While new and certified pre-owned (CPO) cars usually come with a manufacturer's warranty that covers repairs for at least three years or 36,000 miles, car owners must pay in full for all repairs once this warranty expires. If you don’t have the money to get your car fixed, you may find yourself making monthly payments on a car that you cannot actually use.
That is, unless you purchase an extended car warranty plan, which covers your car even after the initial manufacturer’s warranty is over. It’s common knowledge that most cars begin to require major repairs as the years go by, which is why getting an extended car warranty is an option worth considering under the right circumstances.
Below, you’ll find the companies we believe to be the best extended car warranty providers in the nation, plus helpful information to help you make an informed decision.
Top Picks for Extended Car Warranty Companies in 2022
Best Extended Car Warranty Reviews
Endurance is a provider of extended car warranties based out of Illinois. The company offers six different service plans: Secure, Select Premier, Superior, Supreme, Secure Plus, and Advantage. Each plan is tailored towards specific auto needs and usage types and comes with a full, 30-day money-back guarantee.
Endurance provides extra perks and protections in the way of Elite Benefits, which are included free of charge on all six of its protection plans during the first year. This includes roadside assistance, total loss protection, collision discount, key fob replacement, tire repair, or tire replacement.
Carchex is an extended car warranty broker, meaning it is not a direct provider of car warranties but helps connect customers with third-party providers who are. The company works with top-rated car warranty providers including American Auto Shield, Allegiance, and Royal Administration Services.
Carchex’s extended auto warranty offers are divided into five primary coverage levels, each with specific vehicle protection plans. The company’s website works much like an insurance comparison tool. Customers input their vehicle and personal information, and Carchex provides details of the most suitable plans —including the program name, provider, terms, and contract samples— so customers can understand what each car warranty covers and excludes. The five levels of coverage are:
Concord Auto Protect is a nationwide extended auto warranty company that directly provides a selection of protection plans. It covers eligible auto servicing in any ASE-certified facility and offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee.
Concord’s extended car warranties are categorized into three distinct payment plans: Powertrain, Advanced, and Premium.
The Michigan-based Infinite Auto Protection provides vehicle service contracts for used cars under its three coverage options: Foundation, Modern, and Prime.
All Infinite Auto Protection vehicle service plans come with 24-hour roadside assistance and freedom to choose any licensed repair facility in the country.
Since 2005, CarShield has offered extended car warranties to customers all across the U.S. The company divides its policy offerings into five coverage options, which are:
In addition to the extended car warranties it offers, CarShield also provides vehicle coverage for motorcycles and ATVs.
It must be noted that the company has a current alert on the Better Business Bureau regarding a pattern of complaints in its sales and advertising practices. As with all extended auto warranty companies, customers should review contracts, terms, and conditions before deciding to proceed with a warranty provider.
The California-based Toco Warranty provides vehicle service contracts on a pay-as-you-go schedule, meaning customers can pay their policies on a monthly basis without having to incur in high upfront costs. Although customers can cancel the contract at any time, cancellation fees may apply.
Toco’s extended car warranty options depend entirely on the automobile’s mileage. There is only one Toco plan with four levels and the parts and components covered for each level are determined by what the odometer reads.
Toco vehicle service contracts also carry additional benefits such as 24-hour roadside assistance, trip interruption reimbursement, rental car coverage, and discounts on hotels.
Best Extended Car Warranty Guide
What is an extended car warranty and how does it work?
Not to be confused with car insurance, an extended warranty is a car-repair service contract that goes into effect right after the manufacturer’s warranty expires. You may buy these warranties from dealerships or third parties, and prices and coverage vary depending on the provider and the type of plan you choose.
There are three main types:
Powertrain Warranty: The most basic and affordable option, this type of extended warranty covers only car components that generate power, such as the transmission, engine, drivetrain.
Inclusionary Warranty: This type of warranty will only cover repairs included in the contract. If you know exactly which parts you want covered, this is the one to consider.
Exclusionary Warranty: Known as the “bumper-to-bumper coverage”, this type of plan covers all car parts except the ones excluded from the contract. It is the most comprehensive of the three types of extended car warranties.
Whether or not an extended car warranty is worth it depends on your car’s expected repair costs and possible breakdowns. The most common small repairs, such as replacing batteries, alternators or spark plugs, typically cost less than a warranty’s deductible. If these are the only types of breakdowns you are expecting from your vehicle, you might be better off forgoing an extended auto warranty and paying out of pocket for this routine maintenance.
On the flip side, car warranties are extremely useful for major car repairs that can cost thousands of dollars to fix. Major engine damage, transmission replacement, or suspension overhauls are some of the most expensive auto breakdowns, with repair bills ranging from $3,000 to $10,000.
These types of breakdowns are generally not as common as the minor repairs mentioned above but will depend on your car’s make, model, and mileage. Knowing beforehand how much these unexpected repairs can set you back makes it easier to choose adequate coverage for your automobile.
If you do decide to go with the product, be aware, most car warranty companies will not offer online quotes. The industry is known for high pressure sales and hard selling over the phone. So be prepared for plenty of follow-up car warranty calls.
How to find the best extended car warranty
First of all, you should know that extended car warranty prices, deductibles, and coverages can be negotiated, just as you would the cost of a new or used vehicle. That said, finding the best option for you can be done by comparing the following factors across competing warranties:
Extended Car Warranties FAQs
What company has the best extended car warranty?
The “best” extended car warranty depends on how comprehensively you want to cover your car, the type of car you have, and your financial capabilities. While no single company has the “best” extended car warranty, the companies included in this review are among the most popular and renowned in the US for their above-average coverage, customer reviews, financial strength, customer experience, plan variety, and affordability.
How long do extended warranties last?
Most extended car warranties have a maximum age and mileage coverage cap at 10 years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first), after which your car is ineligible for a contract renewal.
How much does the best extended car warranty cost?
On average, a typical two-year protection plan starts at about $1,000, while a 5-year plan may set you back $3,000. These are only averages, however, as premiums may vary drastically depending on the car make, model, and age, your driving habits, and the deductible per repair you select (which, on average, ranges anywhere between $50 and $250).
What are the benefits of an extended car warranty?
Since cars begin to break down as they age, the main benefit of getting an extended car warranty is not having to pay for a major auto repair and gaining peace of mind after the initial manufacturer’s warranty expires. Major car repairs (such as transmission replacements or engine repairs) can set you back thousands of dollars if your car is not covered, which is usually much less than you would pay for extended car warranty premiums.
How We Found the Best Extended Car Warranties
When looking for the best extended car warranty companies in the US, we evaluated the following factors:
Plan Variety: Car owners want and need different things from an extended car warranty, which is why we favored companies that provide multiple plans and coverage options. Unlike companies that offer only a few plan options, the ones included in this review offer an above-average variety of plans to make sure everyone gets the one that is exactly right for them regardless of if they have an old or new car.
Transparency: One major problem with subpar extended car warranties is that, because of misleading, hidden, or confusing language in the warranty contracts, car owners oftentimes believe their warranty covers a certain repair when in fact it does not. For this reason, we prioritized companies with sample contracts as well as contracts that are clear about inclusions, exclusions, fees, and limitations.
Freedom of Choice: Some extended car warranty companies prohibit using a repair service provider outside their network. However, we found that the approach that most benefits car owners is one that lets them choose the provider. For this reason, we gave extra points to extended car warranty companies that allow the car owners to have their cars fixed at the repair shop they trust.
Financial Strength: Similar to the best car insurance companies, it is essential car warranty providers have solid financial ratings. This ultimately determines whether or not the warranty company will be able to pay up for repairs. For this factor, we took a look at extended car warranty companies’ ratings from agencies such as A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s.
Key Takeaways for Best Extended Car Warranty Companies
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