An extended auto warranty from these top providers can help keep repair costs low for your used car.

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Purchasing a used car can be a stressful experience, as it’s almost impossible to guarantee that you have a clear window into the car’s history and health. Whether you purchased the vehicle from a close friend, a reliable car dealership, or a stranger, you’re bound to run into trouble at some point during the car’s lifetime.

If you're looking for a top used car warranty company, we recommend the following. It's best to get multiple quotes so you can compare prices and coverage side by side. Based on our team's research, the best options are CARCHEX, Endurance, and CarShield:

 

In this article:

 

According to the Car Car Council, eighty-nine percent of vehicles on the road today are in need of at least one repair. An extended auto warranty – otherwise known as a vehicle service contract – provides protection and peace of mind against unforeseen expenses associated with a used vehicle.

We’ve put together everything you need to know about extended warranties for used cars, including the types of coverage available, the difference between dealership and third-party warranties, and a comparison of reputable extended car warranty companies for used cars like CARCHEX and CarShield. Read on to find the best used car warranty for you.

Top Used Car Extended Warranty Providers

From the actual policy coverage to the reputation of the extended car warranty company, there’s a lot to consider when selecting a provider. Along with big-picture questions like the level of protection you want and how much you’re willing to pay, here’s a short list of questions to ask during your search:

  • Is the company known for reliable and fast customer service?
  • Is the provider BBB-accredited? Does the company have a high rating?
  • What are consumers saying in online reviews?
  • Can you file claims on the weekend?
  • How many years has the company been in business?
  • Do the customer service representatives seem more eager to make a sale than to meet your needs?
  • Are warranty plans transferable?
  • Are there restrictions, limitations, or inconveniences outlined in the fine print of the provider’s contracts?
  • Is this the best used car warranty for me?

Once you have a better idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time to find a provider. We took all of the above into consideration – plus added perks like roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement – to provide an in-depth overview of the top five used car warranty companies.

1. CARCHEX: Best Overall

Best Overall

★★★★★

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(877) 253-0058

 

No. 1 overall, beating the competition in company reputation, coverage options, and customer service.

 
  • Years in Business: 20
  • BBB Rating: A+ (BBB accredited)
  • Number of Plans: 5 levels (16 contracts)
Pros Cons

Customizable coverage, including plans for high-mileage vehicles

Limited coverage for luxury vehicles

Strong reputation for quality customer service

 

Flexibility with repair shop choices

 

Instant quotes

 
 

 

2. Endurance: Best Direct Provider

Best Direct Provider

★★★★★

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(877) 374-1840

 

The best option for a direct provider, meaning you work with their team throughout every step of the process. 

  • Years in Business: 13
  • BBB Rating: Not rated (not accredited)
  • Number of Plans: 5
Pros Cons

Direct provider, meaning you’re not dealing with a middleman

Possible spam communications, as Endurance’s privacy policy allows them to send information from marketing partners

Select Premier plan specifically for older vehicles

Recurring customer complaints of delayed or denied coverage

Positive online customer experience for basic services

No corrosion coverage

Free tire repair and replacement

 

Discounts for state and Federal employees and U.S. Military personnel

 

3. CarShield: Most Popular 

Most Popular

★★★★☆

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(800) 563-2761

 

A great provider with a history of over one million vehicles protected and thousands of customer reviews. 

  • Years in Business: 14
  • BBB Rating: F
  • Number of Plans: 6 levels (37 contracts)
Pros Cons

Abundance of plan choices

Large number of plan options can make reviewing all options time-consuming

Flexible payment plans and terms

Some customers reporting quotes only relayed by calls rather than emails

Plans for high-mileage used cars like the Platinum plan

 

 
 

4. Protect My Car: Long Payment Terms

Long Payment Terms

★★★★☆

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(888) 430-0227

 

A provider that offers different plan options to fit your needs.

 
  • Years in Business: 14
  • BBB Rating: Not rated (not accredited)
  • Number of Plans: 3
Pros Cons
Access to PMC Rewards, a shopping and dining discounts reward program

To qualify for an extended warranty, your vehicle cannot be more than 13 years old

24/7 roadside assistance is included with all warranty plans

Plan costs are not disclosed online

Flexible payment terms

Plans are not offered in California, Florida, Missouri, Washington, and Oklahoma

The Ambassador Maintenance Plans for cars over 13 years

Had trouble obtaining a quote in a timely manner when we reached out online

 

5. autopom!: Best Quotes and Claims Process

Best Quote And Claims Process

★★★★★

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(888) 691-2354

 

Another provider we recommend for their top-notch service, when getting a quote or submitting a claim. 

  • Years in Business: 9
  • BBB Rating: A+ (BBB accredited)
  • Number of Plans: 4
Pros Cons

High ratings in online reviews

Limited coverage for luxury vehicles

Low-pressure quote process

High deductibles

Helpful claims agents who work as advocates for customers

 

 

 

Types Of Used Car Warranties

After selecting a provider, you’ll need to decide on the level of protection that’s right for you and your vehicle so you end up with the best used car warranty possible. From comprehensive coverage to just the essentials, here’s an overview of the types of used car extended warranties available:

  • Bumper-to-Bumper: This type of plan lists what’s excluded from coverage rather than what’s included because the number of covered parts is so extensive. While more expensive than other plans, a bumper-to-bumper warranty is most similar to the manufacturer’s factory warranty that came with your vehicle when it was first purchased new.
  • Stated Component: One step below a bumper-to-bumper warranty, stated component plans cover exactly what is stated in the contract. They’re usually more comprehensive than powertrain warranties, protecting components like the air conditioning and electrical systems, but not as comprehensive as bumper-to-bumper coverage.
  • Powertrain: A powertrain warranty provides coverage for the most essential systems the car needs to function, including the engine, transmission, and related components. While normally the most affordable type of used car warranty available, powertrain warranties don’t cover systems like air conditioning, heat, and brakes.

The age and condition of your used vehicle factor into whether you want more or less extended warranty coverage.

If you want to ensure your car stays in good condition for years to come, a bumper-to-bumper warranty would likely be best for you. On the other hand, if you are only concerned with your used car’s essential systems, you may opt for powertrain coverage.

Keep in mind that the coverage categories above are generalized, and what’s covered and excluded will vary by provider. Here are some of the common limitations and exclusions that you might run into with extended warranty coverage:

  • Limited repair shop choice
  • Maintenance requirements for coverage of certain components and systems
  • Mileage and time limits
  • Exclusions for specific items like brake pads, wiper blades, and tires
Mechanic Paperwork

What To Look For In A Used Car Warranty Plan

The used car warranty market can be overwhelming to consumers, with hundreds of providers and plans available, varying payment and claim structures, and confusing fine print. Prior to contacting used car warranty companies for quotes, it’s important to understand the landscape and reflect on what your unique needs are. The best used car warranty for your neighbor may not be the best for you.

Ask yourself these questions to help identify your needs:

  • Does your car’s make and model typically require expensive repairs?
  • How much longer do you plan to keep the vehicle?
  • What’s your car’s reliability rating?
  • Does simple powertrain coverage give you peace of mind, or do you need bumper-to-bumper coverage to eliminate unnecessary stress?
  • What monthly payment is appropriate for your budget? Would a month-to-month contract or an annual payment be better?

Manufacturer Extended Warranties Vs Third-Party Provider Warranties

When a new car is purchased, it comes with the manufacturer’s warranty at no additional cost. If you purchased your used car while the manufacturer's warranty was still valid, most manufacturers transfer the warranty to you. However, if your used car was no longer eligible for the new or certified pre-owned factory warranty at the time of purchase, you have the option to purchase an extended warranty through the dealer.

It seems appealing to make the dealer a one-stop shop for both your vehicle and its protection plan. However, there are some limitations that apply to dealership extended warranties, including:

  • Repair requirements: Dealers typically require that you have covered repairs and replacements performed by dealer technicians at the dealership’s auto shop.
  • Increased cost: Extended warranties purchased from the dealer tend to be more costly than third-party warranties. According to Money Crashers, a plan could run between $1,000 and $1,500.
  • Fine print: Limitations may prevent you from receiving certain types of repairs or from using non-manufacturer parts.

While there’s only one manufacturer for your car, there’s an abundance of third-party warranty providers that offer extended warranties for used vehicles with more flexibility in price, repair shop, terms and conditions, and coverage. Here’s an overview of what to expect from a third-party extended warranty provider and why you might opt for one:

  • Repair facility options: Most used car warranty companies allow owners to choose where they want their car serviced from a list of approved repair shops.
  • Added perks: Third-party warranty customers may receive additional benefits like roadside assistance, towing, gas delivery, and more.
  • Coverage choices: A greater variety of plans are available from third-party companies, typically offering tiered contracts that vary in length and coverage.
  • Transferable: Almost all third-party warranty plans are transferable, which increases both the appeal and value of your car for future buyers. 

What Should I Look For In A Third-Party Used Car Warranty Company?

The company’s reputation is key. Much of your satisfaction with the warranty plan will depend on how helpful customer service representatives are throughout the entire process, from choosing your plan to submitting a claim. Trusted review websites, like the Better Business Bureau, can provide insight into customers’ experiences and help you find the best used car warranty.

Price, flexibility, and coverage are three other important factors. The company should be able to provide a coverage level at a price you’re comfortable with, and the plan should be as flexible as possible, with $0 deductible options and your choice of repair shop.

Is A Used Car Warranty Worth The Cost?

The cost of a used car warranty depends on several factors, such as:

  • The provider
  • The make and model of your vehicle
  • The type of warranty you select 

In general, the cost of a used car warranty increases in conjunction with the number and complexity of components covered in the plan.

While some states have enacted laws to protect consumers from lemons, like the New York State Lemon Law, which requires dealers to give consumers a written warranty, other areas of the country leave consumers with little protection in the used car market. Even diligent consumers who thoroughly research a vehicle – reviewing its recall history on government sites, asking dealerships for used car sales policies, and having the vehicle in question inspected by an independent mechanic – are prone to hidden defects.

If you purchase a used car no longer protected under the car’s original factory warranty, an extended warranty can offer peace of mind and offset repair costs. Research common issues owners run into for your car’s make and model (and the associated repair costs) when evaluating whether a warranty is right for you. If these costs exceed what you feel comfortable spending on your vehicle during the time of ownership, an affordable monthly payment for a used car warranty could be a good option for you. 

Summary: Our Recommendations

Though you have a lot of choices when it comes to finding a warranty for you used car, these five companies are our top recommendation when it comes to used car warranty companies. We do recommend getting multiple quotes so you can compare prices and coverage side by side, as they will depend on a lot of factors specific to you, such as the age, make, and model of the car.

Top Used Car Warranty Companies

 Best For

Our Rating

Coverage Levels

Years in Business

Customer Service Grade

 

#1: CARCHEX

Best Overall

★★★★★

5

20

A+

Get Quote

#2: Endurance

Best Direct Provider

★★★★★

5

13

A

Get Quote

#3: CarShield

Most Popular

★★★★☆

6

14

A

Get Quote

#4: Protect My Car

Long Payment Terms

★★★★☆

3

14

A

Get Quote

#5: autopom!

Best Guotes & Claims Process

★★★★★

4

9

A+

Get Quote

 

 

Read our guides to other warranty providers: