Volkswagen extended warranty: cost, coverage and plans
Robust and benefit-rich, but you may have better options
Volkswagen may offer German engineering for a relatively affordable price, but keeping a VW on the road still isn’t cheap, especially if it’s past its factory warranty period. Volkswagen actually offers its own line of extended warranties for people that want long-term protection from repair bills, but are they worth it?
Keep reading to see what a Volkswagen extended warranty covers, the contract terms you need to know before you buy and how Volkswagen’s extended warranties stack up against the competition.
- VW’s extended warranties are called Drive Easy Vehicle Service Protection Plans.
- These plans build off of VW’s four-year/50,000-mile factory warranty and can only be purchased from your local Volkswagen dealer.
- The plans we’d want cost around $3,000, which is slightly more than the industry average — and maybe not worth it, given the length of the coverage and the cost of VW repairs.
- VW owners who want extended warranty coverage might find better rates with a third-party warranty provider, but it’s important to shop around.
Volkswagen extended warranty coverage
Volkswagen calls its official extended warranties Drive Easy Vehicle Service Protection Plans, but that name is often shortened to just Drive Easy Protection Plans. These vehicle service contracts are designed to effectively extend some or all of the protection offered by your four-year/50,000-mile VW factory warranty. That means if your Volkswagen breaks down and the issue is caused by a covered component, a VW extended warranty will pay for the repairs.
VW, like many automakers, measures its extended warranty terms from when the covered vehicle was first sold, not when the warranty was purchased.
Just keep in mind that car warranties — factory or extended — almost never cover collision damage, cosmetics or items meant to wear out over time, like brake pads and batteries. They only cover factory defects or parts that fail on their own.
Also, while VW’s extended warranty brochure indicates that coverage for these plans can extend to 10 years or 120,000 miles (whichever comes first), the longest warranty we were able to get quotes for from our Volkswagen dealer was seven years or 100,000 miles, even for a brand-new VW. Your experience may vary.
» LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?
Volkswagen extended warranty plans
VW Drive Easy Protection Plans come in three coverage levels:
- Powertrain effectively extends your factory powertrain coverage.
- Gold builds on the powertrain plan’s coverage, but not as much as Platinum.
- Platinum effectively extends your Basic (bumper-to-bumper) factory warranty.
You can see a more detailed breakdown of what components each plan covers below.
|High-tech parts (like sunroof motors)|
Volkswagen extended warranty benefits
Every Volkswagen Drive Easy Protection Plan includes the following perks and benefits:
- 24/7 roadside assistance, including battery service, flat tire assistance, fuel or fluid deliveries (up to 3 gallons three times a year), and lock-out assistance of up to $100 per occurrence
- Towing reimbursements of up to $100 per occurrence to get you to your nearest VW dealer after a covered breakdown
- Rental car reimbursements of up to $35 per day for up to 10 days while your vehicle is in the shop for a covered breakdown
- Trip interruption coverage of up to $200 per day for a maximum of five days per occurrence to help with meals and lodging if your VW experiences a covered breakdown over 100 miles from home
Some plans also come with a $100 disappearing deductible, which means you don’t have to pay your $100 deductible for covered repairs if you take your Volkswagen back to the dealer who originally sold you the warranty. (The other two deductible options are $0 and $250, but these don’t have the disappearing deductible benefit.)
Overall, these are generous benefits as far as automakers’ extended warranties go. Trip interruption coverage up to $1,000 is very generous (most manufacturers we’ve seen stop at $500), and the fact that it’s available per occurrence should be comforting to anyone who frequently road trips in their VW.
However, it may be wise to avoid depending entirely on these benefits. Pablo, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Illinois, reported that his benefits meant little when his VW broke down while he was on a trip to Michigan.
“My car was sent to a dealership two hours away from where I was staying,” Pablo said. “After spending seven hours on the phone, I decided to take a taxi to get a rental car (the closest rental was one hour and a half away). … Everybody I talked to over the phone told me to contact the ‘trip interruption department.’… Long story short, I made it back to Chicago, mailed all the receipts as they told me to do and today I got a call to let me know the case was declined.”
It’s possible that VW had a legitimate reason for denying trip interruption coverage, but you might want to familiarize yourself with the benefit details in your contract regardless.
Volkswagen extended warranty cost
You can’t purchase or even collect quotes for VW Drive Easy Vehicle Service Protection Plans online, so you have to call or visit a Volkswagen dealer for pricing. We reached out to multiple dealerships to find the lowest prices, and you might want to do the same. (Dealers often charge hidden commissions, so it pays to call around. Just prioritize dealers close to you if you want to take advantage of your disappearing deductible.)
We focused our quotes on Platinum coverage because some VW dealers told us that they rarely sell Gold and Powertrain plans as they’re only about 10% less expensive for 50% to 80% less coverage. That sentiment has become increasingly common in our research, and several other dealers have confirmed our suspicions that Gold- and Powertrain-equivalent extended warranties really only serve to make Platinum look like a better deal.
VW Drive Easy Protection Plan costs
Here are the lowest quotes we collected for VW Drive Easy Vehicle Service Protection Platinum plans after calling different dealerships. For context, the average extended auto warranty costs around $2,500.
|2019 Tiguan||Platinum||7 years or 100,000 miles||$2,800|
|2021 Golf GTI||Platinum||7 years or 100,000 miles||$3,200|
|2023 Jetta||Platinum||7 years or 100,000 miles||$3,000|
Quotes for our example Golf GTI and Jetta were slightly higher than expected for newer, fairly affordable vehicles but not drastically so. Extended warranties for our example 2019 Tiguan were cheaper, but this may be because most 2018 and 2019 VWs actually came with longer six-year/72,000-mile factory warranties.
Given that VW counts extended warranty terms from each vehicle’s in-service date (when it was purchased by its first owner), a longer factory warranty means you get less out of your VW extended warranty. So, if we bought a VW Drive Easy Protection Plan for that 2019 Tiguan, we’d essentially be paying $2,800 for just one year or 28,000 miles of additional coverage.
That’s not a great value, but let’s look into VW’s terms and conditions to see if there’s any contractual fine print that might change our minds.
Volkswagen extended warranty terms and conditions
We looked past VW’s brochure and into its 14-page sample contract to see what else you should know about Drive Easy Protection Plans. It’s important to read your own contract in its entirety before, but here are some key details we think you should know before buying:
- Routine maintenance: As with virtually all extended warranties, Volkswagen requires you to keep up with your VW’s recommended maintenance schedule and keep your receipts. If you cannot provide proof that you changed the oil, for example, the warranty administrator may deny any claims for engine-related issues.
- Preexisting conditions: Practically no warranty covers preexisting conditions, and VW’s plans are no exception. Any issue that you can’t reasonably prove wasn’t a preexisting condition won’t be covered, either. That’s why we strongly recommend that you get a dealer inspection report (usually about $200) in tandem with your warranty purchase so you and VW know what is (and isn’t) a new issue.
- Exclusions: Typical exclusions apply. That means VW won’t cover cosmetics, wear-and-tear items, maintenance, or damage from collisions or vandalism. It also won’t cover failures due to track use or towing beyond your vehicle’s rated capacity. Installing aftermarket parts won’t void your warranty, but if VW determines an aftermarket part caused a factory part to fail, the repair won’t be covered.
- Transferability: If you sell your VW, you can transfer the remaining warranty coverage to the new owner within 30 days by filing some paperwork and paying a $50 fee.
- Cancellations and refunds: You can cancel the warranty within 30 days for a full refund (provided you haven’t submitted a claim). If you have submitted a claim or it’s been 30 days or more, you can still get a prorated refund.
All things considered, these are bog-standard terms for an extended warranty. The only “gotcha” to consider — which isn’t exclusive to VW — is that you must keep up with regular maintenance, even when it seems excessive.
» MORE: Volkswagen maintenance: cost, plans and service schedule
Is a Volkswagen extended warranty worth it?
In general, an extended warranty is more likely to be worth the cost if:
- You drive a vehicle with below-average expected reliability.
- The cost of the extended warranty is less than the cost of anticipated repairs.
- A large, surprise repair bill ($3,000+) would be financially catastrophic.
- You don’t mind paying a few grand for some peace of mind.
We can’t predict where you stand on the last two points, so we’ll focus on the first two.
These days, Volkswagens aren’t exactly known for long-term reliability. J.D. Power ranked the brand 25th out of 33 automakers in its 2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, and Consumer Reports put VW 22nd out of 24 brands in 2022. That doesn’t necessarily translate to high costs, though.
According to RepairPal, VWs still only cost their owners $676 per year in maintenance and repairs. That’s more than the $652-per-year industry average — but not by much. So, is a Volkswagen extended warranty worth it?
Because a seven-year/100,000-mile Drive Easy Protection Plan really only extends your factory VW warranty by three years or 50,000 miles in most cases, you’re effectively paying $1,000 per year for bumper-to-bumper coverage in most cases. (As we mentioned earlier, you may pay closer to $3,000 for a year of coverage if your VW was made in 2018 or 2019.)
When the average cost of upkeep on a VW comes in at around $700 per year, it’s hard to argue that a VW extended warranty is worth the cost outside of cases where a major repair is likely.
If you can get a better deal or your VW is more prone to breaking down, the math may look different, though. That’s one reason it’s worth checking out your other options for warranty coverage.
Volkswagen extended warranty alternatives
To see if third-party warranty companies can offer a better deal, we got quotes from two established warranty providers for the same example vehicles we used to get quotes from VW. (Note that all quotes are for Platinum-equivalent warranties with $100 deductibles. Coverage terms may be advertised differently, but all plans provide equal amounts of coverage after the factory warranty period. Prices do not include tax.)
|2021 Golf GTI||$3,200||$2,726||$4,228|
This limited data set indicates that a third-party provider may offer you a better deal on an extended warranty for your VW — especially if your vehicle is a 2018 or 2019 with a little of the post-emissions bonus warranty period left. Endurance quoted us less than Volkswagen for each of our sample vehicles, with coverage for the 2019 Tiguan coming in at under a third of what VW charged.
However, it’s still incredibly important to shop around for the best price. You can see how olive, which quoted us roughly $1,000 more than Volkswagen for the Golf GTI and Jetta, still quoted us a price less than half of what VW offered for our Tiguan. These kinds of inconsistencies are hard to predict, but if you shop around with different warranty providers, you may catch one in your favor.
- Article 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. Specific sources for this article include:
- RepairPal, “Volkswagen Reliability Rating.” Accessed March 31, 2023.
- J.D. Power, “Vehicle Dependability Improves Despite Continued Problems with Technology, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed March 31, 2023.
- Consumer Reports, “Who Makes the Most Reliable New Cars?” Accessed March 31, 2023.
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