Compare Car Warranties

From coverage and service contract to cost and reviews, we research everything you need to compare car warranties and make a decision. Learn how our editors compare the different factors of car warranties below.
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How we Compare Car Warranties

Coverage - 25%
Service Contract - 20%
Claim Process - 15%
Customer Service - 20%
Cost - 10%
Reviews - 10%

Coverage

The coverage plans that are offered will vary from company to company, but by and large there are three main types of plans that companies offer. The first, and most basic plan, is commonly referred to as a powertrain warranty. The term powertrain refers to the main components that generate power in a car, which includes the engine, transmission, drive shafts, etc. With a powertrain plan, should any of these critical parts fail, the cost for repair will be covered under the warranty terms. However, this includes less than 30 parts, and these are the parts that are least likely to fail.  The average vehicle contains thousands of parts, so the powertrain warranty is by far the least comprehensive plan offered.

Then there’s the inclusionary warranty, or named parts warranty. Under this plan, all of the covered parts are listed in the terms of the contract. If a part that is not listed in the contract fails, then the consumer is responsible for the cost of those repairs. With these types of warranties, it’s incredibly important to read the contract closely before signing to make sure that all of the parts you need and want covered specifically are listed.

The most comprehensive plan that companies offer is an exclusionary warranty, commonly, but inaccurately, referred to as a “bumper-to-bumper” warranty. Under this plan, there are so many parts and systems covered that it’s much easier for the contract to state which parts are NOT covered, hence the term “exclusionary” being used. If you’re looking for the best and most complete warranty plan, this is the plan to choose.

Many companies also offer additional benefits, which are included in most extended warranty plans, for example: Roadside assistance, rental car coverage, towing, lockout benefits, and fuel delivery. When shopping around for a car warranty provider, ask about what kind of additional benefits are offered under specific plans to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Car Warranties with the Best Coverage:

EnduranceCarchexautopom!Protectmycar.comWarranty DirectDelta Auto ProtectToco WarrantyAuto Warranty Agency
Multiple Plans35 (variations based on provider)53533
Powertrain1 (Secure)1 (Bronze)Powertrain EssentialsNot Stated Power Shield Enhanced+DiamondBlue
Inclusionary Policy /Stated Component1 (Superior)1 (Silver or Gold)Named ComponentExtra Care+Diamond PlusYellow
Exclusionary coverage/ Bumper-to-Bumper1 (Supreme)1 (Platinum or Titanium)ExclusionaryLuxury Care+Diamond PremierOrange
Maximum Warranty Length 71010
Number of statesAvailable in all 50 StatesAvailable in all 50 StatesCalifornia specialist but also offers to most states nationwide.Available in all 50 StatesAvailable in all 50 StatesNationwidePlans not available in Alaska,Missouri and WashingtonAvailable in all 50 States
Mileage restrictions160,000 mileageUp to 200,000up to 150,000up to 150,000up to 175,000
Age Restrictionsup to 20 years oldup to 20 years oldUp to 20 years oldup to 20 years old
Exclusions clearly stated
Roadside Assistance
Rental Car
Towing Service
Trip Interruption Reimbursement
Lockout Benefit
Fuel Delivery

Service Contract

When it comes to extended car warranties, there’s a lot of information to take into consideration. For example, most extended car warranty providers are going to have strict mileage and year restrictions in place. Your premium and deductible will be reliant upon the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the mileage on the car when service goes into effect. Be sure to provide completely accurate information about your vehicle, because erroneous information could void your warranty. You can generally receive coverage on vehicles out of their original manufacturer warranty with less than 100,000 miles driven. Beyond that, it’s up to the discretion of the warranty provider, and coverage can be costly.

The length of the contract is dependent upon two factors: maximum number of years, and maximum number of miles. The warranty is void when you hit one of those, so make sure you’re aware of the contract length. Contract renewal is not automatic, nor guaranteed. If you want to renew your contract after it expires, most companies require the same eligibility requirements for renewals as they do for new policies. So if your vehicle no longer meets one of the requirements, you may be out of luck.

Many companies offer a full refund within the first 30-days, this is often referred to as the policy review period. Most companies have sample policies available on their sites, which is helpful when shopping, but no matter what anyone tells you, and despite anything you have read before, the policy you receive after signing up is where your guarantees can be found. The most common complaint from car warranty customers are about claims being denied, and sadly, most of these complaints could have been avoided if the customer understood their policy from the beginning. This is why it is so important to use the policy review period to make sure you are getting what you think you bought, make any changes necessary, and ask any questions you may have.  

Car Warranties with the Best Service Contract:

EnduranceCarchexautopom!Protectmycar.comWarranty DirectDelta Auto ProtectToco WarrantyAuto Warranty Agency
Cancellation Policy30 days= full refund. After 30 days, pro-rated refund (less $50 admin fee)30 days= full refund. After 30 days, pro-rated refund (less $50 admin fee).35 days= full refund. After 35 days, pro-rated refund (less $50 admin fee)Cancel anytime. Policy is both fully transferable and also prorated refundable for any unused years or mileage that was paid for.pro-rated refund for cancellations past the guarantee period30 days = full refund. After 30 days = pro-rated refund (less $25 proc. fee)cancel anytimeNot Stated
Contract Preview Online
Transferable Plan1 ($50 fee)1 ($50 fee)Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Money Back Guarantee30 days30 days30 days30 days30 to 60 days full refund30 days30 days30 days

Claim Process

Before submitting a claim, make sure you’re aware of the enrollment waiting period. With most warranty providers, there’s a waiting period between when you sign the contract, and when coverage actually begins. This period is usually 30 days, though it varies based on the company. There is also usually a miles driven clause, meaning that in addition to waiting 30 days, you also have to drive a certain number of miles before coverage begins. This number is usually 1,000 miles, but some companies do have a lower threshold.

When it comes to filing claims for repairs, your warranty provider may have requirements on who completes the work. Almost all companies allow you to choose your own service provider, as long as it’s a licensed repair facility. However, before you take your car into the shop, it’s always a good idea to check with your car warranty provider first. Then, take your vehicle or have it towed to an approved licensed facility, and present your warranty service agreement. Once the problem has been diagnosed, the repair facility will call the claims administrator and receive repair authorization from your warranty provider.

Most companies will pay the repair facility directly for approved claims, so you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket and wait to be reimbursed. If this is the case, never pay for your repairs and assume your warranty provider to reimburse you later, unless you have a guarantee in writing. Many consumers have made this mistake and found out after the fact that the repairs or parts were not covered, or that the company will only reimburse for a portion of the total cost.  

Car warranties oftentimes have deductibles, or an amount you pay out of pocket before coverage begin, which you pay directly to the mechanic or repair shop. If there are any necessary repairs not covered by your warranty, you will be responsible for paying those expenses out-of-pocket. It’s important to know whether your deductible is per-visit or per-repair. With a per-visit deductible, each visit to the shop will cost a fixed amount; with a per-repair deductible, you’ll be charged a separate fee that applies to each serviced part. This can have a major difference on the amount you pay, and other restrictions may apply so be sure to read the terms of the contract closely.

Car Warranties with the Best Claim Process:

EnduranceCarchexautopom!Protectmycar.comWarranty DirectDelta Auto ProtectToco WarrantyAuto Warranty Agency
Choose Your Own Repair Service
Claim Paid Directly to Repair Facility
Deductible TypeVisit Visit Visit Visit Visit Visit Visit Visit
Deductible Amount$0, $50, or $100Depends on plan ($0 deductible may be available)Depends on plan
Waiting Period30 days & 1,000 miles31 days & 1,000 miles30 days & 1,000 miles30 days & 1,000 miles90 days/ 1000 miles30 days & 1,000 miles30 days & 1,000 miles30 days & 1,000 miles
Maximum PayoutDepends on plan No caps or limits
How are payouts calculated?

Customer Service

A huge indicator of overall quality is how a warranty company treats its customers. As mentioned earlier, all major warranty providers offer a money-back guaranteed policy review period, typically for the first 30 days after signing up. If at any point during this trial period, you are unhappy, you can cancel your plan and receive a full reimbursement (as long as no claims have been submitted).

After the policy review period has ended, cancellation is a bit more complicated. Most companies will issue a pro-rated refund that is based on time covered, mileage driven, and any claims you have submitted. Additionally, most companies will charge a flat administration fee, usually around $50. Cancellation information should always be outlined in your policy.

If you should decide to sell your vehicle while it’s covered by a car warranty, most companies are happy to transfer the policy over to the new owner. Transfer charges do apply however, and are usually around $50.

One complaint we’ve seen is that car warranty companies take a long time to send the policy to customers. This should take about 5-7 business days to get to you, but every company is different. If you have not received your policy a week after you sign up, we suggest calling to follow up. While many may find this unnecessary or trivial, we see this as the perfect opportunity to test how a company will treat you as a customer. If you experience long holds, unfriendly representatives, or other negative interactions (Common Complaint #2), perhaps it may be worth considering another company. After all, if this is what you encounter before the company has secured your business, then what preventing this from happening once you’ve paid and need help?

Car Warranties with the Best Customer Service:

Cost

The cost of a warranty plan varies greatly based on your plan, the warranty provider, and the vehicle being protected.

Premiums, or the amount of money you pay for coverage, are the largest expense, and are usually paid upfront and in full.  However, some companies do offer payment plans for the premiums, so if you’re unable to pay the premium right away, you can make installment payments instead. The actual amount of the premium varies based on the type of vehicle, the year it was produced, current mileage, and the plan you select. However, the average cost for extended car warranties is between $350-$700.

As mentioned earlier, deductibles are also important to consider. Deductibles are either per-part or per-visit, as outlined in the contract. Deductible amounts also vary, but they tend to fall somewhere between $0 and $100. These are paid directly to the repair facility.

Another thing to consider is that some policies have maximum yearly or lifetime payout caps. If there are any, yearly maximum payouts usually fall between $12,000 and $15,000 per year, and lifetime payouts are often limited to the total purchase price of the vehicle. Every plan is different, and not all plans have benefit limits, which is just another reason why it’s worthwhile to review your policy early on.

To get a better idea of how much a car warranty will cost you, we suggest reaching out to a few companies to get quotes.  

Buying an extended car warranty will allow you to avoid paying larger expenses down the line, but it’s important to weight the cost and benefits against your own financial situation. For some consumers, car warranties are an added unnecessary expense, but to others they provide that peace of mind protection that’s worth the overall cost.

Car Warranties with the Best Cost:

Reviews

There is a lot to learn from reading Car Warranty reviews, if you know what to look for. Here are a few suggestions on how to get the most out of reading reviews.

  1. Statistical Significance: The number of customer reviews will impact the overall rating of a car warranty company, and can help you determine how accurately the score reflects the customer satisfaction. Reviews with more customer feedback and ratings will be a better indicator of the overall customer experience than reviews with only a few contributors. If the company has a few reviews, the overall score may not be the best indicator of the company's quality, so we suggest taking the time to read through the reviews to benefit from the feedback provided by those who were willing to share. 
  2. Word Sentiment: While looking at overall scores can be a fast way to get an impression of a company's quality, it can also be deceiving. Everyone has a different method of scoring, for some a 3/5 score is considered good, while others would rate a good company with a 5/5. This is way taking a few moments to scan over the words used in the reviews to get a better understanding of the review scores being presented. If you notice a lot of positive language like "great customer service" or "pleased with purchase", it may be easier to overlook a low overall score (especially if there are limited number of reviews available). However, if you see wording like "horrible service", "long waits" or "rude representatives", this may be a great opportunity to check out 
  3. Customer Care: When a company has the chance to respond to customer reviews, do they? Whether the review is positive or negative, companies who take the time to respond to individual reviews are often the ones that place an emphasis on customer service. Also ask whether the company responses are polite and make an honest attempt to resolve problems within reason. If there isn't a place for companies to respond, do any of the reviews talk about how the company addresses customer concerns?
  4. Learn from other people’s mistakes: When you find negative comments about a company, think about how their problem could have been avoided. For instance, if the problem was because someone didn’t understand what was covered under their contract, take the time to read yours carefully. If the problem was clearly the fault of the warranty provider, and they did little to resolve the issue repeatedly, then be aware that you could find yourself in the same position if you become a customer. 

Car Warranties with the Best Reviews:

Full Car Warranties Comparison

CoverageService ContractClaim ProcessCustomer ServiceCostReviews
Endurance Car Warranty10.010.010.010.010.010.0
CARCHEX Car Warranty10.010.09.010.010.010.0
autopom! Insurance Services9.010.09.010.010.09.0
Protectmycar.com Car Warranty9.09.59.09.09.08.0
Warranty Direct Car Warranty9.08.08.09.08.08.0
5 Star Auto Protection6.07.07.010.07.08.0
Delta Auto Protect Car Warranty6.07.06.76.57.07.0
Toco Warranty Car Warranty7.07.06.05.07.08.0
Auto Warranty Agency6.05.05.05.07.07.0
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Latest Reviews

Reviews help other customers make decisions. Share your experience with Car Warranties
Bubbie H
6/14/2017
I previously wrote a review in regard to the endurance extended warranty company. I WROTE a bad review on Endurance.Since then I have been contacted by John at Endurance.He explained that they write for interstate ins. Company too if your vehicle does not meet their criteria to be covered by them. . Because my vehicle did not meet their criteria for them they where 3rd party and wrote me a policy with Interstate ins. He has made things right as far as Endurance goes since then. I have nothing but good remarks for him and Endurance! I just wished I could have taken a policy out with Endurance!

D
David C
Cleveland, Ohio
6/12/2017
Great stuff. Good people.

S
Story A
Burbank, California
2/28/2017
Staci was Awesome! I am definitely a proud member of Delta Auto Protect, and I strongly recommend its services to other prospective members.

Reviews help other customers make decisions. Share your experience with Car Warranties