Warranties are essential for a variety of different reasons. They protect our assets when they become defective and can save us a lot of money in the long run. Vehicles are among the bigger purchases you will make in your lifetime, and for this reason, you want to be sure you are giving it the coverage that it needs.
Auto warranties can come in the form of protection straight from the manufacturer of your car or a service protection plan, which is often referred to as an extended warranty which comes from a reliable third party.
In this review, we’ll give you the break down on the top 5 recommendations for auto warranties, so you can find the best extended car warranty for your needs!
Number of Plans
Infinite Auto Protection
So, you purchased a new car from a dealership, and you notice it comes with an auto warranty that will cover replacement parts and repairs—for a limited period. This protection may come directly from the auto manufacturer or from a trusted third party.
The best extended warranty products go above and beyond this limited time frame. It’s a service protection plan that extends the protection on your car for additional years or miles.
This vehicle service contract includes the original warranty from the manufacturer as well as an extended protection plan.
It’s important to note that an extended car warranty is also called a few other names among them being:
Whatever providers call them, just know it’s a prolonged warranty that’s offered to vehicle owners in addition to the original or standard one.
Now that we have covered the basics of an extended car warranty, let’s jump into the reviews for the top extended warranty companies in 2018.
With the many warranty options available, it can be difficult to pick the right one.
You want a provider that’s trustworthy, reliable, and experienced.
Our top pick for the best extended car warranty is Endurance, which offers vehicle owners four levels of coverage, contracts, and average vehicle restrictions. This is a popular option among individuals as this company administers their contracts directly.
When it comes down to extended warranties, this company does not use a third party to administer the contract. Endurance is among the few providers to administer their own contracts. This means that if you ever run into a problem, need a repair done, or require roadside assistance, you deal directly with Endurance and not some unfamiliar company.
A direct provider is often deemed more trustworthy, making the more expensive plans worth the cost. Their quoting process is remarkable, and this company can quote vehicles via email within only a few minutes. They will normally follow up with a phone call from a sales representative in case you need any additional information to make your decision.
This company offers four coverages:
• The Supreme
• The Secure
• The Select Premier
• The Superior
Each one offers something distinct to individuals. For example, The Secure plan is the most affordable while The Supreme is the most comprehensive. A downfall includes that depending on the plan, the extended warranty cost can be more expensive than those of other services.
It’s also important to know that Endurance is not available to the residents of Washington or California due to local regulations. However, if you move to any of these states after you purchased a warranty in a state that they service, the warranty will still be valid and intact when you move outside its serviced areas.
Endurance contracts aren’t overly long, but the text is very small, and the formatting can be difficult to follow. All this is to say that you do want to read the small print. Their reimbursement policies give a maximum daily reimbursement of $30/day for a rental car for a total of five days.
Endurance contracts are not as readable as most, and their auto warranty costs are not the most affordable either. However, their quoting process is fast, and there is no pressure to purchase their product. It’s an overall great option, and if you are unhappy with the service received, Endurance offers a 30-day refund period during which you can cancel the contract and get a full refund on the paid amount.
I bought another car, I looked into warranty providers and Endurance provided more timeline than the rest of the warranty people did.
William of Ft. Lauderdale, FL
This company is a great option if you’re looking for affordable pricing with lengthy coverage. As one of the most recognizable names for reputable extended car warranty companies, they are a large name in the industry. Part of this is because they offer 18 plans of coverage! Simply put, you can most certainly find something that works for your vehicle.
The quoting process is not very fast compared to companies like Endurance. However, CARCHEX is still good overall. They take a bit longer to get back to you, but their auto warranty costs are very affordable.
This company is among the most affordable on the market with an average cost of about $0.02 per mile. One thing that we noticed is that they call you often after sending the quote. While a follow-up call is expected, CARCHEX called a bit more than needed.
You’ll find that CARCHEX has 5 levels of coverage with 18 available contracts. They have policy plans that offer coverage for most vehicles with less than 250,000 miles. They are one of the best extended car warranty brokers currently on the market.
One of the biggest disadvantages of CARCHEX is their long and difficult to read contracts. They have 18 contracts, and all these vary in length. The readability of these contracts could be improved. Reading through a vehicle contract before signing is very important, and CARCHEX makes this process more time consuming than it should be.
My alternator went out on my 2011 Nissan Maxima. Carchex set up a claim within minutes and it was covered under warranty. They saved me a lot of money!
Jackie Williams, Charlotte, NC
We were blown away after reviewing Autopom as an extended car warranty provider. They have affordable pricing with plans that fit most vehicles – even high mileage ones. A downfall is their down payment. It is a bit higher than other services. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from seeking their services.
The prices quoted were among the most affordable on the market. A sales representative will want to speak with you before providing a quote, which they will email to you. Their staff is not pushy and are there to respond to questions you may have regarding their services.
Autopom has a total of 21 vehicle contracts with 4 coverage options that fit almost any vehicle. Their plans are not available in all states. However, they are still a top seller of contracts on the market. Even if you have an old or used car, they have a 225,000 mileage restriction and an age limit of 20 years., which is great if you are seeking the best used car warranty.
We were impressed by the readability of Autopom’s contracts. They are an average length and do not overwhelm readers with too much information. They are easy to follow with good formatting. Reimbursement policies are mostly average with some slightly under the average. A great option, this company will give you peace of mind.
Autopom are extremely responsive and go above the call of duty to resolve issues with the service contract providers.
The restrictions with this company are very few, and they have 31 vehicle service contracts available. Most of these are great fits for the majority of cars regardless of age and mileage. As you’ll see with this review, while there are great parts to this coverage, there are also some elements that we found a bit frustrating.
Our first impression of this company was the quote process, and we were not impressed. It takes an extremely long time to get a response on a quote (up to a week and a half). If you arrange a time for them to call you, they’ll be able to get one to you as opposed to email.
Their customer service is fairly poor as they fail to get back to individuals in a timely manner. The quoting process is definitely CarShield’s biggest weakness.
You are very likely to find a plan to protect your vehicle with this company. They have many coverage options with very few restrictions. Even if you’re vehicle has a lot of miles, your chances of finding a plan are much higher than other companies. Their average cost per mile is average ($0.04), and with their 31 vehicle service plans, they give consumers some great options when looking for a contract that fits both budget and coverage needs.
Their contracts really impressed us. They are easy to read with an average length of about 14 pages. While this may seem a bit extensive, their font size is not tiny like other companies, making CarShield’s contracts more accessible. They are also the only company to provide plans to motorcyclists, and they also have translated contracts in Spanish.
Car Shield was very helpful, I greatly appreciate their professionalism and empathy to my financial hardship. Thank you!
Brittany M., Long Island, NY
#5 Infinite Auto Protection
A Michigan-based company, Infinite Auto Protection focuses on extended car warranties to give your vehicle protection when the manufacturer’s warranty expires. They have a solid reputation with a customer care personnel that can be reached by e-mail, fax, or phone.
The quoting process for this company is very simple. You can submit a quote online and get a timely response with available auto warranty plans for your vehicle. They are very upfront with their pricing and offer affordable plans.
This company has a wide selection of coverage contracts from third parties, which may cover anything from engine, electrical systems, steering, to transmission repairs. They guarantee 100% payment of covered repairs less any deductible to the licensed repair facility of your choice.
Infinite Auto Protection has a 30-day money back guarantee in case you’re not satisfied with their services. They also include 24/7 roadside assistance in case of a breakdown, rental car options, and courtesy towing no matter the vehicle warranty plan that you choose.
Contracts are easy to read and an average length. Be sure to read thoroughly and don’t forget to ask the representative about repair fees or hidden costs to avoid paying more than expected. To verify what the representative is saying is true, go through the paperwork. This is a good way to know exactly what you’re paying for.
Up front pricing and affordable plans. Their sales person was very professional, polite and knowledgeable.
Alex Arancio, Houston, TX
Our Review Process for the Best Extended Warranty for Cars
We used a system to evaluate each one of these providers. We took into consideration the quoting process, coverage options, and contract to see how they differed as warranty companies.
As you shop for the best car warranty companies, it may help you to understand our review process. We aimed for an unbiased review based on these 3 parts.
This process differs depending on the history of your vehicle. For example, plans for a minivan with 60,000 miles will differ significantly than plans for a sedan with 150,000 miles. Every extended warranty is customized depending on the make, model, year, mileage of your vehicle. Quoting processes should be quick, easy, and of course, free!
Not all warranty providers will approve your car for coverage especially if it is an older model with a lot of miles. However, some companies will offer service contracts that cover vehicles with higher mileage. Don’t be discouraged if you have an old car; you can still take advantage of a vehicle protection plan.
We have found that the contracts offered by warranty companies differ greatly. Some are short with no more than 600 words per page while others are very excessive with an average of 1,200 words per page. It was found that contracts with clarity that were easy to follow were the best ones as opposed to those with a lack of formatting that made them difficult to follow.
Whenever a contract is placed in front of you, it’s important to read it thoroughly from top to bottom. They will tell you what they cover or don’t cover as well as what you are responsible for. Before you sign, you need to understand what you’re agreeing to.
Here are a few things to carefully consider when reviewing service agreements:
• Will you be using your vehicle for commercial purposes? Some contracts will not approve repairs if you’re using your car for taxi services such as Uber or Lyft.
• Sometimes a part will break due to heat, salt, moisture, or other elements they’re exposed to. These are sometimes included in the exclusionary section within a contract. Be sure to check for coverage of mechanical breakdowns caused by common elements.
• There are minor components like nuts, fasteners, or bolts that can cause components in your auto to wear out faster than usual or breakdown. Repairs can be denied if the cause of failure is due to a bad bolt, nut, or fastener.
• Failure to observe early warning signs can result in denied repairs. There is a significant loophole in this clause because it can be argued that every mechanical failure is a result of some early warning signs. When reviewing your contract agreement, look for this clause.
How Does Vehicle Warranty Coverage Work?
Like mentioned before, you and your vehicle will benefit greatly with a service agreement. Most companies will have the added features in their contracts that standard warranties may not include:
• Wheel and tire coverage – this is not always included in the original warranty.
• Rental car reimbursement
• Travel-related costs
• Towing services
• Reimbursement on hotels, meals, etc., if you break down outside of town
There may be a deductible you’re required to meet or a balance that you will need to pay up from for repairs. Always be certain that you’ve read through every detail within the contract before signing. Keep in mind fees and reimbursements when reviewing and ask any questions you may have before you sign.
The Different Warranty Types
When buying your first car, you may hear the terms warranties, coverage, or protection being thrown around. If you are unfamiliar with what these mean, understand that there are different warranty types, and they each affect you and your car in distinct ways. You want to look out for the following terms:
In the next section, we’ll be walking you through these different types of warranties so that you can compare contracts and come to a decision that works for you.
The purchase of a new vehicle is exciting and often comes with a range of protections for a limited number of years/miles. Here are some benefits you’ll receive with a new car warranty:
■ Bumper to Bumper – this covers all the parts of your car that are non-mechanical like your wiper blades, tires, light bulbs, and so on.
■ Drivetrain – if your car breaks down due to the mechanics that cause it to run, you’ll be covered with a new vehicle warranty.
■ Rust/Corrosion – If for any reason the exterior of your vehicle deteriorates, it will be protected with this warranty
■ Roadside Assistance – It’s frustrating and stressful when your car breaks down on the side of the road, but when it’s under warranty, you will get help. Your vehicle will get picked up by a towing service. Some warranties also include a rental car.
With this type of auto warranty, you’ll have major parts and labor covered if your car experiences a mechanical breakdown. Extended warranties are usually not all-inclusive and will only cover specific areas. They are included in the price of your vehicle purchase as opposed to service contracts, which are an additional cost.
To keep things simple, an extended warranty is a vehicle service contract, which we’ll get to next. However, you’ll find that both products have some differences like warranties included in purchase price while service contracts need to be bought additionally.
Very similar to an extended car warranty but there are some basic differences between these two products. They will both protect your car in the case of a mechanical breakdown. However, where the extended auto warranty runs out, a vehicle service contract will kick in. This means that your vehicle will always be protected.
Consequently, a service contract is designed to protect your vehicle against unexpected and expensive repairs. Again, similar to an extended warranty, service contracts vary from coverage of basic parts to all-inclusive. They can be put on a vehicle anytime and more than one time.
Vehicles that qualify as certified pre-owned (CPO) means that the car is covered by the original manufacturer warranty because of age or mileage. These vehicles have met strict physical and mechanical checkpoints, and the manufacturer has decided to extend its protection for an additional amount of time or miles.
Ways to Protect Your Warranty Coverage
There are some reliable ways you can ensure you’re investing in an auto warranty insurance that works for you. That way when you’re wondering “Is extended warranty worth it?” or “How much is extended warranty?”, you can know that you’ve done all you can to get the most value from your coverage.
One thing you want to be sure to do is read through your warranty description from top to bottom. It’s easy to miss something, so be sure you’re reading it thoroughly and understand what is and isn’t covered.
Another way to protect your vehicle warranty coverage is to service your car on a regular basis and keep good records of this. Understand when it starts and when it ends. If for any reason you’re denied coverage, speak with the manufacturer about this. If you feel like you are being taken advantage of, as a last resort, reach out to the State Attorney General.
So Should You Give It a Shot?
So, are extended car warranties worth it? Absolutely! Unexpected repairs can really affect your budget and cause your stress levels to rise. Therefore, extended warranties are important for car owners. An extended service contract will give you peace of mind in the case of a costly repair. The companies mentioned above offer the best extended car warranty services and are worth the investment.
We hope this guide has given you a further understanding of extended warranties and what they cover (or do not cover). Any of our reviewed warranty companies are amazing choices for the protection of your vehicle. We hope you can now make an informed decision when it comes down to warranties to have your auto around for many years to come!
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