Even the most common car repairs can be exorbitantly expensive. According to recent figures, the cost of replacing an engine and cylinders can run from $7,000 to $10,000, whereas replacing a hybrid car battery can cost upwards of $6,000. A new transmission can cost $4,000 to $5,000, and even a new head gasket will set you back an average of $2,000. The list goes on and on.
The best way to save yourself from the surprise cost of any of these repairs involves purchasing an extended car warranty as soon as you can. The problem is, there are almost too many car warranty companies competing to sell you a warranty policy, and some of those companies are less than reputable. It’s common for companies to charge more than these warranties are really worth, or to add a bunch of fine print to your warranty that can make it difficult to use.
To help you make sense of everything, we compared dozens of car warranty companies to find the absolute best. Not only did we focus on the inclusions of the warranties they offer, but we compared companies based on third party reviews, the fine print (which you definitely need to read), and more. Carchex came out ahead in our ranking due to their excellent user reviews and all the bonus features their plans offer from day one.
If you’re in the market for an extended car warranty, keep reading to learn how these companies fared in our study, what each one includes in their warranty products, and all the factors you should consider before you purchase an extended warranty for your vehicle.
Most Important Factors When Purchasing an Extended Car Warranty
Where can you use your car warranty? While the extended car warranty companies that made our ranking offer plans that can be used at nearly any repair facility or dealership nationwide, this isn’t always the case. Make sure to check any car warranty you’re considering to see if there are rules that can limit where you can get your car fixed and use your warranty coverage.
Ask about deductibles and waiting periods. Some auto warranties require a deductible, although it’s difficult to find out about deductible amounts and plan costs without getting a free quote. You should also ask about waiting periods some companies require before your warranty kicks in.
Check the fine print. Make sure to read over the fine print of your warranty so you know details like where you can get your car repaired. Some warranties only let you seek out covered repairs at participating dealerships and auto repair companies, but these companies may not even have a location in your area.
Know what is included in your extended car warranty. Finally, make sure you read over the plans each company offers in order to find out which components of your vehicle will and will not be covered. Each company is very specific on these details, so it’s not difficult to find this information on their company websites.
The Best Extended Car Warranties of 2020
Comparing companies who offer extended car warranties isn’t a ton of fun, but it’s crucial if your goal is winding up with the best warranty for your needs and your wallet. As you compare extended car warranty companies to find the right fit, we suggest starting your search with this list:
Which Services Didn’t Make the Cut?
While extended car warranties can help you avoid pricey repair bills that can wreck your budget and force you off the road, keep in mind that not all companies in this space are reputable. For example, the car experts at Edmunds note that many extended car warranties aren’t what they seem, and that some hide behind loopholes and fine print to avoid having to cover repairs that should be included.
That’s why we compared companies for our ranking so carefully, and why consumers should do their due diligence to make sure they don’t wind up giving their money to a shady car warranty company. Cars are expensive on their own, so you shouldn’t waste money on a warranty that doesn’t work as intended.
Reviews of the Best Extended Warranty Companies
Ready to compare all the top extended car warranty companies head to head? The following reviews include the main details you should know about each company, as well as highlights and areas where they could improve.
Carchex is an extended warranty company that is well known within this industry for the quality of their policies. They boast an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as well as a 99% customer satisfaction rating. This company also has an average of 4 out of 5 stars across over 1,200 reviews on Trustpilot.
Carchex offers five different levels of coverage, each with more included repairs and longer available warranty timelines. Titanium coverage is their highest level of extended warranty coverage, followed by Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. However, you should note that all Carchex extended warranties come with 24/7 roadside assistance, towing, rental car access, gas delivery, and trip interruption insurance, among other perks. You can also get an instant quote online just by entering information about your vehicle and where you live.
Why Carchex Made the List: Carchex extended warranties come with more perks than many competing companies offer. This firm also has some of the best rankings and reviews from customers and third party ranking agencies. Carchex also offers a best pricing guarantee and a 30-day money back guarantee.
What Holds it Back: Like other car warranty companies that made our ranking, Carchex doesn’t publish any prices on their website. They also offer more plans than some competing companies, which is almost too overwhelming and confusing.
Endurance is one of the most popular extended car warranty companies offering these products on the market today, and it’s easy to see why. This company offers a handful of plans that can suit any car warranty needs, and you can even pay for your warranty on a 36-month payment plan. You should also be aware that you can purchase a plan from Endurance once your car’s manufacturer’s warranty is about to expire, meaning you don’t have to have any lapse in warranty coverage.
Tailored extended warranty plans you can choose from include specific coverage for high mileage vehicles, basic plans with affordable coverage, and superior plans with more inclusions and longer coverage timelines. Also note that all extended car warranties from Endurance come with a one-year Endurance Elite Membership. This membership includes perks like roadside assistance, ID theft coverage, key fob replacement, tire repair and replacement, and more.
Why Endurance Made the List: Unlike some other companies that sell plans offered by third party warranty companies, Endurance actually administers its plans. That means you’ll purchase your extended car warranty from the same company that oversees your plan. Endurance also offers a 30-day money back guarantee on all of their plans.
What Holds it Back: Like some other extended car warranty companies, Endurance doesn’t hint at pricing on their website. You have to contact this company to get a quote. Also note that Endurance is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
Concord Auto Protect
Concord Auto Protect is another company that stood out in our study thanks to their excellent rankings and reviews. This extended warranty company boasts an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars from users on Trustpilot as well as an A- rating with the BBB.
Concord Auto Protect offers three extended warranty plans to choose from — powertrain coverage, an advanced plan, and a premium plan. However, you do have to call into the company or fill out an online form to get a free quote.
Another benefit of using this company is the fact that all their plans come with additional perks. Benefits you can look forward to include free roadside assistance, rental car coverage, and a 30-day money back guarantee.
Why Concord Auto Protect Made the List: This company has excellent user rankings and reviews. They also administer the plans they sell, which means they are entirely accountable for sales and service.
What Holds it Back: Only their priciest extended warranty plan covers high tech electronic components that may be in your vehicle.
Liberty Bell Auto Protect
Liberty Bell Auto Protect is another highly rated company that offers extended car warranties that protect consumers from scary car repair bills. This company offers three easy-to-understand coverage levels with tiered inclusions — Platinum, Platinum Plus, and Platinum Prime. Also note that this company administers all of their warranty plans, and that they even have an in-house claims team.
Each plan from Liberty also comes with additional perks like 24/7 roadside assistance and a 30-day money back guarantee. You also get 100% parts and labor coverage while your car’s warranty is in effect.
Why Liberty Bell Auto Protect Made the List: Liberty Bell Auto Protect offers three easy-to-understand plans, and they administer all of their warranties in house.
What Holds it Back: You can only buy a warranty from this company if your vehicle has less than 140,000 miles.
Infinite Auto Protection
Infinite Auto Protection made our ranking due to their excellent user reviews and their robust warranty plans. This company has an A+ rating with the BBB and mostly “excellent” reviews on Trustpilot. They have three plans to choose from — a basic foundation plan, a modern plan with more included items, and a prime extended auto warranty that covers most aspects of any car, including high-tech electronic components.
You do have to fill out a contact form or call into the company to get a free quote. However, you should be aware that Infinite Auto Protection plans do offer the option of monthly payments, and that you can use them virtually anywhere. Also included in every plan are rental car coverage, 24/7 roadside assistance, courtesy towing, and other perks.
Why Infinite Auto Protection Made the List: Infinite Auto Protection comes with included perks like rental car coverage and roadside assistance. They also have excellent user reviews and a top rating with the BBB, along with a 30-day money back guarantee.
What Holds it Back: Infinite Auto Protection doesn’t offer any information on pricing or deductibles on their website. You have to work with a customer service agent in order to get a quote for your vehicle.
Finally, make sure to consider autopom! despite this company’s quirky name. This company has an A+ rating with the BBB for starters, but they also have an average of 5 out of 5 stars in their most recent reviews. This means their actual customers approve of their products and service, which makes it a lot easier for us to recommend them in our ranking.
autopom! offers four levels of warranty coverage — Powertrain Plus, Mid-level, High Level, and Exclusionary. Where the lower tier Powertrain coverage provides basic replacement and repairs when your powertrain and other major components break down, the top tier Exclusionary coverage is considered “full coverage” for your vehicle.
Customers should also be aware that all plans from this company come with rental car assistance, roadside assistance, a 30-day money back guarantee, and other perks.
Why autopom! Made the List: This car warranty company has excellent user reviews and plans to fit any warranty needs. They also offer affordable payment plans.
What Holds it Back: Autopom! requires cars to meet certain condition standards in order to qualify for their policies.
What You Need to Know About Extended Car Warranties
There are numerous advantages that come with purchasing an extended car warranty that provides coverage long after your car’s manufacturer’s warranty expires. For example, these plans can help you avoid the high costs of repair bills once your car starts aging and requiring ongoing repair work. Not only that, but the best extended car warranty companies make it easy to tailor your plan to include the types of coverage you want the most.
Unfortunately, there are some downsides to be aware of when it comes to purchasing extended warranties. For starters, these warranties can be expensive, and that’s especially true if you purchase top tier warranty coverage. While having a warranty can pay off in a big way if you do have an expensive repair need pop up, keep in mind that the opposite is also true. If your car runs fine and never has any big problems, an extended warranty will provide you with peace of mind but not much else.
Another downside of extended warranties is the fact that they don’t always cover what you need them to. These plans are typically loaded with fine print that can come back and bite you if you don’t pay attention, including some important limits on what is and what isn’t covered. Before you buy an extended warranty, it’s crucial to read the fine print so you know exactly what you’re paying for.
Speaking of fine print, it’s important to find out where you can get your car fixed if you do face a pricey repair bill. As J.D. Power notes, some extended car warranties only include a short list of approved facilities that will perform repairs covered by your warranty.
“If the vehicle breaks while on a trip, or if you move to a different region of the country while the warranty is in effect, such restrictions can render the warranty useless,” writes J.D. Power.
Our advice? Make sure you can use your warranty almost anywhere. If you don’t, you could wind up with a warranty you can’t even use.
How We Chose the Best Extended Car Warranties of 2020
Finding the best extended car warranties required us to research the plans each company offers and what they include. However, extended car warranties aren’t worth very much to consumers if the companies that market them make them difficult to use. With that in mind, here are the main factors we considered to help consumers find the best extended car warranties money can buy:
Excellent user reviews: Extended car warranties are nothing more than a written contract until you have to use them. With that in mind, we placed priority on user reviews from actual consumers who have purchased a car warranty and made a claim. All of the companies on our list have good or great reviews from previous and current customers.
Ease of Use: We also focused on warranty companies that let you use your warranty at nearly any repair shop or auto dealer. That way, you won’t be stuck with a warranty you can’t use if you move across the country or face a pricey repair when you’re traveling far from home.
Company Guarantees: We also gave preference to companies that offer an upfront price guarantee and/or a money-back guarantee. Most of the firms we profiled here offer a 30-day money back guarantee that lets you get a refund if you’re not satisfied.
Payment Plans: Finally, we looked for extended car warranty companies that offer payment plans. While it’s never fun to finance any purchase — and especially not a car warranty — payment plans let you enjoy the benefits of your warranty right away whether you have the cash to pay upfront or not.
Summary: Best Extended Car Warranties of 2020