Lexus extended warranty: cost, coverage and plans
Too expensive for such reliable vehicles
Lexus vehicles are well-known for their build quality and longevity, but Lexus owners may still be interested in extended warranties to protect themselves from repair bills. Lexus even has an official extended warranty program, but is it the best option available?
Keep reading to see what a Lexus extended warranty can cover, what it costs, whether it’s worth it and how it stacks up against the competition.
- Lexus’ official extended warranty program is called Lexus Extra Care.
- Lexus Extra Care plans come in three coverage levels, but only the highest offers the exclusionary coverage that most Lexus owners will want.
- Plans with seven-year/100,000-mile terms for our sample vehicles started at around $4,000, which is $1,333 per year of coverage after the factory bumper-to-bumper warranty runs out.
- Considering that Lexus vehicles average just $551 per year to maintain and repair, according to RepairPal, paying $1,333 per year for a warranty simply doesn’t make sense.
Lexus extended warranty coverage
Lexus calls its official extended warranty program Lexus Extra Care. As with almost all vehicle service contracts, these plans are designed to cover the cost of fixing factory defects. In other words, extended warranties pay to repair or replace parts that fail on their own due to poor fitment or design. That means you shouldn’t expect a Lexus extended warranty to cover repairs needed due to negligence, misuse, delayed maintenance or damage from accidents or vandalism.
Warranty lengths are generally given in terms of years and miles, with coverage ending whenever either limit is passed.
Lexus Extra Care essentially builds off of your Lexus factory warranty, which offers four years/50,000 miles of Basic (aka bumper-to-bumper) coverage and six years/70,000 miles of Powertrain coverage.
Lexus offers Extra Care plans for both new and used Lexus models, but its definition of “new” and “used” may not be what you expect:
- “New” Lexus Extra Care plans are available for Lexus vehicles still within their Basic factory warranty period (i.e., under four years old and with fewer than 50,000 miles).
- “Used” Lexus Extra Care plans are available for Lexus vehicles under 10 model years old (e.g., a 2014 vehicle in 2023) and with fewer than 125,000 miles on the odometer. But you have to buy these warranties at the same time you buy your used Lexus from the dealership.
These plans are mostly identical except for how their term lengths work. Terms for new vehicle plans are counted from the vehicle’s at-service date, which is when it last had zero miles on its odometer. Terms for used vehicles are counted from your warranty agreement’s application date/mileage. This is important to keep in mind because it can result in drastic differences in how long your extended warranty coverage lasts.
You can only purchase a Lexus Extra Care warranty from a participating Lexus dealer. We say “participating” because some dealers only sell third-party warranties these days. Just know that you may have to call around awhile to find a dealer who will sell you one, and it may take even longer to find one who will give you a reasonable deal.
» LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?
Lexus extended warranty plans
Lexus Extra Care plans come in three coverage levels: Powertrain, Gold and Platinum.
|Component group||Covered by Powertrain||Covered by Gold||Covered by Platinum|
|Hybrid/alternative fuel parts|
|Air conditioning and heating|
|Computers and electronics|
The exclusionary coverage offered by Platinum plans is arguably the best value. When you upgrade from Gold to Platinum, you get thousands of extra parts covered for just 10% more cost. That’s why the vast majority of extended auto warranty shoppers end up choosing Platinum-equivalent options.
We once asked an extended warranty provider if Gold- and Powertrain-equivalent plans only exist to make exclusionary plans look like a better deal. Their response? “Yep! Pretty much.”
We’ve also spoken to several dealers who no longer sell Gold- or Powertrain-equivalent options at all because almost nobody bought them to begin with. A representative from a local Lexus dealer only provided sample quotes for Gold after we gently insisted. “Sure, but please don’t buy Gold,” they said.
Lexus extended warranty benefits
Lexus Extra Care plans come with the following benefits:
- 24/7 roadside assistance, including flat tire assistance, lockout assistance, jump-starts, towing and fuel delivery (up to 3 gallons twice a month)
- Substitute transportation of up to $35 per day for up to five days to cover the cost of a rental car, taxi, Lyft or other transportation while your Lexus is in the shop for a covered repair
- Travel protection, which covers up to $50 per day for lodging and meals if your Lexus experiences a covered breakdown more than 150 miles from home
- $100 disappearing deductible, which waives your $100 deductible if you take your Lexus to the dealer who sold you your warranty for covered repairs
All things considered, these benefits are weaker than what we expected from Lexus, especially when you consider the cost of these warranties, which we’ll cover next. The benefit amounts simply aren’t enough to cover most rental car or lodging expenses, but at least they’re better than nothing.
Lexus extended warranty cost
As mentioned, Lexus doesn’t sell Extra Care warranties online, so you’ll have to call up a local dealership and speak with a finance manager to get some quotes. We also recommend calling multiple dealers for competing quotes if you want to get a better deal. In fact, that’s what we did.
Lexus extra care costs
Here are the lowest quotes we were offered for different Lexus vehicles.
|2023 RX 350 with 500 miles||Gold||7 years or 100,000 miles||$3,600|
|2023 RX 350 with 500 miles||Platinum||7 years or 100,000 miles||$4,000|
|2023 RX 350 with 500 miles||Platinum||10 years or 125,000 miles||$5,600|
|2021 IS 300 with 20,000 miles||Gold||7 years or 100,000 miles||$3,600|
|2021 IS 300 with 20,000 miles||Platinum||7 years or 100,000 miles||$4,000|
|2021 IS 300 with 20,000 miles||Platinum||10 years or 125,000 miles||$5,600|
|2019 ES 350 with 40,000 miles||Platinum||5 years or 60,000 miles||$4,500|
Based on these quotes, Lexus Extra Care warranties cost significantly more than the average cost of an extended auto warranty, which is around $2,500.
Also, keep in mind that you’re not really getting seven years of coverage with a “new” seven-year/100,000-mile Lexus Extra Care warranty. Your Basic factory warranty has you covered for the first four years/50,000 miles, so you’re really only paying for three years/50,000 miles of extended warranty coverage.
That means you’re paying more than $4,000 for just three years — or $1,333 per year — of coverage. Buying a “used” vehicle plan should get you coverage that lasts as long as the advertised term, though.
Lexus extended warranty terms and conditions
Let’s look at the terms and conditions of a Lexus Extra Care contract before we decide whether a Lexus extended warranty is worth the price.
- As is typical with an extended auto warranty, you must keep up with the maintenance schedule listed in your vehicle’s owners manual to keep your coverage active. That means getting oil changes, tire rotations and other services done at the recommended intervals.
Lexus may ask for receipts to prove that you’ve been keeping up with maintenance before approving any repairs, so it’s important to keep documentation of your routine maintenance.
- Preexisting conditions
- Practically no warranty will cover preexisting conditions, and Lexus Extra Care is no exception.
Even if an issue arises during the coverage period, warranty providers will often deny claims on the basis that the warranty holder can’t prove an issue wasn’t preexisting. That’s why it’s smart to get a dealer inspection report (about $150) at the time you purchase your warranty. That way, there’s documentation proving what was in working order when you signed your warranty agreement.
- Standard extended warranty exclusions apply, so your Lexus Extra Care plan won’t cover repairs needed due to damage, negligence, misuse or delayed maintenance. It also won’t cover cosmetics or wear-and-tear items (brake pads, clutches, etc.), which can be a bigger problem than you might anticipate.
Cynthia, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from California, told us: ”I bought my current Lexus which is 4 years old. I also purchased [an] extended warranty. Well this rx450h has plastic window covers on several places. All of which have melted. … I asked [the] service department about them and to replace is 2k. For melting parts.”
Repairs needed as a result of track use or towing above your Lexus’ rated capacity also won’t be covered, and Lexus won’t cover any parts listed under “Exclusions” in your Platinum care plan agreement.
Installing aftermarket parts won’t automatically void your warranty, but those parts won’t be covered — nor will any repairs needed as a result of the aftermarket part (e.g., suspension issues caused by a lift kit).
- If you sell your Lexus to another person, you can transfer the remaining warranty amount to the new owner free of charge. (Most automakers charge $50 to $75 for transfers.)
- Cancellations and refunds
- You can cancel your Lexus Extra Care plan within 30 days of purchase for a full refund, minus a $50 processing fee (as permitted by state law). You can still cancel after 30 days — or after a claim has been paid — just expect a prorated refund.
These are pretty standard terms for an extended auto warranty. The two main “gotchas” to keep in mind are that you must keep up with regular maintenance for your Lexus and get all repairs preauthorized. One of the most common and easily avoidable reasons for denied claims is that the warranty holder is trying to get repairs compensated after they’ve already been performed, which is unlikely to succeed.
Is a Lexus extended warranty worth it?
Is a Lexus Extra Care warranty worth it? Probably not, but let’s take a step back to explain why. In general, an extended auto warranty is more likely to be worth it if:
- You drive a vehicle with poor expected reliability.
- The cost of the warranty is less than the cost of the repairs you expect it to cover.
- A surprise repair bill could be financially ruinous.
- You don’t mind paying thousands of dollars just for peace of mind.
Since the third and fourth bullets above are subjective, we’ll focus on the first two.
Lexus vehicles have a strong reputation for being dependable and long-lasting. J.D. Power ranked Lexus No. 1 out of 33 automakers in 2023, while Consumer Reports ranked it No. 2 in 2022, right behind its parent company, Toyota. According to RepairPal, a website that aggregates automotive repair data, Lexus vehicles cost an average of $551 per year in maintenance and repairs, considerably less than the industry average of $652 per year.
Given that Lexus vehicles cost so little in upkeep, paying $1,333 per year of extended warranty coverage doesn’t make much sense. While a Lexus Extra Care plan could still save you money in the long run if your Lexus needed a major repair, like a transmission rebuild or engine replacement, the odds of this are relatively low.
Before you decide against warranty coverage altogether, though, let’s see if a reputable third-party warranty company can offer a better deal.
Lexus extended warranty alternatives
Lexus Extra Care warranties are comprehensive and may provide peace of mind, but they don’t make much financial sense. That being said, third-party warranty companies can often offer cheaper rates. It’s just important to shop around for the right offer.
We reached out to two auto warranty companies, Endurance and olive, to see how their prices stacked up against what Lexus quoted us and included the results below.
|2023 RX 350 with 500 miles||$4,000||$3,338||$3,075|
|2021 IS 300 with 20,000 miles||$4,000||$3,338||$2,883|
|2019 ES 350 with 40,000 miles||$4,500||$4,159||$5,124|
Based on the table above, it’s safe to assume that you might find a better deal on a Lexus extended warranty with a third-party provider. Don’t trust that any one warranty provider will give you the cheapest quote every time, though.
While a warranty can save you money, an extended auto warranty may not be necessary to begin with. Even these lower rates are still substantially higher than the expected cost of upkeep for Lexus vehicles, so the main benefit of extending your warranty coverage is protection against an unlikely catastrophic breakdown. That can happen (and you should have a plan in case it does), but it’s probably not enough to make an extended warranty for your Lexus a good financial decision unless you get an excellent deal on coverage.
- Article sources
- ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
- J.D. Power, “Vehicle Dependability Improves Despite Continued Problems with Technology, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed April 6, 2023.
- Consumer Reports, “Who Makes the Most Reliable New Cars?” Accessed April 6, 2023.
- RepairPal, “Lexus Reliability Rating.” Accessed April 6, 2023.
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