How to Find the Best Extended Warranty for Your Car

When shopping for the best extended warranty on the market, you need to know what to look for in your research and how to get the lowest price.

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As a car owner, your vehicle will eventually need repairs. Even if you follow the recommended maintenance schedule from your manufacturer, car parts wear out over time. Older cars with high mileage increase your risk of mechanical breakdowns. The last thing you want is to be on the hook for an expensive repair that’s not covered by insurance.

An extended warranty, or vehicle service contract, can help cover costs in the event that your car repairs aren’t covered by insurance or a manufacturer’s warranty. Over the life of your vehicle, your service contract could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs. However, not all warranties are created equal. Knowing how to find the best extended warranty can help you avoid scams and get the most out of your vehicle coverage.

Through this guide, you’ll learn more about what protection plans are available and how to tell a provider is reliable. We’ll look at some of the top extended warranty companies and their benefits. Still have questions? Get answers and a free quote when you call the experts at CARCHEX. For a quote that’s customized to your vehicle and driving habits, call (877) 225-7247 or fill out the online form.

Best Extended Warranty Companies

Extended warranties can be beneficial, especially if you choose your service provider carefully. They offer peace of mind knowing that you can take your car into the shop and not have to foot an expensive repair bill. Instead, the cost is offset, and you stick to your regular monthly or annual payment, as determined by your contract.

Check out some of the best extended warranty providers below:

  • CARCHEX: Well-known for affordability and transparency, CARCHEX offers a wide range of contracts for vehicles with almost any mileage.
  • Endurance: This company is consistently top-rated for customer satisfaction and customer service.
  • Concord Auto Protect: Their technicians are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
  • Protect My Car: Maintenance perks like free tire rotations are included with some policies.
  • AA Auto Protection: This provider offers plenty of plans across several coverage levels, so you can find one that fits your needs.

What Should I Look for in an Extended Warranty Provider?

The best extended warranty companies promote customer trust with exceptional customer service. Unlike less reputable companies, top-rated service providers know that the key to success is through customer satisfaction. Respected auto warranty companies aren’t going to bombard you with robocalls or sell you their services through misrepresentation.

When you’re searching for a vehicle service contract for your car, remember to do your research. Unfortunately, there are many warranty companies that don’t put customer needs first. Make sure any extended warranty company you consider offers these benefits:

1. Experience and Length in Business 

Extended car warranty companies that have been in business a long time are going to understand how to get repairs done quickly and professionally. Look for a provider that clearly states when the company was founded and how long they’ve been providing warranties. Most of the time, less reputable companies will have been in service for only a short while.

2. Customer Service 

A reputable company will proudly display contact information so you can ask questions, get a quote, or make a claim. While researching different warranty options, be sure you can contact the company easily. Get a quote and ask questions about the services offered. One way to tell a reliable company from a scam or untrustworthy company is automation on phone lines. If you are continuously redirected to a robot recording about services and cannot get in contact with a real person, it’s probably best to stay away.

3. Transparency

Your auto warranty should be upfront about what it does and doesn’t offer. You don’t want to sign a warranty contract only to later find out the service you need isn’t covered, even though it was implied. Any reputable company should be able to tell you exclusions for each plan. Look at company websites for sample service contracts. These documents are a replica of the one you would sign if you choose a protection plan from that particular company. They will state what repairs are excluded, what voids the warranty contract, and any other important information. Ask company representatives questions about coverage, exclusions, and cost.

4. Competitive Pricing 

The best car warranty companies aren’t necessarily the cheapest. That doesn’t mean, however, that the most expensive option is the best extended warranty. Try to find companies that not only offer competitive or affordable pricing but give you payment options and refundable contracts. Untrustworthy warranty companies usually make you pay for a full year of service up front and may not offer an easy way to cancel your contract. If you do manage to cancel, you’ll have to jump through hoops trying to get your money back. A trustworthy warranty company gives you flexible payment options, such as monthly or 6-month installments. It should also make canceling your protection plan hassle-free and offer you a prorated refund.

5. Coverage Options

The best warranty companies are going to provide a variety of coverage options to meet your protection needs and budget. Some of the top companies offer over 15 different plans. Top companies that offer fewer protection plans make sure all of their coverage options are worthwhile and cover major car components. Avoid companies that cover the engine but not the moving parts within the engine.

6. Consumer and Industry Endorsements

Take the time to go through customer reviews on sites like Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot, or other third-party customer review platforms. Look for recurring positive themes such as great customer service or an easy claims process. 

Likewise, you’ll want to find a company that is well-respected in the auto and service industries. Check out if any auto industry professionals endorse the company or if respected brands have given a stamp of approval.

Why Do People Buy Extended Warranties?

With vehicle service contracts making up approximately 37 percent of the extended warranty industry of the service contract industry, many customers have found that car warranties can provide many different benefits.

  • Avoid car repair hassles: If you don’t like dealing with repair shops for fear the mechanic will try to add extra, unnecessary services to your bill, an extended warranty can be a good choice. Instead of haggling with the mechanic, your warranty company will approve only the repairs that need to be made. Many of the best extended warranty companies pay your repair shop directly, so you don’t have to worry about getting reimbursed.
  • Extra benefits and perks: One of the biggest advantages of an extended warranty is the extra benefits included with your service contract. Many warranty companies provide roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement when your car is in the shop.
  • Protection as vehicle ages: Research shows that you’re likely going to keep your car for more than five years. Auto service contracts are priced based on vehicle age and mileage, so the sooner you purchase an extended warranty, the less you’ll pay in premiums. You’ll also know that your car is protected as it heads towards higher mileage and becomes more likely to need a repair.
  • More coverage than manufacturer’s warranty: Manufacturer’s warranties provide protection for brand new cars. However, most manufacturer warranties only cover parts that are defective or faulty. Vehicle service contracts cover repairs that come from the natural wear of your vehicle’s components.
  • Peace of mind: The most common reason to purchase a service contract is the peace of mind. You can rest assured knowing that your car repairs are covered and you won’t get slammed with a costly repair bill.

Choosing Between a Third-Party Warranty and Dealership Extended Warranty

Dealerships offer vehicle protection plans branded by car manufacturers. These are not extensions of the new car manufacturer warranty, but rather service contracts like third-party extended warranties.

There are two major differences between an extended warranty from a dealership and a third-party extended warranty. The first is the ability to choose your repair shop. Any quality third-party warranty company allows you to pick where you want to have your car repaired. A dealer usually requires that repairs be made at the dealership’s service center, which may not live up to the customer service standards you want.

The second difference is the timeline for purchasing an extended warranty. Most dealers require that you purchase an extended warranty at the time of purchasing your new car. Many repairs covered by your dealership extended warranty are already covered by your manufacturer’s warranty. This makes the added service contract useless. You can add a protection plan to your vehicle at almost any time with a third-party company.

A Deeper Look Into Top Warranty Company CARCHEX

If you decide that an extended warranty is a good option for your car, you want to know you’re getting service from a reputable company. CARCHEX provides protection for your car at an affordable cost. Coupled with excellent customer service ratings, CARCHEX is a trusted, reliable warranty company.

  • Affordable: Flexible monthly payment options and multiple levels of protection make CARCHEX one of the most affordable options for extended car warranties. It also offers a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee if you’re not happy with your protection plan.
  • Repair flexibility: With CARCHEX, you get to choose your repair shop. You’re not limited to a list of approved mechanics or dealerships. If you move to a new location, you’ll still be able to get your car repaired.
  • Hassle-free repair payments: Your repair payments will be made directly to the auto shop. This means you don’t have to deal with the hassle of footing the bill up front and waiting for reimbursement.
  • Endorsed by top industry leaders: CARCHEX has been endorsed by Goss’ Garage, CARFAX, Sirius XM, Kelley Blue Book, and more.
  • Multiple plan options: CARCHEX offers a range of protection plans for your car. Whether you need coverage for a used car or basic mechanical protection for an older vehicle, there’s likely a contract for you.

Overview of CARCHEX Plans

As one of the best extended warranty companies in the industry, CARCHEX offers vehicle protection plans to fit your needs. There plans include:

  • Titanium Coverage: A bumper-to-bumper protection plan, Titanium offers the highest level of coverage for your car.
  • Platinum Coverage: Protect the standard components of your vehicle for up to seven to 10 years.
  • Gold Coverage: Flexible terms and up to seven to 10 years of coverage make the Gold Coverage level a great option if your car has 60,000 miles or more.
  • Silver Coverage: This protection plan covers repairs for the major components of your vehicle and can be ideal if you have a car with higher mileage.
  • Bronze Coverage: Available up to six years, this service contract covers the costliest repairs for cars.

Is an Extended Warranty Worth It?

Extended warranties can save you money and time on expensive car repairs. To get the best extended warranty experience, you need to choose a top-rated, trustworthy auto warranty company. CARCHEX gives you the transparency and coverage options you need to make a vehicle service contract worthwhile.

To get a free quote that customized to your vehicle, driving habits, and budget, call (877) 225-7247 and talk to a CARCHEX representative or fill out the online form.