This bumper-to-bumper warranty is the highest level of coverage, meaning it's likely the most expensive option.
Platinum Plan This plan is best for high-mileage cars that are likely to need more repairs. Coverage is comprehensive and includes all components from lower-level plans, as well as steering, suspension, braking, electrical, and radiator.
Gold Plan This level of coverage is considered powertrain plus, which means it covers slightly more than the most basic vehicle systems. Additional coverage includes the fuel pump and fuel delivery system, air conditioning, starter system, alternator, and power windows. 
Silver Plan

This powertrain warranty is CarShield’s most affordable plan. It covers the components of the engine, transmission, drive axle, transfer case, and water pump.

Aluminum This specialty plan only covers components related to the car’s technology, such as the factory audio, alternator, power window controls, and other electrical components.
Motorcycle & ATV This plan is meant for specialty vehicles, such as motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles or ATVs. 
 
 

CarShield warranty coverage is extensive and unique in that the company offers vehicle service contracts for specialty vehicles, which are expected to increase in market share (compared with standard passenger vehicles) through 2024. For the growing number of motorcycle and ATV owners, an extended warranty may be necessary.

CARCHEX, on the other hand, offers more standard vehicle coverage plans but does not offer coverage for specialty vehicles such as motorcycles or ATVs. CARCHEX aims to provide the best coverage for standard vehicles and markets Extended Vehicle Protection Plans across five coverage tiers that span basic powertrain warranties to comprehensive, bumper-to-bumper warranties. 

Below is an overview of the five coverage levels:

Plan What It Covers
Titanium Plan This is the highest level of coverage offered by CARCHEX. It’s most similar to the factory warranty and only lists excluded items, such as tires, brake pads, wiper blades, and other wear and tear items. This premium plan is the most expensive of the five tiers.
Platinum Plan Platinum coverage is the highest level of stated component coverage, meaning all covered components are explicitly stated within the contract. Coverage includes suspension, heating, cooling, and enhanced electrical components.
Gold Plan This plan is best for high-mileage vehicles, and it has additional coverage for braking and steering system components. 
Silver Plan

Silver extended warranty plans are similar to CarShield’s Gold plans. They offer slightly more coverage than the most basic warranty level, but still at an affordable price. Silver plans also include coverage for fuel delivery systems, air conditioning, and electrical components.

Bronze Plan This powertrain warranty is the most affordable option available from CARCHEX, and it’s also the most basic. It covers the stated components of the engine, transmission, and drive axle. 
In addition, all CARCHEX plans include 24/7 roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, trip interruption, and other benefits. Compared to CarShield, CARCHEX offers more differentiated coverage between tiers. The Titanium plan is available for new and pre-owned vehicles, so owners of any type of vehicle can take advantage of full, bumper-to-bumper coverage. Optional vehicle coverages for high-tech electronics and windshield repairs are also available.
When you compare CarShield vs. CARCHEX, both companies have strengths depending on what you're looking for. With CarShield, you can get coverage up to 200,000 miles in every state except California. CARCHEX plans are available for vehicles up to 250,000 miles in all states.

 


 

CarShield Vs. CARCHEX: Cost

CarShield is known for its affordable prices – it earned our award for Best Value. But you'll find competitive rates with CARCHEX too. Warranty prices are individualized and are dependent on several factors, such as the age and model of your vehicle, your driving habits, and your deductible.

We reached out to CarShield for prices for a few different vehicles and coverage amounts. Here are the quotes we received:

Vehicle CarShield Warranty Plan

Term Length

Monthly Payment

Down Payment

Deductible

Honda CR-V

New Car Diamond 4 years/125,000 miles $100 for 18 months $295 $100

Lexus ES 350

New Car Diamond

Unlimited

$130 monthly

First payment

$100

Ford Fusion 

Platinum

Unlimited

$130 monthly

First payment

$100

Lexus RX 350

Platinum

Unlimited

$129 monthly

First payment

$100

Toyota Camry

Gold

Unlimited

$129 monthly

First payment

$100

Lexus ES 350

Gold

Unlimited

$129 monthly

First payment

$100

 

When you have your vehicle repaired, your CarShield plan provider will pay the repair facility directly. Your repair will either be 100-percent free, or you will have to pay a small deductible of $50 or $100.

With CARCHEX, you can find plans on par with industry prices of about $2,900. CARCHEX offers affordable coverage with its No-Haggle, Low-Price, Everyday GuaranteeTM,   and monthly payment plans allow you to pay your contract in full over 24 months or more.

When we reached out to CARCHEX to get quotes for a few vehicles, this is what we found:

Vehicle CARCHEX Warranty Plan

Term Length

Monthly Payment

Down Payment

Deductible

Honda CR-V

Titanium 5 years/125,000 miles $194 for 18 months First payment $100

Ford Fusion

Titanium 5 years/125,000 miles
$247 for 18 months
First payment
$100

Lexus ES 350

Titanium

7 years/125,000 miles

$188 for 18 months

First payment

$100

Lexus ES 350

Silver

6 years/100,000 miles

$183 for 18 months

First payment

$100

Toyota Camry

Silver

5 years/60,000 miles

$190 for 18 months

First payment

$100

CARCHEX plans typically have low deductibles – starting at $0 – with $100 deductibles being more common. Once again, keep in mind that your cost of coverage will depend on your vehicle, driving habits, and deductible.

 


 

CarShield Vs. CARCHEX: Claims Process

When evaluating the claims processes of CarShield vs. CARCHEX, we found that claims are made in the same manner for both companies.

Your claims department representative will take care of fulfillment, and payments are made directly from the provider to the repair facility, so customers do not have to pay out of pocket (with the exception of a small deductible). When it's time for a repair, you ask your mechanic to call your claims representative by telephone. The representative will speak to the repair facility about approvals, costs, and payment.

Who Fulfills The Contract? 

CarShield primarily uses administrator American Auto Shield, an insurance-backed provider. If you’re considering a CarShield warranty, read your contract carefully to fully understand what your policy covers and what’s excluded from coverage. 

CARCHEX plans are provided by American Auto Shield and Royal Administration Services. Both companies provide reliable vehicle service contracts, so you won't be stuck paying for repairs on your own. As previously mentioned,  CARCHEX also follows the regulations necessary to provide vehicle service contracts to California drivers. 

Repair Facility Options

Both CarShield and CARCHEX are third-party extended warranty providers that offer the flexibility to choose from a larger network of mechanics, rather than being limited to your vehicle's dealership. The extent of CarShield's approved network is not specified on its website, whereas CARCHEX makes it easy to find an approved repair facility through its app, which lists approved mechanics closest to you for your convenience. 

 


 

CarShield Vs. CARCHEX: Customer Service

CarShield has the largest market share in the used car warranty coverage. The company has over 2,500 Google reviews, most of which are positive.

If you research the company online, you will see more than 500 customer complaints from the past 3 years on Better Business Bureau (BBB). To contextualize this,  CarShield has sold more than 500,000 policies during the same time. So, the actual online customer complaint volume is approximately 0.1 percent of all customers. We hear from some companies that they choose not to belong to the BBB because accreditation for large companies can cost more than $10,000. 

When we called to get quotes from CarShield, wait times were less than one minute, and the representatives answered our questions without rushing or pushing a sale. 

Comparing customer service reviews between CarShield vs. CARCHEX, customer service is where CARCHEX truly shines. CARCHEX is BBB accredited with an A+ rating and fewer than 100 customer complaints over the past 3 years. Customer reviews commonly cite transparency and thorough contract explanations as part of positive experiences with CARCHEX. Representatives willingly answer questions with little pressure to buy, so you get the full picture of what is and isn’t covered by a specific extended warranty plan.

CARCHEX has received numerous awards for its outstanding customer service, including:

  • TopConsumerReviews.com 5-star rating for 6 consecutive years
  • BestReviewsHub.com Best Choice Award for 4 consecutive years
  • 2017 Top Pick by ThoroughlyReviewed
  • 2017 Silver Winner in Golden Bridge Awards®

 


 

Final Thoughts on CarShield And CARCHEX

Overall, both CarShield and CARCHEX are reputable auto warranty providers, but the two providers differ slightly when it comes to coverage, cost, claims processes, and customer service. Based on our comparison of CarShield vs. CARCHEX, we think CarShield is the better choice for customers looking for low prices and CARCHEX is the better choice for great service

To see how much you would pay for coverage for your vehicle, get free quotes from both providers below.

 

Our Verdict On CarShield: 4.5 Stars

CarShield is the most popular extended car warranty in the nation by far. It has extensive choices for coverage and some of the lowest prices in the industry. Our research team recognized the company for having the Best Value in our comprehensive CarShield review.

Our Verdict On CARCHEX: 4.5 Stars

When it comes to shopping for comprehensive coverage that you can trust, CARCHEX offers reliable protection plans at competitive prices. If customer service is important to you, then CARCHEX is an excellent option for covering the cost of expensive vehicle repairs. Learn more about the provider in our full CARCHEX review.

 

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