Best Extended Auto Warranty Companies
Auto & Finance Contributing Editor
Updated on 02/12/2018
While new vehicles come with a manufacturer’s warranty, many consumers choose to buy an extended warranty to cover the costs of repair and maintenance after their initial warranty has expired.
Consumers can buy an extended auto warranty at any time, even after their original manufacturer’s warranty has expired. Not all warranties cover the vehicle bumper-to-bumper, so it’s important to understand what is and is not covered by your extended auto warranty.
Compare Reviews for Top Extended Auto Warranty Companies
|Endurance Auto Warranty|
Read 2302 Reviews
Endurance is a third party auto warranty company that provides more affordable options than those bought through auto dealers. It offers four different plans directly to consumers, so you don’t have to deal with a broker.
Read 1911 Reviews
CARCHEX is a service contract broker that compiles competing vehicle protection plans from different companies for you. Once you sign up, a CARCHEX specialist will call and list the best offers they found fitting your criteria.
|Protect My Car|
Read 2124 Reviews
Protect My Car offers both extended warranty plans and auto insurance. After receiving a free quote, customers can try one of three plans with a 30-day money back guarantee and choose payment plans of 36 to 42 months.
Read 637 Reviews
CarShield is a service contract broker offering customizable service plans that include options for high-mileage cars and budget-conscious customers. They have a 30-day guarantee, and most contracts are transferable.
|Delta Auto Protect|
Read 1215 Reviews
Delta Auto Protect is a third party, direct auto warranty provider serving approximately 80 million U.S. customers each year. Delta warranties can be transferred to new owners if a covered vehicle is sold.
Read 338 Reviews
ForeverCar is an online marketplace with a large selection of plans from multiple providers. Their simple-to-use recommendation engine can help you find the right plan to meet your needs.
|Concord Auto Protect|
Read 107 Reviews
Concord Auto Protect has three transferable coverage plans and a 30-day money back guarantee. They have a unique, quick payment process that doesn’t require a claim. Instead, your mechanic calls Concord to receive payment.
|AA Auto Protection|
Read 599 Reviews
AA Auto Protection is a service contract broker connecting consumers with a variety of plans. AA prides itself on great customer service and is one of the few brokers offering bumper-to-bumper coverage for high mileage vehicles.
|Omega Auto Care|
Read 384 Reviews
Omega Auto Care provides three primary coverage plans based on your car’s model, year and mileage at the time of purchase. Omega plans include roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement and customized powertrain warranties.
|America Auto Care|
Read 272 Reviews
America Auto Care is a service contract broker offering four different plans, some of which are transferable if you sell your vehicle. All plans include towing, roadside assistance and service at any ASE facility.
|American Auto Shield|
Read 98 Reviews
American Auto Shield provides mechanical breakdown insurance and service contracts for cars with up to 250,000 miles, including rideshare vehicles. They also offer coverage for recreational vehicles like ATVs and motorcycles.
Read 90 Reviews
AUL Corp works with dealers and individual agents, offering personalized features to their customers. Contracts cover cars regardless of year or mileage. They can cover regular wear and tear as well as retail parts and labor.
Read 86 Reviews
GWC Warranty provides peace of mind with their vehicle service contracts for used and new cars. They have served over 8.5 million drivers and have 3,000 partner service facilities across the U.S.
Read 154 Reviews
Trustmark is a service contract company that has paid out more than $550 million in service contract claims. They offer plans from 12 months to 48 months with additional options for roadside assistance, car rental and towing.
Read 708 Reviews
Warranty Direct, headquartered in Atlanta, has been providing customers warranty products and services since 1980. The company both sells and administers warranty plans, which are available to consumers nationwide.
Questions about extended auto warranties
What do extended auto warranties cover?
Before spending money on an extended auto warranty or vehicle service contract (VSC), it’s important to know what will be covered. Many consumers believe all extended warranties cover their vehicle bumper-to-bumper, but every policy has limitations. You can opt for a full-coverage plan or choose a plan that only covers the major systems on your vehicle. Here's a list of the most common things extended auto warranties will cover:
- New and used cars: Extended auto warranties can be purchased for both new and used cars. A used car is more likely to need major repairs, and an extended warranty usually pays for itself with the first major repair. Maintenance plans can help a used car owner keep their vehicle on the road longer. New car owners are likely to be more focused on protecting their investments and taking care of small repairs as they happen. A ding or a dent can be a major issue to a new car owner who may initially be interested in premium auto protection plans. Maintenance plans may also be beneficial in helping new car owners meet the maintenance requirements of their manufacturer’s warranty.
- Major and minor vehicle parts: Standard auto protection plans usually cover common repair services for major and minor vehicle parts. If your air conditioner breaks down or you have an engine or transmission failure, your vehicle service contract will probably cover it. Brakes, cooling systems and electronic components are just a few examples of services that might not be covered. Be sure to read the fine print and choose a plan with the coverage you actually need.
- Additional benefits of coverage: Some providers–like Endurance and Protect My Car–offer additional benefits like 24/7 roadside assistance and reimbursement for a rental car if you need one while your car is in the shop. Some providers cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. A few car warranty providers even reimburse incidental costs, like hotel lodgings, if you have to wait for repairs.
How long is the extended car warranty effective?
Length of service is another consideration when dealing with auto warranties. Some cover the entire vehicle, while others have limitations on certain parts and components. Vehicle service contracts that cover everything will be more costly.
- Mileage exclusions: Many auto protection warranties cover a vehicle for a length of time or for a certain number of miles, whichever is reached first. For example, a warranty might last for five years or 75,000 miles.
- Waiting period: Often, vehicle service contracts purchased separately from the manufacturer's warranty cannot be used for 30 days or 1,000 miles, whichever comes later, after they are purchased. This policy prevents people from buying a vehicle service contract only after a problem develops.
How are auto warranty claims handled?
Like health insurance, an extended auto warranty provider will often have a network of mechanics and repair shops that car owners can use. Any repairs outside the network may not be covered or may only be covered up to a specific dollar amount. The FTC offers advice on their website for consumers who need to file a claim with their service contract provider. They recommend asking if you need prior authorization for any repair work or towing services before choosing an auto repair shop.
Most extended auto warranties cover repairs only through authorized service providers. Be sure to look at the available network of garages before settling on a specific warranty company. Preferably the repairs are done at the dealership or by an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Certified technician.
Not all mechanics are created equal. If there’s a problem following a repair, find out how the warranty handles service issues and complaints. An ASE Certified technician can perform work on your vehicle but cannot perform TSB’s (Technical Service Bulletins) or Factory Recalls; this work should be done at the dealership.
Depending on the terms of your service contract, you may have to pay for repairs then wait for reimbursement from the service company. If you aren't sure how long it will take to be reimbursed for your expenses, talk to your extended warranty provider.
What are the terms of a vehicle service contract?
Some factory and extended warranties take care of repairs, but only if all their terms are met. Part of the warranty agreement is the understanding that the vehicle owner will perform routine maintenance recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Many extended auto warranty providers require you to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for routine maintenance on your vehicle. Failing to do so could void your contract. Keep track of all maintenance records and receipts, and be sure to ask your provider if there are any rules against performing maintenance work yourself.
Typical maintenance responsibilities required by most vehicle service contracts include:
- Oil changes: While a single delayed oil change is unlikely to void a warranty, repeated misses could leave a car owner facing a full bill on a major system repair.
- Changing filters: Bad filters can cause build-up that impacts the engine, intake systems, transmission and more. It is important to change filters regularly.
- System checks and service schedule: Regular testing and visual inspections can catch problems before they become major hazards. They are typically included in the recommended maintenance schedule.
- Using recommended gasoline types: Every vehicle requires a certain octane rating to help the engine get its best life and performance. Using the wrong or lower octane rating than is specified can cause possible engine damage and a voided warranty. Make sure to use the proper octane rating every time.
Are extended auto warranties worth it?
If you purchase a vehicle and plan on keeping your car after the manufacturer's warranty has expired, purchasing an extended auto warranty could be worth it. In some cases, purchasing an extended auto warranty before the manufacturer’s warranty expires could come with added benefits too. For example, if any part of your vehicle is repaired under the manufacturer’s warranty (and the repair is also covered by your extended warranty), some providers will reimburse you for a portion of the manufacturer’s deductible.
The peace of mind that comes with additional coverage of an extended warranty could be enough to make it worth it for you. Here's a list of other things to consider along the way:
- Service contract coverage: Extended auto warranties cover a wide range of vehicle parts and systems, but every auto protection policy–and provider–are different. Think about the amount of money you've spent on out-of-warranty repairs on similar vehicles you've owned in the past, then compare that to the total price of an extended warranty. If you're worried you won't have cash set aside to pay for repairs out of pocket, an extended warranty could help offset those costs.
- Service contract limitations: Some extended warranties have maximums for the amount they will spend on a type of repair. Others have a large deductible. Even plans with special coverage, like rental car benefits, come with stipulations. Be sure to read your service contract thoroughly to avoid any surprise costs.
- Service contract exclusions: Extended auto warranties do not cover pre-existing conditions. Certain states also have additional exclusions that could affect your coverage.
Types of car warranty plans
Maintenance packages are another optional extended service or coverage for air filters, oil changes, tune-ups and similar items. This can be included in some new car purchases. Make sure to read all the details if you are purchasing this package. Many times it’s supplied by the specific dealer. Maintenance packages are usually available from both dealerships and as additions to a vehicle service contract.
Most warranties do not cover damage to upholstery, the interior, paint coverage and cleaning or other issues resulting from normal use. Wear-and-tear plans cover the difference, often including tires. These auto protection plans may be especially appealing to those leasing a vehicle because they’ll be responsible for the cost of these repairs when the lease ends.
Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions. Bumper-to-bumper warranties usually expire faster than powertrain warranties.
Don't be misled; a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. These warranties typically cover just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seatbelts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tune-ups and tire rotations.
Since 1972, the government has required all cars to have emissions controls like oxygen sensors and catalytic converters. Two types of warranties exist: performance warranties and design and defect warranties. Performance warranties require automakers to repair or adjust emissions controls for at least two years or 24,000 miles if the car fails an emissions test. If emissions controls fail independent of a test, the design and defect warranty covers them for at least two years or 24,000 miles. Major components like catalytic converters and engine control modules are covered for performance and defects for eight years or 80,000 miles. On some items, California residents are eligible for additional coverage.
Factory accessories warranty
Factory accessories include everything from a high-end audio systems to an engine modification from a manufacturer's performance wing. Most automakers cover accessories for one to three years or the remainder of the bumper-to-bumper warranty, whichever is shorter. Be sure to check out all the specifics; modifying the accessories after they've been installed can void your coverage.
How much does an extended car warranty cost?
Factors that impact the cost of your warranty
The cost of your extended auto warranty coverage will vary based on your vehicle's age and mileage. If your car is 10 years or older or has more than 100,000 miles, you may not qualify for coverage at all. If you do qualify, you should expect to pay a higher price for your auto protection policy.
Level of coverage
While all new vehicles and most used vehicles come with some type of warranty, many dealerships offer premium coverage options that include more systems. Extended auto warranty providers often offer different auto protection plans depending on which systems a customer wants protected.
One-time and recurring fees
Ask about any recurring charges in addition to the upfront fee or monthly premium. It can be difficult to get out of these types of contracts. If you're rolling your extended auto warranty into your auto loan, you're going to pay interest on the policy itself.
Additional charges or deductibles
Some car warranties cover everything from chips in a windshield to door dents, but there may be service fees or deductibles for every repair.
Maximum payout amount
Most contracts have a maximum payout amount they will not exceed or will have restrictions that the maximum payout can't exceed the total cash value of the car. Once you're quoted a price for your policy, consider if the cost is reasonable in relation to the limits of the liability terms of your auto protection plan.
Expert reviews for extended auto warranties
Endurance provides services people need when dealing with major repairs, including 24-hour roadside assistance, acceptance by any ASE licensed mechanic and industry-leading customer service. The company’s products are backed by an insurance company with an A rating from the financial rating firm AM Best.
Delta Auto Protect provides extended warranty protection through vehicle service contracts (VSC). The company is a direct provider of coverage, meaning customers will purchase the policy from the same company that manages claims.
CARCHEX started as a company that performed vehicle inspections for those purchasing a car. It began offering vehicle service contract (VSC) protection in 2004, and it displays a strong commitment to customer service. Endorsements from names like CarFax, Lending Tree, DMV.org, Cars.com and more give them a well-earned reputation for excellence.
ASAP Auto Warranty is an extended warranty provider. It provides users with coverage for repairs if their car breaks down within a couple of years of purchase.
Founded over 25 years ago, Trustmark Warranty is a Vehicle Service Contract (VSC) company that is backed by an A rated insurance company with $32 billion in assets, giving vehicle owners peace of mind when they’re on the road. Consumers can get quotes online directly, with coverage effective immediately. The VSC covers auto repairs in addition to roadside assistance like towing and tire replacement.
Protect My Car is a fast and easy way for automobile owners to find peace of mind with an extended warranty or maintenance plan for their vehicle. Most models are covered, and there are three levels of coverage available: Driveline, Select and Supreme. You can request a quote without any obligation, and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.
Established in 2003, AA Auto Protection helps consumers secure a high level of coverage through their online portal. They offer consumers a unique variety of plans to choose from based on their individual needs.
CarShield was founded in 2005 and has protected over 500,000 vehicles since then. They offer customized service plans that are specifically tailored to meet each of their customer’s needs and budget. Consumers can apply for a free quote online.
Auto Care specializes in vehicle service contracts (VSC). The company is a contract provider, or broker, meaning they connect you with a plan administrator, who will handle your claim in case of needed repairs. America Auto Care offers a variety of plan options according to the make, model, year and mileage of your vehicle.
American Auto Shield provides consumers with Vehicle Service Contract (VSC) coverage and claims coverage for cars, motorcycles, ATVs, dirt bikes and ride-share vehicles. Its coverage is fully-insured and financially secure and its adjusters strive to resolve claims quickly and fairly.
AUL Corp. got its start in 1990 and today provides consumers with multiple new and used vehicle service contract options. Choose from a variety of terms that fit best with the number of miles on your vehicle or the number of months you’ve owned it.
GWC provides vehicle service contracts to drivers across the United States. They have protected over 8.5 million drivers and have 3,000 preferred service facilities in the country.
Concord Auto Protect sells vehicle service contracts (VSCs), which are often referred to as extended warranties. It offers multiple plans so consumers can choose the policy that fits their needs. The company is headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
Warranty Direct holds more than $350 million in assets to ensure payment on claims, giving policyholders added peace of mind.
ForeverCar is an online platform that allows consumers to shop for extended warranty coverage with an instant detailed quote. Consumers can choose from regular, premium or supreme plans, depending on their coverage needs and budget.
With more than 30 years of experience and 6,000 repair centers nationwide, Fidelity Warranty Services offers a total package of vehicle coverage choices. The company’s plans are sold at participating dealerships nationwide.
Diamond Warranty Corp provides maintenance protection at affordable prices for pre-owned cars, SUVs and trucks nationwide. It offer a wide variety of plans to accommodate the needs of most vehicle owners. The company’s warranties are only offered through dealerships.
As a company that truly prioritizes customer service, Direct Buy offers one of the best response times in the industry with an average claim response time of only 2.5 hours.
Select Auto Warranty is a discount vehicle service contract (VSC) provider.
Pay My Repairs is a broker that helps consumers find the right vehicle service contract (VSC) for their budget and protection needs. The company offers plans to provide customers with low rates and a range of choices. It aims to make the process of selecting such warranties less overwhelming.
Auto Service Agency provides protection against high-cost vehicle repairs. They offer different ranges of coverage to accommodate the needs of each individual's vehicle.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
Compare Reviews for Top Extended Auto Warranty Companies
|GE Service Contracts||Read 182 Reviews|
|Maxcare Auto Warranty|
Read 87 Reviews
Maxcare Auto Warranty is a warranty service offered by Carmax. It provides protection and comprehensive coverage for consumers in the United States and Canada. Consumers can choose from several plan options.
|Fidelity Warranty Services|
Read 170 Reviews
Fidelity Warranty Services has been providing customers with warranties for more than 30 years. The company, based in Deerfield Beach, Florida and St. Louis, works with more than 3,800 dealers and 6,000 service centers.
|Portfolio Protection Vehicles & Services|
Read 23 Reviews
Founded in 1990, Portfolio Protection is a warranty and protection services company headquartered in Lake Forrest, California. It offers warranties and protection for automobiles, RVs and power sport vehicles.
|First Extended Service Corporation|
Read 72 Reviews
First Extended Service, managed by The Warranty Group, began operation in 1974. Today it offers a wide range of products for automobiles, RVs, motorcycles and more. The Warranty Group works with both consumers and auto dealers.
|Diamond Warranty Corp|
Read 59 Reviews
Diamond Warranty Corp, established in 2006, offers a wide range of auto warranty options, including three different protection plans for purchasing a vehicle, plans for certified pre-owned vehicles and gap coverage.
Read 47 Reviews
GM, which currently manufactures Chevys, Buicks, GMCs and Cadillacs, offers warranties on all its vehicles. Warranties vary by make and model. The company has both limited powertrain warranties and bumper-to-bumper warranties.
|Penn Warranty Corporation|
Read 33 Reviews
Penn Warranty Corporation was founded in 1988 and has since partnered with more than 15,000 auto dealerships across the country. Interested customers can call the company to learn about buying a policy.
|Phoenix Extended Care (formerly Wynn's Extended Care, Inc.)|
Read 83 Reviews
Phoenix Extended Care has been offering vehicle service contracts and guaranteed asset protection to its customers since its inception in 1985. The company also has a long term partnership with Nationwide Insurance group.
Read 24 Reviews
Century Warranty has been providing its customers with auto warranties and vehicle protection plans since its founding in the mid 1980s. The company is the 22nd largest privately held company in the United States.
|American Guardian Warranty Services, Inc|
Read 93 Reviews
American Guardian Warranty Services is part of the American Guardian Group of Companies, which was founded in 1998. The company works with more than 3,000 authorized dealers across the United States to aid its customers.
Read 25 Reviews
Protection Direct offers vehicle service contracts (VSC) to help consumers protect themselves in case of needed auto repairs. Consumers can choose from several plan options; some roadside assistance services are included.
|InterContinental Warranty Company|
Read 46 Reviews
InterContinental Warranty Company is popularly known as IWA. The company began offering their services to credit unions starting in 1991, and today they offer customers a committed focus on loan products and performance.
|Preferred Warranties Inc.|
Read 26 Reviews
Preferred Warranties Inc. (PWI) was established in 1992. The company joined the KAR Auction services family of companies in 2013. Preferred Warranties Inc. provides protection plans through participating dealerships.
|Auto Service Agency|
Read 91 Reviews
Auto Service Agency offers personalized vehicle service contracts (VSC), otherwise known as extended auto warranties. The company offers four customizable plans including New Car, Comprehensive, Power Train and Power Train Plus.
|Mid-Atlantic Warranty Corporation|
Read 16 Reviews
Mid-Atlantic Warranty Corporation, headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, offers auto warranties to consumers in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. It offers both comprehensive and powertrain options.
|Pay My Repairs|
Read 25 Reviews
Pay My Repairs is a vehicle service contract broker. Consumers can use the company to find a customized plan with the exact coverage they need. The company has been in business since 1989. Quotes are available online.
|Select Auto Warranty||Read Reviews|
Select Auto Warranty offers customers the option to extend the warranty on their vehicle with the Extended Vehicle Protection Coverage package. The company offers free quotes for their services to interested parties.
|US Warranty Corp of Florida|
Read 12 Reviews
US Warranty Corp of Florida works with more than 800 auto dealerships across the United States. The company, which was founded in 1975, has been named the oldest licensed warranty provider in the state of Florida.
|ASAP Auto Warranty|
Read 549 Reviews
|Out of Business|
American Standard Auto Protection (ASAP) offers three coverage plans that include out-of-gas rescue, locksmith services and 24-hour roadside assistance. ASAP is a direct contract seller and plans last between one and 10 years.
|Direct Buy Auto Warranty|
Read 584 Reviews
|Out of Business|
Direct Buy Auto Warranty opened in 2009, and it is headquartered in Iselin, New Jersey. The company sells service contracts for consumers who want protection from expensive auto repairs.