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Find the Best Extended Car Warranty Companies of 2021

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    by Lauren Fix Auto & Finance Contributing Editor
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    Use our guide to choose the best car warranty company for you by comparing coverage options, contract lengths, service fees, reviews and complaints. Our research team vetted 35 extended warranty providers that are rated by more than 22,597 customers. Read our methodology to learn how we chose our top picks.

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      If you have an older or high-mileage car and worry about paying for potential engine or transmission problems, an extended auto warranty can help you feel more confident about your ability to handle mechanical breakdowns. It often pays for itself with one major repair.

      Most new and certified pre-owned vehicles come with a manufacturer's warranty that lasts three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first, but an extended warranty from a third-party company can cover older cars with more miles on the odometer.

      Key insights:

      Our Top Picks for Extended Car Warranties of 2021

      The best extended car warranty companies have competitive prices, provide a variety of coverage options to fit your budget and offer a simple claims process.

      To find our top picks, we started by looking at reviews on our site to find companies with these qualities. We also made sure all of our top picks provide free online quotes and let you take your car to any licensed or ASE-certified repair facility. They all offer transferable plans, though a transfer fee may apply. All of our top picks provide plans with roadside assistance.

      Our top pickEndurance Auto WarrantyAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Number of plans: 6
      • Max mileage: Up to 200,000
      • Waiting period: 30 days
      • Availability: Most states (not California)

      Endurance is our top pick because it has excellent reviews and offers comprehensive coverage in most states. It’s a good choice for used cars with higher mileage, which can sometimes be challenging to find coverage for from other warranty providers.

      The majority of Endurance customers we talk to say they would recommend the company to a friend or family member. “The rep from Endurance explained everything. I’d tell others to sign up with them. The price is right, too,” according to a reviewer in Florida.

      Most plans have deductibles between $50 and $100. We like the Select Premier plan, which was designed for vehicles with up to 150,000 miles. The Endurance Advantage plan offers extensive component protection plus coverage for maintenance.

      Recommended for: People with used cars; older vehicles with higher mileage.

      Our pick for no-waiting-period contractsoliveAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Number of plans: 3
      • Max mileage: 140,000
      • Waiting period: None
      • Availability: Nationwide

      Unlike many companies, olive does not have a waiting period for coverage. With Complete Care, olive's most comprehensive plan, you get coverage for most components, except tires, windshield wipers and other listed exclusions. Vehicle service contracts are available across the country, and MBI policies are in California.

      Olive’s warranty information is straightforward and simple to understand. A customer in California who got a plan for a 2017 Toyota Prius Prime chose to go with olive over a dealer warranty because of how personable the customer service representative was. “She was extremely responsive, super nice, very detail-oriented and explained every single stupid question I had,” the reviewer said in April 2021.

      Others like olive because they don’t have to talk to a person at all, since everything is managed online. The company makes it easy to file claims online or over the phone. You can also find repair shops near you through its partnered RepairPal portal. Most plans cost $30 to $80 per month with varying deductibles.

      Recommended for: People who want to manage their policy entirely online; not ideal for those who want to cover a commercial vehicle.

      Our pick for wide coverage selectionCARCHEXAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Number of plans: 25
      • Max mileage: 250,000
      • Waiting period: 30 days
      • Availability: Nationwide

      CARCHEX offers more coverage plans than our other top picks because it works with multiple warranty providers. We suggest considering a Titanium plan because it provides the most comprehensive coverage. Plans may cover other costs accompanying a breakdown, such as towing, fuel delivery and rental car reimbursement.

      Reviewers like that the company has helpful reps and reasonable rates. “CARCHEX went through the list of stuff with me, and they're a little costly. But if my truck got miles on it and if I lose the bottom end or rear end, it's covered. So it's well worth it,” said one reviewer in Washington earlier this year.

      Deductibles range from $0 to $250. Each plan provides at least a base level of powertrain coverage, meaning they all cover some essential components of your car’s engine, transmission and drive axles.

      Recommended for: People who want instant quotes online for plans with up to 10 years of coverage.

      Our pick for month-to-month coverageCarShieldAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Number of plans: 6
      • Max mileage: 250,000
      • Waiting period: Varies by contract
      • Availability: Most states (not California)

      Carshield offers month-to-month coverage, which makes it a good choice for people who need to stay flexible with their budgets. It offers plans ranging from basic powertrain coverage to more comprehensive policies, plus an option just for roadside protection. You can also find plans for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, which are less common among providers. Rental car reimbursement and roadside assistance, including towing, are included in some plans.

      CarShield reviewers who recommend the company frequently also have good things to say about customer service representatives. “Can't be happier. When we needed Carshield, they delivered,” said a client in Kansas recently. “There were a few occasions when I needed to get a hold of Carshield. Their representatives were very customer friendly and concerned about me and my problems.” Other reviews describe CarShield reps as helpful, knowledgeable and professional.

      Deductibles start at $0 but vary based on the coverage you select.

      Recommended for: People with older, high-mileage vehicles, including motorcycles and ATVs.

      Our pick for no down paymentToco WarrantyAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Number of plans: 1 to 3
      • Max mileage: 70,000 to 175,000
      • Waiting period: 30 days and 1,000 miles
      • Availability: Most states (not Alaska, Missouri or Washington)

      Toco offers pay-as-you-go plans with flexible terms and no down payment. Most plans have a $100 deductible. California residents can get a mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) plan for vehicles with up to 70,000 miles. In most other states, extended car warranties are available for used cars with up to 175,000 miles.

      Happy customers say the company is reliable, honest and respectful. “I had a great representative who gave me a good deal. He walked me through everything and called me later in the day to process my order,” according to a client in Virginia earlier this year.

      “The perks are great too! $40 credit towards oil changes and the first month free is hard to resist,” said a reviewer in North Carolina earlier this year.

      Recommended for: Residents of California (and most other states) who want affordable coverage options.

      Our pick for valueConcord Auto ProtectAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Number of plans: 3
      • Max mileage: 120,000
      • Waiting period: 30 days
      • Availability: Nationwide

      Concord Auto Protect is our top pick for value because so many recent 5-star reviews highlight the “great prices” and “competitive rates.” One verified customer in South Carolina purchased a five-year extended warranty on a 2013 Porsche 911 S said that it “was by far the best value … No one even came close to the coverage.”

      Other happy car owners highlight the service: “I love the service and how fast they were able to handle my situation with my claim. I have nothing but good things to say about Concord and how efficient the staff is. I would easily recommend them to everyone else I know,” said a reviewer in Pennsylvania.

      Powertrain, Advanced and Premium with rental car coverage plans are available.

      Recommended for: People who want to find competitive rates on Porsches and other luxury or sports cars.

      Our pick for short-term contractsUproar.carAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Number of plans: 3
      • Max mileage: 120,000
      • Waiting period: 30 days
      • Availability: Most states (not in Alaska, California, Florida, Nebraska, Missouri or Wisconsin)

      Unlike many extended warranty companies, Uproar.car has month-to-month subscription plans. This makes it a good option if you’re worried about paying for expensive maintenance repairs but don’t want to make a huge commitment.

      “The amount that they charge per month is really low compared to other car warranties out there,” said a customer in Maryland. Another reviewer said it’s about $100 less per month than competitors.

      A customer in Texas who got a plan for a BMW said that it gives them “peace of mind” and that “this company offers the best coverage and price to take care of my car.” Other verified reviews say that the prices are great and that the sign-up process is easy.

      Depending on your mileage, plans start around $15 or $20 per month, with deductibles between $100 and $500.

      Recommended for: People who want a month-to-month warranty for a used car.

      Our pick for easy sign-upAmerican First Auto ProtectAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Number of plans: 3
      • Max mileage: 250,000
      • Waiting period: Varies by contract
      • Availability: Most states (Maine, North Carolina or Washington)

      American First Auto Protect makes it easy to get a quote online or over the phone. Out of the three plans available, we like the Platinum plan because it provides the most comprehensive coverage, including gaskets, suspension, fuel systems, high-tech electronics and more. However, some customers would like to see coverage for cosmetic repairs.

      “The person who sold me the policy did a great job and my recent claim experience was good, all in all,” said a customer in California. “It would have been great if they covered the headlight because these things are expensive. But they told me was it was a cosmetic and a cosmetic repair, which is not covered under the warranty.”

      Coverage is relatively easy to use — American First will deal directly with your repair shop when you file a claim.

      Recommended for: People who want to create a plan based on their budget and specific needs.

      Are extended car warranties worth it?

      Having your car break down can be expensive and inconvenient. If you rely on your vehicle to drive to work or get your children to school, it’s essential to take care of a breakdown quickly — even if you don’t have a rainy day fund set aside to pay for it. Extended auto warranties help cover the cost of expensive repairs in these situations.

      It’s sometimes a good idea to purchase an extended car warranty that provides coverage for repairs and replacements beyond the initial manufacturer’s warranty. If you plan to keep the car for a while and don’t want to budget for repairs, it might make sense for you.

      • Makes sense for some used vehicles
      • Not worth it on a new car
      • Not worth it if you plan to sell soon and it’s not transferable

      How to choose an extended car warranty company

      Extended auto warranty companies offer plans that vary quite a bit in terms of coverage, cost and claims processes, so understanding the different features makes it easier to decide what you want.

      When looking for the best extended auto warranty for you, it’s important to ask the right questions: How comprehensive is the coverage? How much does it cost? How long are the waiting period and refund windows?

      Some companies offer extra perks alongside their extended warranty coverage, so ask about any additional benefits — these might include roadside assistance, lockout services or discounts to specific businesses. If you’re hesitant to make a big commitment, look for a company that doesn’t require a long-term commitment.

      Many extended warranty companies cover repairs made by any ASE-certified mechanic, but some companies have a specific network of repair technicians they work with. If you have a mechanic you love, be sure to confirm your warranty provider will work with them.

      Other features to consider if you’ve decided you want an extended warranty and have a few companies in mind:

      • If the contract is transferable: If you think you might want to sell your car before the warranty expires, make sure the company lets the coverage transfer to the next owner. This could be a selling point to many car buyers.
      • Customer reviews: Before signing a contract, refer to reviews by real customers. It’s likely there will be upsides and downsides to any warranty plan, but these reviews will let you see if other customers are happy with the aspects you’re most concerned about.
      • Flexibility of plans: Some companies offer three or so coverage bundles to choose from; others provide a wider and more customizable selection. If you prefer having more control over the specifics of your coverage, look for a company that offers multiple plans or lets you customize your coverage.
      • Limitations and exclusions: Ask about any mileage or year restrictions and any conditions that might void your warranty. Be sure you understand what is and isn’t covered.
      • Direct payments to mechanics: Some warranty providers pay your mechanic directly, while other plans may require you to pay for the service and reimburse you. If it seems like less of a hassle to put the payment process completely in the car warranty company’s hands, you might prefer a plan that makes direct payments.

      How do car warranties work?

      A car warranty is a contract between you and the warranty provider, often your dealership or manufacturer, to cover repairs within a specific period of time or mileage, typically three years or 60,000 miles. Eventually, the dealer's or manufacturer's car warranty expires.

      Coverage for an extended auto warranty, also known as a vehicle service contract, usually begins when the manufacturer’s warranty expires. If you’re beyond the coverage period of your original warranty, extended auto warranty coverage can pay for repairs down the road — which can ease your mind significantly, especially if money is tight and you’re not sure you could afford out-of-pocket payments for these fixes.

      It’s standard across the industry that extended auto warranties purchased separately from the factory warranty cannot be used until 30 days after purchase and until the vehicle has been driven 1,000 miles. This policy prevents people from buying a vehicle service contract only after a problem develops.

      What does a car warranty cover?

      Basic car warranties cover the most essential parts and systems that keep the car running. For example, if you have an engine, alternator or transmission failure, there’s a high likelihood a full-coverage extended warranty covers the needed repairs. Many car warranties cover fuel pump replacement and airbag replacement as well. The most comprehensive car warranties cover all parts of the car except for wear-and-tear items that require regular replacement, like windshield wipers or tires.

      Not all extended auto warranties cover the vehicle from bumper to bumper, so remember to choose a plan with the coverage you need — don’t forget to read the fine print.

      Types of extended car warranties

      The two main types are manufacturer’s warranties (also called “factory warranties” and original equipment manufacturer warranties, or OEMs) and after-market warranties sold by third-party vendors. The most common types of warranty plans fall into one of the following categories:

      Ask your provider if there are any rules against performing maintenance work yourself. Keep track of all maintenance records and receipts.
      • Powertrain: A powertrain warranty covers components like your car’s engine, transmission, axles, drive shafts, seals, gaskets and transfer case.
      • Drivetrain: This is similar to powertrain coverage, except a drivetrain warranty doesn’t include your engine.
      • Wrap warranty: A wrap warranty covers what the powertrain warranty leaves out. You can combine a wrap warranty with a powertrain to supplement coverage (similar to bumper-to-bumper plans).
      • Bumper-to-bumper: A bumper-to-bumper warranty is also called an “exclusionary warranty,” because it covers everything except for specific components listed in the contract. These warranties tend to be the most comprehensive, but they’re also the most expensive.

      Other than bumper-to-bumper warranties, most extended auto warranties are stated component warranties. In stated component warranties, the contract lists the components that are covered. Be sure you understand whether your agreement lists the covered or the excluded repairs.

      What extended car warranties won’t cover

      It’s important to keep in mind that extended auto warranties typically do not cover routine maintenance. Most plans also do not cover paint, your car’s interior or issues that result from normal wear and tear. Warranties may or may not cover cooling systems and electronic components.

      • Damage from accidents
      • Damage caused by extreme weather
      • Cosmetic repairs
      • Routine maintenance
      • Liability and other insurance-related issues
      • Preexisting conditions
      • Manufacturer recalls
      • Wear-and-tear items (like brakes and windshield wipers)
      • Alterations or modifications
      • Interior or body panel damage
      • Regular maintenance

      Extended car warranty costs

      Total costs for an extended warranty are around $2,500. You can pay the entire cost upfront, but most people pay it off over a couple of years in monthly installments. Expect monthly payments to be around $100 until the plan is paid off.

      For example, if you have a seven-year plan and you pay it in three years, you won’t have to make payments for the next four years. Plans often require you to pay a deductible (typically between $75 and $250) for repairs.

      Factors that impact the cost of your extended auto warranty

      The best extended car warranty companies look at multiple factors, including your vehicle’s make, model, condition and location, when quoting a price for coverage. Some of the most significant factors that affect the price of your extended auto warranty include:

      • Level of coverage: Bumper-to-bumper plans with comprehensive coverage cost the most, while basic warranties covering only the vital systems, such as powertrain and drivetrain warranties, are more affordable.
      • One-time and recurring fees: Ask about any recurring charges you may need to pay other than upfront fees and monthly premiums.
      • Additional charges or deductibles: Most car warranties require a deductible, though some companies offer zero-deductible policies. A typical deductible is $100 for a repair or replacement.
      • Maximum payout amount: Most extended auto warranties have a maximum payout, often around 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 your liability limits.

      Extended car warranty questions

      What is an extended car warranty?
      An extended auto warranty, also known as a vehicle service contract, is coverage that kicks in after your car’s manufacturer’s warranty expires. Different providers offer varying levels and types of coverage, and it’s important to understand any service requirements, mileage limitations, perks and exclusions attached to any extended auto warranty you’re considering.
      How long does a car warranty last?
      A car manufacturer’s warranty (OEM) usually lasts for 36,000 miles or three years. An extended car warranty kicks in after that and lasts for five to 10 years. However, mileage and year terms vary by provider.
      How do I check if my car is under warranty?
      There’s a lot to keep up with as a car owner, so if you’re not sure you’re under warranty, check with your local dealership. You’ll need your VIN and your mileage. If the dealership can’t help you, you can pay for a CARFAX report.
      What voids a car warranty?
      Several conditions can lead to a voided warranty, so it’s important to do your best to maintain your vehicle so you don’t lose coverage. These conditions depend on the manufacturer and dealer but typically include reckless driving, poor maintenance, car modifications, salvage titles and fluids that aren’t approved. Some companies also have depreciation clauses that can limit the payout from the provider depending on your mileage. Ask your dealer and warranty provider about the conditions for a voided warranty.
      Can you get one at any time?
      You can buy an extended warranty at the time of purchase or later on, though it might make the most sense to purchase this type of coverage just before your manufacturer’s warranty expires. If you’re buying a used car that’s no longer under the manufacturer’s warranty, you may want to buy a warranty at the time of purchase.
      What’s the difference between a car warranty and insurance?
      While auto insurance pays for damages due to issues like collisions, natural disasters or theft, an extended warranty pays for repairs to essential auto parts (e.g., transmission, engine) after the manufacturer’s warranty expires. Car insurance is also required in almost every state; extended warranties, on the other hand, provide optional coverage. For more information, read about the differences between car warranties and insurance.
      What are the different types of car warranties?
      Bumper-to-bumper coverage pays for repairs that are not related to wear-and-tear or routine maintenance issues, and powertrain warranties cover repairs to parts that power the vehicle, like the engine and transmission. Stated component coverage provides a list of parts covered — anything not listed is not covered.

      Extended auto warranties can come from the manufacturer or from a third party. With a third-party extended warranty, it’s possible you’ll have to pay for repairs then be reimbursed by the company. Make sure you know which kind you’re getting and that you’re clear on its terms.

      How can I avoid car warranty scams?
      Telephone scammers abound these days, so it’s best to be careful — one trusty rule of thumb is to avoid giving your personal information out to any number you haven’t verified. If you receive a call from an unidentified number and hear a prerecorded message on the other end asking you to press a button, hang up.

      Similarly, if you get a call from a number you don’t recognize and the person asks a question like, “Can you hear me?” right off the bat, don’t answer. Instead, hang up; this could be a robocaller trying to confirm your phone line is active for future calls. For more tips, read our article on avoiding car warranty scams.

      Not sure how to choose?

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        Methodology

        To select our top picks, we started with a list of 37 extended car warranty providers. To narrow it down, we first eliminated companies rated below 3.5 stars on our site. Because we want to give helpful advice to the most readers, we also considered availability and gave preference to companies that offer free online quotes and serve the most states.

        To stay on the list, companies had to have at least a 2:1 ratio of 5-star to 1-star reviews over the last year (June 2, 2020, through June 2, 2021). Top-pick recommendations are based on what stood out in our analyses of each company’s recent 5-star review data. The ConsumerAffairs research team analyzed more than 5,500 verified reviews to understand what people like and don’t like about the warranty providers.

        Sources
        ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page.
        1. Federal Trade Commission, “Auto Warranties and Service Contracts.” Accessed June 14, 2021.
        2. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). “Auto Warranties & Routine Maintenance.” Accessed May 17, 2021.
        3. PEGA, “Survey Reveals Reasons Consumers Forego Purchasing Extended Automotive Warranties Despite Seeing Value.” Accessed May 17, 2021.

        Compare Top Extended Car Warranty Reviews

        by Lauren Fix Auto & Finance Contributing Editor

        Lauren Fix, also called The Car Coach, is an automotive and auto finance expert. Her understanding of vehicles has made her the “go to” person on TV, radio, print media and the Internet. She has authored multiple books and writes a column for several outlets, including Parade Magazine, NewsMax and Car Coach Reports. She is a regular guest on major news and morning shows, discussing the latest updates on cars and car financing that will help drivers make smart decisions when buying, maintaining and financing cars.

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