A used car warranty is an extended warranty that drivers can purchase to cover repairs to the major mechanical components of a used vehicle, such as the engine and transmission. The best used car warranty companies are Carchex, Toco Warranty, and autopom!, based on WalletHub’s analysis of 11 major providers.
Most extended car warranty providers will only cover cars up to a certain number of miles, which can limit the number of options available to drivers with used cars. However, there are still several reputable companies that will sell extended warranties for cars with more than 100,000 miles.
Key Things to Know Before Buying a Used Car Warranty
- Used car warranties should only be purchased if the original warranty has expired.
- The cost of buying a used car warranty is only slightly higher than an extended warranty on a new car.
- A used car warranty is only worth the cost if your car is unreliable or you’re not financially prepared to pay for mechanical repairs.
What Does a Used Car Warranty Cover?
A used car warranty covers the repair or replacement of a vehicle’s major mechanical components. The most basic used car extended warranties cover the main power system, while more comprehensive warranties will extend to all of the car’s parts and systems.
Types of Used Car Warranties
- Bumper to Bumper Warranty: Covers all of a vehicle’s parts and systems.
- Powertrain Warranty: Covers everything that moves the vehicle, including the engine and transmission.
- Drivetrain Warranty: Covers the same components as a powertrain warranty but excludes the engine.
- Wrap Warranty: Applies an existing powertrain warranty to the rest of the car.
- Corrosion Warranty: Pays for repairs related to rust damage.
Best Used Car Warranty Companies
Carchex is the best extended warranty provider for used cars, as it offers coverage for cars up to 10 years old, with up to 250,000 miles on them. The Gold plan is advertised as the most cost-effective Carchex option for high-mileage vehicles, and it includes coverage for brakes, steering, and wear and tear.
Toco Warranty’s three plans are categorized based on the age of the covered car and the number of miles covered. The Blue plan, which offers basic powertrain coverage, covers models dating back to the year 2000 with up to 175,000 miles. The Yellow plan, on the other hand, covers 2011 or newer model years with up to 100,000 miles. And the Orange plan, which offers Toco Warranty’s most comprehensive coverage, covers vehicles that are up to 5 years old and have less than 60,000 miles.
Autopom! has a solid reputation as a warranty provider, and even received “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau. The company covers cars with up to 150,000 miles and offers a wide range of plans for drivers to choose from.
Omega offers two plans that are ideal for used cars. The Used Stated Coverage plan covers vehicles that are up to 10 years old with less than 150,000 miles, and includes protection for most of the car’s component systems. The Powertrain Protection plan, on the other hand, offers basic powertrain coverage for cars that are up to 15 years old with less than 250,000 miles.
CarShield provides extended warranties for vehicles with up to 200,000 miles and advertises its Platinum plan as its best coverage option for high-mileage cars. In addition to standard mechanical coverage, the Platinum plan covers components such as the fuel injector, fuel pump and suspension. CarShield also offers affordable month-to-month coverage plans for drivers who don’t want to sign a multi-year contract.
Endurance offers a Select Premier plan that is marketed specifically to drivers with up to 150,000 miles on their car. In addition to coverage for vital mechanical components, the package covers electrical, cooling, A/C, heating and fuel systems.
Infinite covers vehicles with up to 140,000 miles, making it a good choice for younger used cars. Drivers can choose between three different plans, all of which come with 24/7 roadside assistance, towing, and rental car reimbursement.
How to Get a Warranty on a Used Car: 3 Steps
You can purchase a warranty on a used car through either the car’s manufacturer or a third-party company. But before you purchase a used car warranty, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
Make sure the original warranty is no longer active.
If the car’s original warranty is still active, then you should not purchase an extended warranty. The original warranty usually lasts for three years or 36,000 miles. If you’re buying a used car from a dealership, you can learn warranty status by reading the Buyers Guide, which dealers are legally required to display. If it says that the car is being sold “as is,” the original warranty no longer applies and you should consider buying an extended warranty.
Anticipate paying more if your car has high mileage.
Used car warranties usually cost more than extended warranties for new cars, and can be as much as $3,000. However, it’s not necessarily because the car is used. Car warranty companies focus more on age and mileage than on “new” versus “used” cars. Since used cars are older and have more miles than new cars, their extended warranties cost more.
Shop around for the best deal.
Just like you would if you were shopping for a regular car insurance policy, you should get quotes from multiple used car warranty companies before making a final decision. Although your options might be limited if your car has particularly high mileage, there are enough reputable companies on the market that you should be able to find a policy that gives you the coverage you want while staying within your budget.
Is A Used Car Warranty Worth It?
For most drivers, an extended warranty on a used car is not worth the cost. If you’ve done your research on the car and feel confident that it’s still dependable, then you likely don’t need to pay for a used car warranty. Similarly, it is likely unnecessary if you already have the financial resources to pay for a major mechanical repair.
But for some drivers, having an extended warranty on a used car is worth it just for the added peace of mind. Older vehicles are more likely to have mechanical problems, and if your car experiences a catastrophic breakdown, you could be facing thousands of dollars in repair costs. So, if you purchase a car that has a history of issues or you’re not ready to pay for major repairs, then a used car warranty is something to consider.
WalletHub editors identified the best used car warranty companies by comparing 11 providers based on the following factors:
- Cost relative to competitors
- Number of coverage options
- Maximum number of miles covered
- Better Business Bureau rating
- AM Best Rating
Companies earned a maximum of 5 points for each category. WalletHub editors then ranked the companies by total points to determine the best used car warranty options.