Advertiser Disclosure

A used car warranty is a contract that pays for auto repairs if specified parts break or fail. Shopping from the most reliable used car warranty companies can help you get the best value out of the plan and avoid scams. 

Reputable extended warranty providers are known for paying out for claims and covering what's stated under the contract. That's important if you want to add coverage to your used car. We've performed extensive research into the industry's best used car warranty companies. Read on to learn more about our choices.

 

In this article:

Do You Need A Used Car Warranty?

You might want to purchase a used car warranty if you are concerned about the potential cost of unexpected breakdowns. Collision and comprehensive car insurance policies will help pay for repairs after an accident, but these policies do not cover breakdowns that aren't the result of an accident or collision.

Your insurance company may offer mechanical breakdown insurance as an option. This is similar to an extended warranty, but most programs don't cover vehicles past 100,000 miles. This might not be the best option for a used car.

Some people enjoy the peace of mind provided by a vehicle service contract while others are better off financing the cost of car repairs out of pocket. Before buying a vehicle service contract, take the time to understand exactly what such contracts do and do not cover.

You can find many positive and negative reviews of most every used car warranty company. Our research team has read through many of these reviews in the process of evaluating and rating the best car warranty providers. A large number of negative reviews come from dissatisfied customers who did not fully understand their policies before purchase.


What Is A Used Car Warranty?

A used car warranty is a contract that promises to pay for the cost of certain car repairs. These warranties work similarly to the manufacturer's warranty. When you experience a mechanical breakdown, you take your vehicle to a licensed repair shop for diagnosis. If your needed repair is covered by your warranty, the administrator will pay the repair shop directly, minus your deductible.

There are several levels of warranty coverage available to drivers, each promising to pay to repair or replace a certain number of vehicle parts. 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 original warranty that came with your vehicle when it was 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 such as 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, a powertrain warranty doesn’t cover systems such as air conditioning, heating, and brakes.

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.

Do Used Cars Still Have A Factory Warranty?

When you buy a used car, there is a chance that it is still covered by its factory warranty, as many of these warranties are transferable to new owners.

Virtually every automobile manufacturer that sells cars in the United States includes a factory warranty with the purchase of a new vehicle. This is provided at no additional cost and promises to replace any car parts that fail because of defects in materials or workmanship.

The typical new vehicle limited warranty lasts for 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. A used car newer than three years old is likely still covered by its factory warranty. You can find out if your car is still covered by contacting a dealership. Give the dealership your vehicle identification number (VIN) and mileage, and a representative should be able to tell you the status of your car’s factory warranty.

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Warranty

Most manufacturers sell certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles as well as new cars. A CPO vehicle is inspected by the dealership and guaranteed to be in excellent condition at the time of purchase. As part of this guarantee, CPO vehicles include a warranty similar to a new vehicle warranty. If you buy a CPO car, it will likely have some warranty protection, though it probably won’t last as long as a new vehicle warranty.

Third-Party Used Car Warranty

If you purchase a used car that is more than three years old, there’s a good chance it is no longer under warranty. In this case, you may consider purchasing a used car warranty from a third-party provider.

What Used Car Warranty Companies Won't Cover

Keep in mind that the coverage categories above are generalized, and what’s covered and excluded will vary by provider. However, providers will generally exclude damage that would be covered under car insurance or wear-and-tear parts such as brake pads, wiper blades, and tires.

Vehicle protection plans don't cover any of the following:

  • Regular maintenance
  • Unauthorized repair bills
  • Repairs that upgrade the car
  • Aftermarket parts
  • Cosmetic items like paint, glass, and fabric
  • Parts covered by the car's manufacturer at the time

It's important to note that warranties are intended to pay for repairs when car parts fail or break as the result of normal use. This means that a used car warranty does not pay for damages that are the result of an accident or improper maintenance.

You might also run into some of these common limitations when shopping for the best used car warranty companies:

  • Limited repair shop choice
  • Maintenance requirements for coverage of certain components and systems
  • Mileage and time limits
  • Model year limits
  • The requirement that you save all routine maintenance and oil change receipts

How Much Is A Warranty On A Used Car?

The cost of a used car warranty can vary from provider to provider. A four-year bumper-to-bumper warranty can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,500. Some warranty providers ask you to pay the entire cost upfront, while others allow you to pay $100 to $200 per month. 

To give you some idea of used car warranty cost, we provide sample bumper-to-bumper warranty quotes from several of our recommended providers in the table below. Contracts are for a 2017 Honda CR-V with 45,000 miles on the odometer.

Example Costs From Used Car Warranty Companies
Provider

Plan Name

Deductible

Plan Length

Monthly Cost

Down Payment

Total Cost

Endurance

Supreme $100 5 years/100,000 miles $86 for 36 months $186 $3,282.00

CarShield

Diamond $100 unlimited $129.99 monthly First payment $7,799.50 for 5 years

CARCHEX

Titanium $100 6 years/125,000 miles $105 for 24 months First payment $2,520.00

Protect My Car

Supreme $100 Up to 75,000 miles $83.86 for 36 months First payment $3,018.96

autopom!

Exclusionary Plan $100 5 years/75,000 miles $115.94 for 24 months $295 $3.077.56

Concord Auto Protect

Premium

$0 5 years/60,000 miles $2,275 upfront First payment $2,275.00

Olive

Complete Care

$100 3 years $45.31 for 36 months First payment $1,559.16

 

 

Your own quotes may vary. The best way to find out how much an extended warranty would cost you is to reach out for an individualized free quote.

 

7 Best Used Car Warranty Companies

From warranty plans to what customers have to say, there’s a lot to consider when comparing used car warranty companies. These seven providers are among the highest-rated in areas such as industry standing, coverage options, cost, transparency, and customer service. All of our top picks offer 30-day money-back guarantees, as well.

Our Picks For The Best Used Car Warranty Companies
Best Used Car Warranty Companies

Award

Motor1 Rating

Coverage Levels

Years in Business

Customer Service Grade

 

#1 CARCHEX

Best For Used Cars

4.4 stars

5

22

3.2 / 5.0

Get Quote

#2 Endurance

Best Coverage

4.6 stars

6

15

4.5 / 5.0

Get Quote

#3 CarShield

Best Value

4.2 stars

6

16

3.6 / 5.0

Get Quote

#4 Protect My Car

Best Maintenance Benefits

4.3 stars

3

16

4.5 / 5.0

Get Quote

#5 autopom!

Best Claims Process

4.2 stars

4

11

4.1 / 5.0

Get Quote

#6 Concord Auto Protect

 

3.9 stars

3

8

4.3 / 5.0

 

#7 Olive

Best Online Warranty

4.2 stars

3

1

3.8 / 5.0

 

 

 

Along with big-picture questions such as the level of vehicle 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 used car warranty company known for reliable and fast customer service?
  • Does the company have high ratings from expert sources?
  • 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 such as roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement – to provide an in-depth overview of the top nine used car warranty companies.


#1 CARCHEX: Best For Used Cars

CARCHEX has been in business for more than 21 years and is known for its impeccable industry reputation. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) rates CARCHEX at A+, and the extended warranty provider partners with experts such as Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book. With coverage for vehicles with up to 250,000 miles, CARCHEX is one of the best choices among used car warranty companies.

CARCHEX Warranty Pros CARCHEX Warranty 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

 
 

CARCHEX works with high-rated administrators like American Auto Shield to offer a variety of plan options. There are five extended warranty plans available with CARCHEX:

  • Titanium: Exclusionary protection similar to a bumper-to-bumper factory warranty
  • Platinum: The highest level of stated-component coverage
  • Silver: Protection for all major systems and a good choice for vehicles with over 60,000 miles
  • Gold: Enhanced powertrain coverage for major components
  • Bronze: Basic powertrain coverage for high-mileage vehicles

Perhaps CARCHEX's greatest strength is its commitment to customer service. The company is highly reviewed by customers for its efficient claims processing.

Read more in our full CARCHEX review.

 

#2 Endurance: Best Coverage

Among used car warranty companies, Endurance is our top recommendation for comprehensive coverage and exceptional service. The extended car warranty company serves every state except California and has overall positive reviews and some of the best benefits in the warranty industry.

Endurance Warranty Pros Endurance Warranty Cons

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

Possible spam communications, as Endurance’s privacy policy allows it 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 repairs and replacements

 

Discounts for state and federal employees and U.S. military personnel

 

Endurance holds a place on the 2019 Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing companies, and sponsors Jarett Andretti of Andretti Autosports.

An Endurance extended car warranty covers 200,000+ miles, and you have access to six plans with varying levels of coverage:

  • Supreme: Bumper-to-bumper exclusionary warranty that covers most components of your car
  • Superior: Stated-component coverage for hundreds of parts
  • Secure Plus: Enhanced powertrain plan that covers steering, electrical, and braking systems
  • Secure: Most affordable plan focused on protecting essential components
  • Select Premier: Protection for high-mileage vehicles
  • EnduranceAdvantage™: Covers mechanical breakdowns as well as maintenance, such as oil changes and engine diagnostics

With every Endurance auto warranty, you get one free year of Endurance Elite Benefits. Some perks of this used car warranty company include:

  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Tire repair or replacement
  • Key fob repair or replacement
  • Collision discount

Learn more about the provider in our complete Endurance warranty review.

 

#3 CarShield: Best Value

The most popular used car warranty company, CarShield, is known for its low prices and complete coverage. It's the only provider on our list to offer coverage for motorcycles and ATVs, and it also has a plan specifically for high-tech vehicles. Used cars can get coverage for up to 200,000 miles.

CarShield Warranty Pros CarShield Warranty Cons

Abundance of plan choices

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

Flexible payment plans and terms

Some customers report quotes only relayed by calls rather than emails

Plans for high-mileage used cars, such as the Platinum plan

 

 
 

All CarShield plans come with roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption coverage. Here are the plans you can get for cars:

  • Diamond: Bumper-to-bumper warranty offering comprehensive coverage
  • Platinum: Stated-component plan that covers the engine, transmission, electrical system, air conditioning, and more
  • Gold: Mid-level plan covering a variety of essential systems
  • Silver: Basic powertrain coverage for your engine, transmission, and drivetrain
  • Aluminum: Coverage for high-tech electronics

See more about the provider in our CarShield review.

 

#4 Protect My Car: Best Maintenance Benefits

Protect My Car is unique on our list of top used car warranty companies because it offers both traditional extended warranty coverage and maintenance plans to help pay for regularly scheduled maintenance. The company has been in business for 16 years and has overall positive reviews.

Protect My Car Warranty Pros Protect My Car Warranty 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 pricing not disclosed online

Flexible payment terms

Plans not offered in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Missouri, Oklahoma, or Washington

Ambassador Maintenance Plans for cars over 13 years old

Difficult to obtain a quote in a timely manner based on our review team's secret shopper analysis

 

Protect My Car offers three extended warranty options that can cover your vehicle for up to 125,000 miles. Owners of used cars beyond 125,000 miles should look into the company's Ambassador Maintenance Plans for discounts on maintenance and repairs.

  • Supreme: Coverage for most vehicle systems
  • Select: Coverage for major vehicle systems and a good choice for vehicles with over 50,000 miles
  • Driveline: Enhanced powertrain coverage for essential systems

Read up on both types of coverage in our Protect My Car review.

 

#5 autopom!: Best Claims Process

Known for its great customer service yet a relative newcomer to the extended car warranty industry, autopom! is a good choice for a used car warranty. This used car warranty company has high ratings from industry experts, including an A+ rating from the BBB, and it regularly receives positive reviews from customers.

 

autopom! Warranty Pros autopom! Warranty Cons

High ratings in online reviews

Limited coverage for luxury vehicles

Low-pressure quotes process

High deductibles

Helpful claims agents who work as advocates for customers

 

 

With autopom!, you can get four types of extended warranty plans:

  • Exclusionary: Covers the most mechanical and electrical components for your vehicle
  • High-Level: Named-component plan with coverage for the engine, transmission, steering, fuel system, and more
  • Mid-Level: Coverage for the most important systems of your vehicle
  • Powertrain Plus: Enhanced powertrain coverage for the engine and more

Read our autopom! review for more information.

 

#6 Concord Auto Protect

Concord Auto Protect is a relatively newer extended warranty provider. We like this provider because of its higher reimbursement limits for benefit services such as rental car coverage. We named Concord the best for luxury cars because the provider offers warranty coverage for exotic car brands including Bentley and Maserati. Most auto warranty providers will not cover these vehicles.

Concord Warranty Pros Concord Warranty Cons
High rental car reimbursement Not backed by an insurance provider
Positive customer reviews and BBB rating Not as many years in business as other providers
Zero-interest payment programs

 

Money-back guarantee

 

Concord offers three coverage plans:

  • Premium: The most comprehensive level of coverage, it covers most vehicle components with a short list of exclusions. This plan is similar to a bumper-to-bumper warranty.
  • Advanced: This plan provides mid-level coverage for the engine, transmission, brakes, steering, suspension, and electronics.
  • Powertrain: This plan provides coverage for older vehicles, paying to repair essential systems including the engine, transmission, and brakes and select electrical components.

Each Concord plan comes with benefits including roadside assistance, rental car benefits, and trip interruption reimbursement.

To learn more, read our full Concord Auto Protect review.


#7 Olive: Best Online Warranty

Olive is a digital warranty company that allows customers to buy and manage their warranties entirely online. While the company was only recently founded in 2020, the owners have been in the car warranty business since 2000.

Olive is not listed on the BBB website, but it does have a Google Review score of 4.6 out of 5.0. Customers are pleased with the easy sign-up process and low costs. We name it the best online used car warranty company for 2021.

Olive Warranty Pros Olive Warranty Cons
RepairPal Certified Shops partner Only three years of coverage at a time
Low monthly payments and overall cost No coverage for rideshare vehicles
No waiting period or inspection required  
4.6-star Google Review rating  

Olive offers three levels of coverage. Contracts are only purchased in three-year periods but cover vehicles with up to 185,000 miles.

  • Complete Care: A bumper-to-bumper warranty that covers most vehicle components minus a short list of exclusions
  • Powertrain Plus: Covers powertrain components and a few other critical systems such as steering, suspension, air conditioning, and electrical parts
  • Powertrain: Basic powertrain coverage for the engine, transmission, drive axle, and fuel system

All plans include a towing benefit and rental car reimbursement. While Olive warranties are shorter than most (three years), they do cover high-mileage vehicles and can be less expensive than many competitor options.

Read our full Olive warranty review to learn more.


Manufacturer Extended Warranties Vs. Third-Party Provider Warranties

When you purchase a new car, 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 older 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 auto warranty through the dealer.

Extended Coverage From The Manufacturer

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.
  • Fine print: Limitations may prevent you from receiving certain types of repairs or from using non-manufacturer parts.

Coverage From Independent Providers

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

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

There are some drawbacks to extended warranty coverage. Choosing an independent warranty provider means you won't get access to genuine manufacturer parts. Additionally, there's no guarantee that all of your warranty claims will be covered, regardless of the provider. There is also the chance you can buy coverage and never need to use it.  


What To Look For In Used Car Warranty Companies

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?
  • What’s your car’s reliability rating?
  • Does simple powertrain coverage suffice, 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?

How To Find The Right Third-Party Used Car Warranty Company

If you are thinking about purchasing a used car warranty, here are some tips that can help you identify the right provider:

  • Reputation: The used car warranty 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.
  • Industry reviews: Trusted review websites, such as the BBB and Trustpilot, can provide insight into customers’ experiences and help you find the best used car warranty.
  • Coverage terms: Consider how much longer you plan to keep the vehicle, what parts you need covered, and what it would cost to cancel or transfer coverage. 
  • Price: The used car warranty 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 It?

Extended warranties for used cars can be worth the cost for drivers who want to make small monthly payments over time rather than paying for repairs upfront.

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 and level of coverage you select
  • The deductible amount

While some states have enacted laws to protect consumers from lemons, like the New York State Lemon Law, which requires dealers to give consumers written warranties, other areas of the country leave consumers with little protection in the used car market.

Even diligent consumers who do things such as check recall history on government sites, ask about dealerships' used car sales policies, and have the vehicles they're considering purchasing inspected by independent mechanics – can experience hidden defects.

Our Research

Our research team recently polled 1,000 consumers who have purchased or considered purchasing an extended car warranty. Here are some of the takeaways we found:

  • Satisfaction: Over 41 percent of the customers in our survey said they were satisfied with their extended warranty because it covered needed repairs. Another 23 percent of consumers said they were satisfied with the providers despite never filing a claim. 
  • Value: Our survey found that 40.5 percent of those polled thought buying an extended warranty was worth it, and 44.6 percent of customers said "it depends." That leaves 14.9 percent of consumers who felt an extended warranty is not worth the investment.  

Another thing we found in our survey was that cost is the most important factor to consumers contemplating an extended warranty. The length of the warranty and covered components ranked similarly for importance among potential customers.

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

 

FAQ: Used Car Warranties

Are there any good used car warranties?

The independent warranty industry's reputation has suffered due to some companies' shady business tactics, but there are reputable providers on the market. Companies such as Endurance, CarShield, and CARCHEX consistently top industry reviews for customer service and quality of coverage.

Can you get a warranty on a used car after purchase?

While some dealerships may try to sell you extended coverage when you buy a new car, you can usually purchase coverage from the manufacturer until the factory warranty expires. Independent warranty companies allow you to purchase vehicle service contracts for cars at any mileage. That said, older vehicles may not qualify for all service plans.

What is the normal warranty on a used car?

If the factory coverage on a used vehicle has expired, customers have two choices for used car warranties. They can buy from either the manufacturer or independent providers. Coverage terms vary by provider, but both include options for powertrain warranties and higher levels of coverage. 

What is covered under a used car warranty?

Used car warranties cover the repair and replacement costs of major vehicle parts up to a certain time or mileage. Covered components vary from plan to plan, but common items backed by warranties include the engine, transmission, cooling system, and various electrical parts.

Who sells the best used car warranty?

Endurance is our choice for best coverage. Besides offering comprehensive vehicle service contracts at several price points, Endurance has a reputation for excellent customer service.

Is there a 30-day warranty on a used car?

Your state may require some dealerships to offer a 30-day warranty on used cars, but this is not guaranteed. If you are having issues with your used car, contact the dealer right away to see if there is a warranty.

Can you take a car under warranty to any dealership?

If your car is under a manufacturer warranty, you can take it to any other dealership location run by that manufacturer. If you have a third-party warranty, you can usually take the car to any certified mechanic, which includes dealership mechanics.

Do car warranties transfer?

Factory warranties on cars transfer for free to the next owner. Very long warranties, like Kia's 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, may be shortened for the second owner. You can also transfer most extended warranties for a small fee.


Methodology

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.
 
 

Read our guides to other warranty providers: