Content on Jalopnik Advisor is commercial in nature and independent of Jalopnik Editorial and Advertising. Jalopnik Advisor content is free to consumers and always will be, however we and our partners may be compensated if you purchase a product or service through the links on this website.

Aftermarket Car Warranty

Based on our industry-wide review, we found the best aftermarket car warranty companies to be Endurance, ForeverCar, Olive, CarShield, and CARCHEX.

Invalid Zip Code

With our Partner, Ox Car Care

12/19/2023 01:58 PM
Reputation: 4.5/5.0
Coverage: 5.0/5.0
Price: 4.5/5.0
Customer Experience: 4.5/5.0
idée Endurance is our first choice for extended warranties
  • Best Plan Offerings
  • Mileage Covered: 200,000 miles on the odometer
  • Free Cancellation: Full refund within 30 days
  • Plan Options: 6 different plans to choose from
  • Longest Plan Term: Up to 8 years
  • Discounts: $300 same-day signup discount, $250 shopping voucher, and others
Plan coverage includes Endurance Elite perks™
Exclusionary plan One-year membership for free
Powertrain plan Tire repair and replacement
Maintenance coverage with Endurance Advantage Key fob replacement
Roadside assistance Total loss protection
Towing Collision discount
Rental car $250 rewards voucher
Trip interruption coverage Endurance Protect app

Aftermarket car warranties are vehicle service contracts offered by third-party companies rather than by the auto manufacturer. Also known as extended warranties, aftermarket car warranties cover the cost of repairs for certain auto parts in the event of a mechanical failure. 

In this article, we’ll explain what aftermarket warranties are and how they work in more detail. We’ll also look at some of the best extended car warranty companies on the market. 

The Gist:

  • An aftermarket car warranty is an extended vehicle service contract offered by a third-party provider.
  • Endurance is our top pick for an aftermarket car warranty company because it’s a direct provider that offers six different protection options.
  • ForeverCar is another excellent option, offering four cheap coverage plans.

What Is An Aftermarket Car Warranty?

An aftermarket car warranty is a contract that promises to cover the cost of parts and labor for certain car repairs after your vehicle’s factory warranty (also known as a manufacturer’s warranty) expires. Aftermarket warranties are more commonly referred to as vehicle service contracts or extended warranties.

Most aftermarket car warranty companies offer different levels of protection. Extended warranty coverage plans will vary depending on the provider, but they typically fall into the following categories:

  • Bumper-to-bumper warranty: Bumper-to-bumper warranties are exclusionary service contracts that are most similar to a factory warranty. They cover every system and component in your vehicle except for the exclusions stated in the contract.
  • Named component warranty: These are inclusionary warranties, meaning the contract states exactly what parts and systems are covered. They’re usually mid-tier service plans, covering the powertrain and many other components, but don’t provide as much protection as exclusionary warranties.
  • Powertrain warranty: These aftermarket warranties are generally the cheapest and most basic coverage plans. Powertrain warranties cover your car’s most vital systems–which are often the most expensive ones to repair.
  • Corrosion warranty: These are vehicle protection plans specifically designed to cover repair bills that result from corrosion and rust.
Infographic showcasing the differences and similarities between powertrain warranties and bumper-to-bumper warranties.

Keep in mind that most aftermarket car warranties don’t cover routine maintenance like oil changes or components that are subject to normal wear and tear, like brake pads or spark plugs.

How Much Does An Aftermarket Car Warranty Cost?

An aftermarket car warranty should cost you a total of between $1,500 and $4,000 for several years of coverage, so a price on the lower end of that spectrum would be considered good for aftermarket warranty coverage. 

We took the average of the top eight providers (excluding maintenance plans) and found that the average total cost of an aftermarket car warranty is about $3,026 in total. It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of your warranty will depend on a number of personalized factors, so what you pay could be different than our average.

Most aftermarket car warranty companies offer free quotes on their websites. Some have instant calculators while others will take your contact information and have a representative reach out with more details.

Factors That Affect The Cost Of Aftermarket Car Warranties

It’s important to find out how legitimate and reliable an aftermarket warranty provider is when shopping for coverage, but another equally important factor is price. The price of an aftermarket warranty varies depending on a number of elements. These include:

  • Vehicle age: Older vehicles are more expensive to cover, because they’re more likely to suffer mechanical failure.
  • Vehicle mileage: High-mileage vehicles are more expensive to cover because they’re more likely to break down.
  • Vehicle make and model: Vehicles are cheaper to cover if they don’t typically require expensive repairs or aren’t very costly to service.
  • Location: Depending on where you live, your contract cost may differ.
  • Deductible: Many plans offer multiple deductible options ranging from $0 to $200. Plans with higher deductibles will cost less.
  • Coverage: Most providers offer a number of different coverage levels. While thorough bumper-to-bumper coverage is more expensive, it’s typically cheaper for a newer vehicle than basic coverage for an older vehicle.
Icons showing six factors that affect extended warranty costs

5 Best Aftermarket Car Warranty Companies

The best aftermarket car warranty companies provide extensive coverage at a low cost and have a strong customer service reputation. Here’s a breakdown of how we rate each of the industry’s top aftermarket warranty providers:

Aftermarket Car Warranty CompaniesOverall RatingReputationCoverageCostCustomer Experience
#1 Endurance4.64.554.54.5
#2 Olive4.44.544.54
#3 CarShield4.34544
#4 CARCHEX4.45544

In the sections below, we’ll take a deeper look at each of our top extended warranty providers.

1. Endurance: Best Coverage

An Endurance auto warranty gives car owners the most comprehensive coverage and valuable benefits in the aftermarket warranty industry.

Endurance Aftermarket Car Warranty Coverage

Endurance offers six levels of coverage, ranging from bumper-to-bumper contracts with maintenance benefits to money-saving powertrain plans. Here’s what each Endurance warranty covers:

  • Supreme: An exclusionary bumper-to-bumper warranty that includes coverage for most mechanical and electrical parts
  • Superior: A comprehensive named-component plan that covers hundreds of listed parts, including everything in the lower-tier Secure Plus plan, as well as the cooling system, suspension, and fuel system
  • Secure Plus: A mid-level plan that provides coverage for everything in the lower-tier Secure plan, plus the air conditioning, brake components, and steering
  • Secure: A basic powertrain plan that covers parts of the engine, transmission, and drivetrain
  • Select Premier: A plan designed especially for high-mileage vehicles that covers most powertrain components
  • EnduranceAdvantageTM: Extensive coverage for most car components as well as reimbursement for regular maintenance items like brake pads, oil changes, and tire rotations

Endurance also offers options for mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) to California drivers. Here’s what each covers:

  • Elite Plus: An exclusionary MBI plan that covers nearly every part, system, and component of your vehicle
  • Powertrain Premium: A comprehensive, stated-component MBI plan that includes coverage for most mechanical and electrical components
  • Powertrain Standard: Includes all parts under Powertrain Plus in addition to steering, suspension, brakes, and electrical
  • Powertrain Plus: The cheapest MBI plan, covering the basic components of your powertrain, such as the engine, turbocharger, transmission, and drive axle

Endurance Benefits

All Endurance aftermarket car warranty plans come with the following perks: 

  • Rental car reimbursement: Reimburses up to $30 a day for a maximum of five days while your vehicle is at the repair facility
  • 24/7 roadside assistance: Includes towing services, battery assistance, mechanical first aid, tire services, and fuel deliveries
  • Trip interruption coverage: Provides reimbursement for meals and lodging up to $150 a day for a maximum of three days if your car breaks down over 100 miles from your home
  • Endurance Elite benefits: Includes one year of free tire repairs and replacements, key fob replacements, identity theft protection, and access to a personal concierge service, as well as a $250 entertainment voucher

Cost Of An Endurance Aftermarket Warranty

We reached out to Endurance for quotes on some of its exclusionary and powertrain plans.

Plan TypePlan NameVehicleMileageTerm LengthMonthly Price
ExclusionarySupreme2018 Honda Civic30,0006 years/71,000 miles for 24 months$98.00
ExclusionarySupreme2012 Subaru Outback88,0005 years/51,000 miles for 30 months$104.00
PowertrainSecure2012 Subaru Outback88,0005 years/51,000 miles for 30 months$120.50

Endurance offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your service.

Read more: Endurance warranty reviews

2. ForeverCar: Best Value

Founded in 2014 and based in Chicago, ForeverCar is a newer aftermarket vehicle warranty company. It’s a lesser-known company, but has developed a reputation for providing cheap car warranties

ForeverCar Aftermarket Car Warranty Coverage

ForeverCar offers four levels of warranty coverage. All plans have terms of 3 years/unlimited miles.

  • Platinum Plus: Exclusionary, bumper-to-bumper coverage that includes “wearables,” which are parts like brake pads, wiper blades, fuses, windshield wipers, and light bulbs
  • Platinum: Comprehensive coverage for almost every vehicle component
  • Gold: Includes protection for all powertrain train components as well as anti-lock brakes, some electrical components, sensors, and the radiator
  • Silver: Basic powertrain coverage that protects the most important components of your car like the engine, transmission, and drive axle

ForeverCar Benefits

All ForeverCar aftermarket car warranties come with a few added perks that include:

  • Rental car reimbursement: Up to $35 per day with a cap at 10 days
  • 24/7 roadside assistance: Includes tows, jump-starts, battery services, fluid deliveries, lockout assistance, and flat tire changes
  • Travel expense reimbursement: If a breakdown occurs at least 100 miles from your home, you can get up to $200 per day for five days as reimbursement

Cost Of A ForeverCar Aftermarket Warranty

We used ForeverCar’s online tool to request quotes for a few of the company’s coverage options.

Plan TypePlan NameVehicleMileageTerm LengthMonthly Price
ExclusionaryPlatinum Plus2018 Honda Civic30,0003 years/unlimited miles for 36 months$35.00
Mid-LevelGold2012 Subaru Outback88,0003 years/unlimited miles for 36 months$98.00
PowertrainSilver2012 Subaru Outback88,0003 years/unlimited miles for 36 months$98.00

3. Olive®: Best Online Process

Olive® began by offering mechanical breakdown insurance to California drivers, but has since expanded to offer aftermarket car warranties to the rest of the country. Olive’s unique subscription-based model allows customers to cancel anytime. 

Additionally, your Olive warranty plan is active the moment you purchase it–Olive is one of the few companies without a waiting period.

Olive Aftermarket Car Warranty Coverage

Olive keeps it simple, offering three distinct warranty plans.

  • Complete Car: Exclusionary, bumper-to-bumper coverage that covers almost every system and component in your car
  • Powertrain Plus: Mid-tier protection for the most important parts of your vehicle as well as the odometer, steering, suspension, brakes, air conditioning, and electrical components
  • Powertrain: Basic protection that covers the powertrain components of your vehicle

For California drivers, Olive offers the same three tiers of mechanical breakdown insurance.

Olive Benefits

Each Olive aftermarket plan comes with a few additional benefits, including:

  • Roadside assistance: Includes towing service, flat tire assistance, fuel deliveries, lock-out services, and jump-starts at $100 per occurrence
  • Rental reimbursement: Covers a rental car if your vehicle is in the repair shop and will reimburse you $35 for up to five days
  • Travel interruption reimbursement: Pays up to $1,000 for costs in lodging, food, and transportation in the event of a breakdown 100 miles or more from home

Cost Of An Olive Aftermarket Warranty

The table below highlights quotes our team received for two Olive auto protection plans.

Plan TypePlan NameVehicleMileageTerm LengthMonthly Price
ExclusionaryComplete Care2016 Ford Fusion75,0003 years/185,000 miles for 36 months$55.00
Mid-LevelPowertrain Plus2016 Ford Fusion75,0003 years/185,000 miles for 36 months$50.00

Read more: Olive warranty reviews

4. CarShield: Best Monthly Payments

CarShield is a good option if you have an older car. The company offers a range of aftermarket car warranty options for vehicles up to 200,000 miles, all administered by American Auto Shield. The company has some of the best powertrain coverage terms for customers on a budget. It’s one of the only top-tier providers to cover motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, too. 

Best of all, the company allows you to choose month-to-month or long-term payment plans, which could protect your peace of mind and your wallet. CarShield reviews show customers are largely satisfied with their service and experiences.

CarShield Aftermarket Car Warranty Coverage

Here’s how each of CarShield’s auto plans breaks down:

  • Diamond: Exclusionary bumper-to-bumper coverage that includes all vehicle parts and systems except for a short list of non-covered parts
  • Platinum: Comprehensive coverage for most mechanical and electrical parts designed with the needs of high-mileage vehicles in mind
  • Gold: Expanded powertrain plan that includes everything in the lower-tier Silver plan, plus the alternator, starter, air conditioning, and power windows
  • Silver: Powertrain coverage that includes all lubricated engine parts, the transmission, drivetrain, and water pump
  • Aluminum: Specialty coverage for many electrical and computer-related parts, such as the engine control module and GPS
  • Motorcycle & ATV: Coverage for alternative vehicles

CarShield Benefits

Each CarShield aftermarket warranty comes with:

  • Roadside assistance: Includes tows, emergency tire services, lockouts, battery jump-starts, and fuel deliveries with reimbursement up to $500 per contract term
  • Rental car reimbursement: Provides reimbursement of $100 a day while your vehicle is being repaired
  • Trip interruption reimbursement: Provides reimbursement for meals and lodging at $125 a day and up to $500 per occurrence if your vehicle breaks down more than 100 miles from your home

Cost Of A CarShield Aftermarket Warranty

Our team contacted CarShield for quotes on its Diamond and Gold plans.

Plan TypePlan NameVehicleMileageTerm LengthMonthly Price
ExclusionaryDiamond2018 Honda Civic30,0005 years/70,000 miles$109.99
PowertrainGold2012 Subaru Outback88,000Unlimited years and miles$139.99

Read more: CarShield warranty reviews

5. CARCHEX: Best For Used Cars

CARCHEX is among the most popular aftermarket car warranty providers in the industry. It partners with companies like Kelley Blue Book and and has an established reputation for paying out customer claims quickly and reliably.

CARCHEX Aftermarket Car Warranty Coverage

Our research team found that CARCHEX offers some of the lowest-cost service contracts for older vehicles. CARCHEX contracts can be purchased for cars with as many as 250,000 miles on the odometer, which makes it an excellent option if you’re looking for an extended warranty for a car over 100k miles. CARCHEX offers five coverage plans: 

  • Titanium: Exclusionary bumper-to-bumper plan that covers almost all vehicle parts, including emissions components and the navigation system
  • Platinum: Highest level of stated-component coverage that covers all major systems of the vehicle and hundreds of specific parts
  • Powertrain Plus: Augmented powertrain protection for all the most important components and systems of your vehicle
  • Powertrain: Basic coverage for the engine, transmission, and drivetrain 
  • Extra Care: A coverage plan that provides extra protection for components from the electrical, steering, suspension, and braking systems

CARCHEX Benefits

Here are some benefits that come standard with all CARCHEX aftermarket car warranty contracts: 

  • 24/7 roadside assistance: Includes emergency tows, tire services, lockouts, battery jump-starts, fuel deliveries, and winchings
  • Rental car reimbursement: Reimburses up to $100 per day 
  • Trip interruption services: Provides meal and lodging reimbursement up to $125 per day for a four-day cap if your vehicle breaks down over 100 miles from your home

Cost Of A CARCHEX Aftermarket Warranty

Here are some quotes we collected for a variation of vehicle models and ages:

Plan TypePlan NameVehicleMileageTerm LengthMonthly Price
ExclusionaryTitanium2018 Honda Civic30,0007 years/125,000 miles for 18 months$166.73
Mid-LevelPlatinum2012 Subaru Outback88,0005 years/60,000 miles for 18 months$221.50
PowertrainSilver2012 Subaru Outback88,0006 years/60,000 miles for 18 months$192.78

Read more: CARCHEX warranty reviews

Is An Aftermarket Car Warranty Worth It?

Aftermarket warranties are one way to finance the cost of repairs over a longer period of time and to help plan for–and set a cap on–vehicle repair fees. For this reason, an aftermarket car warranty can be worth it for many drivers, but there are definitely situations where it may not be the best idea, depending on your car and financial situation.

When An Extended Car Warranty Could Be Worth It

Aftermarket warranties help you save on repair costs after mechanical breakdowns. Even if you don’t end up using the full value of your plan, the warranty can be worth it for peace of mind alone.

It’s possible that one day your car may require an especially expensive and unexpected repair, and unless you can afford to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars out of pocket, a vehicle service contract may be the best choice for you.

When An Extended Auto Warranty May Not Be Worth It

In many cases, an aftermarket car warranty won’t cover enough repair expenses to pay for itself. Over the long term, it may be a better financial decision to save for repair costs yourself rather than purchasing an aftermarket car warranty. 

Figuring out if you would benefit from aftermarket car warranty coverage requires comparing quotes from multiple providers and honestly assessing your financial situation and your vehicle’s reliability.

For example, according to the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study℠, the top three most reliable car brands are currently Lexus, Genesis, and Kia. The bottom three are Audi, Lincoln, and Land Rover. This just means that the bottom three brands had the most mechanical issues per 100 vehicles each in 2022, according to the study. 

If you drive a newer car from a brand that breaks down significantly less than other brands, it may not be worth it to get an aftermarket warranty. It’s also not worth it if you can spare the expense of your car’s component repairs and replacements.

Aftermarket Car Warranty: Conclusion

Aftermarket car warranties, also known as extended warranties, are vehicle service contracts that cover the cost of repairs or parts replacement. Unlike the factory warranties that come standard on new vehicles, you can typically choose from a number of coverage levels based on your budget and car coverage needs. 

Our team reviewed the top aftermarket warranty providers and found Endurance, ForeverCar, Olive, CarShield, and CARCHEX to be leading the industry. Before making a decision, look at your finances, compare quotes from three or more companies, and research your car’s reliability and average repair costs.

Aftermarket Car Warranty: FAQ

Here are some of the most common questions about aftermarket car warranties.

How does an aftermarket car warranty work?

Aftermarket warranties work mostly the same way that warranties from car brands work–they cover the cost of auto repairs or replacement parts in the event of mechanical failure. With aftermarket car warranties, you select a plan based on the amount of coverage you need. If a covered part breaks, you can file a claim and take your car to an approved repair shop.

How much does CarShield cost a month?

Based on quotes we received from CarShield, a warranty plan from the company can cost up to $140 per month.

What is the highest rated car warranty company?

After conducting a thorough review of the warranty industry, we gave Endurance the highest ratings. The company is a direct provider of aftermarket warranties and offers six levels of coverage that all come with one year of Endurance Elite benefits. Endurance is known for its easy claims process and has solid customer reviews.

What is the difference between an aftermarket car warranty and a factory warranty?

A factory warranty is a contract between an auto manufacturer and a car owner that promises to pay for repairs or replacement if a factory part fails or defects. Factory warranties are often standard for new cars bought from a dealership, but terms often differ by automaker. Aftermarket car warranties extend warranty protection after a factory warranty expires and are bought from a third-party provider for used cars.

How We Rate Warranty Providers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of extended auto warranty providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a warranty company successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Reputation: It’s important that an extended car warranty company is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a long history of reliable service score well in this category. We also evaluate the availability and transparency of each company’s contracts, as well as whether each provider offers a money-back guarantee.
  • Coverage: Our team of experts looks at the number of extended warranty plans available, as well as term limits, exclusions, and added benefits like roadside assistance. Ratings also take into account the availability of maintenance coverage.
  • Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between providers because so many factors impact vehicle service contract pricing. To determine our cost score, we perform a secret shopper analysis for a variety of vehicles and plans and consider available deductibles.
  • Customer Experience: We listen to real customer sales calls and comb through reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Warranty companies with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider the availability of mobile apps and chat features.

*Data accurate at time of publication.