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An extended auto warranty is a service contract that covers auto repairs after the factory car warranty expires. Drivers can purchase aftermarket auto warranty coverage from vehicle manufacturers or from the best extended car warranty companies on the market.

Key Takeaways

  • The cost of an extended warranty ranges from about $1,600 to $4,500.
  • An auto warranty covers repairs to essential parts and components such as the engine and transmission for a set number of years or miles.
  • Endurance is the best extended car warranty provider, closely followed by CARCHEX and Protect My Car.
  • An extended used car warranty is worth it for many drivers who want peace of mind on the road.

When shopping for car warranty coverage, the best thing to do is shop around to find the best free quote for your vehicle. That way, you can compare each company’s prices upfront and get a feel for customer service.


In this article:

What Is An Extended Warranty On A Car?

An extended car warranty, also called a vehicle service contract or aftermarket car warranty, is an optional service plan that helps cover the cost of certain car repairs or part replacements. An extended service plan usually takes effect after your manufacturer’s factory warranty has expired, though the two warranties sometimes overlap.

The main difference between a manufacturer’s warranty and an extended auto warranty is that a manufacturer’s warranty is included at the time of a vehicle's sale. Extended car warranties, on the other hand, cost an additional fee.

What’s Covered Under An Extended Warranty?

Extended car warranties cover 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 car warranty companies have several coverage options, so you can select a plan that fits the needs of your vehicle.

How Much Does An Extended Auto Warranty Cost?

Based on our research, extended warranties lasting between three and six years cost anywhere from $1,600 to $4,500 on average. Bumper-to-bumper warranties tend to be more expensive, as they cover more components. Longer-lasting coverage also increases the contract price. Other factors that affect car warranty costs include:

  • Deductible
  • Vehicle age, make, model, and mileage
  • Existing coverage
  • Location
  • Provider

12 Best Extended Car Warranty Companies

Our research team compiled key information on all of the most popular extended auto warranty providers. We rated these providers based on industry standing, coverage, cost, transparency, and customer service. Based on these criteria, here are our top picks for the best extended car warranties in the industry:

The chart below goes into more detail about the factors that comprised each company's ranking:

Our Picks For The Best Extended Car Warranties
Best Extended Car Warranty Motor1 Award Overall Rating Cost Rating Coverage Levels Years in Business Customer Service Rating
#1: Endurance Best Coverage 4.6 4.5 6 16 4.5
#2: CARCHEX Best for Used Cars 4.4 4.3 5 23 3.2
#3: Protect My Car Best Maintenance Benefits 4.3 4.1 3 17 4.5
#4 CarShield Best Value 4.2 4.5 6 17 3.6
#5: autopom! Best Claims Process 4.2 4.1 4 13 4.1
#6 Olive Best Online Warranty 4.2 4.6 3 22 3.8
#7 ForeverCar   4.1 4.2 4 11 3.9
#8: Concord Auto Protect   3.9 4.0 3 9 4.3
#9: Toco   3.8 4.0 3 9 4.1
#10:   3.8 4.0 2 4 4.1
#11: Infinite Auto Protection   3.7 4.0 3 14 3.5
#12: AA Auto Protection   3.7 4.0 5 33 3.4

#1 Endurance: Best Coverage

A direct provider for vehicle protection, Endurance is an extended car 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 claims 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 also won’t be wondering who you should call for what issue.

Endurance Car Warranty Cost

Our team reached out for Endurance quotes and found plans can range from $2,600 to $4,400 in total. Monthly payments ranged from $86 to $124, making Endurance an affordable option.

Endurance Coverage

Endurance offers six levels of protection: 

Endurance Aftermarket Car Warranty Plans
Warranty Plan Recommended For Details
Supreme Exclusionary coverage The most extensive plan with bumper-to-bumper protection
Superior The most stated-component coverage Covers hundreds of components
Secure Plus Fast coverage Covers steering, electrical, and brakes with a shorter waiting period (30 days and 1,000 miles) than the Select Premier plan
Secure The most affordable coverage option Covers the most vital car components
Select Premier Older vehicles Covers basic powertrain components
EnduranceAdvantage™ Aftermarket auto warranty and maintenance coverage Combines mechanical breakdown coverage with maintenance services like oil changes

Maximum term lengths aren’t listed on the Endurance website. In our secret shopper analysis, the longest coverage we could get was 8 years/200,000+ miles. We recommend calling Endurance to get a quote for your car, since vehicle age and mileage factor into the overall cost.

Each Endurance plan comes with roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, trip interruption coverage, and one year of Endurance Elite Benefits that includes tire repairs and replacements, key fob replacements, and more. These benefits are some of the best you will find in the extended auto warranty industry.

Additionally, the EnduranceAdvantage plan is uncommon in the industry because it offers both extended warranty coverage and vehicle maintenance. There are three levels of coverage within the plan – Prime, Plus, and Preferred – all of which include high-level, stated-component coverage and many maintenance services.

Other features that make Endurance a top extended warranty for cars include:

  • Quick and easy claims process: Customers can make claims online or by phone.
  • Collision discount: Endurance Elite Benefits include a reimbursement of $500 per covered collision to help with your car insurance deductible (up to $1,000 total).
  • Endurance mobile app: This app connects you with Endurance staff and makes it easy to access benefits like roadside assistance.

For more information on this extended car warranty provider, check out our complete Endurance warranty review.


#2 CARCHEX: Best For Used Cars

CARCHEX has been in the business for more than 20 years, has an A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and accreditation, and is endorsed by industry leaders like Kelley Blue Book, the Vehicle Protection Association, CARFAX, and The company has also received numerous awards for outstanding customer service, including:

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

On customer service, the company’s No-Haggle, Low-Price, Everyday Guarantee™ differentiates CARCHEX from competitors, as the provider 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. It's an experience that can be hard to find in the car warranty industry. 

Additionally, the CARCHEX 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 period is fairly standard among the car warranty companies we reviewed.

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

CARCHEX Warranty Cost

According to quotes our team received from CARCHEX, plans cost between $2,500 and $3,100 in total. Payments range from $110 to $215 per month. You may find different prices based on your vehicle and desired coverage.

CARCHEX Coverage

CARCHEX offers five levels of coverage. It works with multiple contract administrators like Royal Administration, so there are customization opportunities with each contract. Let's take a closer look at what a CARCHEX extended car warranty covers under each tier:

CARCHEX Extended Warranty Coverage Plans
Warranty Plan Years of Coverage Recommended For Details
Titanium Up to 10 Owners looking for the most protection available Exclusionary coverage, similar to a bumper-to-bumper warranty
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 the best extended car warranty include: 

  • Added perks: CARCHEX protection plans include 24/7 emergency roadside assistance, gas delivery, trip interruption services, lost key or lockout services, and more. 
  • Choice of 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, an independent repair shop, or a national chain like Firestone or Pep Boys. 
  • Claims paid to repair shops: Instead of having you pay for your car’s repairs and then endure a lengthy claims process to get reimbursed, CARCHEX pays your repair shop directly.

For more information on this extended car warranty provider, check out our CARCHEX review.


#3 Protect My Car: Best Maintenance Benefits

Established in 2005 and today based in St. Petersburg, Florida, Protect My Car is a popular choice among car owners for vehicle service contracts. At first glance, the company looks attractive. Hundreds of five-star customer reviews on the BBB website give Protect My Car a 4.4-star rating overall. It also has a 4.6-star rating on Trustpilot. 

With Protect My Car's two highest levels of protection, you will have a $100 deductible. Its lowest level of protection has a $200 deductible. A $0 deductible option is not available.

Protect My Car Aftermarket Auto Warranty Plans
Warranty Plan 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 their new vehicles beyond the manufacturer’s factory warranty term
Select Vehicles over 50,000 miles Comprehensive extended warranty for cars
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 aftermarket auto warranty with Protect My Car, the company does offer Ambassador Maintenance Plans. These car maintenance contracts offer guaranteed discounts between 50 and 75 percent on repairs, plus rental car reimbursement and more for older cars. However, they do not provide protection on the same level as a standard extended warranty for cars.

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 48 months, allowing you to finance your coverage over many years.

For more information on this extended car warranty provider, check out our Protect My Car review.


#4 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 an average rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars across more than 24,600 Trustpilot reviews and 4.1 out of 5.0 stars averaged from more than 8,900 Google reviews.

CarShield brokers plans from multiple providers, like American Auto Shield, and operates as the middleman between the customer and a warranty company. It has several levels of coverage for new and used cars, but we especially like its protection for specialty vehicles and high-tech systems and components.

Is CarShield Expensive?

In the quotes we received, CarShield plans ranged from $89 to $129 per month. These prices are very affordable compared to many other providers on the market.

CarShield Aftermarket Car Warranty Plans
Warranty Plan Recommended For Details
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 all-terrain vehicles Variety of coverage levels and contracts for specialty vehicles

CarShield can cover up to 300,000 miles. As with Endurance, the maximum number of coverage years isn'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 locked in for any number of years. Since your vehicle’s age and mileage help 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
  • Rental car reimbursement included in most plans

For more information on this vehicle service contract provider, check out our CarShield review.


autopom!: Best Claims Process

The name for autopom! comes from the company’s mission: to provide automotive peace of mind. Since its founding in 2010, the company has earned BBB accreditation and an A+ rating, with only a few customer complaints, compared to dozens if not hundreds of complaints for most other competitors. The warranty provider is rated 4.4 out of 5.0 stars on Trustpilot with 90 customer reviews.

The warranty company prides itself on its consultative approach to customer service and a low-pressure quotes process, which we like. Of the companies we've reviewed, autopom! had the fastest and most convenient quotes process.

Within just a few minutes of 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. 

The company also promises never to leave customers to fend for themselves through the claims process, and autopom! 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. 

There are four levels of autopom! extended warranties for cars, though some plans are only available in California.

autopom! Car Warranty Plans
Warranty Plan 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 the lower-tier Powertrain-Plus plan, 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

For more information on this extended vehicle warranty provider, check out our autopom! review.


Olive: Best Online Warranty

Olive warranty is a digitally focused extended warranty provider. The company was founded in 2000, though only recently began focusing efforts on selling its warranty products online. The relatively young company has an A+ rating and accreditation from the BBB and many positive customer reviews.

With Olive, you have access to three plans with varying levels of coverage, ranging from bumper-to-bumper coverage to basic powertrain protection.

Olive Protection Plans
Warranty Plan Recommended For Details
Complete Care Owners looking for comprehensive coverage Covers many vehicle components, including the steering, suspension, and fuel systems, as well as high-tech components
Powertrain Plus Mid-level coverage Basic coverage for essential components like the engine, transmission, and drive axle, as well as electrical and cooling components
Powertrain Powertrain coverage Essential powertrain coverage for the engine, transmission, and drive axle

With each of the plans, you can get benefits like towing and rental car reimbursement. As for pricing, Olive is cheaper than many other top providers of vehicle service contracts. Our team reached out for quotes for different vehicles and received extended warranty rates that were consistently lower than other leading companies.


Types Of Aftermarket Auto Warranties

Similar to manufacturers' warranties, aftermarket car warranties generally fall under three main types: powertrain, bumper to bumper, and named component. 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: 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.

Read the fine print of your warranty or look at a sample contract to make sure you know what type of service contract your aftermarket car warranty falls under.

Extended Auto Warranty Vs. Mechanical Breakdown Insurance

Some car insurance providers offer mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI). This is an add-on that covers mechanical issues similar to an extended auto warranty. However, MBI often requires you to visit a small network of dealerships, and it usually doesn't last as long as plans from the best car warranty providers.

How Does An Aftermarket Car Warranty Work?

An extended warranty helps protect you by promising to pay for the cost of certain repairs should a mechanical or electrical component break down. Exactly which parts are covered depends on your contract. Typically, there are two types of coverage plan options: exclusionary coverage and named-component coverage.

  • Exclusionary coverage: This type of car warranty plan covers all parts of your vehicle from mechanical breakdown due to normal driving activities, except for a short list of excluded parts and components.
  • Named-component coverage: This auto warranty, also known as inclusionary coverage, is essentially the opposite of exclusionary coverage. Your contract will have a list of the parts and systems that are covered. Any parts that aren't listed aren't covered.

Within named component coverage, you can find a variety of plan levels. Typically, companies break this section into three or four types like the following:

  • High-stated coverage: This is the highest level of stated coverage – every covered part is listed out on the contract. This plan level can cover hundreds of separate components.
  • Medium-stated coverage: This level usually covers most of the main systems of the car and includes things like air conditioning, steering, and electrical components.
  • Low-stated coverage: Also known as a “powertrain plus” type of plan, this covers the powertrain and a few important systems.
  • Basic powertrain: This is the least that an extended warranty covers and is comparable to a powertrain warranty. It covers repair costs of the engine, drivetrain, and transmission. These can be costly repairs, so it’s a good idea to protect them on high-mileage cars.

Car Warranty Exclusions

Extended car warranties only cover components that break down as a result of normal use. Damage that is the result of an accident, misuse, or improper maintenance will not be covered. Certain items are not covered under any circumstance. These typically include non-mechanical parts like bumpers, glass, trim, and upholstery. Wear and tear items such as tires, brake pads, wiper blades, and shock absorbers are also typically excluded from coverage.

Auto Warranty Waiting Period

After purchasing your contract, most providers require you to go through a waiting period until coverage can be used. This helps protect the warranty provider from someone purchasing a car warranty right after discovering an issue with their car. Most extended warranties require you to wait 30 days and 1,000 miles before you can make a claim for car repairs.

If you have a covered breakdown after your waiting period is up, you’ll file a claim with your warranty provider. Depending on your contract, you may have to use a network of dealerships, or you might be able to use your favorite repair facility. Most plans require you to pay a deductible, and the extended warranty covers the rest of the repair cost.

Do I Need An Aftermarket Car Warranty?

You may never have been in an accident, but you still need car insurance. The reasoning for an extended car warranty follows the same principle. You may not need it right now, but if you ever do, you will be glad the protection was in place.

According to AAA, 64 million Americans don’t have the funds to cover unexpected car repair costs. Instead, they would be required to go into debt to cover the bill. Are you in this group of people? An average repair bill totals between $500 and $600, but when a major component breaks, you could be looking at far more.

Here are a few of the average prices for expensive car components, according to data from RepairPal.

Component Average Price
Engine control unit $925 to $1,002
Turbocharger assembly replacement $1,840 to $2,117
Suspension assembly replacement $852 to $928
Catalytic converter $1,695 to $1,733

These estimates aren’t even dealing with the cost of replacing an engine or transmission. If you had to face one of these repairs today, could you handle it with ease, or would the costly repair cause a good amount of stress?

With extended car warranties, you can opt for coverage that provides you with peace of mind. That way, if something should break, you don’t need to worry about how you are going to pay for it.

Benefits Of An Extended Car Warranty

Purchasing an aftermarket 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 could 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 aftermarket car warranty alleviates the cost of repairs as your vehicle ages.
  • Added perks: Many of the best 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 car warranty, we’ve compiled a few of the top reasons you might consider adding a protection plan to your vehicle. We also recommend reading our article on pros and cons of extended car warranties.

Is An Extended Warranty Right For You?
If You Are… Why You Should Get an Extended Car Warranty Top Benefits for You
Looking for peace of mind If something goes wrong with your car, your aftermarket car warranty should be able to get it repaired. Services like roadside assistance and towing can put your mind at ease when you're traveling. If something goes wrong, you won't be stranded.
Planning to keep your car An aftermarket auto warranty protects your car even as it ages. Right after your manufacturer 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 An extended warranty can help increase the resale appeal. Many extended warranties can be transferred to a car’s new owner. Additionally, having a vehicle protection plan shows you took care of the car when you owned it.
Hoping to avoid surprise repair costs You know how much your warranty coverage costs each month and are prepared for any unexpected repairs. Should a covered repair suddenly be needed, you’ll know that you won’t have to tap into your savings to pay for your car’s repairs.

Our team of experts polled 1,000 consumers who have purchased or considered purchasing extended car warranties. When asked whether they thought an extended car warranty is worth it, 40.5% of consumers we polled said yes and 44.6% answered that it depends. Only 14.9% of consumers felt that an extended warranty is not worth it.

If you are ready to get the best extended car warranty for your car, we recommend comparing free quotes from some of the industry's top warranty providers. You can purchase an extended warranty online or over the phone from leading companies.


Best New Car Warranties

If you're searching for new car warranties, our team has highlighted the top four brands that offer the best coverage and factory warranty plans below.

Hyundai: 5 Years/60,000 Miles

With its great bumper-to-bumper and powertrain protection, Hyundai’s factory warranty tops our list for the best new car warranty in 2022. Hyundai’s warranties offer some of the longest coverage terms on the market, with bumper-to-bumper coverage lasting 5 years or 60,000 miles, and a powertrain warranty that lasts 10 years or 100,000 miles.

Hyundai includes roadside assistance (5 years) and a corrosion warranty (7 years), both with no mileage limit, which sets its warranty plans apart. The provider is also known for its high reliability ratings, making it a top choice for factory warranties.

Kia: 5 Years/60,000 Miles

With its affordable vehicles and quality warranty coverage options, Kia stands out as one of the top brands in the industry. It offers the same impressive coverage terms as its sister brand, Hyundai, with bumper-to-bumper protection lasting 5 years or 60,000 miles and powertrain coverage for 10 years or 100,000 miles.

The main difference between the Kia and Hyundai factory warranties is Kia’s shorter term lengths for roadside assistance and corrosion. Roadside assistance is capped at 60,000 miles, while the corrosion protection ends with 100,000 miles. This still sets Kia’s factory warranty apart with some of the longest coverage terms on the market.

Genesis: 5 Years/60,000 Miles

As the luxury brand associated with Hyundai, Genesis offers one of the best new vehicle warranties on the market. The automaker has a positive industry reputation and offers factory warranties with long coverage terms. It also matches Hyundai’s 5 years or 60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper protection and 10 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection.

Volkswagen: 6 Years/72,000 Miles For 2018 And 2019 Models

Volkswagen is known for offering quality, reliable vehicles, so it makes sense that the company offers one of the longest warranty terms. While our team didn’t select Volkswagen’s 2022 new car warranty as one of our top recommendations, the factory warranty offered for its 2018 and 2019 models is one of the best on the market. If your vehicle falls into that category, you are protected with 6 years or 72,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper and powertrain coverage, which is hard to beat.

5 Things To Look For In An Aftermarket Car Warranty Provider

If you’d like aftermarket car warranty coverage, shopping for quality options and determining the best warranty provider for your needs can be difficult. While reputable extended car warranty companies can offer decent coverage at good rates, some extended car warranties are little better than warranty scams, taking customers’ money and failing to provide adequate service.

If you know what to look for in a provider, there are plenty of excellent options for coverage. When we evaluate extended warranty providers, we typically consider the following five categories:

  • Industry standing
  • Coverage
  • Cost
  • Transparency
  • Customer service

Industry Standing

Why it’s important: Industry standing is a good way to check whether a company is a fraud or legitimate. Look for companies that have partnered with other trusted companies and that regularly win industry awards.

How to check: One place to start when checking a company’s industry standing is the BBB. The BBB rates a provider based on how it resolves customer complaints, the transparency of its business practices, and any known licensing or advertising issues.


Why it’s important: If you are going to spend upward of $1,000 on an extended warranty, it’s important that your most essential vehicle parts and components are covered.

How to check: Any reputable extended car warranty provider will allow potential customers to review sample contracts to verify what the warranties cover. These contracts will list either exactly what is or is not covered by the warranty. Carefully read the full list of coverage and exclusions of any extended car warranty before you purchase it.


Why it’s important: If you want your extended warranty to help you save on repair costs, you need to find the best coverage plan at the lowest possible cost.

How to check: Most extended warranty providers offer easy-to-use quote tools online. In some cases, you may have to call to request pricing.


Why it’s important: Any provider that tries to make coverage details obscure should be suspect. Providers should be upfront about contract information, and it’s a bad sign when a provider tries to hide important coverage details from its customers.

How to check: Companies with a good BBB standing and that post sample contracts demonstrate a high level of transparency. If you have difficulty finding contract information or even receiving a quote from a provider, this should be a red flag.

Customer Service

Why it’s important: Any extended warranty is only as good as the service it provides when it comes time to file a claim. The worst extended car warranty companies have slow claims processes and regularly look for excuses to deny claims.

How to check: Look at a company’s BBB page, which will list customer reviews and complaints. You can also check sites like Trustpilot to see what customers are saying. Keep in mind that any extended warranty provider – even one of the best ones – is bound to have its fair share of complaints. However, providers with an especially high volume of complaints and few positive comments should be considered warily.

FAQ: Best Extended Car Warranty

What is the average cost of an extended car warranty?

When purchased from a dealership, an extended car warranty costs between $1,000 and $4,500. Aftermarket auto warranties from third parties usually cost between $1,000 and $3,500, making them a bit cheaper than dealer-backed car warranties.

Is a car warranty the same as car insurance?

No. Extended warranties for cars and auto insurance 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 car warranty provides coverage for mechanical breakdowns.

Is an aftermarket auto warranty worth it on a new car?

Generally, your new car will not need an extended car warranty while it’s under the factory warranty. However, buying a car repair warranty when your car is still new can save you money in the long run since prices for vehicle service contracts often take vehicle age and mileage into account.

According to, the average American spends $1,986 on vehicle repairs and maintenance over the course of five years. Based on our research, the average extended car warranty costs between $1,600 and $4,500. To determine whether an extended warranty is worth it on a new car, ask yourself if you're prepared to cover small repairs and the occasional larger, more expensive repairs you may encounter.

Should I buy an extended warranty on a used car?

Alternatively, used cars are often sold “as-is,” meaning there is no warranty attached (unless you're purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle from a dealership). 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 after purchasing your car?

Vehicle eligibility for extended warranties varies between providers. Manufacturers usually require that you purchase an extended auto warranty on the day the vehicle is purchased or before the factory warranty expires. Third-party contracts can be purchased for new or used vehicles at any time. Some third-party provider coverage extends up to 250,000 miles.

What's the difference between manufacturer and third-party extended warranties for cars?

A manufacturer extended car warranty is a vehicle service contract purchased from an automaker, while a third-party extended warranty is purchased from an independent warranty company. Manufacturer coverage typically comes with benefits such as guaranteed use of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and service by a factory-trained technician. Warranty companies generally have greater plan variety and benefits such as the flexibility to have your car serviced at the repair shop of your choice.

What voids a car warranty?

Manufacturers can void your car warranty due to improper maintenance, aftermarket modifications, misuse of the vehicle, or tampering with the odometer. Your warranty can also be voided because of a total loss or severe environmental damage.

How do I check if my car is under warranty?

Your vehicle manufacturer can tell you if your car is still under factory warranty. You'll usually need to provide your vehicle identification number (VIN).

Will my extended car warranty transfer to the new owner if I sell my car?

Extended car warranty plans are typically transferable to new owners. Check with the provider for details before purchasing or selling a vehicle with a warranty, but the best extended car warranty companies will transfer coverage.

Do car warranties have deductibles?

Extended warranties for cars usually have deductibles between $50 and $200. However, some companies – like Endurance, CarShield, and CARCHEX – have $0 deductible options. The factory warranties that come with new vehicles do not have deductibles.

How do you cancel an extended warranty on a car?

You can cancel an extended warranty on a car at any time, but you'll only get a full refund within the first 30 to 60 days depending on the provider. You typically need to contact the contract administrator to cancel in writing and provide a notarized odometer statement. 


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.