- Great for short-term coverage
- Affordable rates
- Variety of plans available
- Low-deductible options
- Roadside assistance and rental car coverage included in some plans
- History of not paying out for claims
- Mixed reviews from customers
- Consumer warning from the BBB
CarShield is a below-average company based on customer reviews, Better Business Bureau ratings, coverage quality, and pricing. While some customers have a great experience with CarShield, many others complain that CarShield refuses to pay out claims and has misleading advertising.
CarShield is a privately owned company that sells third-party vehicle service contracts, also known as extended warranties. These plans are meant to cover expensive car repairs arising from mechanical problems. CarShield plans start at $99 per month.
CarShield Reviews & Ratings
- Reviews on WalletHub: 4.0/5
- TrustPilot: 4.0/5
- BBB Consumer Review Rating: 1.44/5
- BBB Rating: F
- Yelp: 1/5
- Consumer Affairs: 4.3/5
CarShield has an array of celebrity endorsements and great reviews from consumers on TrustPilot. WalletHub users also tend to give CarShield good reviews.
Despite those good reviews, the Better Business Bureau has issued a consumer warning for CarShield after a large number of complaints were filed by disgruntled customers. The complaints leading to the warning involve allegations of misleading sales and advertising campaigns, failure to cover repairs, and difficult cancellation and refund processes. Additionally, customers stated frequent issues with delayed claims processing and poor customer service.
CarShield plans begin at $99 per month, though actual pricing depends on the vehicle and location. Longer-term plans are available and may feature a lessened monthly cost if paid in full up front.
Additionally, CarShield plans require deductibles for every covered claim. Deductibles may be as low as $0 for certain plans, or as high as $100. CarShield does not offer any deductibles more expensive than $100.
CarShield Coverage Options
|Aluminum||Specialty coverage for electrical and computer related issues.||AC, fuel delivery systems, steering system, suspension, brakes system, electrical components, wiring harness, instrument cluster, GPS/Navi, factory audio, starter, alternator, power windows, water pump, and radiator.|
|Silver||Most affordable powertrain plan that covers the major vehicle systems.||Engine, transmission, turbo, water pump, transfer unit, front and rear drive axles.|
|Gold||Plan covers both major and minor vehicle components. Includes roadside assistance.||Silver level coverage plus AC, fuel delivery systems, starter, alternator, power windows, radiator.|
|Platinum||Coverage for vehicles with higher mileage. Includes roadside assistance.||Gold level coverage plus steering system, suspension system, brakes system, electrical components, instrument cluster, GPS/Navi, and factory audio.|
|Diamond||Plan coverage is comparable to an original manufacturer warranty. Includes roadside assistance.||Gold level coverage plus steering system, suspension system, brakes system, electrical components, instrument cluster, GPS/Navi, and factory audio.|
|Motorcycle & ATV||Plans specifically for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. Includes roadside assistance.||Engine, transmission, primary drive assembly, drive axle. Optional add-on coverage available for luxury electronics.|
|Roadside Protection Bundle||Roadside assistance for vehicles that may not qualify for other plans. Only available in select states. 3 claims allowed per benefit period.||Towing, flat tire replacement, lockout services, battery replacement, jump start, and fuel delivery.|
Select CarShield vehicle service plans may also include:
- Rental Car Reimbursement: $40 per day, up to a total of $280.
- Trip Interruption Reimbursement: Motel and restaurant expenses up to $50 per day, up to a total of $150.
- 24/7 Roadside Assistance: $500 maximum limit on services for the lifetime of your contract.
Common CarShield Exclusions
Every CarShield plan includes a list of things that the plan will not cover. This is arguably the most important section for consumers to read carefully. Common things CarShield vehicle service plans will not pay for include:
- Repairs performed without prior authorization
- Issues caused by lack of maintenance
- Regular maintenance items, like brake pads, filters, and fluid changes
- Damage caused by acts of nature or external circumstances, like vandalism or storms
- Damage resulting from misuse
- Issues caused by engine overheating or lack of proper amounts of coolant, fuel, or fluids
- Diagnostic costs, including engine teardown
- Airbag, seat belt, or other restraint system failures
Customers also mention that sometimes CarShield will only cover a portion of repair costs based on the vehicle’s depreciation.
Keep in mind that individual plans may vary depending on the vehicle and state. Additionally, CarShield does not disclose exact eligibility requirements since eligibility is vehicle-dependent. Potential customers can get a quote by filling out an online quote form or calling 1-800-947-7720.
CarShield Customer Service
CarShield customer service receives mixed reviews from consumers. Some have openly praised CarShield customer service representatives for being helpful and friendly, while many of the BBB complaints against CarShield include notes about CarShield customer service being misleading and curt.
Key Things to Know
- CarShield does not offer 24/7 customer support by phone, making it more difficult for customers to seek assistance, though claims can be filed and managed online at any time.
- Their customer support department can be reached Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST, at 1-800-587-4162.
- CarShield does offer refunds for unused portions of plans.
- You are able to cancel at any time by calling their customer support department.
- CarShield does not disclose whether or not they charge cancellation fees.
- CarShield’s mobile app makes it easy to make payments and find your contract details.
CarShield does not have 24/7 claims support or filing by phone, but you can file claims and check the status of existing claims online at any time. CarShield’s claims department can be reached by phone Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST, at 1-800-531-1925. The online portal for making and managing claims can be found on American Auto Shield’s website.
Denied claims and complications concerning covered repairs are handled by American Auto Shield, not CarShield. As the administrators, American Auto Shield has the final say in what they will and will not pay for. While CarShield is open and honest about this fact, it seems that they may not explain it to consumers that well, considering the number of claims-related complaints charged against CarShield instead of American Auto Shield.
CarShield is ultimately not very transparent. Their website offers very little information about pricing, and their constrained customer service channels make it very difficult for customers to confidently make decisions.
However, in recent years, CarShield has made efforts to at least be more transparent about the way their process works. For example, they are becoming more open about the fact that CarShield does not actually administrate any of the plans they sell – they are simply the marketing agent for vehicle service contracts written and controlled by American Auto Shield.
CarShield is a below-average vehicle service contract provider based on their history of customer complaints and lack of transparency. Additionally, the Better Business Bureau’s warning about doing business with CarShield should be a serious factor for consumers to consider when they are trying to decide whether to purchase a plan through CarShield.
For customers who want a short-term plan and are willing to take the time to read through every detail of their contract, CarShield may be an okay choice, especially since it is an affordable option.
CarShield vs. Competitors
|Number of Plans||6+||5||4||4|
|Monthly Cost||$99||$50 to $80||Undisclosed||Undisclosed|
|WalletHub User Rating||4.0/5||4.1/5||4.5/5||4.1/5|
Video: CarShield Review
In order to provide fair, helpful reviews of companies such as CarShield that can lead consumers to the best companies for their needs, WalletHub reviews each company in several major categories including cost, coverage, customer service & reviews, claims, financial stability, and transparency.
We specifically looked at reviews from WalletHub users, TrustPilot, and Yelp, as well as consumer reports from the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Affairs to determine CarShield’s rating. Additionally, the cost of CarShield’s plans and the extent of each plan’s coverage were taken into account to determine an overall score for CarShield.