Make an informed decision on a car repair warranty using our helpful guide
A new vehicle is typically protected under a factory car repair warranty for a specific number of years or miles. A standard manufacturer or factory warranty covers a vehicle for 3 years or 36,000 miles. After that time or mileage threshold is reached, the financial responsibility for most or all needed repairs for a vehicle lies with the owner.
Vehicle repairs can be very expensive. For example, according to haynes.com, a common alternator replacement can cost between $401 to $802. A timing belt replacement, which is also common, typically costs between $652 to $855.
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.
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
- Frequently Asked Questions
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:
What Is A Car Repair Warranty?
The phrase “car repair warranty” usually refers to an optional, extended automobile warranty that can be used for repairs after a vehicle’s manufacturer or factory warranty expires.
These extended warranties are offered by dealerships and third-party providers. Compared to dealership warranties, car repair warranties offered by third-party providers are generally more affordable.
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 car 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 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 can’t afford costly repairs and you would like to keep your car for several more years, it is wise to consider purchasing a car repair warranty.
If this is your situation, consider contacting Endurance, our Best Overall 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 warranty is probably higher than the value you would receive from it.
What To Look For When Buying A Car Repair Warranty
We recommend that automobile owners look for the following qualities when evaluating car repair warranty providers:
Easy-to-Find Sample Contracts
The best extended auto 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 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, the more likely you’ll find a plan that covers your biggest repair concerns without draining your wallet.
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 up to 200,000 miles. This mileage rate is much higher than many other providers.
Best Service: 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do car repair warranties work?
Car repair warranties protect buyers from costly repairs to their vehicle. When a vehicle is under a factory warranty, the manufacturer of the vehicle covers needed repairs under its warranty terms and conditions.
If you purchase an extended car repair warranty, a dealership or third-party will cover your needed repairs under their terms and conditions. You will pay a relatively small, monthly payment and deductible when a repair is needed.
How are auto warranty claims handled?
It depends on the provider. Endurance provides a handy guide on their website: 8 best practices for filing a claim. Once a claim is approved, you will need to take it to an authorized repair shop. Endurance, for example, allows automobile owners to choose from any repair shop certified by Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) to complete their covered repairs. CARCHEX gives you many options in terms of repair shops as well.
What would void a car warranty?
CARCHEX provides a helpful list of things that might void your warranty. These include negligence, salvage title status, and aftermarket modifications to your vehicle.