CARCHEX vs. Endurance

The better choice may depend on your vehicle’s overall reliability

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CARCHEX and Endurance have both been around for years and won plenty of accolades. Both offer similar types of warranty coverage, but their benefits and deductibles can vary wildly based on your vehicle.

So, which provider is the better option for you? Read on to find out.

What is the difference between CARCHEX and Endurance?

CARCHEX began as a vehicle inspection company in 1999 and started selling extended auto warranties in 2004. The company is perhaps best known for its long list of endorsements from companies like Carfax and Edmunds, as well as for being a broker — not a direct provider — of extended auto warranties. (More on that later.) It also has better benefits if your car is in the shop a lot.

Endurance is primarily a direct provider of auto warranties best known for its solid customer service and efficient claims handling. The company claims to have paid over $300 million in claims since 2012 and generally receives positive marks from customers.

  • CARCHEX is best if you have a particularly unreliable car and expect to use its rental car, rideshare and trip interruption benefits.
  • Endurance is best if you value customer service more.

Our take on CARCHEX

Pros

  • Available in all 50 states
  • Generous rental car and rideshare benefits
  • Includes trip interruption coverage
  • Partners with charities

Cons

  • Doesn’t provide quotes online
  • Not a direct provider
  • Mixed reputation for claims handling

Bottom line: CARCHEX stands out for its secondary benefits, including rental car reimbursements, rideshare assistance and trip interruption coverage. Just know that some of its plans can be on the expensive side, its standard deductible is $200, and you can’t get quotes online.

» EXPLORE: CARCHEX reviews

Our take on Endurance

Pros

  • Good customer service
  • No broker or intermediary in most cases
  • No caps on labor, parts or diagnostics
  • Includes one year of Elite Benefits
  • You can get a quote online in minutes

Cons

  • Rental car benefits limited to $30 per day ($150 per repair)
  • No rideshare reimbursements

Bottom line: Endurance’s strong customer service record, wide variety of plans and extensive benefits make it a solid all-rounder. Its plans aren’t always the cheapest, but they tend to offer good value to compensate.

» EXPLORE: Endurance reviews

CARCHEX vs. Endurance availability

CARCHEX is available in all 50 states, including California (which has strict laws surrounding extended car warranties). Endurance is also available in California and most other states, but it doesn’t operate in Massachusetts.

In terms of age and mileage limits, CARCHEX accepts older vehicles, but Endurance has no mileage cap.

CARCHEX vs. Endurance coverage

CARCHEX offers five plans, while Endurance offers 12, with a catch.

Here’s a short breakdown of CARCHEX’s available plans:

  • Titanium is an exclusionary, bumper-to-bumper plan covering virtually all parts except those designed to wear out over time, like brake pads.
  • Platinum covers 700+ parts on your vehicle across most component groups.
  • Powertrain Plus covers 300+ parts across your engine, transmission, drive axle(s), cooling system, fuel system, electronics, air conditioning and other areas.
  • Powertrain covers 150+ parts across your engine, transmission, drive axle(s), cooling system and other parts of your car’s powertrain.
  • Extra Care covers 300+ parts that aren’t typically covered by a manufacturer’s powertrain warranty, such as your brakes, electronics and infotainment system.

Endurance offers 12 total plans but only serves as a direct provider for six. For the other six, it operates as a broker, like CARCHEX. Here’s a summary of the six plans that Endurance underwrites itself:

  • Supreme is a bumper-to-bumper warranty.
  • Superior covers ~300+ components.
  • Secure Plus is a powertrain warranty that also includes your air conditioning and braking system.
  • Select Premier is like Secure Plus for vehicles with over 150,000 miles.
  • Secure is a powertrain-only plan.
  • Advantage offers Supreme coverage plus up to $3,500 in annual maintenance costs.

As we alluded to above, one of the biggest differences between CARCHEX and Endurance is that CARCHEX is a broker while Endurance is, usually, a direct provider. In other words, CARCHEX sells warranties from another company (American Auto Shield1.0), while Endurance primarily sells its own. Exactly how that affects you will vary.

We asked Endurance what difference choosing a broker vs. choosing a direct provider makes to the end consumer.

“When you buy through a broker, there may be another company you have to call for claims, another you’ll have to call for financing, and more. With Endurance, we do all that for you,” a rep told us.

Then we asked CARCHEX to comment on how buying from a broker might impact the customer experience.

“American Auto Shield underwrites the policies and makes the payment. So when you make a claim with us, we negotiate with American Auto Shield and they tell us how much they’re willing to pay out. But CARCHEX is still your main point of contact throughout,” a company representative said.

This distinction is an issue for some CARCHEX customers, so it’s worth being aware of. (Some consumer reviews also suggest that Endurance handles claims quicker.)

» UNDERSTAND THE BASICS: What does a car warranty cover?

CARCHEX vs. Endurance cost

To compare costs, we collected quotes on exclusionary plans for various vehicles with expired factory warranties. As you read the chart, keep in mind that CARCHEX gave us quotes based on a $200 deductible, while Endurance’s plans had a $100 deductible (with the exception of the Porsche warranty).

Both providers said this was the only deductible option for this vehicle/plan combination.

» NEED CONTEXT? How much does an extended car warranty cost?

CARCHEX vs. Endurance policies

Neither CARCHEX nor Endurance require you to have a vehicle inspection to qualify for warranty protection. A pre-purchase inspection might still be a good idea, though. Getting an inspection helps you establish a record of what was (and wasn’t) a preexisting condition when you bought the warranty and possibly prevent claim denial later. However, some people find it an unnecessary hassle. Instead, CARCHEX and Endurance use waiting periods to stave off people making claims for preexisting conditions.

CARCHEX has a slightly shorter waiting period but a much higher standard deductible ($200). Endurance has a lower standard deductible on most plans ($100) but charges a $500 deductible for most plans covering European luxury vehicles, like Audis, BMWs, Mercedes and Porsches.

If you sell your car during your warranty term, both companies let you transfer your warranty to the new owner if you pay a small fee ($50 in most states).

» LEARN: How an extended auto warranty works

CARCHEX vs. Endurance benefits

CARCHEX and Endurance both offer 24/7 roadside assistance, towing and rental car assistance with their plans, but there are some noteworthy differences when you take a closer look.

For starters, CARCHEX offers:

  • Up to $75 per day in rental car reimbursement (versus Endurance’s $30 max per day)
  • Up to $60 per day in rideshare reimbursements if you need an Uber or Lyft while your car is in the shop
  • Up to $125 per day in trip interruption coverage to pay for meals and lodging if your car breaks down 100+ miles from home

Endurance, meanwhile, offers 12 months of complimentary “Elite Benefits” with each new plan. These include:

  • Up to $500 in key fob replacements
  • Tire repairs/replacements
  • Up to $1,000 in collision repair assistance
  • Up to $1,000 in total loss protection

All told, Endurance’s benefits are probably more helpful if you drive a reliable vehicle since you can still use them even if your vehicle isn’t in the shop. On the flip side, the benefits included with a CARCHEX plan should be more helpful if you drive a less reliable vehicle since they make life easier while your car is in the shop.

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How people feel about CARCHEX vs. Endurance

At the time of publishing, both CARCHEX and Endurance maintain a 4.3-star overall satisfaction rating on ConsumerAffairs, although Endurance has far more reviews (10,863 versus 4,238).

CARCHEX customers seem overall happy with the signup process, but reports of how well CARCHEX handled their claims were mixed.

“I bought my wife's car about three years ago and I bought the CARCHEX warranty for it. I did the payments over time. I'm always leery of warranties and what they cover. We did our first claim three years later on a window and it went through seamlessly. Everything worked out,” said Michael, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer in Florida.

I'm always leery of warranties and what they cover. We did our first claim … and it went through seamlessly.”
— Michael, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer in Florida

“I had a bad experience with Carchex,” reported Barry in South Carolina. “The mechanic was ready and was ready to go but they couldn’t do the work until they get approved. It took Carchex five weeks to get it checked and make an approval.”

Also, as we mentioned before, many less-than-positive reviews cite a lack of transparency surrounding CARCHEX’s status as a broker, not a direct warranty provider.

“On June 14th I bought the policy from Carchex and paid my first month amount. Next day when I came to know that they are only broker and my policy is been owned by someone else. I raised a cancellation request and from that day (15th June) till date, I have send 7 reminders and I just keep getting same reply as cancellation request will be raised and someone will contact you,” wrote Raghwendra in Illinois. (CARCHEX reported that it had canceled Raghwendra’s plan and provided a full refund a few days later.)

» SEE FOR YOURSELF: CARCHEX reviews

Endurance, meanwhile, often scores higher marks for claims handling, customer service and overall customer satisfaction.

There have only been a couple of small claims, but Volvo and Endurance handle it all directly. I don’t have to do anything!”
— David, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer in Massachusetts

“I shopped long and hard to get a policy for my 2012 Volvo hardtop convertible. … I have all my service done at my Volvo dealer. There have only been a couple of small claims, but Volvo and Endurance handle it all directly. I don’t have to do anything! Extremely pleased,” wrote David in Massachusetts.

The most common thread we saw across negative Endurance reviews was a lack of paperwork and communication once a policy was paid for, leaving some customers confused.

“I spent almost $4,000 on coverage and I don't have any paperwork to support it. I have nothing in the mail yet. Not even so much as a receipt statement that states the policy has been paid. I paid for it, for five years in cash, and it's been over month,” said Johnathan in Indiana. (Endurance responded to Johnathan’s review, but there was no public follow-up.)

» SEE FOR YOURSELF: Endurance reviews

» LEARN TO SPOT RED FLAGS: How to avoid the worst extended auto warranty companies

Bottom line: CARCHEX or Endurance?

All things considered (benefits, deductible, claims handling and more), here’s who each brand may be a better fit for:

  • CARCHEX is probably a better fit for drivers with less reliable vehicles. Its robust rental car and rideshare reimbursements plus trip interruption coverage could save you hundreds on alternative transportation while your car is in the shop for warranty repairs.
  • Endurance may be a better fit for drivers who are worried about larger, less frequent repairs since it charges a $500 deductible for some vehicles — and its Elite Benefits can be helpful before your vehicle even needs any repairs.

If neither provider seems like a perfect fit for your needs, you can check out more options on our extended car warranty buyers guide.

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