A Look at DriveTime’s Warranty Policies
A DriveTime Warranty is simple and hassle-free, making it a great option for select car owners.
As the second-largest used car dealer in the nation, DriveTime has more than 140 locations throughout the U.S. Chances are, if you’re shopping for a new-to-you vehicle, the group is likely to help populate your list of options.
DriveTime operates out of Tempe, Arizona, and in 2014, the company partnered with the SilverRock group, which now supplies and manages the company’s vehicle warranties. For all intents and purposes, we will be highlighting the product SilverRock offers to DriveTime customers to help you decide if it’s worthy of your investment. Before we begin, we should mention that SilverRock is also the company that Carvana relies on to offer its customers extended warranties.
When you purchase a vehicle from DriveTime, a 30-day 1,500-mile warranty is standard. After that, you have the option to extend your coverage with the DriveCare program with a five-year 50,000-mile warranty/three-year 36,000-mile warranty in the states of Florida, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Before we talk about what is covered under a DriveTime warranty, let’s talk about what is not: the plan does not cover cosmetic damage, routine maintenance, and damage caused by vehicle neglect. Also, this is not a bumper to bumper policy. Instead, it covers a specific list of parts that they will provide you with.
- Powertrain Coverage: Three-year/36,000-mile coverage of AC and heating, steering, and cooling components. Five-year/50,000-mile protection of the engine, axle, and transmission components.
- GAP Protection: Optional coverage offers help to pay off your loan when your vehicle is totaled, stolen, or vandalized.
- Goldstar Connect GPS Theft Protection: Optional service provided to track your car via GPS in case it is stolen. The plan is for a three-year subscription, giving you access to the app that allows you to track your car with a smartphone.
- Automatic 30-day coverage with option to extend
- Low deductibles
- Affordable monthly payments
- Covers major powertrain components
- Limited coverage
- No roadside assistance
DriveTime warranties are geared toward keeping things simple. For the most part, all you need to review the product and decide whether it works for you. That said, the coverage it provides is primarily geared toward powertrain protection. Cosmetic components and wear items are simply off the table.
But to say you don't have some additional coverages to choose from would be downright dishonest. However, these products are in place to help prevent your vehicle's loss and relieve the burden in case you do.
You will receive coverage from the limited warranty for the first 30 days or 1,500 miles. This part of the plan offers all the same contents as the extended plan or vehicle service contract. The primary difference is that your deductible is $0 at in-network facilities and $100 at non-network facilities.
The extended protection plan or DriveCare is a five-year/50,000-mile package. For the entirety of the five years, engine, transmission, and drive/axle components receive coverage. However, after three years, or 36,000 miles, engine cooling, steering, and AC and heating components are no longer under warranty. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with what parts are covered to eliminate any confusion.
Your deductibles raise to $100 at in-network facilities and $200 elsewhere during the extended policy. It’s important to remember that this policy does not cover wear items, but maintaining your vehicle is essential. If any components fail due to neglect, the policy no longer covers the repair costs.
You have the option to add two additional coverages to your policy. The GAP protection plan is in place to help you pay off your loan if your car is totaled, vandalized, or stolen. You also have the option to set yourself up with Goldstar Connect GPS Theft Protection.
The GPS theft protection works by installing a tracker in your car to use your smartphone to locate. Under the warranty policy, the subscription lasts for three years. After that point, it is your choice to continue it separately.
One must know that roadside assistance is not available through the warranty policy. In place of it, you will receive towing service reimbursement of up to $75. Furthermore, refunds are also an option through the policy. The catch is that the services must be on account of a covered issue. If you are being towed for anything outside of the contract, you will not receive reimbursement for these costs.
What We Like
Right out of the gate, the concept is something we think is appealing to many vehicle owners. Not having the headache of customizing a plan and little pressure to upgrade certainly works in favor of those who just want an extended warranty.
On that note, we also like that the warranty policy is easy to understand. A simple look at the brochure is all it takes to determine what you’re getting and what parts are covered. Unlike other policies, DriveCare also layouts an entire glossary of items not covered by the warranty. While that might seem to be a fault, it does help eliminate any confusion when they refuse to pay to repair an item that isn’t covered by the policy.
Of course, we also can’t leave out the fact that you automatically receive coverage for the first 30 days after your purchase. Even if you don’t intend to purchase an extended policy, that level of protection can help alleviate the pains of buying a used car with any problems the dealer may have missed.
What We Don’t Like
The warranty's simplicity approach falls flat when things start breaking—especially considering that the list of parts not under warranty is far longer than the list of features. Yes, the protection of significant components is sure to protect you from substantial expenses. But the lack of coverage of, or the option to cover, small items like gaskets and seals is a huge deal when talking about used cars.
The lack of roadside assistance is also tough to look past. While the company offers a $75 reimbursement for service calls relating to a tow, other providers offer the service with any membership, regardless of why a person is left stranded on the road.
Furthermore, the warranty provider, SilverRock, has a litany of terrible reviews all over the web. According to the Better Business Bureau, the company has an average rating of 1.22 stars out of five. Even if there are things to like about the company, this is hard to look past.
Common Repair Costs
If DriveCare covers the repair cost, all you are responsible for is the deductible. Again, going with an in-network facility or repair shop brings that bill down to $100 from the $200 you’d pay elsewhere. Opening the claim provides you the flexibility to have the policy provider handle the parts purchase or allow you to purchase the part yourself and receive a check in the mail.
But to get to what repairs are most commonly covered, it’s tough to tell. Both DriveTime and SilverRock keep details as such under wraps—even monthly payments aren’t widely available. Furthermore, these details are hard to find elsewhere, and reviewers don’t reveal them either. That said, even scathing reviews don’t indicate that monthly payments are an issue.
Again, the excellent thing about DriveTime’s DriveCare policy is pretty straightforward and easy to follow. That does not mean there aren’t going to be questions, though. Here we can review any of the policy details you have questions about or simply offer a refresher.
Q. What does DriveTime’s extended auto warranty cover?
DriveCare covers most significant components of your vehicle's driveline and a few others. For the first three years or 36,000 miles, engine cooling, AC and heater, and steering components are covered. Other items, such as the engine, transmission, and drive/axle components, are covered for five years or 50,000 miles.
Q. What does a DriveTime warranty cover?
The initial 30-day warranty through DriveTime offers similar coverage to the extended policy. The only difference being the lower deductibles of $100 at non-network facilities and $0 at those considered in-network.
Q. How much does a DriveTime warranty cost?
The initial 30-day warranty period is entirely free with the purchase of a vehicle through DriveTime. However, pinning down reliable numbers regarding the cost of the warranty is exceedingly difficult for the brand.
Is a DriveTime Warranty Worth It?
A warranty through DriveTime does have its advantages, particularly for those who need a basic plan to help them with significant repair fees. The fact that the deductibles are so low and the brand offers coverage through non-network facilities gives the car-owner plenty of room to breathe. And while they do offer two additional coverage options, you do not have to read through pages of policy details to figure out precisely what your plan covers.
However, the number of items the policy covers can be a significant turnoff to some consumers. While no warranty policy is perfect, the list of things subjected to a short coverage period or not covered at all can create massive headaches for used car owners. In short, if you’re after a comprehensive warranty, this isn’t it. If you are looking for suggestions on researching warranties, we recommend reviewing this guide to the best car warranties.
Here are a few more resources you can use: