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Extended Car Warranty

An extended car warranty is an optional protection plan that covers specified vehicle parts for a given term or mileage when your factory coverage expires.

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12/18/2023 11:33 AM

The Gist:

  • The main types of extended auto warranties are powertrain warranties which cover the main parts that make your vehicle go, and bumper-to-bumper warranties which cover most mechanical and electrical parts on your car.
  • According to our cost estimates, a car warranty will range from around $1,500 to $3,800.
  • The top extended warranty providers include Endurance, CARCHEX, CarShield, and autopom!.

In this guide, we will break down what an extended car warranty is, the coverage they provide, and the costs associated with them. We’ll also go over what to expect when buying an extended warranty for a car and whether you should get one. Our team has also researched some of the best extended auto warranty options available.

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

Extended Car Warranties

All warranties provided by automakers give you coverage for your vehicle if it breaks down and needs part repairs or replacements. However, every manufacturer warranty comes with time and vehicle mileage limits and if you purchase a used car, it may not come with coverage. If you are coming toward the end of your current protection plan, it may be time to consider getting an extended car warranty.

What is an Extended Car Warranty?

An “extended car warranty” or vehicle service contract is a coverage plan that pays for the cost of repairs or part replacement in the case of mechanical breakdowns. Typically, these protection plans are purchased to extend the coverage provided by the vehicle manufacturer when it expires, but they can also replace plans during their term or overlap with existing coverage. 

Factory Warranty Vs. Extended Car Warranty

Every new car from a dealership comes with a factory warranty (also known as a manufacturer’s warranty). Still, it’s important to note that this is not the same as an extended warranty. Typically, an extended auto warranty provides coverage following the expiration of a vehicle’s factory warranty, though the two can sometimes overlap.

Extended Warranty Vs. Car Insurance

Auto insurance can provide you with coverage for things that warranties don’t cover such as collisions and injuries in an accident. However, extended auto warranties cover what insurance doesn’t, and they pay for repairs in the case of a mechanical breakdown.

How Does an Extended Car Warranty Work?

If you have a mechanical breakdown and you have an extended car warranty, you can take your vehicle to any licensed repair facility. Once you have a diagnosis, as long as the part is covered your plan provider will pay the repair company the majority of the cost of the service. All you will have to pay is the deductible stipulated by your warranty contract.

How To Check an Extended Warranty on a Car

To find out if you have an extended warranty on your car, you have to check the terms of your vehicle service agreement. The document will show the expiration date and mileage limits associated with your coverage. Make sure to check the mileage on your vehicle to ensure you haven’t exceeded the warranty.

How To Cancel an Extended Car Warranty

You can cancel an extended car warranty by filing out a cancellation from a dealership with your mileage and cancellation date. To finalize the warranty cancellation, you’ll need a copy the document signed by your dealer. Once it is confirmed, the remaining balance will be refunded to you. 

Can I Transfer an Extended Warranty to Another Car?

Yes, it is possible to transfer an extended auto warranty to another vehicle, but it depends on the terms and conditions of your contract. Some agreements are tailored to a specific car or automaker so you may not be able to if this is the case. Third-party providers may also charge you a fee even if you can transfer a plan. If you are selling a vehicle, auto warranty plans can be transferred to another owner, but you must notify the provider before doing so.

What Does an Extended Car Warranty Cover?

Most extended car warranties provide you with coverage that includes major vehicle part systems like the drivetrain and transmission. However, the extended warranty coverage you get depends on the plan type and the provider you select. Most plans often do not cover routine vehicle maintenance such as tire rotations, oil changes, and windshield wipers. 

Extended Car Warranty Plans

Extended car warranty plans can fall into two categories: exclusionary and inclusionary. Exclusionary vehicle service contracts list only the parts that are not covered under the warranty while inclusionary ones list all covered parts.

When considering an extended auto warranty, there are many levels of coverage available to drivers. Listed below are the most common types of extended warranties for vehicles:

  • Bumper-to-bumper extended car warranty: Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically provide the most comprehensive coverage. They are exclusionary contracts that cover repairs for most major systems and components like the transmission and brakes. 
  • Powertrain extended car warranty: These types of warranty plans cover both your engine and drivetrain, which make up the powertrain. Powertrain warranty coverage is less comprehensive than bumper-to-bumper plans, but they allow your vehicle’s most vital systems to have coverage.
  • Named component extended car warranty: Named component warranties are inclusionary and list every part of your vehicle under coverage. 
  • Corrosion extended car warranty: This type of warranty helps pay for corrosion-related damages to a vehicle like rust.

Extended Car Warranty Cost

The cost of extended warranties for a car varies by provider plans and the details of your vehicle. What you pay for coverage is dependent on several factors, including:

  • Your vehicle’s make, model, age, and mileage
  • Level of coverage
  • Term length
  • Deductible

How Much Does an Extended Car Warranty Cost?

According to our research, an extended car warranty costs about between $1,500 to $3,800 or around $2,524 on average. However, while this estimate can be helpful, warranty costs vary by provider.

Below is a chart that outlines what respondents reported paying in our research:

Extended warranty costs reported by participants in our extended car warranty survey

How Much is an Extended Warranty on a Used Car?

Extended warranties for used cars are typically around $1,615 and $3,208 total, but plan prices may vary. Costs for a used car warranty tend to be higher on average than for new cars. This is due to the overall higher mileage and age of the vehicle which increases the chances of mechanical failure.

How Much is an Extended Warranty on a New Car?

Typically costs for a new car extended warranty are going to be cheaper on average. However, this mostly will depend on your vehicle model and who you get a service contract from. For almost all warranty providers, new cars carry less breakdown risk, so prices for new vehicle warranties are usually the lowest.

Extended Car Warranty Prices

To give you a better understanding of what an extended auto warranty will cost, we have provided prices from our top providers. The list below highlights plan quotes for a 2018 Honda Civic with a $100 deductible.

Extended Car Warranty Quotes

Extended Car Warranty ProviderTerm LengthFinancing TermsTotal Cost
#1. Endurance6 years/71,000 miles$98.00 for 24 months$2,352.00
2. Carchex7 years/125,000 miles$166.73 for 18 months$3,001.14
3. CarShield5 years/70,000 miles$109.99 monthlyVaries
4. autopom!7 years/150,000 miles$125.00 for 36 months with a one month down payment$4,500.00

Buying an Extended Car Warranty

If you are considering buying an extended car warranty, you can find them through vehicle dealers and third party providers. However, before signing a vehicle service contract, it is best to understand if you need one.

Do I Need an Extended Car Warranty?

Whether you need an extended car warranty depends on a variety of factors. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to determine whether you need coverage for your vehicle:

1. Know When your Manufacturer’s Warranty Expires

If you have a factory warranty on your vehicle and it hasn’t expired, you do not need to buy an extended warranty. Most automaker protection plans include comprehensive protection and it is standard to include a bumper-to-bumper warranty and powertrain coverage. All information about what your warranty covers is found in the dealer buyer guide, which they are required to show.

2. Read the Fine Print of Your Vehicle Service Plan

Regardless of whether you chose to stay with your current plan or switch to another, understanding your contract is important. All warranty coverage information such as covered parts, authorized repair facilities, and legal responsibilities for breakdowns is included in your agreement.

3. Compare Extended Car Warranty Plans and Costs

Before making any decision about getting an extended warranty or switching coverage, you need to compare provider options and quotes. Getting more information about what provider plans cover and comparing costs will help you find the best deal for your situation.

Are Extended Car Warranties Worth It?

An extended car warranty can be worthwhile if your vehicle is unreliable and you can’t afford repair costs upfront. If this is the case, getting protection can save you a lot of money and anxiety in the long run. Total costs of vehicle service plans are also typically lower than bringing a vehicle in for a major repair, so purchasing one can be a valuable investment.

Should I Get an Extended Warranty on a Used Car?

You should get an extended car warranty on your used car if:

  • Your particular vehicle is unreliable: It is important to check reliability ratings for your car and common repair costs when looking for any extended warranty. If your used vehicle isn’t reliable, you should consider getting coverage
  • Your car has high mileage: The higher the mileage on your car, the higher your chances are of having a breakdown. If your vehicle is old and has plenty of history then you may want to consider a high mileage extended warranty.
  • You plan to keep your used car for a long time: If you like your car and want to keep it in good condition, getting protection will ensure that you can enjoy driving it for as long as possible. If you decide to sell, having a warranty on your vehicle will also increase its resale value.
  • You want additional benefits: If you are looking for more in your warranty for perks like rental car insurance, roadside assistance, and towing, an extended warranty for your car can provide that for you.

Should I Get an Extended Warranty on a New Car?

An extended warranty on a new car is worth it if your current automaker plan coverage and terms are lackluster compared to alternatives. Since newer cars have fewer miles, it can also be cheaper to pursue a vehicle service plan since there is less risk of breakdown. However, typically most factory warranties offer comprehensive coverage that protects your vehicle’s most important systems.

Should I Get an Extended Warranty on a Leased Car?

Unless you have a lease longer than three years or you are buying it out, an extended warranty on a leased vehicle is unnecessary. If you are leasing a car, typically you are covered under the automaker factory warranty.

Extended Car Warranty Companies

Our team has thoroughly researched the top extended auto warranty companies in the industry based on their pricing, coverage, reputation, and customer experience. We recommend getting free quotes from providers to find the best choice for your needs.

Best Extended Auto Warranty Companies

Based on our research, the best extended car warranty companies are Endurance, Carchex, Carshield, and autopom!. Below we have broken down our ratings for cost and coverage as well as our overall scores for each warranty provider:

Top Extended Car Warranty CompaniesSuperlativeOverall RatingCoverage RatingCost Rating
#1. EnduranceBest Plan Offerings


#2. CARCHEXBest for Used Cars4.454.0
#3. CarShieldBest Monthly Payments4.354
#4 autopom!Best Claims Service4.64.54.5

Best Extended Auto Warranty

Learn more about our top three recommendations for the best extended auto warranty companies below to see if protection from Endurance, CARCHEX, or CarShield might be a good fit for you.

Best Extended Car Warranty Reviews

Below are the details of our top choices for extended car warranties:

#1 Endurance: 5.0 Stars

Founded in 2006, Endurance is one of the top extended auto warranty providers in the U.S. While many providers in the industry are brokers, Endurance is a direct auto warranty provider, meaning it administers its own contracts. Endurance contracts are available in all states except California.

Endurance offers six coverage levels, ranging from factory-warranty-style exclusionary coverage to a basic powertrain warranty option. The company offers additional perks with each of its plans as well. For instance, every plan comes with one year of Endurance Elite Benefits, which include 24-hour roadside assistance, key fob replacement, tire repair or replacement (two per year), and more.

Read our Endurance warranty review for a more in-depth look at the company. 

#2 CARCHEX: 5.0 Stars

CARCHEX is highly regarded when it comes to extended warranties for used vehicles, and for good reason. Founded in 1999 and available in all 50 states, CARCHEX has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

CARCHEX offers five options that cover vehicles up to 10 years/250,000 miles–much higher than any of the other top extended car warranty companies. This makes the provider a smart choice for covering used cars. Depending on the plan you choose, CARCHEX plans also come with additional perks like these:

  • Roadside assistance
  • Towing
  • Rental car reimbursement
  • Trip interruption
  • Fuel delivery
  • Lockout services
  •  Jump-starts

Read our CARCHEX warranty review for more information about the company.

#3 CarShield: 4.5 Stars

Founded in 2005, CarShield is an industry leader in extended car warranties. The third-party warranty provider offers vehicle protection plans to car owners in every state except California. CarShield offers additional perks such as roadside assistance, towing, and rental car reimbursement with all of its plans.

CarShield offers six levels of coverage that can cover your vehicle up to 300,000 miles. Our review team found CarShield to be the Best Value of all providers and awarded the company a 5.0-star rating in the pricing category.

Check out our CarShield warranty review to learn more about this extended warranty provider.

Extended Auto Warranty: Conclusion

An extended car warranty can be a good investment for your vehicle and could save you money on costly repairs. However, before buying it is a good idea to gauge your current situation and what protection plans are available to you. We have provided you with some of our top picks for extended vehicle warranties, but we recommend searching around and comparing quotes from multiple companies to find the best value for your money.

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

Car Extended Warranty: FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions about extended car warranties:

Is it worth getting extended warranty on a car?

An extended car warranty is worth it for many car owners. The potential repair costs associated with fixing your vehicle without extended warranty coverage tend to outweigh the average cost of an extended auto warranty. An extended warranty can provide peace of mind that you are protected against unexpected, expensive repair costs.

What does an extended warranty cover on a car?

Extended warranty coverage depends on the type of plan you choose. More basic plans such as powertrain warranties cover the most essential parts needed to power your vehicle, such as the engine, transmission, and drivetrain. You can also opt for more comprehensive exclusionary coverage, which covers most vehicle components except those explicitly stated as excluded in the contract.

How much is an extended car warranty typically?

The average price of an extended auto warranty ranges from $1,500 to $3,800, based on our research. The price you pay will depend on the provider and level of coverage you choose, as well as your vehicle’s make, model, age, and mileage.

Who has the best extended car warranty?

Endurance is the best reputable extended car warranty provider according to our team’s analysis of over 50 different providers. They received the highest rating for their low costs an high levels of coverage in their extended warranties. The company also provides many attractive benefits such as 24 hour roadside assistance.

Where can I buy an extended warranty for my car?

Both dealers and third-party providers are available to provider you extended warranty protection for your car. However, if you are looking to purchase a vehicle service contract we recommend comparing quotes from both to find the best deal.

Can you get an extended warranty after 100,000 miles?

Buying an extended warranty for a vehicle that has over 100,000 miles on the odometer is possible and highly recommended. The likelihood a vehicle with over 100,000 miles will need expensive repairs or require roadside assistance is high, which makes an extended warranty a good choice. Our team has reviewed the best options for extended warranties for cars over 100,000 miles.

How long is an extended car warranty?

A standard extended warranty for a car has terms of 36,000 Miles and 3 years of bumper-to-bumper coverage. Powertrain warranties typically last longer than this due to their protection covering fewer parts overall. However, provider terms and conditions vary and depend on the plan you chose.

What voids an extended car warranty?

Extended car warranties can be voided for a variety of reasons including environmental damages, alterations to your odometer, and if you make infractions regarding vehicle usage. If you get into a major accident and you were given a salvaged title or had your car declared as a total loss, your contract can be voided also.

How do car warranties work?

A car warranty is similar to a car insurance plan in that you pay a fee to cover a predetermined set of parts on your vehicle, and you will need to go through a claims process when something goes wrong. If you need repairs for a covered component, your extended warranty plan will take care of the repair costs, minus your deductible. If the part that has failed is not under warranty, you’ll need to pay out of pocket for the repair.

How many miles does an extended warranty cover?

The term length and mileage limit of extended warranty coverage will depend on the provider and level of coverage you choose. The coverage your vehicle receives depends on your circumstances and vehicle as well. Always read the fine print of any extended warranty contract before you sign.

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.

View Pricing from our #1 Provider – Endurance