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Purchasing a new or used vehicle is exciting, but one of the biggest challenges car owners face is maintaining the vehicle when significant repairs are needed.
An extended car warranty can be sold to car owners as a way to keep the out-of-pocket expenses for car repairs at a minimum. As a sort of insurance policy against vehicle costs, an extended car warranty can come in a variety of shapes and sizes for car owners willing to pay the price.
An extended car warranty can be a lifesaver when the original manufacturer warranty on a vehicle runs out. While extended warranties can be beneficial in keeping the expense of older car ownership lower, the sheer number of available warranties makes it difficult to know which is the best extended car warranty.
First, it is helpful to know what most extended car warranties cover, as this lays the groundwork for determining the best extended car warranty available. To learn more about these warranties, you can click an option below to jump to that section.
On this page:
- Review the Best Extended Car Warranty Companies
- Extended Car Warranty FAQ
Best Extended Car Warranty Companies
Determining the best extended car warranty involves a review of the coverage available, the cost, and the customization available to car owners.
Below are several of the best extended car warranty options for 2018:
One of the best extended car warranty companies is Endurance, a well-known, third-party warranty provider. Endurance offers extended warranties for vehicles with fewer than 160,000 miles and up to five years of coverage after the manufacturer’s warranty ends.
Car owners have the option of four different extended warranty plans, all which vary based on the amount of coverage, deductible, and flexibility for which repair shop is used. The total cost of an Endurance extended warranty can be split up over a 24-month period, making it more affordable for car owners.
Car owners also have an option for an extended warranty through CarChex. The third-party warranty provider offers plans that extend up to seven years after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired and has five plan options. CarChex also allows vehicle repairs to take place at any licensed repair shop.
The company provides car owners with additional perks, including 24/7 roadside assistance, towing, rental cars, gas delivery, and trip interruption services. CarChex extended car warranties can be paid over as little as six months or as long as 24 months.
Protect My Car
With a Protect My Car extended warranty, car owners have the ability to purchase repair coverage for vehicles that are no more than ten years old with fewer than 125,000 miles. Extended warranties are available for car owners who no longer have access to a manufacturer warranty, with the option of selecting one of three coverage plans based on their vehicle’s needs. Protect My Car also offers a 30-day money back guarantee, 24/7 roadside assistance, and the ability to pay for the extended warranty over up to a 60-month period.
Another option for the best extended car warranty companies is CarShield. This warranty provider gives car owners access to six different plan types, including new car coverage, powertrain warranties, service packages, and used/pre-owned coverage. CarShield also allows car owners to customize their coverage needs through specialty plans based on the age and mileage of their vehicle.
The extended warranty provider offers rental and towing coverage as well as roadside assistance. Car owners can select their own repair shop. It also accepts payment plans for the extended warranty cost.
Concord Auto Protect
Rounding out the list of best extended car warranty companies is Concord Auto Protect. This provider offers both service and repair contracts to car owners based on the age and mileage of their vehicle. Concord provides three plan options based on the vehicle’s needs and budget of the car owner. Roadside assistance is available at no added cost, and car owners may take their vehicle to any ASE certified repair shop.
Extended Car Warranty FAQ
How Do Extended Car Warranties Work?
Extended car warranties all work similarly. Once coverage is purchased, the car owner can take the vehicle into a repair shop for new issues that arise. So long as it is covered under the extended warranty or service contract, the owner is either reimbursed from the warranty company after a claim is submitted, or the repair collects payment directly from the warranty company. However, car owners may face some limitations in an extended car warranty.
Most extended car warranty companies have restrictions on how old the car can be and how many miles the car can have to qualify for a new warranty agreement. This is typically ten years or less and under 150,000 miles. There may also be waiting periods of 30, 60, or 90 days for car owners who have recently purchased an extended car warranty.
In some cases, repairs that already need to be completed before the warranty is put in place are not eligible for reimbursement. It is important to look over these restrictions, type of reimbursement or payment, and waiting periods before selecting an extended car warranty.
What Does an Extended Car Warranty Cover?
Extended car warranties vary from company to company, which means comparing coverage comes down to what services or repairs are included – and which are excluded. Most extended car warranties fall under one of two categories: a powertrain warranty or a bumper-to-bumper warranty. However, there are also extended car service warranties that may be offered from dealerships or independent warranty companies.
A powertrain warranty covers repairs relating to the engine, transmission, drive axles, and the drive shaft. These can be expensive repair items for older vehicles, which is why this type of extended warranty coverage is beneficial.
Under a bumper-to-bumper extended car warranty, car owners may have coverage for repairs for nearly all parts of the vehicle, with some exclusions. Most extended car warranties list what is included and excluded in the coverage, making it clear what repairs will be the car owner’s responsibility.
An extended car warranty for service does not cover repairs. Instead it helps lower the out-of-pocket expense for routine maintenance. Services in this type of coverage may include brake repair, oil changes, fluid changes, and tires. In many cases, this type of extended warranty is not as expensive as powertrain or bumper-to-bumper coverage.
How Much Do Extended Warranties Cost?
Extended car warranties vary in cost depending on the type of coverage selected and the age and mileage of the vehicle covered. The average cost of an extended warranty is $1,200, but this price can be higher if more than standard coverage is purchased. Fortunately, the majority of extended car warranty companies allow car owners to spread out the cost over several months to make the coverage more affordable.
It is important to note that some extended warranties also require a deductible – an amount paid by the car owner before repairs are covered. This should be included in the total cost of an extended warranty when comparing providers.
Do You Need an Extended Car Warranty?
Purchasing an extended car warranty can provide peace of mind to car owners who have an older vehicle. The warranty coverage takes away the need for shelling out a significant amount of cash for vehicle repairs over time.
Although there are some inherent benefits, extended car warranties do come with downsides. Car owners may have to follow a complicated or cumbersome claims process once a repair is completed. In some cases, warranty providers limit the amount of reimbursement available for certain repairs. This means car owners could still face and out-of-pocket expense.
Additionally, extended car warranties can be expensive. A 2013 Consumer Reports survey found that 55 percent of car owners who purchased an extended warranty never used it and 75 percent stated they would not purchase one again. For these reasons, an extended car warranty may not be the best choice. Car owners may instead opt to set money aside in a vehicle emergency fund every month to help cover necessary repairs in the future, without limitations from extended warranty companies.
Finding the best extended car warranty companies can be beneficial for car owners concerned about costly repairs for an older vehicle. However, it is essential to read through the fine print of extended warranty options to ensure the coverage, cost, and any restrictions in the contract make sense for the car owner.
Author: Melissa Horton