So you’ve decided to purchase an extended car warranty, but who is the best provider?
You’ve made the decision to protect your vehicle with an extended warranty, and two of the most popular providers have caught your eye: Endurance and CARCHEX. One is a direct service provider, and the other is a third-party broker. But which is best for you?
In this article:
- Endurance Overview
- Endurance Warranty Coverage Options
- How The Endurance Claims Process Works
- How Much Does An Endurance Car Warranty Cost?
- CARCHEX Overview
- CARCHEX Warranty Coverage Options
- How The CARCHEX Claims Process Works
- How Much Does An CARCHEX Car Warranty Cost?
- Comparing Endurance To CARCHEX
- Our Conclusion
Endurance has been in the vehicle service contract industry for over 10 years and was called “the most customer-driven company in the industry” in the 2018 Inc. 5000. It holds a Gold-Level Certification from the Vehicle Protection Association and has a well-known reputation for customer service.
Since 2004, CARCHEX has been a central player in the auto warranty industry, offering a variety of tiered extended protection plans and differentiating itself with its No-Haggle, Low-Price, Everyday Guarantee™. It is endorsed by CARFAX, Kelley Blue Book, and Edmunds.com.
Below, we pull back the curtain on both companies to better understand their coverage options, the claims process, customer reviews, and more. Read on for a full analysis of Endurance and CARCHEX extended warranty plans and who we recommend for your vehicle coverage.
Endurance is a Northbrook, Illinois-based car warranty company that started in 2006. Since its founding, the company has earned a reputable name in the industry for customer service and reliability. It offers vehicle owners a variety of coverage plans directly, rather than acting as a broker like CARCHEX that features plans from several direct providers.
-Endurance serves as a direct provider of contracts, rather than a “middleman” or broker.
-The company is accredited by the Vehicle Protection Association and has a reputation for quality customer service.
-The plans are transparent about inclusions, with sample contracts available on the Endurance website.
-Customers are guided through the claims process, which is relatively simple.
-Mechanics are paid directly, meaning you won’t need to wait for reimbursement on repairs.
-There is a 30-day money back guarantee.
-All warranties come with an Endurance Elite Membership.
-The Endurance Protect App helps you manage your extended coverage, stay on top of repairs, and keep track of maintenance records.
-Only one contract is available under each level of coverage, which means fewer pricing options.
-Deductibles generally range from $100–$200, which is pricier than some competitors.
-The additional benefits provided through the Endurance Elite Membership only last one year, which is usually less than 25 percent of the length of the warranty’s term.
-There are no Endurance mechanics in California.
-While the company claims to save shoppers up to 60 percent more than brokers, its high-coverage protection plans are expensive by default.
-Endurance plans don’t cover repairs and replacements due to wear and tear, neglect, weather, and accidents.
Endurance Warranty Coverage Options
Endurance has five warranty plans that vary in coverage and term length:
- Supreme: As Endurance’s bumper-to-bumper plan, this is the most comprehensive of the company’s warranties and has a very short list of exclusions. It is, however, the most expensive option.
- Superior: The Superior plan covers many vehicle system components with only a short list of exclusions, like seals and gaskets, and is the highest stated component coverage plan available.
- Secure Plus: This plan provides the shortest wait period of 30 days or 1,000 miles. It’s more comprehensive than the Select Premier and Secure plans, covering steering components.
- Select Premier: Designed for high-mileage vehicles, this plan covers powertrain components, as well as the cooling system, electrical components, and fuel delivery components.
- Secure: As Endurance’s most basic and affordable warranty, the Secure plan provides drivers with powertrain protection, covering the engine, drivetrain, and transmission.
While Endurance offers a variety of options for its customers, the plans don’t break down further into more customized contracts. Also, the company has a lack of mid-level plans, making most of its options more expensive than those of competitors. For more detailed information about what each plan includes and excludes, Endurance provides downloadable sample contracts on its website.
All Endurance warranty plans come with a one-year membership to the Endurance Elite program, which provides added benefits like roadside assistance. But with the average age of cars on the today road at a record 11.5 years old, this may not be a very large window for benefits.
With each plan, vehicle owners have access to:
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Rental car coverage
- ID theft protection
- $250 in rewards to spend with partnered merchants
- A live, personal concierge for reservations, tickets, emergencies, etc.
- Replacement for lost or broken key fobs
- Tire repair and replacement (up to two per year)
How Much Does An Endurance Car Warranty Cost?
According to the Federal Trade Commission, when you purchase an extended car warranty, the cost of your plan will depend on:
- Your car’s make, model, and condition
- The level of coverage you select
- The contract’s term length
That’s why it’s difficult to provide an exact number or even a range for the cost of Endurance’s extended warranties. The best way to get an accurate quote for your specific vehicle is to call Endurance and ask.
Because Endurance doesn’t act as a broker and instead handles all claims and processes for customers, the company is not able to provide as many contract options as its competitors – which limits pricing options. Deductibles run between $100 and $200 in addition to the monthly cost of your plan. Endurance currently does not offer a $0 deductible option for customers, where competitors like CARCHEX do.
How The Endurance Claims Process Works
As part of Endurance handling claims directly for its customers, there is a thorough guide to filing claims on its website and even a step-by-step checklist in its mobile app.
When you’re covered by Endurance and something happens to your vehicle, you’ll take your vehicle to the licensed repair facility of your choice and provide a copy of your Endurance contract or contract number. Prior to any repairs being made, the repair facility will contract Endurance to obtain authorization for the claim and then review coverage with you. You’ll be asked to pay any applicable deductible before any repair or replacement service is performed. Endurance will reimburse the repair facility directly for the cost of the work performed on the vehicle that’s covered under your warranty plan.
It’s important to keep in mind that repair orders and documentation must be submitted to Endurance within 30 days after the repair has been completed to be eligible for payment.
Endurance Customer Reviews
Endurance has relatively high ratings with regard to customer reviews. However, the company is currently not BBB accredited, and while it has held a B+ BBB rating in the past, it is currently marked Not Rated. The company has closed 217 complaints from the BBB in the last 12 months alone. The average rating is three stars, with just as many reviewers noting dissatisfaction as those who experienced polite representatives and fast service.
One reviewer on Trustpilot wrote, “Initially the process was stressful, but ultimately they resolved my vehicle's damages and fully covered the repairs for both parts and labor. A very kind representative even contacted me to see how my vehicle was operating post repair work.”
In general, there seem to be recurring issues, such as difficulty contacting Endurance representatives on the weekends and long waiting periods for reimbursement, as well as consistent positives, such as committed customer service employees.
Compared to Endurance, CARCHEX offers many more plan options for customers, with a total of 16 plans within five tiers of coverage. As reflected in thousands of positive reviews online, CARCHEX is known for its customer-centric approach and strong history of customer service. It is accredited by the BBB and maintains an A+ rating.
-CARCHEX has a strong reputation among drivers and is endorsed by industry experts like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds.com. It maintains an A+ rating with the BBB.
-Quotes are instant and easy to access.
-CARCHEX agents guide shoppers through the process of selecting a warranty by presenting them with multiple options and combing through the fine print without pressuring them to buy.
-The company’s bumper-to-bumper Titanium plan is available for new and pre-owned vehicles, offering comprehensive coverage for all drivers.
-Plans are transparent, customizable, and easy to navigate.
-Deductibles can be as low as $0.
-Customers can choose from more than 30,000 repair shops using the CARCHEX mobile app, and shops are paid directly so there is no waiting time for reimbursement.
-There is a 30-day money back guarantee.
-Like Endurance, CARCHEX coverage plans do not protect damages caused by wear and tear, neglect, accidents, or weather.
-Coverage is limited for luxury vehicles.
-There’s a $50 cancellation fee.
-It’s an additional cost to cover technology (such as navigation systems) and seals and gaskets.
-There are surcharges for four-wheel/all-wheel drive, diesel, 1.0-ton, turbocharger/supercharger, and hybrid/electric vehicles.
CARCHEX Warranty Coverage Options
Here’s an overview of the CARCHEX extended warranty plans and what they cover:
- Titanium: The most comprehensive option offered by CARCHEX, this is similar to a manufacturer’s bumper-to-bumper factory warranty and has a short list of exclusions.
- Platinum: This warranty is the highest stated component coverage plan, including protection for heating and cooling systems, electrical components, and more.
- Gold: This level is ideal for vehicles with more than 60,000 miles and covers all powertrain and basic components in addition to steering and braking parts.
- Silver: The “powertrain plus” plan includes the powertrain, fuel delivery system, air conditioning, and electrical components of the vehicle.
- Bronze: The most basic plan, this affordable option covers the cost of the most expensive and crucial repairs to your car, including the engine, drivetrain, transmission, and cooling system.
CARCHEX serves as a contract broker. This means when you choose a level of coverage from CARCHEX, you’ll be offered a number of contract options. This allows CARCHEX to provide more customizable warranty plans and meet individual drivers’ needs with regard to costs, protection, add-ons, and more.
In comparison, while Endurance does offer five levels of coverage, the company does not act as a broker, meaning that those coverage levels don’t break down further into customized contracts and plans. When you choose a specific level of coverage from Endurance, you’ll be offered one plan option: the Endurance contract.
All CARCHEX plans also come with the following benefits:
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Key lock-out service
- Emergency gas delivery
- Towing services
- Rental car reimbursement
- Trip interruption reimbursement
How Much Does A CARCHEX Car Warranty Cost?
The cost of a CARCHEX plan will vary depending on the contract you select, its term length, the make and model of your vehicle, and more. CARCHEX plans are generally more affordable than Endurance, with the average monthly cost for a 2007–2014 Toyota coming to $56. Vehicle owners can pay in full or with a monthly payment plan over 24 months.
How The CARCHEX Claims Process Works
Once you’ve determined that your repair or replacement is covered by your warranty policy, you can choose a mechanic from CARCHEX’s network of independent repair facilities, national chains like Pep Boys and Goodyear, or the dealership. The facility will diagnose your vehicle and submit the necessary information to the claims department for approval, and a CARCHEX representative will handle the fulfilment in coordination with American Auto Shield or Royal Administration Services, who provide CARCHEX’s plans. Then, to ensure you won’t be left with a bill, CARCHEX will make payments directly to the repair facility.
CARCHEX Customer Reviews
Along with its A+ BBB rating, CARCHEX has received a number of awards for its customer service, including the TopConsumerReviews.com 5-star rating for six consecutive years and the BestReviewsHub.com Best Choice Award for four consecutive years.
In a Trustpilot review found on the CARCHEX website, one reviewer said, “The representative found special discounts for me that provided a nice reduction in the total price. I hope that I will never need the policy but glad I have the extra assurance now!”
Another Trustpilot reviewer said, “Helpful, friendly people. Willing to work with you to get the best deal available for you, listen to your concerns, and willing to explain any issues.”
Comparing Endurance To CARCHEX
$100 to $200
$0 to $200
|Number of Coverage Levels and Plans||5 Levels and 5 contracts||5 Levels and 16 contracts|
|Added Benefits||One-year membership to the Endurance Elite Membership||24/7 roadside assistance, rental car assistance, towing, and more|
|Repair Shop Flexibility||Choice of thousands of repair shops (no shops available in California)||Choice of 30,000 repair shops, using the CARCHEX mobile app to find a shop near you|
|30-Day Money Back Guarantee||✔||✔|
|Endorsements||Vehicle Protection Association, Katie Osbourne, Courtney Hanson||CARFAX, Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com, RepairPal, and more|
CARCHEX and Endurance are both leaders in the third-party extended car warranty market, with each offering five levels of plans for vehicle owners and holding a strong reputation for positive customer experiences. As such, the differences between the two companies and which is right for most drivers lies in the details.
After reviewing the benefits and drawbacks of each company, CARCHEX is our recommended provider for an extended car warranty.