Make an informed decision on a car repair warranty using our helpful guide
Vehicle repairs can be very expensive. While new vehicles are typically protected under a factory car repair warranty for 3 years or 36,000 miles, once one of those coverage limits is reached, the financial responsibility of repairs falls to car owners.
This article makes it easier for you to decide whether a car repair warranty is right for you by describing what car repair warranties are, what they cost, and who the most reputable providers in the industry are.
If you're considering one, we recommend getting a few quotes so you can see personalized pricing side by side. Below are the companies we recommend you get quotes from:
In this article:
- What Is A Car Repair Warranty?
- What Does A Car Repair Warranty Cover?
- How Much Does A Car Repair Warranty Cost?
- Should You Buy A Car Repair Warranty?
- What To Look For When Buying A Car Repair Warranty
- Our Recommendations For Car Repair Warranty Providers
- FAQ About Car Repair Warranty
What Is A Car Repair Warranty?
A car repair warranty usually refers to an optional, extended automobile warranty that can be used for repairs after a vehicle’s manufacturer warranty expires.
These extended warranties, also known as vehicle service contracts, are offered by dealerships and third-party providers. Compared to dealership warranties, car repair warranties offered by third-party providers are generally more affordable and better suited for a high-mileage or used car.
When you own a car repair warranty, you make relatively small monthly payments toward your contract and when your car needs a repair, you simply pay a deductible for the service.
What Does A Car Repair Warranty Cover?
Different types of repairs are covered by each provider and plan. There are usually some exclusions to every plan.
It is important to read a sample contract before purchasing an extended auto repair warranty to make sure it covers a breadth of common repairs for your specific vehicle type.
How Much Does A Car Repair Warranty Cost?
A car repair warranty’s cost is determined by the provider with whom you choose to sign your contract and a variety of factors related to your vehicle.
After reviewing several providers, our review team found that both Endurance and CARCHEX provide car repair warranties at reasonable costs to automobile owners.
Here is a list of some of the factors that will determine the cost of your car repair warranty:
- Age of the vehicle
- Mileage of the vehicle
- Buying from a dealership versus a third-party provider
- Vehicle year, make, and model
- Level of warranty coverage
- Number of high-tech components in the vehicle
- Driving habits and routine vehicle maintenance
Should You Buy A Car Repair Warranty?
In general, if you are worried that you can't afford your repair bill and you would like to keep your car for several more years, it is wise to consider purchasing a car repair warranty to provide peace of mind.
If this is your situation, consider contacting Endurance, our Best Coverage Provider, for a free, customized quote.
If you are able to afford costly repairs or you plan to purchase a different car in the next several years, the cost of the protection plan is probably higher than the value you would receive from it.
What To Look For When Buying A Car Repair Warranty
We recommend that car owners look for the following qualities when evaluating car repair warranty providers:
Easy-to-Find Sample Contracts
The best extended car warranty companies provide sample contracts of their plans online. This way, you can tell if the plan is right for you. You won’t be pressured to buy anything because you can choose not to get a quote if the contract isn’t what you need.
Automotive industry partnerships or endorsements help you verify that a company is trustworthy.
Reputable warranty providers offer contracts that are backed by a financially stable car insurance company. This gives extra assurance that your covered claims will be paid.
Years in Business
The longer a car warranty company has been in business, the less likely it will fold when you need a claim. Most untrustworthy or scam companies haven’t been in business very long and don’t stay around long, either.
The more coverage options available, commonly ranging from powertrain warranty or bumper-to-bumper warranty, the more likely you’ll find a plan that covers your biggest repair concerns without draining your wallet.
A lot of extended auto warranty providers offer additional services such as roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and towing.
Talk to a representative to find out if the car repair warranty provider offers payment plans, requires a down payment upfront, and offers a money back guarantee.
Our Recommendations For Car Repair Warranty Providers
Best Coverage: Endurance
Endurance, which offers direct-to-consumer car repair warranties, received a 5-star rating from our reviews team. Endurance stands out among its competitors in the following ways:
- Gold level certification from the Vehicle Protection Association: The Vehicle Protection Association (VPA) is a non-profit organization that ensures that member companies are using the best business practices. Few companies hold a gold level certification from the VPA, so this accomplishment by Endurance is very impressive.
- Repair options: Endurance allows automobile owners to choose from any repair shop certified by Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) to complete their covered repairs.
- Covers automobiles with high mileage: Endurance offers car repair warranties to automobiles with 200,000+ miles. This mileage rate is much higher than many other providers.
Best For Used Cars: CARCHEX
CARCHEX received a 4.5-star rating from our reviews team. Here are a few reasons why CARCHEX is an outstanding car repair warranty provider.
- A+ BBB rating: CARCHEX’s A+ BBB rating establishes that the company takes customer service seriously and is responsive to its customers.
- Industry endorsements: CARCHEX has received industry endorsements from Edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book, and CARFAX. These endorsements are a strong signal that CARCHEX is a top car repair warranty provider.
- Variety of car repair warranty options: CARCHEX provides five different plan options, each of which can be customized. In addition, each of their plans comes with 24/7 emergency roadside assistance, trip interruption services, and lockout services.
Having trouble deciding between Endurance and CARCHEX? Read our Endurance vs. CARCHEX review.
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.
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