Are you looking to extend your warranty coverage after your manufacturer’s coverage has expired? You may consider investing in an extended warranty from one of the industry's most reputable extended car warranty companies to cover the unexpected repairs you’ll likely need over many years of wear and tear.
Unfortunately, not all extended warranties are equal, so it's important to do the research to ensure that you are purchasing coverage from a reputable provider. In this guide, we’ll give a short overview of the best extended car warranty companies in the industry, focusing on industry reputation, coverage plans, and customer service ratings. By the end, you’ll be on your way to making a well-informed decision about your extended warranty.
In this article:
- Top Reputable Extended Car Warranty Companies
- Who Needs An Extended Car Warranty?
- Why Is It Important To Use A Reputable Provider?
- Where To Find Trustworthy Extended Car Warranty Providers
- How To Avoid Extended Car Warranty Scams
- Choosing The Best Extended Car Warranty Plan For You
- FAQ: Reputable Extended Car Warranty Companies
Top Reputable Extended Car Warranty Companies
Extended new and used car warranties can help you avoid draining your savings account or relying on credit cards to cover repairs. But, without properly vetting companies, you could end up wasting your hard-earned money on an extended warranty that has bad coverage or customer service.
Our team polled 1,000 consumers who have purchased or thought about purchasing an extended warranty. Of those who had extended warranties, 65 percent were satisfied with the provider (whether they had used coverage or not).
However, 7.3 percent felt disappointed the warranty didn't cover certain repairs, and 5.3 percent believed their company had tried to avoid paying for covered repairs.
Luckily for you, we’ve done the heavy lifting. Here are the five most reputable extended car warranty companies:
- Endurance: Best Coverage
- CARCHEX: Best For Used Cars
- Protect My Car: Best Maintenance Benefits
- Autopom!: Best Claims Process
- CarShield: Best Value
Each of these providers scored highly for industry standing and transparency in our in-depth market review. Here’s a closer look:
|Warranty Provider||Our Award||Motor1 Rating||Best For||Maximum Term|
|1. Endurance||Best Coverage||4.6 / 5.0||Motorists looking for a direct warranty administrator||8 years|
|2. CARCHEX||Best For Used Cars||4.4 / 5.0||Motorists who want to buy from a well-established brand||10 years|
|3. Protect My Car||Best Maintenance Benefits||4.3 / 5.0||Owners looking for long and flexible monthly payment plans||Not stated|
|4. Autopom!||Best Claims Process||4.2 / 5.0||Motorists looking for support during the claims process||7 years|
|5. CarShield||Best Value||4.2 / 5.0||Owners of specialty or used vehicles||Not stated|
Endurance: Best Coverage
Endurance is a well-known direct provider backed by an AM Best A-rated insurance company. It holds a place on the 2020 Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing companies, and sponsors Jarett Andretti of Andretti Autosport.
The extended warranty company has a 4.4-star “Excellent” rating on Trustpilot based on over 3,500 customer Endurance warranty reviews. Its Better Business Bureau (BBB) page has a 3.2-star rating from customers based on more than 1,000 reviews. The BBB itself rates Endurance at a C due to promotional mailers sent out in the Chicago area that were confusing to consumers.
Endurance is a direct administrator of warranty plans, so there is no middleman when filing claims. You’ll always deal with Endurance directly, which can simplify and speed up the filing process. It’s one of the reasons we think Endurance is one of the most reputable extended car warranty companies.
Endurance Warranty Cost
According to the quotes we received, Endurance plans range from $85 to $125 per month, which is affordable compared to the industry average. What you pay depends on the type of coverage you want, your deductible, and your vehicle.
Levels Of Coverage
Endurance offers six tiers of coverage that range from basic powertrain warranty coverage to factory-level coverage. However, the term lengths are not specified for each tier. That said, we were able to find that coverage is offered up to 8 years/200,000+ miles. Let's take a look at the different tiers and what each car warranty plan covers:
|Supreme||Exclusionary coverage||Covers your vehicle with bumper-to-bumper protection|
|Superior||Highest stated-component coverage||Covers hundreds of specified components|
|Secure Plus||Fast coverage||Covers steering, electrical, and brakes, with a shorter waiting period (30 days and 1,000 miles) than the lower-tier Select Premier plan|
|Secure||Budget-friendly||Covers the most vital car components|
|Select Premier||Best for aging vehicles||Covers your basic powertrain components including the engine, transmission, and drivetrain/drive axle|
|EnduranceAdvantageTM||Extended warranty and maintenance coverage||Combines mechanical breakdown coverage with regular maintenance services like oil changes|
Endurance is great for motorists who want a quick and easy claims process. Customers can file claims through an online portal or by phone, making the process pain-free. Plus, you’ll always get personalized assistance from an online concierge who will assist you anytime you need it.
With a free year of Endurance Elite Benefits, Endurance offers two free tire repairs or replacements per year, which is uncommon among extended warranty companies. It also offers other benefits like $1,000 of total loss protection and $500 for key fob replacement.
Like all extended warranties, Endurance doesn't cover everything. Plans exclude damage from the environment and lack of maintenance. They also exclude wear items like filters and brake pads (unless covered under the EnduranceAdvantage maintenance plan).
CARCHEX: Best For Used Cars
CARCHEX is one of the most well-known and reputable extended car warranty companies around. Established in 1999, CARCHEX has an A+ BBB rating, BBB accreditation, and numerous endorsements from trusted brands like Kelley Blue Book, CARFAX, RepairPal, and Edmunds.com.
Along the way, CARCHEX has racked up an impressive trophy case, with awards like the Thoroughly Reviewed 2017 Top Pick, a five-star rating on TopConsumerReviews.org for six consecutive years, and the BestReviewsHub.com Best Choice Award for four years in a row.
CARCHEX has a no-pressure signup process and generally low prices. You can call the company anytime and be sure that you’ll get a clear explanation of pricing and coverage terms, without a pushy salesperson on the other end.
The contracts and plans for the different levels of coverage that CARCHEX offers are long and rather confusing, but a representative can walk you through them, which is a major help. If you’re not satisfied with your warranty plan within the first 30 days, you can cancel it and receive a full refund as part of CARCHEX’s 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee.
CARCHEX Warranty Cost
On average, CARCHEX extended warranties cost between $105 and $215 per month depending on the plan and payment schedule you choose. Total costs range from about $2,600 to $3,100 for the quotes we received.
Levels Of Coverage
CARCHEX has five tiers of coverage:
|Coverage Level||Years of Coverage||Who It's For||Details|
|Titanium||Up to 10||Owners looking for the highest level of auto protection||Exclusionary, comprehensive coverage with a short list of exclusions|
|Platinum||Up to 10||Owners who want long-term coverage of stated components||Covers hundreds of specific components|
|Gold||Up to 10||Owners of vehicles over 60,000 miles||Covers most major vehicle systems|
|Silver||Up to 7||Owners of high-mileage vehicles||Provides essential coverage for many major systems|
|Bronze||Up to 6||Those looking for basic coverage||Protects against the most common and expensive repairs|
CARCHEX is a good option for vehicle owners who already have a preferred mechanic or auto repair facility, as the company has a large, nationwide network of approved service providers. Vehicle owners don’t have to go through lengthy claims proceedings. Instead, the auto shop can file the claim directly with CARCHEX, saving you a lot of time and stress.
As an added bonus, CARCHEX offers 24/7 roadside assistance as a perk with all its coverage plans.
Protect My Car: Best Maintenance Benefits
The company's flexible and lengthy payment terms of 36 to 60 months are significantly longer than the terms offered by other third-party auto warranty companies. Like other warranty companies, Protect My Car offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its extended car warranty plans.
Reputation And Customer Service
Protect My Car has hundreds of 5.0-star customer reviews on the BBB and an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5.0. The complaints, though, have shown a pattern of Protect My Car failing to provide the services it has been contracted for. This is why it’s important to clearly understand what is and isn’t included in your contract.
Levels Of Coverage
Protect My Car offers three levels of coverage:
|Coverage Level||Who It's 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 the new vehicle beyond the manufacturer’s factory warranty term|
|Select||Vehicles over 50,000 miles||Comprehensive coverage|
|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 extended warranty with Protect My Car, the company does offer Ambassador Maintenance Plans. These car maintenance insurance contracts offer guaranteed discounts between 25 and 50 percent on repairs, 24/7 roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and more for older vehicles. However, they do not provide protection on the same level as an extended warranty.
Autopom!: Best Claims Process
Autopom! was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Lake Forest, California. The company, the name of which stands for "automotive peace of mind," is known for its customer service and offers four levels of coverage throughout most states, including California.
Reputation And Customer Service
The warranty provider has earned an A+ rating from the BBB, with very few customer complaints, especially compared with other companies of similar size. At the time of publication, autopom! had earned 4.5 out of 5 stars from BBB customer reviews and an Excellent rating from Trustpilot, with a 4.4-star customer score.
Levels Of Coverage
Autopom! offers four levels of coverage, though exact coverage details and availability can differ between states.
|Exclusionary||The most comprehensive coverage||Covers all mechanical and electrical components, unless the component is specifically listed as an exclusion|
|High-Level||A cost-effective alternative to an exclusionary plan||Includes named components within major systems|
|Mid-Level||High-mileage vehicle plan||Protects everything included in the lower-tier Powertrain Plus plan, as well as named additional components that are part of the steering, suspension, fuel delivery, cooling, and braking systems|
|Powertrain Plus||Powertrain coverage with optional add-ons||Covers components essential to the powertrain systems, with the option to add electrical, air conditioning, and fuel systems|
In addition to extended warranty coverage plans, autopom! offers a few mechanical breakdown insurance plans in select states.
Like all of our other picks for top reputable extended car warranty companies, autopom! lets you choose any licensed repair shop to fix your car. In case of a breakdown, the company also offers 24-hour roadside assistance, rental car insurance, and trip interruption reimbursement with all of its coverage plans. Some plans even include tire protection.
CarShield: Best Value
CarShield has been in business since 2005 and has a 4.0-star rating on Trustpilot based on over 24,000 reviews. The company has the largest market share as far as used cars are concerned. Because of its huge number of reviews and large market presence, CarShield is one of the most popular extended warranty providers.
Reputation And Customer Service
Unfortunately, a look at the company's BBB page shows over 2,000 complaints filed in the last 3 years. But, considering it sold over 500,000 vehicle protection plans in the same time period, this is actually quite impressive. It means the rate of complaints is only .4 percent.
There is also a BBB alert against CarShield, so make sure you understand that you are not talking to a dealer or manufacturer when you speak with a CarShield representative, and always read the fine print before signing any type of contract. Like all extended warranties, CarShield plans come with a number of exclusions, so it’s important to make sure you fully understand what’s covered and what isn’t.
Is CarShield Expensive?
According to the rates we received, CarShield is not expensive for monthly payments. Depending on the plan, you may pay between $89 and $129 per month. This price applies to a $100 deductible.
Levels Of Coverage
CarShield offers six levels of coverage:
|Diamond||Closest to factory-level coverage||Bumper-to-bumper coverage designed to be similar to a manufacturer’s warranty for new cars|
|Platinum||Comprehensive coverage||Comprehensive plan that's perfect for high-mileage vehicles|
|Gold||Coverage for both minor and major vehicle parts||Powertrain-plus coverage for the engine, transmission, water pump, air conditioning, starter, and more|
|Silver||Basic coverage||Powertrain coverage for the most important parts of your vehicle|
|Aluminum||High-tech electrical coverage||Protects the engine control module, alternator, navigation/GPS, electrical system, starter, and more|
|Motorcycle & ATV||Motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle, or other off-road vehicle coverage||Variety of coverage levels and contracts for specialty vehicles|
Some bonuses that come with many CarShield plans include:
- Low deductibles
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Complimentary towing services
- Claims paid directly to the repair shop
- Rental car reimbursement with some plans
- Top-rated warranty distributors like American Auto Shield
Who Needs An Extended Car Warranty?
Drivers who are planning to keep their vehicles for a long time should consider investing in an extended warranty. In fact, the opposite is also true. If you plan to sell your vehicle on the private market after a few years, a transferable service contract could make your car more appealing to potential buyers.
The typical manufacturer offers bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage for 3 years/36,000 miles. While some manufacturer warranties, like the Hyundai warranty, cover you for longer (5 years/60,000 miles), they still fall short of the more than 150,000 miles the average car owner can expect to put on their vehicle over the course of its lifetime.
An extended auto warranty is exactly what it sounds like: It acts as an extension to the original manufacturer’s warranty, albeit from a third-party provider. In a nutshell, it will cover your vehicle after your original warranty runs out, and depending on the provider and plan you choose, it can sometimes offer even better coverage than your original warranty.
Remember, car insurance generally doesn’t cover repairs that are due to mechanical breakdowns. It covers damages caused by collisions and environmental factors, so don’t think that you’re in the clear just because you have auto insurance.
If you want full financial peace of mind, an extended warranty is worth looking into. Considering car repairs become more likely and more frequent as cars age, it’s generally worthwhile to invest in an extended warranty that will cover your vehicle in its later years when the repair bills typically start to pile up.
Can You Buy An Extended Warranty After Purchase?
You can buy an extended warranty from a reputable third-party provider at almost any time after purchase. Manufacturers, on the other hand, usually require you to buy an extended warranty before the factory warranty expires. Some only allow you to buy one when you purchase the vehicle.
Why Is It Important To Use A Reputable Provider?
Extended warranties are all about peace of mind, but if you can’t trust your provider to be there for you when you need them, that peace of mind you’re paying for can easily turn into stress.
Let’s be realistic: Anytime an extended car warranty covers a repair, the company loses money. While reputable extended car warranty companies will take those hits like champs, untrustworthy providers will do everything they can to weasel their way out of paying, leaving you to foot the bill for costly repairs on top of the premium you’re paying for your extended warranty coverage.
Before signing on the dotted line with any auto extended warranty company, make sure you check its ratings. Reputable companies tend to be endorsed by major auto brands and even celebrities. This is generally a good sign that the provider can be trusted.
How To Cancel An Extended Car Warranty
Reputable extended car warranty companies will allow you to cancel a warranty for a full refund within 30 days. They will also provide pro-rated refunds after that. You will need to contact the contract administrator and provide a written odometer statement to cancel the extended car warranty.
Where To Find Trustworthy Extended Car Warranty Providers
When searching for reputable extended car warranty companies, you have two options: dealers and third-party providers. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two.
Most car dealers and manufacturers offer their own extended warranty options. However, dealers may try to mark up the cost of extended warranties, so it’s a good idea to try to negotiate the price. Always make sure you’re clear on what will and won’t be covered before purchasing an extended warranty from your dealer.
When you purchase a contract from a dealer, you’re usually only able to carry out repairs at a brand-specific service center. This comes with ups and downs. On the one hand, you’re guaranteed to get exact replacements for any faulty parts, but on the other hand, you’ll typically have fewer service location choices.
Third-party warranties are, in many ways, the reverse of dealer warranties. While you generally won’t be guaranteed to receive exact factory replacement parts, many third-party warranty companies have much larger service networks, meaning that there’s a higher chance you can get your car repaired at your favorite local auto body shop and still be covered by your warranty.
The coverage options and additional perks are similar to what you’ll get from the dealership – and sometimes even better. For example, most manufacturer extended warranties don't have six levels of coverage like Endurance. You're more likely to find one to three levels of coverage with a dealer.
How To Avoid Extended Car Warranty Scams
Unfortunately, some providers take their business practices to new lows and are outright scams. Here are a couple of ways to avoid these companies:
Disregard Spam Calls
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports that there are a number of car warranty scams in which a car owner will receive a sales call that states their warranty is about to expire. During these calls, the scammer may pose as an employee from a legitimate company and may even be able to provide specific information about the receiver’s car, further deceiving the receiver into believing the call is from a reputable business.
However, the caller is generally phishing for personal information, so do not provide any sensitive information. If you believe you have been contacted by one of these scammers, you can report it to the FCC.
Recognize Unreliable Companies
Outside of these phishing scams, there are vehicle warranty companies that will simply make getting any of the coverage you’re paying for either impossible or an absolute nightmare. Red flags you should look out for when vetting an extended warranty company are a lack of industry endorsements, major limitations in coverage, and poor ratings on popular review sites.
The BBB lists consumer complaints on its site, so that’s a great place to look. Ideally, you’ll want to look for a company with a relatively low volume of complaints that’s also BBB accredited, although there are plenty of legitimate companies out there that don’t have BBB accreditation.
Choosing The Best Extended Car Warranty Plan For You
All the reputable extended auto warranty companies we’ve discussed will likely serve you well and provide you with peace of mind. However, each company offers plans that appeal to different types of vehicle owners, so the final decision comes down to your needs and preferences.
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:
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- Ford Factory Warranty Review
- Mini Cooper Warranty Review
- GM Extended Warranty Review
- Porsche Warranty Review
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- Car Warranties Comparison Guide
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