Narrow down your top contenders for an extended auto warranty provider with our review of leading companies.

 

We reviewed 13 of the most popular car warranty companies to help you determine if an extended warranty is worth it for your new or used vehicle, as well as understand what kind of coverage each company offers and what you can expect from the quotes and claims processes.

When shopping for extended warranties, the best thing to do is call around and get quotes customized to your specific vehicle. That way, you can compare each company’s prices and get a feel for customer service. Get a free quote from our top three providers below:

 

To find the best extended auto warranty, our researchers analyzed:

  • Company reputation: Number of years in business, partnerships and endorsements, customer reviews
  • Customer service: Availability, quotes and claims process, Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation, BBB rating, BBB complaints, sample contracts available online, money-back guarantee
  • Coverage: Number of plans offered, customization available, contract duration, inclusions or exclusions
  • Additional perks: Roadside assistance, emergency gas delivery, rental car reimbursement, towing, trip interruption coverage

In this article:

Endurance: Best Coverage

 

 

A direct provider for vehicle protection, Endurance is an extended warranty company with over 10 years of experience that is backed by an AM Best A-rated insurance company.

Unlike most car warranty companies, Endurance is a direct administrator of warranty plans, which means it handles all processes directly, so there’s no middleman involved. You talk to just the Endurance team at every point of the process. Not only can this speed up the claims process, but you won’t be wondering who you should call for what issue.

Endurance offers five levels of protection: 

Coverage Level

Recommended For

Details

Supreme

Exclusionary coverage

The most extensive plan with bumper-to-bumper protection 

Superior

The most stated-component coverage

Covers hundreds of specific components

Secure Plus

Fast coverage

Covers steering, electrical, and brakes with a shorter waiting period (30 days and 1,000 miles) than Select Premier

Secure

The most affordable coverage option

Covers the most vital car components

Select Premier

Older vehicles

Covers your basic powertrain components

 
 

Unlike CARCHEX, the maximum term lengths aren’t listed on the Endurance website. In our “secret shopper” analysis, the longest coverage we could get was 8 years/125,000 miles. We recommend calling Endurance to get a quote for your specific vehicle, since its age and mileage is a factor in the overall cost.

With each plan, Endurance provides customers with one year of Endurance Elite Membership that includes member rewards, 24/7 roadside assistance, key fob replacement, repair financing, and more. One negative about Endurance is that while other extended warranty companies offer these benefits for the duration of their warranty plans, Endurance policyholders are required to renew their Elite Membership after the first year in order to maintain these perks. 

Other features that make Endurance our top provider include: 

  • Quick and easy claims process: Plan holders get access to an online account, so you can make a claim online or by phone, whichever you prefer.
  • ID theft protection: Every plan includes ID protection tools to ensure you receive reimbursement and repair should your identity be compromised. 
  • Personal assistance for plan holders: When you invest in a plan, you get personalized assistance from a live, responsive concierge who can assist when an emergency arises.
  • Free tire repair and replacement: Unlike most car warranty providers, Endurance offers up to two tire repairs or replacements per year.

 

CARCHEX: Best Service

 
 

On company reputation, CARCHEX’s credentials speak for themselves. CARCHEX has been in the business for 20 years, has an A+ BBB rating and accreditation, and is endorsed by industry leaders like Kelley Blue Book, the Vehicle Protection Association, CARFAX, and Edmunds.com. The company has also received numerous awards for outstanding customer service, including:

  • 2017 Top Pick by ThoroughlyReviewed 
  • TopConsumerReviews.com 5-star rating for 6 consecutive years
  • BestReviewsHub.com Best Choice Award for 4 consecutive years
  • 2017 Golden Bridge Awards® “Silver Status” for 3 consecutive years for customer service

On customer service, the company’s No-Haggle, Low-Price, Everyday Guarantee™ is a differentiator from competitors, as CARCHEX aims to provide the best possible experience where coverage and pricing details are clear, you aren’t pressured to buy, and your questions are fully answered – an experience that can be hard to find in the car warranty industry. 

Additionally, CARCHEX’s 30-Day Money Back Guarantee means you can give the company a try and get a full refund if you’re not satisfied with the service within 30 days. We found a 30-day guarantee is fairly standard among the car warranty companies we reviewed.

CARCHEX offers five coverage tiers (listed below) with several plan options under each tier – a total of 16 different warranty plans. Sample contracts are available on the company’s website, and though the contracts are long (14-34 pages), CARCHEX representatives will walk you through them to help you understand what is and is not covered.

Coverage Level Years of Coverage

Recommended For

Details

Titanium

Up to 10

Owners looking for the most protection available

Bumper-to-bumper coverage for all components except a short list of exclusions

Platinum

Up to 10

Long-term coverage of stated components

Hundreds of specific components covered

Gold

Up to 10

Vehicles over 60,000 miles

Comprehensive coverage of most major vehicle systems with flexible terms

Silver

Up to 7

High-mileage vehicles

Provides essential coverage for many major systems

Bronze

Up to 6

Drivers looking for basic protection

Protects you against the most common and expensive repairs

 
 

Other reasons we recognized CARCHEX as one of the top choices for best overall extended warranty include: 

  • Additional perks: CARCHEX protection plans include 24/7 emergency roadside assistance, gas delivery, trip interruption services, lost key or lockout service, and more. 
  • Choose your favorite auto shop: You won’t be limited to a dealership or a certain repair shop with CARCHEX. You can go to your favorite licensed repair facility, including your local dealer, independent repair shop, or a national chain like Firestone or Pep Boys. 
  • Claims paid to repair shops: Instead of having to deal with paying for your car’s repairs and then going through a lengthy claims process to get reimbursed, CARCHEX pays your repair shop directly.

 

CarShield: Best Value 

 

CarShield started in 2005 and has since protected over one million vehicles. We’ve recognized it for having the Best Value because of its low rates and positive online reviews. CarShield boasts more than 4,600 Trustpilot reviews, much more than the competition, and over 2,300 Google reviews.

CarShield is similar to CARCHEX in that it brokers plans from multiple providers and operates as the middleman between the customer and insurance company. It has several coverage levels for new and used cars, but we especially like its protection for specialty vehicles and high-tech systems and components.

Coverage Level

Recommended For

Details

New Car Diamond

Owners looking to maintain factory-level coverage

Bumper-to-bumper coverage designed to be similar to a manufacturer’s warranty for new cars

Platinum

High-mileage vehicles

Comprehensive coverage 

Gold

Coverage for both minor and major vehicle parts

Powertrain-plus coverage for the engine, transmission, water pump, air conditioning, starter, and more

Silver

The most basic coverage

Powertrain coverage for the most important parts of your vehicle

Aluminum

Vehicles with advanced electrical systems

Protects the engine control module, alternator, navigation/GPS, electrical system, starter, and more

Motorcycle & ATV

Motorcycles and ATVs 

Variety of coverage levels and contracts for specialty vehicles

 
 

Like Endurance, the maximum number of coverage years aren’t readily listed on the CarShield website. To make coverage as flexible as possible, many of the company’s plans are month-to-month contracts, so you’re not contracted for a number of years. Since your specific vehicle’s age and mileage helps determine eligibility, the best way to find out how long you can cover your vehicle is to call CarShield.

We found CarShield to be a popular choice among consumers because of its many perks, including:

  • Low or $0 deductibles
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Courtesy towing
  • Claims paid directly to the auto repair facility
  • Free rental car reimbursement included in some plans

 

Protect My Car: Best Maintenance Plans

 

Established in 2005 and today based in Saint Petersburg, Florida, Protect My Car is a popular choice among car owners for vehicle service contracts. On the surface, the company looks attractive, with hundreds of five-star customer reviews on the (BBB) website. 

Protect My Car does not disclose the exact cost of its extended auto warranty plans on its website. The cost of your protection will depend on your car’s make and model, mileage, your driving history, and other factors.

Protect My Car does disclose other financial aspects of its contracts, such as deductibles and payment plan options. Regardless of which level of protection you choose, you will have a $100 deductible. $0 deductible options are not available.

Coverage Level

Recommended For

Details

Supreme

Owners looking for something similar to the manufacturer's warranty

Designed for customers who need additional coverage because they plan to keep the new vehicle beyond the manufacturer’s factory warranty term

Select

Vehicles over 50,000 miles

Comprehensive coverage 

Driveline

Vehicles that are 4 to 10 years old with more than 80,000 miles

Covers many of the same components as the Supreme and Select plans, but excludes the front and rear suspension, turbocharger, and navigation system

 
 

Although vehicles over 13 years old can’t take advantage of an extended warranty with Protect My Car, the company does offer Ambassador Maintenance Plans. These car maintenance insurance contracts offer guaranteed discounts between 25 and 50 percent on repairs, 24/7 roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and more for older cars. However, they do not provide protection on the same level as an extended warranty.

Added benefits of Protect My Car include:

  • 24/7 roadside assistance is included with all warranty plans.
  • Protect My Car customers have access to PMC Rewards, a shopping and dining discounts reward program.
  • Protect My Car has flexible payment terms, with monthly payment plans that last between 36 and 60 months, making coverage significantly more affordable on a monthly basis.

 

autopom!: Best Claims Process

 

Autopom! is named after the company’s mission: to provide automotive peace of mind. Since its founding in 2010, the company has earned a BBB accreditation and an A+ rating, with only two customer complaints, compared to dozens if not hundreds of complaints for most other competitors. Autopom! is also highly rated by consumer advocacy websites including: 

  • Trustpilot: Rating of Excellent 
  • ConsumerReporting: Rating of 9/10
  • ThoroughlyReviewed: Top 10 Pick

Similar to CARCHEX, the company prides itself on its consultative approach to customer service and a low-pressure quotes process, which we like. Of the companies we reviewed, autopom!’s quotes process was the fastest and most convenient. Within just a few minutes after submitting a quote request on autopom!’s website, we received an email with details on the recommended plan, term, waiting period, deductible, down payment, and total price, in addition to a sample contract. The quote also included the email address and direct phone number to a “Coverage Consultant” for questions and to complete the warranty purchase. 

Autopom! also promises never to leave customers to fend for themselves through the claims process, and its agents will investigate on behalf of the customer when a claim is taking too long to process. The company works with the claims administrator to understand why a claim was denied if you feel you were entitled to coverage. 

Autopom! offers four levels of protection, listed below. Each level has several plan options, though some plans are only available in California.

Coverage Level Years of Coverage

Recommended For

Details

Exclusionary

Up to 8

The most comprehensive coverage

Protects virtually all mechanical and electrical components unless the component is specifically listed as not covered

High-Level

Up to 7

A cost-effective alternative to an exclusionary plan

Protects named components within major systems

Mid-Level

Up to 7

High-mileage vehicles

Protects the systems included in Powertrain-Plus, as well as named additional components within the steering, suspension, fuel delivery, cooling, and braking systems

Powertrain-Plus 

Up to 6

Powertrain coverage with optional add-ons

Protects named components for the essential powertrain systems, with the option to add electrical, air conditioning, and fuel systems

 

 

 

 

Car Warranty Company Comparison

Below, our research team compiled key information about each of the companies reviewed. This includes our overall rating, as well as selected descriptors.

 

Best Extended Car Warranties

Honorific

Our Rating

Coverage Levels

Years in Business

Customer Service Grade

 

 

#1: Endurance

Best Coverage

★★★★★

5

13

A

Get Quote

Endurance

#2: CARCHEX

Best Service

★★★★½

5

20

A

Get Quote

CARCHEX

#3: CarShield

Best Value

★★★★½

6

14

B+

Get Quote

CarShield

#4: Protect My Car

Best Maintenance Plans

★★★★½

3

14

B+

Get Quote

 

Protect My Car

#5: autopom!

Best Claims Process

★★★★½

4

9

A

Get Quote

autopom!

#6: ForeverCar

 

★★★★☆

4

8

B+

Get Quote

Liberty Bell Auto

#7: Liberty Bell Auto

 

★★★★☆

3

9

B

Get Quote

ForeverCar

#8: Concord Auto Protect

 

★★★★☆

3

6

B+

Get Quote

AA Auto Protection

#9: Infinite Auto Protection

 

★★★★☆

3

11

B+

Get Quote

Concord Auto Protect

#10: AA Auto Protection

 

★★★★☆

5

30

B+

Get Quote

Infinite Auto Protection

#11: AutoAssure

 

★★★☆☆

4

9

D

Get Quote

Delta Auto Protect

#12: Delta Auto Protect

 

★★☆☆☆

3

5

F

Get Quote

 

What Are Extended Car Warranties?

Extended car warranties are service contracts with a provider that take effect after your manufacturer’s warranty has expired. The service contract provider promises to pay for covered repair and replacement expenses, much like the manufacturer’s warranty.

The main difference between a manufacturer’s warranty and an extended warranty is that a manufacturer’s warranty is included at the time of sale. Service contracts, on the other hand, cost an additional fee.

What’s Covered Under An Extended Car Warranty?

Extended auto warranty coverage includes car repairs and replacements for breakdowns that come from normal use. Depending on your plan, it may cover your powertrain, electrical system, air conditioning, and other systems. Most extended warranties do not cover routine maintenance for your vehicle. Things like oil changes, brake pads, and tires are usually the owner’s responsibility. The best extended warranty companies have several coverage options, so you can select a plan that fits the needs of your vehicle.

 


 

Types Of Extended Warranties

Similar to manufacturer’s warranties, extended warranties generally fall under three main types. Of these service contract types, most extended warranties are either exclusionary or inclusionary. Exclusionary contracts have a list of items specifically excluded from coverage. Inclusionary warranties only cover the listed, or included, items.

We’ve outlined some of the basics for each type of warranty below:

  • Powertrain: Powertrain warranties cover the drivetrain of your vehicle. This includes most of the internal parts of the engine and transmission. Extended powertrain warranties are usually recommended for high-mileage or older vehicles.
  • Bumper-to-bumper: Bumper-to-bumper warranties usually offer the most comprehensive coverage. Most include the car’s major mechanical systems, except for certain excluded items. The excluded components of a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty should be listed in the warranty details.
  • Named component: A named component extended warranty is usually an inclusionary contract. You might consider a named component contract the opposite of a bumper-to-bumper warranty. Instead of a list of excluded parts or services, a named component service contract gives you a list of included parts. Everything else is considered not covered.

 

Benefits Of An Extended Car Warranty

Purchasing an extended car warranty can be a great way to continue to protect your car after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. As cars become more complex, there is a higher chance that something could go wrong. 

With so many computers, parts, and systems controlling your vehicle, it probably doesn’t surprise you that these technological advances might fail. Unfortunately, if your vehicle is only covered by a manufacturer’s warranty for, say, three years, your warranty may be expired by the time you really need it. Extended car warranties keep your car covered in the case of a mechanical or technological failure. Based on what type of car you have and how much it costs to own over its lifetime, this can potentially save you money.

Besides protecting your vehicle after the manufacturer's warranty expires, the best extended car warranties provide benefits such as:

  • Convenience: If you have an issue covered by your service contract, you’ll know exactly who to call to get it fixed. Most warranty providers let you choose your own mechanic or repair facility. The best companies will pay your repair shop directly, meaning you won’t have to wait for reimbursement.
  • Risk mitigation: While some vehicles cost less than others to repair, any car with recurring issues – or even just one costly repair – can quickly add up to a hefty repair bill. An extended car warranty alleviates those potential repair costs as your vehicle ages.
  • Added perks: Many extended car warranty companies include added benefits with their protection plans, such as roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, or towing services.

 

Should I Get An Extended Car Warranty?

If you’re on the fence about whether you could benefit from an extended warranty, we’ve compiled a few of the top reasons you might consider adding a protection plan to your vehicle.

If You Are…

Why You Should Get an Extended Warranty

Top Benefits for You

Looking for peace of mind

 

Extended warranties offer some of the best peace of mind when it comes to being on the road. You’ll be reassured that if something goes wrong with your car, your extended warranty should be able to get it repaired.

The convenience and additional benefits of services like roadside assistance or towing services can put your mind at ease when traveling. If something goes wrong, these added perks can provide instant help, so you’re not stranded. 

Planning to keep your car

 

Some cars are typically kept for long periods of time. A lot of these vehicles are family cars that are passed down to teenagers or between siblings. An extended warranty protects your car even as it ages.

There are a lot of coverage options for extended warranties. Right after your manufacturer’s warranty expires, you may want a protection plan that mimics a factory warranty. As the car gets older, you can save money by switching to a lower-coverage plan.

Planning to sell your car

 

If you prefer to keep a car for a few years and then sell it, an extended warranty can help increase the resale value.

Many extended warranties can be transferred to a car’s new owner. This can prove to be a great selling point for potential buyers. Additionally, having an extended warranty shows you took care of the car when you owned it.

Hoping to avoid surprise repair costs

With an extended warranty, you will know how much your warranty coverage costs each month and are more prepared for any unexpected repairs.

An extended car warranty can help you better plan for any unexpected repairs to your vehicle. Should a covered repair suddenly be needed, you’ll know that you won’t have to go scraping your savings to pay for your car’s repairs.

 
 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Extended Car Warranties

How much does a car warranty cost?

A new car warranty is included in your car’s purchase price. Extended warranties are service contracts that are purchased separately. An extended warranty from a dealership could cost between $1,000 and $1,500. This purchase is often wrapped in your car financing, so you may end up paying interest on your extended warranty. Most third-party warranty companies offer several plans and payment options, so you can more easily select a plan that fits your budget.

Is a car warranty the same as insurance?

No. Car warranties and insurance companies cover different things. Car insurance is required by most states and pays for damages caused by collisions or other accidents, such as theft or fire. An extended warranty, on the other hand, usually provides coverage for mechanical or other breakdowns.

How do warranties work for new cars vs. used cars?

A new car is usually covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. Usually, your new car will not need an extended warranty while it’s under the factory warranty.

However, buying an extended warranty when your car is still new can save you money in the long run. Extended warranty prices often take vehicle age and mileage into account. A new car may get you a lower extended warranty price.

Alternatively, used cars are often sold “as-is,” meaning there is no warranty attached. Purchasing an extended warranty can provide coverage from breakdowns that you wouldn’t have without the warranty. These vehicle service contracts typically cover used cars, including those with 100,000 miles or more.

Can you buy an extended car warranty at any time?

Extended warranties can be bought at the same time of your new vehicle purchase, or you can wait. Keep in mind some automakers only let you add an extended warranty while the car is under its original warranty. You can purchase an extended warranty from a third-party provider, though, before or after the original warranty has expired.

Read our guides to other warranty providers: