When the manufacturer’s warranty expires on your car, that’s usually right around the time when your car starts to need repairs. As everyone knows, car repairs can be extremely expensive, and they always happen at the worst possible time. You can buy an extended warranty to help cover the costs of repairing your aging vehicle. Let’s take a look at the best extended car warranty companies for 2021, as well as tell you what you need to consider before you purchase an extended car warranty.
- The 10 best extended car warranty companies
- The 10 best new car warranties
- What is new car warranty? What does it cover?
- What does an extended car warranty cover?
- Types of extended car warranties
- Should I buy an extended car warranty on a used car? And why?
- How much does an extended car warranty cost?
- What affects the cost of extended car warranties?
The 10 best extended car warranty companies
After researching 25+ companies offering extended car warranties, here are our recommendations for the top 10 companies:
- CarShield Extended Car Warranty: Best for popular brandname and good coverage options
- Endurance Extended Car Warranty: Best for special promotions and positive customer review
- Carchex Extended Car Warranty: Best for the most flexible coverage options
- ProtectMyCar Extended Car Warranty: Best for providing online quotes and good consumer ratings
- Olive Extended Car Warranty: Best for a simple, no-jargon, fast, clear, and cheap online quote
- AAA Extended Car Warranty: Best for existing AAA members
- Fidelity Extended Car Warranty: Best for transferrable feature
- Zurich Extended Car Warranty: Best coming from a reputable brand
- Ally Extended Car Warranty: Best If you already have an Ally car loan
- Allstate Extended Car Warranty: Best if you are an AllState customer already
CarShield Extended Car Warranty: Best for popular brandname and good coverage options
CarShield says prices are as low as $99 a month. If you request a quote, they will call the phone number you provide, or you can just call them to get an estimate. Quotes are based on:
- Age of your car
When you request a quote, keep in mind you’ll need your VIN number. Car warranty contracts are offered on a month-to-month basis, so you’re not locked into a long-term contract.
CarShield offers several levels of coverage, so there should be one for everyone. Depending on your budget, you can choose one of the following:
- Diamond: this covers everything and is similar to a new car manufacturer’s warranty
- Platinum: this covers the engine, transmission, AC, electrical system, starter, water pump, and fuel pump
- Gold: covers the powertrain, plus AC, alternator, and more
- Silver: covers the powertrain only
- Aluminum: covers electrical and computer related problems
They also offer motorcycle and ATV coverage.
CarShield has mostly positive reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com, earning 4.2 out of five stars. You do need to make sure to bring your car to a shop that accepts CarShield before you get any repairs done.
Endurance Extended Car Warranty: Best for special promotions and positive customer review
Endurance launched in 2006 and is now one the largest third-party warranty companies in the U.S. If you have an older car, Endurance will cover cars as old as 20 years old, and with mileage as high as 200,000.
Endurance is currently running a special, $300 off any vehicle protection plan, plus you get $500 in shopping vouchers at various retailers. You also get roadside assistance. Prices on their plans are somewhere between $80 and $130 a month. You can adjust your deductible to $0, $50, $100 or $200.
They offer six plans with varying levels of coverage:
- Secure: most affordable plan
- Secure Plus: covers the powertrain, brakes, transmission, AC, electrical components and other
- Select Premier: for high mileage vehicles
- Supreme: Covers almost everything with a list of exclusions spelled out
- Advantage: Covers almost everything and includes maintenance
- Superior: the most comprehensive coverage
Customer reviews are overall very positive, and they earn 4.3 out of five stars on TrustPilot, based on almost 3,000 reviews.
Carchex Extended Car Warranty: Best for the most flexible coverage options
CarChex offers perhaps the most flexible coverage—not only do they offer five tiers of coverage, but each tier has several levels within it. All this means they can offer sixteen coverage options.
Carchex collects information for a quote online, but they want to call you to discuss your quote—you can’t just read it online. Once you decide to purchase a plan, they have a maximum payment schedule of 24 months.
If you read the fine print on your contract, you will discover that Carchex is not the actual warranty provider: they are a broker. Your coverage is actually provided by someone else, such as American Auto Shield, Royal Administration Services, and others. It’s similar to how an insurance broker like CoverWallet works: you tell them what you want, and they match you with a company that will provide the coverage you request. Because of this model, they do not control the overall consumer experience, especially when it comes to resolving claims for their consumers. They have to rely on the warranty providers, or also called the administrators, to resolve the claims. This has resulted in their low consumer reviews and ratings as seen below.
If you pay for a plan upfront, rates range from between $2,300 and $3,500 depending on your vehicle for 4-year or 5-year extended coverage, usually up to 100,000 or 125,000 miles. You can opt for a monthly payment plan, but you’ll pay more overall.
According to the BBB, Carchex has a score of 2.17 out of five stars, with 120 complaints registered over the past three years. They do better on Trustpilot, getting 3.3 stars out of five. Reviews seem to be either one star or five stars—people either love them or hate them. People who love them praise the customer service reps who are very polite and helpful. People who hate them say they were stranded or that the company Carchex got them a warranty from was iffy and Carchex took no responsibility. Read the reviews carefully before you commit.
ProtectMyCar Extended Car Warranty: Best for providing online quotes and good consumer ratings
Unlike the previous car warranty companies, Protect My Car gave us a quote online, and all they needed was the make and model, the mileage, and the trim level. This quote is for a 2015 Honda Pilot with 130,000 miles on it.
In addition to the Ambassador Platinum plan selected, you can choose from the other two plans:
- Ambassador Platinum plan: $102.57/month for 36 months
- Ambassador Elite plan: $86.79/month for 36 months; or
- Ambassador Pro plan: $77.23/month for 36 months
Since our hypothetical vehicle had over 100,000 miles on it, the Ambassador plan gives you a discount of either 50% or 75% on repairs and includes roadside assistance. They also have three other plans:
- Supreme: similar to the manufacturer’s warranty in that it covers just about everything except the navigation system, and that’s available as an add-on.
- Select: Covers everything but the navigation system and the turbo charger.
- Driveline: Covers everything but the front and rear suspension, the turbo charger and the navigation system.
These plans are available for anywhere from $91 to $190 for 48 months, depending on what type of car you drive, how old it is and how many miles are on it.
Protect My Car was launched in 2005 and is based in Florida. On the BBB website, they have a score of 4.59 out of five based on 630 reviews. They have 146 complaints listed over the last three years. The complaints mostly concern customers who feel they didn’t get the services they paid for—in other words, they wouldn’t pay the claim. Protect My Car gives a really lengthy response to every single complaint. The reviews are mostly five stars with a few one-star reviews.
Olive Extended Car Warranty: Best for a simple, no-jargon, fast, clear, and cheap online quote
If it’s important to get an online quote (as opposed to having someone call you) Olive could be a good choice. This quote is for a 2018 Subaru Forester with 46,712 miles on it (they stress it’s important to provide the exact mileage):
The Olive powertrain quote is $29.88 a month, and the powertrain plus plan is $41.08 s month. These payments are for 36 months. You can choose either a $100, $250 or $500 deductible. It’s very straightforward, which is refreshing.
Olive has only been around since 2020. You can buy your plan online, and you don’t have to wait for coverage to start (there is a waiting period for some other companies plans, and some make you get your car inspected before they’ll begin coverage). Olive doesn’t cover preexisting conditions, and they don’t cover wear and tear or weather damage. However, they are very upfront about that, and they are one of the most affordable options we’ve seen.
Customer reviews are very positive. They get 4.6 out of five on Consumer Affairs, and 4.7 on Google.
AAA Extended Car Warranty: Best for existing AAA members
Everyone knows AAA offers roadside assistance to its members, but they also offer extended warranties as well. Technically, AAA isn’t a single company, it’s a collection of auto clubs throughout the U.S. Plans may vary in what they cover and how much they cost. Some AAA clubs don’t offer extended warranty protection at all—it depends on your area.
For the areas of the country that do offer these plans, they are likely to be similar to these:
- Essential plan: covers everything but the front and rear suspension, brakes, anti-lock brakes, steering, audio, entertainment and navigation.
- Essential plan plus: covers everything but audio, hybrid vehicles, entertainment and navigation systems.
- Comprehensive coverage: covers everything but hybrid vehicles, entertainment and navigation systems.
- Exclusionary plan: Covers everything
These plans are underwritten by local insurance companies, so again, you may have slightly different plans. Just some of the AAA clubs include:
- AAA of the Carolinas
- AAA Mid-Atlantic
- AAA Northeast
- AAA Washington
For this reason, it’s difficult to get an idea on how much your plan will cost. Generally, the more mileage your car has the more expensive the warranty will be. If you want to find out how much it will be, you should contact your local AAA chapter. You must be a AAA member to purchase an extended warranty with them.
Reviews on the AAA extended warranty vary according to the local chapter, and can range from an A+ to a C.
Fidelity Extended Car Warranty: Best for transferrable feature
Fidelity Warranty Services is owned by JM Family Enterprises, not to be confused with the investment company. They have over 40 years of experience in the warranty business, and you can purchase a plan at more than 3,800 dealers nationwide (although not every plan is available in every state). They are the exclusive warranty provider for some Toyota, Volvo, and Kia dealers.
One plus is that warranties purchased through Fidelity are transferrable, meaning that if you sell your car, the warranty goes with it, making it a more attractive purchase to potential buyers.
There are three plans available: Platinum, Gold, and Powertrain.
- Platinum: bumper to bumper coverage, exclusions apply (exclusions include brake drums, air bags, glass, catalytic converters, and batteries)
- Gold: Covers everything the platinum plan does except for the cooling, brakes, steering, front and rear suspension and electrical.
- Powertrain: Covers the powertrain, which includes repairs to the engine, transmission, and drive axle.
They also offer two high-mileage plans, Drivetrain Plus and Owner Select. Fidelity doesn’t publish prices or offer quotes on its website (you’ll have to call to get a price). According to CarTalk, when they tried to get a quote, they were told they would only provide quotes with VIN numbers. You can choose a deductible of $0, $50, $100 or $250.
Fidelity does not get great reviews on Consumer Affairs.com. They average 1.7 stars out of five on 165 reviews. There are also 98 complaints on the BBB’s website over the past three years. Proceed with caution.
Zurich Extended Car Warranty: Best coming from a reputable brand
Zurich NA (North America) is an insurance company that also offers extended warranties. All plans come with 24/7 roadside assistance, rental car coverage, and trip interruption coverage.
The Comprehensive plan is sold exclusively through auto dealerships at the time you purchase a vehicle. The only way to get a warranty other than that is if the previous owner transfers the warranty. For this reason, they don’t offer quotes and it’s hard to get a sense of what their prices are. They don’t seem to focus on selling the warranty plan directly to the consumers, rather they distribute their warranty plans through car dealership.
They do offer four levels of protection: Comprehensive, Standard, Powertrain, and Select.
- Comprehensive: Covers almost everything except upholstery, wear and tear, weather damage, glass and tires.
- Standard: Covers most of what the comprehensive plan covers, minus the interior, exterior, and heating and cooling systems.
- Powertrain: Covers the engine, the transmission, the drive axles and the transfer case.
- Select: Customizable plan that can cover glass, tires, and cosmetic damage.
It’s fairly difficult to find information on the website, and it’s not user friendly.
Reviews are good: they earned 4.4 stars out of five on Consumer Affairs.Com. We only wish the website would be more forthcoming.
Ally Extended Car Warranty: Best if you have an ally car loan already
If your vehicle is a 2016 or newer and has less than 75,000 miles on it, Ally can offer you an extended warranty. Ally is an online bank—an online only bank. They don’t have branches, but they do offer a lot of services and investments.
Their extended warranty comes in four levels: Major Guard, Value Guard, Basic Guard and Feature Guard.
- Major Guard: Covers over 75,000 components.
- Value Guard: Covers the powertrain, the transmission, AC components, suspension, and more.
- Basic Guard: Covers the powertrain
All plans include 24/7 roadside assistance, rental coverage and trip interruption protection. If you would like a quote, you can call them at 1-844-394-2559. To actually purchase coverage, you’ll need to contact a participating dealership. According to Motor1, the average cost is about $2,862.
It appears that they mostly offer their extended car warranty plans to consumers who have already purchased a car with an Ally car loan. The Ally extended car warranty are mostly offered at the dealership when consumers get an Ally car loan to buy their cars (most of the plans are sold this way). In some cases, when you pay for your monthly car note, Ally would upsell you with extended car warranty plans either through digital dashboard or customer service phone call.
Ally does not have very good reviews on Trustpilot, getting just 2.1 out of five. However, keep in mind that this is based on only 32 reviews, and most people are reviewing the banking services. Since most people have to buy the warranty from a dealership, they probably bring their complaints there as well.
On the BBB site, Ally gets a D- and has 1,217 complaints in the last three years. Again, most people are complaining about the bank, but it’s worth noting.
Allstate Extended Car Warranty: Best if you are an AllState customer
If you’re already an Allstate customer, you might want to consider their Extended Vehicle Care plan. If you’re not, you’re out of luck because they will only sell you one if you are a current customer. Also, the extended plan is only available through select dealerships, and not to residents of Massachusetts or California.
They offer four levels of protection: Allstate Premier Care, Allstate Preferred Care, Allstate Standard Care and Allstate Basic Care. Your car must be less than four years old and have less than 50,000 miles on it to be eligible for any plan.
Allstate does pay the mechanic directly, so you don’t have to worry about an outlay of cash. If your repairs take a few days, they will cover the rental car. Trip interruption coverage is also included. In addition, the warranty is transferable if you sell your car.
Availability varies by dealership, so it’s hard to get a sense of how much Allstate’s plans cost. The website is not very informative, as they want you to go through a dealer.
We couldn’t find any reviews of Allstate’s warranty coverage, but the company itself has terrible reviews on Trustpilot, earning just 1.4 stars and most reviewers summing up their experience as “bad.” Almost all the reviews complain how Allstate wouldn’t pay when they filed a claim, so keep that in mind.
The 10 Best New Car Warranties
It’s easy to find a 3 year/36,000-mile warranty, but some car companies offer much longer warranties. Volkswagen, for example, offers a 6 year/72,000-mile bumper to bumper warranty on 2018 and 2019 cars, although they shortened the warranty for 2020.
You can read what car companies offer the best warranties here.
What is a new car warranty? What does it cover?
Most new cars come with some sort of warranty, so that if something goes wrong with the car the dealership will fix it for free, or a very low cost. Many car companies offer 3 year/36,000 miles and they usually cover most components, known as “bumper to bumper” warranties. Some offer more coverage for the powertrain, up to 10 years and 100,000 miles.
Almost all warranties require that you properly maintain the vehicle, or you’ll void the warranty. Routine maintenance includes:
- Regular oil changes
- Changing the oil filter
- Replacing air filter
- Keeping tires at the appropriate inflation psi
- Checking belts and hoses
- Replacing wiper blades as needed
- Removing battery corrosion
They would prefer you take your car to the dealership for these services, although if you want to take your car to your brother’s garage, you can. You’ll just pay for them out-of-pocket, and you’ll need to keep a record of what was done.
What does an extended car warranty cover?
According to Edmunds, the term “extended car warranty” is a misnomer because these plans aren’t really warranties, but rather insurance policies on your vehicle that protects against unforeseen repairs. These plans cost extra and are sold separately.
These plans can cover anything from everything to just the powertrain. Usually, however, they cover less than the manufacturer’s warranty did. You need to read the policy carefully to find out what it does and does not cover.
According to a Consumer Reports survey, 55% of people who purchase an extended warranty never use it, which is a waste of several thousand dollars. They also found that people usually paid more for the warranty than they got back in benefits.
What doesn’t an extended car warranty cover?
Again, you need to read your particular contract carefully to find out what it doesn’t cover. Some things, though are almost never covered, such as:
- Routine maintenance
- Wear and tear
- Things caused by owner negligence
- Heavily customized vehicles
- Pre-existing conditions
- Issues resulting from accidents
Types of extended car warranties
Many extended warranty companies offer three or more levels of warranty. However, at each end is usually a bumper-to-bumper warranty and the powertrain warranty. There could be additional levels in between that will cover certain other things.
A bumper-to-bumper warranty covers almost everything between the front and rear bumper of your car (hence the name) including:
- Fuel system
- AC and heating
- Electrical system
- Drive axles
A powertrain warranty, on the other hand, covers everything that drives power to the wheels and moves the car. This included the engine, the transmission, and the drive system. These things don’t usually break down, but when they do, they are extremely expensive to repair.
Should I buy an extended car warranty on a used car? And Why?
It depends. Sometimes people enjoy the peace of mind that an extended car warranty provides. On the other hand, extended car warranty contracts sold through dealers are usually expensive. That’s why dealerships love them. You could take that money and set it aside for vehicle repairs and you might just come out ahead.
Also, if you’re buying a high-mileage car, ~100,000 miles and above are considered high-mileage, on the one hand, you may consider buying an extended car warranty plan since it is more likely that your car might have problems soon. On the other hand, an extended car warranty plan on a high-mileage car is expensive. The more mileage you have on your car, the more expensive the extended car warranty plan will be. So you have to weigh the pros and cons and estimate the possibilities of your car having problems.
Also keep in mind that warranties require you to keep up a regular maintenance schedule. If you’re not going to do that, you shouldn’t bother buying a warranty because it will be voided anyway.
If you like to trade in your cars every so often, you probably don’t need a warranty.
Most consumers value a car with good reliability. Instead of purchasing a costly extended warranty that limits where you can take your car and requires you to keep good records, a smarter financial move is to research cars and buy one with above average reliability.
And those robocalls you keep getting are bogus. Don’t buy a warranty from anyone who calls you out of the blue and offers you a warranty on a car.
How much does an extended car warranty cost?
It’s surprisingly difficult to get a quote from most extended warranty companies, either because they want a VIN number or because they are only sold through dealerships. According to motor1, the average cost of an extended warranty is about $2,800 for 4-5 years or 100,000-125,000 miles coverage.
What affects the cost of extended car warranties?
Certain things affect the cost of a warranty:
- Year it was built
The type of plan you select is also a factor, with bumper-to-bumper warranties being much more expensive than more basic plans.
What is an aftermarket car warranty?
An aftermarket car warranty is synonymous with an extended warranty. Both terms mean a warranty that adds coverage for repairs and replacements, when needed, after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired.
What is a car battery warranty?
Batteries generally last from three to five years. However, even in a manufacturer’s warranty, the battery is often only covered for two years or 24,000 miles. A manufacturer’s warranty usually divides things into prorated and non-prorated items. A battery is non-prorated for the first few years, meaning if there’s a problem with the battery, you’ll get a free replacement battery.
Batteries are not often covered under extended warranties. However, some warranty companies will still help you if you have a dead battery by offering roadside assistance, aka a jump start.
Also, batteries usually have their own warranties. Below are a few popular battery warranties:
Walmart Everstart Car Battery Warranty: Offering 3 years warranty
Walmart is a popular place selling car battery. Their most popular brand is Everstart. If you buy an Everstart car battery at Walmart, make sure you keep the invoice. If the car battery stops working in the next 3 years, bring it and the invoice back to Walmart and they will replace it with a brand-new one.
Duracell Power Battery: Offering coverage of 2-5 years depending on the model
Duracell is probably the most well-known brand in the battery industry. They offer car battery under the brand Duracell Power with several models. Depending on the model, they offer coverage of 2-5 years, so make sure you consult the product manual carefully before buying to know exactly how long the warranty coverage lasts.
Costco Car Battery: Offering 3 years warranty
Costco is another popular retail destination for American consumers to buy car battery. All of their car battery come with a 3-year warranty, similar to Walmart. Make sure you keep the invoice after purchase and bring them back to Costco if it fails in the next 3 years to exchange for a brand-new one.
Autocraft Gold Battery: Offering 3 years warranty
Autocraft gold battery is another popular car battery and it also comes with a 3-year warranty plan. Make sure you keep the invoice so that you can use the warranty when the battery stops working in the next. 3years.
Since the average cost of a battery is between $50 and $120 for a standard battery and $200 for a premium battery, it’s not worth getting an additional warranty.
Is an extended car warranty the same as car insurance?
No. An extended warranty covers named components in case they need repairs or replacements, whereas car insurance covers the cost of injury to another party and property damage to another party if you are in an at-fault accident. Your extended warranty won’t cover the cost of repairs that stem from an accident: you’ll need either comprehensive car insurance, or if the other person was at fault, they should pay for those repairs.
In short, extended car warranty will pay for repairs and replacement when the named components in your car break down naturally and/or organically, ie. without an accident. On the other hand, car insurance policy will pay for repairs, replacements, or even a brand-new car, when your car is damaged in an accident, if your policy covers it.
Is it worth buying an extended car warranty?
It depends, but probably not. Keep in mind an extended car warranty will require that you use only certain repair shops or dealers for your repairs, and you’ll need to keep good records. Most people who buy extended warranties never use them.
It’s probably more cost effective to buy a vehicle known for reliability than it is to buy an extended warranty. Here are the top ten most reliable cars for 2021 according to Consumer Reports:
- Toyota Prius
- Lexus NX
- Buick Encore
- Lexus GX
- Honda HR-V
- Toyota Prius Prime
- Hyundai Kona
- Audi A-5
- Audi A-4
- Mazda CX-5
In case you’re curious, the Jeep Wrangler, Ford Eco-Sport, and the Volvo XC60 are the least reliable.
When is it worth buying an extended car warranty?
When the four following conditions are true:
- you happen to have a less reliable car already,
- it already has more than 80,000 miles on it,
- you depend on your car every day to make your income, and
- you wouldn’t be able to come up with $1,000-$3,000 to pay for car repairs at any time
Then, you might want to consider buying an extended car warranty. In such case, make sure you shop around with 3-5 providers listed above, compare their quotes, read the coverage fine prints to be 100% certain what is covered and what is not, finally choose the best and the cheapest quote for you.
What does a bumper-to-bumper warranty not cover?
Policies might vary a bit between companies, but usually the following things are excluded:
- Wear and tear
- Brake pads
- Seat belts
- Owner negligence
- Weather damage
- Routine maintenance
- Damage from accidents or collisions
Some of these things, like glass, are covered by your insurance.
Do extended warranties cover oil changes?
No, they do not. Oil changes are routine maintenance and are not covered. However, if you don’t do them, your extended car warranty plan that you have paid for may be voided totally. So before buying an extended car warranty plan, make sure you do all routine maintenance requirements for your car, including oil changes.