What kind of value does the industry’s most popular provider bring to the table?

 
 

Are you considering an extended warranty from CarShield, one of the nation's top extended warranty providers? To help you make your decision, our team reviewed CarShield and took a closer look at factors such as the company background, benefits, plans and their exclusions, and CarShield reviews to show you why CarShield is one of the best.

To make the best financial decision, we always recommend getting a quote from at least three providers, as extended warranty quotes vary based on the vehicle age, your location, and other factors. For providers with which to compare CarShield, check out our review of the best extended car warranty providers.

In this article:

An Overview Of CarShield

CarShield is a third-party provider of extended auto warranties for new and used cars. The company offers six types of warranty service plans, some providing coverage up to 250,000 miles, ranging from basic powertrain warranty to a plan comparable to a new car’s factory warranty.

Extended warranties are more accurately described as vehicle service contracts. These contracts are fulfilled by another administrator, not the original manufacturer. The advantage of this arrangement is that coverage can be tailored to any number of situations. We see this in CarShield’s six comprehensive plans.

In addition to providing a number of plans, CarShield has helped hundreds of thousands of customers with extended car warranties and is the most popular provider we’ve reviewed. In this CarShield review, we’ll take a look at what the company offers, what the coverage excludes, and what other reviewers are saying online.

 


 

CarShield Company Background

CarShield has been in business for 15 years and has covered over one million vehicles in that time. The company has flexible plans and also includes coverage for special vehicles and high-tech equipment.

CarShield is actually a vehicle service contract broker, which means the plans CarShield offers are administered by another organization, also called the obligor. Sample contracts on CarShield’s website list American Auto Shield as the administrator, though individual contracts can go through other administrators as well. What this means is that CarShield plans aren’t limited by one administrator, and that adds to the variety of options available.

CarShield has been featured on ESPN, CNN, HGTV, and TBS and has a number of celebrity endorsements. Additionally, thousands of people have contributed to CarShield reviews on Google and Trustpilot.

 


 

The Benefits Of Extended Coverage

The real benefit of extended coverage is the peace of mind that expensive repairs won’t wreck your budget. Many people today count on their cars to be dependable. At the same time, they count on their budget to be predictable. Unfortunately, no car lasts forever, and even the most dependable cars might need repairs after the factory warranty has expired.

Toyota, Chevrolet, and Buick all rank highly for dependability according to J.D. Power. However, according to RepairPal, as your car gains mileage, you might encounter repairs like these:

  • Replacing the power steering hose on a Toyota Camry can cost $371 to $644.
  • Replacing a catalytic converter on a Chevy Impala can cost $1,372 to $1,395.
  • A premature water pump failure on a Buick Regal can cost $434 to $612.

Extended coverage from a company like CarShield can help you avoid taking a financial hit from repairs. Additionally, many third-party providers offer other perks like those discussed above to make life easier.

 


 

How Much Does CarShield Cost?

To get a quote from CarShield, you can either call in or submit some quick information in an online form. Next, a representative will call you to discuss other details about your vehicle. Things like mileage, service history, current warranty coverage, and recent mechanical issues can impact the price or the type of plan that is available to you.

After a phone call, you’ll be able to see a number of options and choose the best one for you. Costs can be broken into payments over 24 months. Also, you can choose to go with a month-to-month contract, though that may be a bit more expensive as a long-term option.

To give an idea of pricing, our review team reached out to CarShield for extended auto warranty quotes on a few vehicles. This is what we found:

Vehicle CarShield Warranty Plan

Term Length

Monthly Payment

Down Payment

Deductible

Honda CR-V

New Car Diamond 4 years/125,000 miles $100 for 18 months $295 $100

Lexus ES 350

New Car Diamond

Unlimited

$130 monthly

First payment

$100

Ford Fusion 

Platinum

Unlimited

$130 monthly

First payment

$100

Lexus RX 350

Platinum

Unlimited

$129 monthly

First payment

$100

Toyota Camry

Gold

Unlimited

$129 monthly

First payment

$100

Lexus ES 350

Gold

Unlimited

$129 monthly

First payment

$100

 

 


 

CarShield Coverage Plans

Continuing our CarShield review, the company offers six general types of warranty service plans. One plan is just for motorcycles and ATVs, so we've just covered the five plans for automobiles below:

Plan What It Covers
New Car Diamond This plan is comparable to a new car’s factory warranty. It is exclusionary and lists parts it doesn’t cover to define the contract. Excluded parts include aesthetic parts, trim, hoses, belts, and wear items.
Platinum This plan is the highest level of inclusionary coverage. It covers items that are part of the engine, transmission, cooling system, electrical system, steering, air conditioning, brake system, and more. It doesn’t cover all of the parts that make up each of those systems, but it explicitly lists each covered item.
Gold This plan offers enhanced powertrain coverage. In addition to the engine, transmission, and drive axle, it covers the alternator, starter, power window motor, and more.
Silver This is CarShield’s basic powertrain plan. It covers all lubricated engine parts, the drive axle, transmission, and water pump.
Aluminum This plan is designed for vehicles that have complex electronic systems, as well as luxury vehicles. It includes coverage for power seat control, voice activation control, sensors, cruise control, gauges, instrument clusters, LCD screens, GPS, and more.

 


 

Common Exclusions

CarShield plans don’t cover everything, and each contract details what is excluded. Exclusions common to all CarShield contracts include:

  • Repairs performed without prior authorization from the contract administrator
  • Damage caused by a lack of maintenance
  • Damage caused by acts of nature, theft, vandalism, or falling objects
  • Modifications to the vehicle
  • Misuse including racing or off-road driving
  • Tampering with the odometer

All of these exclusions are common in the industry, to both factory warranties and third-party providers.

 


 

Looking At Other CarShield Reviews

CarShield is certainly the most-reviewed extended coverage provider online. There are over 2,000 CarShield reviews on Google and over 5,000 on Trustpilot. Additionally, CarShield has a four-star ranking on Trustpilot.

One CarShield Google reviewer who gave the provider five stars said, “CarShield has changed my opinion of extended auto warranty protection for the much better! Their sales/customer service is consistently friendly and helpful providing fast, easy-to-understand quotes and follow-up support. And most importantly, they deliver on claims!”

More than half of CarShield reviews on Trustpilot give the company five stars, however there are some negative reviews. Getting surprised by a denied repair is not fun, and it seems like that’s what most negative CarShield reviews are about.

Breaking Down The Reviews

If you research CarShield online, you may see that the company has more than 500 complaints logged with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)  in the past three years. This might seem like a high number, but to put things into context, consider that CarShield has sold more than 500,000 policies during those three years. This means that the actual online customer complaint volume is approximately 0.1 percent of all customers.

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most common issues raised in CarShield reviews:

Uncovered Repairs

Looking at the company’s BBB profile, many of the negative CarShield reviews are about repairs not being covered. This is not uncommon with vehicle service contract providers. Contracts are long, and the terms can differ from what people see in advertisements.

No vehicle service contract provider has a perfect track record, and customers can always be surprised when certain claims are denied. To minimize this, we recommend you always read the whole text of the contract before you sign anything. Don’t go off of what you hear in a radio ad or TV commercial, as contracts that truly cover everything are rare to nonexistent.

When you understand what’s covered by your plan, you can feel confident knowing which components of your vehicle are protected against breakdowns.

Rental Car Coverage

Another thing to know is that many contracts only consider repair shop work hours when covering rental car expenses, not the hours or days it may take before your car is authorized for repair. That is fairly common in the auto warranty world, though it has come up in a few CarShield reviews. If there is a delay between the diagnosis and the repair, your plan may not cover that portion of a rental car bill.

For example, say you took your car into the shop on a Tuesday and the mechanic relayed the problem to CarShield. Sometimes, CarShield sends an adjuster out to take a look at the car to authorize repairs. Now, say the authorization happened on the following Monday. If your contract provides for a rental car based on repair hours, you won’t get reimbursed for the days when your car sat in the shop before authorization.

Again, this is standard practice for vehicle service contract providers, and this policy is always laid out in the contract. CarShield contracts provide reimbursement for administrator-required inspections and for shipping parts to the shop, but not general delays in communication.

Pre-Existing Problems

Another standard practice in the industry is to deny claims for problems that existed prior to your contract. This contract clause is completely normal, but it has led to a few negative CarShield reviews for people who were surprised by it. CarShield plans have a standard waiting period of 30 days or 1,000 miles before coverage kicks in. This protects the company from paying for a repair that the customer already knew about. In sample contracts, pre-existing conditions are excluded from repair.

CarShield representatives are allowed to make notes of what is wrong with your car at the time of your extended warranty purchase. This is another normal practice which is based on the contract, though it comes up in some CarShield reviews online.

 


 

Our Verdict On CarShield: 4.5 Stars

We think CarShield is a great choice for extended coverage. While it’s easy to focus on negative reviews, the company has served thousands of happy customers. If you take the time to read the contract terms thoroughly, you shouldn’t be surprised when something isn’t covered.

Pros Cons

24/7 emergency roadside assistance

Not all plan information readily available on CarShield’s website

Choice of certified repair shop

Rental car reimbursement not included with all plans

Direct payments to repair facilities

 

Most contracts transferable to new car owners

 
It’s always a good idea to get quotes from more than one company so you can compare pricing and determine what is right for you. In our review, we found Endurance, CARCHEX, and CarShield to be industry leaders. Use the tool below to get free quotes from these three providers:
 

 


 

FAQ About CarShield

How much does CarShield cost on average?

When we reached out to CarShield for a quote for a 2016 Honda CR-V with 45,000 miles, we were quoted $100 per month for 18 months for a 4-year/125,000-mile bumper-to-bumper plan. The down payment was $295, and the deductible was $100. Month-to-month contracts are also available for about $129 monthly.

The cost of your CarShield plan will depend on factors like your vehicle’s make, model, year, and mileage. Deductibles can be as low as $0.

What does CarShield cover?

CarShield has six main plan types. At the top, plans can be compared to a manufacturer’s warranty. On the low end, plans cover the basic powertrain components and are affordable. All plans have 24/7 roadside assistance, and some include more perks like rental car reimbursement. Also, CarShield stands out for its plans that are tailored to high-tech and specialty vehicles like ATVs.

Who has the best extended car warranty?

If you’re looking for the best extended warranty for an affordable price, CarShield is the way to go. We recognized CarShield for having the Best Value in the industry. If you want comprehensive coverage and service, we think Endurance and CARCHEX are great options.

Read our guides to other warranty providers: