An extended car warranty is a service contract that drivers can purchase in order to pay for repairs to a vehicle’s major systems, including the transmission and engine. The best extended car warranty companies are Carchex and autopom!, but drivers can also purchase warranties directly from vehicle manufacturers. Extended warranty providers often offer multiple levels of coverage that include benefits such as towing services, rental car coverage, and travel insurance.
Extended Car Warranty Key Takeaways
- The average cost of an extended car warranty is $1,500, but the price can be as high as $3,000.
- Extended car warranties are only worth it if your car is unreliable and are unable to pay for mechanical repairs.
- You cannot use an extended car warranty until the original manufacturer’s warranty expires.
- Extended car warranties do not cover regular maintenance or damage caused by normal wear and tear or by a lack of maintenance.
Best Extended Car Warranty Companies
The best extended car warranty company is Carchex because it offers five levels of coverage, with multiple contract options ranging from 12 to 84 months. In addition to the specific components covered by each plan, all Carchex extended warranties include additional perks such as 24/7 roadside assistance, towing, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption service.
Carchex warranties are written and backed financially by American Auto Shield, Royal Administration Services, and Allegiance Administrators, making them more secure than many other options on the market.
Autopom! offers four categories of plans for drivers to choose from, and each categories offers multiple contract options with different providers. The exclusionary plans cover every part of the car with only a few exceptions, while the basic powertrain coverage includes coverage for power window doors/locks. Autopom! contracts also include extra benefits such as tire protection and rental car assistance.
Each of the four plans offered by Endurance is designed to meet a driver’s specific needs, whether that’s covering a vehicle with up to 150,000 miles or finding the closest option to manufacturer-level coverage.
In addition, all Endurance warranties are secured financially by AmTrust Financial Services, meaning that all approved claims are guaranteed to be paid out if Endurance fails. However, despite its highly competitive coverage options, Endurance has only earned a “C” rating from the Better Business Bureau based on its reliability and performance as a company.
Toco Warranty offers three coverage options that are sold based on the age and mileage of the vehicle. The Yellow and Orange plans offer the most comprehensive coverage, including coverage for high-tech systems and a vehicle’s suspension. Even the basic Blue plan covers additional systems like air conditioning, too.
Toco earned an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau, and its policies are backed by AmTrust Financial Services.
Omega Auto Care
Omega only offers three plans, based on a car’s age and mileage, and their prices are slightly above average. However, their coverage is fairly extensive compared to some competitors, and they offer benefits such as towing, roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and maintenance. They are also a reliable company, having received an “A+” from the Better Business Bureau.
Infinite Auto Protection
Infinite only offers three plans, though its most basic policy is slightly more comprehensive than the cheapest policies offered by some of its competitors. In addition, Infinite’s Prime plan offers unique high-tech protection that covers features such as automatic temperature control and power window motors.
The company boasts a commendable “B+” rating from the Better Business Bureau. However, its plans do not have any additional financial backing, so if the company fails financially, claims are not guaranteed to be paid.
Concord Auto Protect
Concord’s extended warranty plans are not unique compared to those of its top competitors, but Concord still offers enough coverage to be considered a good option. The company has also received high marks for its customer service, and all of its plans include 24-hour roadside assistance, gas delivery, and trip interruption coverage.
Unlike other reputable warranty providers, however, Concord does not have financial backing from an outside company, so policies do not have an additional safety net if the company fails.
CarShield’s extended warranties are good for drivers who want short-term coverage. Unlike other extended car warranty providers, CarShield offers month-to-month extended warranty coverage for as little as $99 per month.
However, drivers should exercise caution before purchasing an extended warranty from CarShield. According to the Better Business Bureau, there has been a pattern of customer complaints alleging poor customer service and a failure to cover repairs, among other things.
Compare The Best Extended Car Warranty Companies
|Rank||Company||WalletHub User Rating|
|5||Omega Auto Care||4.2/5|
|6||Infinite Auto Protection||3.8/5|
|7||Concord Auto Protect||4.9/5|
Extended Car Warranty Cost
The average cost of an extended car warranty is $1,500. The exact price can vary widely between policies, however, usually falling between $1,000 and $3,000.
There are several factors that affect how much an extended car warranty is going to cost. For example, certain makes and models of cars cost more to cover, as do older, high-mileage cars that are more likely to break down.
The cost of an extended warranty also depends on how much coverage a driver is purchasing. If you purchase a powertrain warranty, you’ll likely pay less for coverage than you would for comprehensive bumper-to-bumper coverage.
How Does an Extended Warranty Work?
An extended car warranty acts like an insurance policy for your car’s major components. If something breaks down and needs to be repaired, your warranty provider will cover the costs. You will only be responsible for paying a predetermined deductible.
Exactly what an extended warranty covers depends on the type of warranty that you choose. But in general, extended warranties cover the critical mechanical parts of your vehicle, including the engine, transmission, axles, and gaskets.
Manufacturer vs. Third-Party Extended Warranties
|Type of Car Warranty||Manufacturer Warranty||Third-Party Warranty|
|Parts||Factory parts||Aftermarket parts|
|Technicians||Factory trained (dealer)||Authorized network|
|Location||Must service at a dealer||Any authorized shop|
|When You Sell the Car||Warranty transfers to new owner||There may be a transfer fee|
|Ease of Refund||Easy to cancel and get a prorated refund||Variable, some easier than others|
|Price||$1,000 - $3,000||$1,000 - $3,000|
|Out-of-Pocket Costs||Deductible (if your plan has one)||Deductible (if your plan has one), plus you may need to pay the mechanic and get reimbursed|
Types of Extended Car Warranties
A bumper-to-bumper warranty is usually the most comprehensive extended warranty that you can purchase. It’s umbrella coverage for all of a vehicle’s parts and systems, excluding routine maintenance and damage from wear and tear.
Powertrain warranties cover everything that moves the vehicle, including the engine, transmission, and any power components that travel to the wheels of the car.
A drivetrain warranty is similar to a powertrain warranty, except it excludes the car’s engine.
A wrap warranty supplements a powertrain warranty, applying to the rest of the car. This effectively gives you bumper-to-bumper coverage.
A corrosion warranty can help pay for the damage if your car starts to rust.
Are Extended Car Warranties Worth It?
Extended car warranties generally aren’t worth it, purely from a financial standpoint. Most people who purchase an extended warranty save less on repairs than they pay for the contract, according to a survey by Consumer Reports.
If you drive a reliable car and maintain sufficient savings to pay for an auto repair emergency, then an extended car warranty probably isn’t worth what you would have to pay. Similarly, you might not need an extended warranty if you already have a trustworthy mechanic or carry insurance that offers similar perks.
But purchasing an extended warranty isn’t always a purely monetary decision. For some people, the peace of mind can be worth the price. If your car isn’t the most dependable, you might be more comfortable buying an extended warranty than going without. Just make sure that you’re clear on your vehicle history as well as your own priorities.
WalletHub editors identified the best extended car warranty companies by comparing 11 major providers based on the following factors:
- Better Business Bureau rating
- Number of coverage options
- Number of additional services
- AM Best Rating
- Cost relative to competitors
Companies earned a maximum of 5 points for each category. WalletHub editors then ranked the companies by total points to determine the best extended car warranty companies.