Volvo extended warranty: cost, coverage and plans

Good value for surprisingly lengthy coverage

Car repairs can be expensive, but an extended warranty can help lower costs. Get matched today.

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    Car repairs can be expensive, but an extended warranty can help lower costs. Get matched today.

      BMW and Endurance Auto Warranty
      auto mechanic checking shock absorber of vehicle

      Regardless of what you drive, you likely have Volvo to thank for our safety. The company invented the three-point seatbelt in 1959 and opened the patent so every automaker in the world could use it.

      Today, Volvo helps protect its customers’ wallets by offering some of the lengthiest extended auto warranties in the business, covering repair costs for up to 11 years and 150,000 miles. That’s likely tempting for Volvo owners, considering that Volvos tend to require two unplanned repairs per year, according to RepairPal.

      But are Volvo’s extended warranties worth it? Would it be cheaper to pay for repairs out of pocket? What about third-party options?

      We investigated Volvo’s extended warranties, and we’ll tell you what you need to know to decide if purchasing one makes sense for you.

      Key insights

      Volvo calls its proprietary extended warranties VIP Vehicle Service Contracts.

      Jump to insight

      Costs hover around $600 per year of coverage, which is a relatively good value.

      Jump to insight

      Price quotes for Volvos from other warranty companies ranged anywhere from 20% less to 400% more, so it’s worth shopping around for the best rate.

      Jump to insight

      Volvo extended warranty coverage

      Volvo’s official extended warranties are called Volvo Increased Protection (VIP) Vehicle Service Contracts. “Vehicle service contract” is just another name for an extended warranty, so they work like most other warranty plans, paying for repairs of covered components that break down due to factory defects.

      VIP Vehicle Service Contracts are available for most Volvo vehicles with under 100,000 miles. We were even able to get quotes for a 4-year/48,000-mile Platinum plan on a 2012 Volvo S60 with 99,000 miles on it. Naturally, it wasn’t cheap ($5,076), but it’s remarkable that Volvo offers extended warranty protection on cars that old.

      Terms range from 2 years/24,000 miles all the way to 11 years/150,000 miles. The timer on a VIP Vehicle Service Contract starts the day you purchase your plan, though. That means if you buy a vehicle service contract while your 4-year/50,000-mile factory warranty is still in effect, you’ll have redundant coverage until the factory warranty expires.

      » LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?

      Volvo extended warranty benefits

      All VIP Vehicle Service Contracts come with the following benefits in addition to repair coverage:

      • Alternate transportation coverage of up to $40 per day for up to 10 days per covered breakdown to help you cover transportation (taxis, Lyfts, rental cars, etc.) while your Volvo is in the shop
      • Towing coverage of up to $100 per covered mechanical breakdown
      • Travel coverage of up to $100 per day for up to five days to help cover meals and lodging if your Volvo has a covered breakdown over 100 miles from home
      • Fluids coverage, which pays to replace all necessary fluids, greases, lubricants, etc., needed in conjunction with a covered repair

      Overall, these are solid benefits for a manufacturer-sourced extended warranty. Sure, $40 per day may not cover a round-trip Lyft (let alone a rental car), but it’s still more than the $35 some automakers pay. Fluids coverage is also a nice touch since warranty holders are often surprised to receive a bill for the fluids used in covered repairs.

      » MORE: What to know about manufacturers’ extended warranties

      Volvo extended warranty plans

      VIP Vehicle Service Contracts come in three coverage tiers: Powertrain, Gold and Platinum. See the chart below for a breakdown of what each offers.

      The key difference between the Gold and Platinum plans is that the latter is “exclusionary coverage,” meaning its contract lists the parts that are not included rather than listing parts that are included.

      Exclusions for Platinum plans are mostly aesthetic items or “wear-and-tear” components made to wear out over time. Here’s the full list of Platinum exclusions:

      • Brake linings
      • Brake drums and rotors
      • Disc brake pads
      • Manual transmission clutch friction discs
      • Pressure plates
      • Pilot bearings
      • Throw-out bearings and arms
      • Air bags
      • Solar-powered devices
      • Glass
      • Lenses
      • Sealed beams
      • Body parts and/or panels
      • Weatherstripping
      • Trim
      • Moldings
      • Lock cylinders
      • Tires
      • Wheels
      • All batteries (except hybrid/EV/hydrogen high-voltage batteries)
      • Lightbulbs
      • Upholstery
      • Paint
      • Bright metal parts
      • Freeze plugs
      • Filters
      • Heater and radiator hoses
      • Exhaust systems
      • Catalytic converters
      • Shock absorbers
      • Front-end alignments or wheel balances (except when required in conjunction with a mechanical breakdown)
      • Safety restraint systems
      • Audio/security systems or other aftermarket systems
      • Vinyl and convertible tops

      Volvo extended warranty cost

      To see how Volvo stacks up against the average cost of an extended auto warranty, we got some quotes from Steingold Volvo Cars. Most of the quotes we received were well above the industry average for all makes and models, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a bad value.

      Volvo VIP Vehicle Service Contract costs

      Note that these quotes don’t include tax and were collected using a $100 deductible. (You can choose from a deductible of $0, $100, $250 or even $500 on select plans for high-mileage vehicles.)

      As you consider these numbers, keep in mind that your coverage starts on the day you purchase the warranty. That’s a bigger deal than it sounds because most automaker extended warranties start from the vehicle’s in-service date, which is the date the first owner bought the car.

      To illustrate, both BMW and Volvo offer the same factory warranty terms: four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, BMW’s extended warranties start from the in-service date, and Volvo’s start from the warranty purchase date.

      That means that if you purchase a 7-year/100,000-mile warranty for a BMW with 50,000 miles on it, you’re really only getting an additional three years or 50,000 miles of coverage.

      But if you purchase a 7-year/100,000-mile warranty for your Volvo, you’re truly getting an additional seven years and 100,000 miles of coverage starting then.

      So, even though both automakers would call their products a 7-year/100,000-mile extended warranty, Volvo’s actually lasts twice as long.

      With that critical distinction in place, we can see that VIP Vehicle Service Contracts really aren’t that expensive for what you’re getting (at least, in comparison to other warranties). At 40,000 miles, our hypothetical 2020 Volvo S60 is nearly out of factory warranty. Yet, extending its bumper-to-bumper coverage for another 6 years/72,000 miles costs just $3,521.

      $583 per year of warranty coverage isn’t bad either, especially when you consider that Volvos can have pricier-than-average repairs long-term.

      Before we ultimately decide whether a VIP Vehicle Service Contract is worth the cost, let’s look at the legalese of Volvo’s contracts to see if there’s anything that should give you pause.

      Volvo extended warranty terms and conditions

      We’ve summarized a few critical facets of Volvo’s Vehicle Service Contract terms and conditions below, but most of what we found was fairly standard.

      As with almost all extended auto warranties, you must stick to the recommended maintenance schedule in your owners manual to keep your warranty active. Just remember that Volvo may deny your claim if you can’t provide proof of these services, so keep receipts for your oil changes, alignments, tire rotations, etc., and get them done at the recommended intervals.
      Preexisting conditions
      Volvo won’t cover any breakdowns that occurred before your warranty activation date. Even if you have a covered breakdown during the warranty period, some automakers will reject claims on the basis that you can’t prove they happened while you were covered.

      That’s why we strongly recommend getting a vehicle inspection report from an authorized dealer (which costs about $200) in tandem with your warranty purchase so you can prove what was — and wasn’t — an issue beforehand.

      As listed earlier, Volvo won’t cover aesthetic or wear-and-tear items, like brakes and clutches. Nor will it cover failures due to unauthorized aftermarket parts or repairs.

      Practically no warranty, factory or extended, will ever cover repairs needed due to damage, theft, vandalism, neglect, abuse, misuse or missed maintenance intervals. Warranties are only designed to cover parts failing on their own with no discernible cause except poor manufacturer design, build quality or installation.

      If you sell your Volvo, you can transfer your remaining VIP Vehicle Service Contract coverage to the new owner by submitting a form and paying a $40 transfer fee within 30 days of the title transfer.
      Cancellations and refunds
      Provided you haven’t yet submitted a claim, you can cancel your VIP Vehicle Service Contract within 30 days for a full refund, within 60 days for a refund minus a $50 admin fee and after 60 days for a prorated refund based on the remaining term, minus any claims paid.

      Fidelity Warranty Services, the company underwriting VIP Vehicle Service Contracts, also retains the right to cancel the contract. We spoke to a Volvo warranty specialist who said he’d never seen the company outright cancel a warranty, but he suspects they may do so if a customer continually submits claims for preexisting conditions.

      All things considered, there aren’t any unusual “gotchas” hidden in the terms and conditions of a VIP Vehicle Service Contract. Just be sure to:

      1. Get a vehicle inspection from an authorized Volvo dealer when you buy your warranty.
      2. Stick to your maintenance schedule and keep your receipts.
      3. Know what parts are and aren’t covered by your warranty.

      Is a Volvo extended warranty worth it?

      As a general rule, purchasing an extended auto warranty is more likely to be a good choice if any of the following are true:

      • You drive a historically less reliable vehicle.
      • You know you won’t be able to afford a surprise repair bill.
      • The cost of the warranty is less than you expect to spend on repairs.
      • You don’t mind paying for additional peace of mind, even if you never submit a claim.

      What that means for Volvo owners is hard to say. VIP Vehicle Service Contracts aren’t cheap, but we’ve seen consumer reviews that indicate extended warranty coverage could be a good idea.

      “I messed up for paying for a preowned Volvo just out of warranty,” wrote Danita, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Oklahoma. “I messed up by trusting Volvo would be a car that would make it past 50,000 or 80,000 or 100,000 miles without multiple expensive major car issues.”

      In terms of reliability, J.D. Power ranked Volvo 24th out of 29 carmakers for initial dependability in 2024, with 245 problems per 100 vehicles after three years. Consumer Reports, which draws from a wider range of model years, put Volvo 25th out of 30 in its 2023 ranking, a drop of nine spots from its 2022 ranking of 14th out of 24.

      According to RepairPal data from 2019, Volvos cost an average of $769 per year in maintenance and repairs, which when adjusted for inflation, is about $1,070 per year — higher than the industry average of $907 per year. RepairPal also claims that Volvos enter the shop for unplanned repairs 0.5 times a year (compared with the industry average of 0.4 times), but those repairs only cost $2,000 or more 9% of the time, compared with an industry average of 12%.

      (If you have significant savings, getting stuck with a massive repair bill might not be a huge worry, but if you don’t, it could be ruinous. A ConsumerAffairs investigation found that most drivers surveyed couldn’t afford to pay cash for a $1,000 repair bill, and 13% of respondents simply had no way to handle a bill that large — even with credit.)

      According to automotive expert Brian Medford, Volvo’s higher on-average industry repair costs actually have to do with its safety systems. “Volvo has always had a solid reputation for safety, but for a modern Volvo, that reputation comes with a price. The sheer complexity of the safety systems combined with other onboard electrical systems (like the infotainment unit) make for expensive diagnostic time when things go wrong,” he explains. That’s why, he said, “extended warranty coverage is like a safety system for your wallet.”

      If you do buy a Volvo extended warranty, Platinum coverage is likely a better value than Gold since it covers hundreds more components for just 25% or so more.

      Do all those numbers justify the cost of an extended warranty, though? It’s hard to say, and even if we gave a firm answer, it wouldn’t be true for every Volvo owner.

      For example, the cost and frequency of Volvo repairs are about 10% to 20% higher than average. That isn’t bad for a European luxury brand, and many people may be happy to pay that much extra for a car they enjoy. However, that 10% to 20% can be a significant expense for other people.

      Your future plans also have an impact on whether an extended warranty is right for you. If your factory Volvo warranty is about to expire and you plan on owning your Volvo for at least another six years or 72,000 miles, protecting yourself against repair bills is a much smarter purchase than if your Volvo is brand new.

      Before you bite the bullet on a VIP Vehicle Service Contract, let’s look at some of your other options, though.

      » MORE: Pros and cons of extended auto warranties

      Volvo extended warranty alternatives

      Extended auto warranties are available from both manufacturers and dedicated warranty companies, so you have options other than what Volvo offers. We collected quotes for Platinum-equivalent coverage from third-party warranty companies to see whether they could offer a better value than VIP Vehicle Service Contracts.

      (Like before, we got these quotes with a $100 deductible, and taxes aren’t included.)

      Overall, the results were incredibly mixed. Both new quotes for our sample XC40 were much higher than what Volvo offered, and olive’s3.9 rates were consistently higher than the other quotes we received for our sample vehicles. Endurance4.5, however, provided surprisingly low quotes for the XC60 and XC90, coming in under what Volvo had quoted us.

      This all goes to show that when you’re purchasing an extended auto warranty, it pays to shop around. Whether an extended warranty is worth it for your Volvo varies widely based on your individual circumstances; it’s up to you to get multiple quotes, read reviews and do your research if you want to make a smart purchase.

      » MORE: Where can you use an extended auto warranty?

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      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:
      1. RepairPal, “Volvo Reliability Rating.” Accessed March 9, 2023.
      2. J.D. Power, “Vehicle Dependability Slumps as Rate of Deterioration Increases, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed May 21, 2024.
      3. Consumer Reports, “Who Makes the Most Reliable New Cars?” Accessed May 21, 2024.
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