An extended car warranty provides continued coverage for repairs and other issues once the vehicle’s original manufacturer warranty expires. An extended warranty can be a good idea for those who plan to keep their car for a number of years. This coverage can save car owners a lot of money should their cars need repairs that are covered under the extended warranty.
Here is a list of some of the top extended warranty providers.
Olive is ranked as the best online warranty provider in many surveys. They offer innovative plans that are easy to understand.
Endurance is rated as having the best coverage in several surveys. They offer a number of extended warranty options as well as options for regular maintenance. They offer a number of other useful features for car owners as well.
CarChex receives high ratings for used cars. They offer a number of extended warranty options for all types of cars and have a good reputation in the industry.
Protect My Car is often cited as having the best maintenance benefits. This is a good option for car owners who want regular maintenance benefits along with extended warranty coverage for major repairs.
CarShield is known for its low cost plans and for making shopping for the best plan easier than many other providers.
autopom! has an excellent reputation for its customer service both during the claims process and in assisting car owners during the purchasing process.
Best extended car warranty companies
There are several extended warranty companies that generally are cited as among the best in most reviews.
Olive.com is unique on this list because it was launched in 2020 as a digital-first platform in California that originally offered Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI) and subsequently expanded to the other states offering extended auto warranties. (If you are in California, you can only get the MBI product because of the way the state regulates the product.)
You can apply for coverage for up to 36 months, or until the vehicle hits 185,000 miles, whichever comes first. If your 36 months are up, and you are still within the mileage requirement, you have the option to renew for another 36 months at a new rate. Cancellations are allowed at anytime, hassle free.
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This plan covers everything in the vehicle except for what is listed as an exclusion in the terms of service.
This is a comprehensive inclusionary type plan offering a high level of state component coverage including power steering, front suspension, brakes, and air conditioning components.
This is a basic option that covers the powertrain, turbocharge and other essential systems such as your water and oil pumps and thermostat.
Endurance is often mentioned as the top extended warranty provider. They are based in suburban Chicago and are a direct provider. This means that all claims are handled in-house by Endurance.
Endurance offers six levels of extended warranty coverage, five of which are extended warranty plans. The five warranty plans include:
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The most comprehensive plan offered. This is a factory style bumper-to-bumper warranty for almost any type of mechanical breakdown. It is an exclusionary style plan.
This is a comprehensive inclusionary type plan offering a high level of state component coverage. It covers an extensive list of parts for most major systems in a vehicle.
This is a mid-level option that covers the powertrain, turbocharge and other essential systems. It has a short 30 day window to wait for coverage.
This is enhanced powertrain coverage that covers most systems, good for older vehicles with up to 150,000 miles.
This is a budget plan that covers most powertrain components.
They offer one additional plan called EnduranceAdvantage. This plan covers both regular maintenance plus a number of one-off services.
CarChex is often mentioned as the best extended warranty company for owners of used cars. They are considered one of the top providers of extended warranties. The reason they are known as a top warranty provider for used cars is that CarChex can cover cars with up to 250,000 miles, the limit for most other providers is 200,000 miles.
CarChex has been in business for over 20 years. They offer five coverage tiers, with several options within each of the tiers. Overall, between the five coverage tiers and the options within these tiers. The five main tiers are:
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The highest level of coverage, it covers almost any type of mechanical breakdown. This is an exclusionary coverage that is similar to a factory issued bumper-to-bumper warranty. It can run for up to ten years.
This is long-term inclusionary coverage offering the highest level of component coverage for hundreds of parts. It can run for up to ten years.
This plan offers powertrain coverage for vehicles with up to 60,000 miles. Mid-level coverage for the main components of most vehicle systems. It can run for up to ten years.
Coverage for high mileage vehicles, includes powertrain coverage and up to nine vehicle systems overall. It can run for up to seven years.
This plan covers basic powertrain coverage and can run for up to six years.
The CarChex website offers easy to read sample contracts for all of their plans on their site; their customer service representatives will assist in explaining them to you as well.
They also offer several add-ons to their standard coverages:
- Luxury electronics package. This option covers vehicle features like GPS systems, display screens, backup cameras and voice activation systems in the vehicle.
- Emissions package. This option covers the vehicle's emissions system components including the air/fuel ratio sensor, fuel tank pressure sensor, intake air temperature sensor and others.
- Market labor rate option. The standard CarChex plans limit their coverage to an hourly labor rate of $100. This option covers labor costs in excess of $100 per hour.
Protect My Car
Protect My Car is often cited as offering the best maintenance coverage. Protect My Car is a direct provider of extended warranty coverage.
Their plans are recognized as one of the best providers of plans that offer routine maintenance coverage as part of their warranty plan. Protect My Car has been in business since 2005. They offer three warranty plans. The top two plan levels offer a $100 deductible, the lowest level plan offers a $200 deductible.
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This plan is for vehicle owners looking for coverage that is similar to a manufacturer’s warranty. This plan is a good option for car owners who plan to keep their vehicle past the expiration of their original manufacturer’s warranty coverage.
This is a mid-tier extended warranty plan for vehicles and is recommended for cars with 50,000 or more miles.
This plan covers many of the same components as the Supreme and Select plans, but excludes front and rear suspension, the turbocharger and the navigations system.
Beyond these options, Protect My Car offers Ambassador Maintenance Plans for cars that are as old as 13 years or even older. These plans offer significant discounts on repairs, rental cars and other options. There are a number of components that are not covered under this option so anyone considering an Ambassador plan should carefully review the coverage to ensure that it makes sense for their situation.
CarShield is considered by many experts as the best value among the major extended warranty providers. CarShield is known for its low prices and easy shopping experience. CarShield also offers plans that can be purchased on a month-to-month basis with no long-term commitment.
CarShield was founded in 2005 and is based in Missouri. CarShield plan options include:
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Highest level of coverage, this plan covers almost any type of mechanical breakdown. It is similar to a factory issued bumper-to-bumper warranty. It also covers virtually mechanical and electrical components on a vehicle.
This is their best plan for high mileage vehicles: a comprehensive plan that covers 15 major vehicle systems.
This plan offers powertrain coverage plus coverage for other major vehicle components and systems.
This plan offers basic warranty coverage and powertrain coverage for this important vehicle system.
This plan is geared towards owners of luxury cars, hybrids and other newer types of vehicles. This is specialty coverage for vehicles with features like factory installed GPS, instrument clusters and others.
The biggest difference in the coverage levels is the number of items excluded. The Diamond level excludes the fewest items, the Aluminum level has the most exclusions. Vehicle owners considering CarShield’s plans will want to look carefully at what is excluded in making their choice from among the plans.
CarShield’s warranty plans generally come with either a $0 or a very low deductible. Also they generally pay the repair facility directly, eliminating the need for the customer to front the money and wait for a reimbursement.
autopom! is recognized by many experts as having the best claims process among the major extended warranty providers. This is an important consideration for many buyers. The company was founded in 2009 and is based in California.
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This is the highest level of coverage, similar to factory warranty coverage. It covers virtually all mechanical breakdowns and electrical component failures.
This plan covers most components in most major vehicle systems. Some plans will include coverage for hybrid vehicles and GPS systems.
This plan offers powertrain coverage that also covers many other important vehicle systems. This includes brakes, steering and air conditioning among others.
Powertrain coverage that also covers the basic systems of the vehicle including the engine, transmission, drivetrain, air conditioning plus many basic electrical components.
Beyond these features, most plans offer:
- Roadside assistance
- Trip interruption reimbursement
- Rental car coverage
- Tire protection on some plans
What does an extended warranty cover?
This can vary widely based on the company offering the extended warranty and the type of warranty coverage that you choose.
An extended warranty is different from automobile insurance coverage. Extended warranties typically don’t cover damage caused by a collision, weather or other environmental factors or from theft or vandalism. They also don’t normally cover routine maintenance items like an oil change or wear and tear on brakes, tires or other car parts.
Three common types of extended warranty programs include:
- Bumper-to-bumper warranty. These are comprehensive plans that protect everything on your car except for items specifically excluded under the warranty. This includes most mechanical and electrical components on the car. A bumper-to-bumper warranty will be the most similar extended warranty option to the car’s original manufacturer’s warranty.
- Stated-component warranty. This type of plan is considered to be an inclusionary contract as this type of warranty specifically lists the components and parts of the car that are covered. Anything not specifically listed is not covered.
- Powertrain warranty. This type of extended warranty covers your car’s major systems including the engine, the transmission and the drive axles.
There are certainly other versions of extended warranties available in the market as well.
Are extended warranties worth it?
An extended warranty can be a good choice for many car owners, but like any purchase they are not right for all car owners.
They can offer peace of mind knowing what most repairs will cost. However, if you own a car that is highly reliable and that is generally inexpensive to repair, then maybe the cost of the extended warranty is not worth it for you.
Extended warranties can be a good purchase in certain situations such as:
- For a car owner looking to eliminate surprise costs for vehicle repairs from their budget.
- For car owners who plan on keeping their cars past the expiration of their vehicle’s factory warranty coverage.
- For car owners whose vehicle is unreliable.
It's important to compare extended warranty companies and the options offered before making a purchase. All extended warranties are not created equal, and neither are all extended warranty companies, so be sure to review what is covered and what is not plus all costs associated with any warranty you are considering.
What is an extended car warranty?
An extended car warranty is a plan that will cover some or all of the costs of repairs on covered vehicles. These plans are purchased from a variety of providers, in some cases the car manufacturers may also offer an extended warranty plan over and above the basic factory warranty. This coverage generally kicks in once the original manufacturer’s warranty expires.
How do extended warranties work?
An extended auto warranty is akin to an insurance policy against unexpected repair needs on your vehicle. Typically a new car comes with a bumper-to-bumper warranty on virtually all parts of the vehicle. An extended warranty can extend all or a portion of this coverage beyond the factory warranty period. The terms and pricing of extended warranties can vary widely from plan to plan and from provider to provider.
What is the cost of an extended car warranty
The cost of extended warranty cover can vary widely based on the level of coverage, the mileage on the car, the provider and other factors.
The average cost of an extended warranty is $100 per month. The total cost could range from $1,500 to $4,500 depending on the plan.
Should you get an extended warranty on a used car?
That depends on your situation. If you intend to keep the vehicle for several years after the expiration of the original manufacturer’s warranty, an extended warranty can save you money on unexpected repairs over time.
Car extended warranty versus car insurance
A car extended-warranty plan covers the cost of specified repairs and maintenance on the vehicle in accordance with the terms of the warranty plan.
Car or auto insurance protects the owner of the car from liability in the event of an accident. Most states require drivers to have auto insurance coverage at least specified minimum levels to ensure that other drivers or property is protected from damage done by your vehicle. Some policies may protect against damage to your vehicle whether or not you are at fault.