Last updated: February 2024
Our Extended Car Warranty Reviews Process
All of the plans we recommend have gone through our thorough car warranty reviews process which considers a variety of factors including comprehensiveness of coverage, plan options and terms, pricing, availability, support, and the claims process. Using this car warranty reviews methodology, we only recommend the best extended car warranty companies.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Warranty
Who Needs an Extended Car Warranty Plan?
Types of Extended Car Warranty Plans
Factory Accessory Plans
Rust or Corrosion Warranty
How to Choose the Right Plan
What Does an Extended Car Warranty Cover?
An extended auto warranty covers repairs and replacements for your car’s systems and parts. Exactly which systems and parts this includes is determined by your contract and the level of coverage you choose.
In general, extended warranties either are comprehensive and cover almost everything, or they cover the most important system—the powertrain. What’s important in your extended warranty coverage is that it includes repairs and replacements that happen due to normal, everyday use.
This is different from your new car warranty, which likely only covered breakdowns due to faulty factory parts or workmanship error. Normally, extended warranties don’t cover the cost of regular maintenance, such as oil changes, new tires, tire rotations, inspections, new filters, and windshield wiper replacements.
Are Extended Car Warranties Worth It?
The average car owner keeps their vehicle for 6.5 years, but many factory warranties only last for three years, meaning that without an extended warranty, your car is unprotected for more than half of its life.
What’s more, extended car warranties pay for themselves after just one major repair.
An extended car warranty has the potential to save you a lot of money. Ultimately, the value of an extended warranty depends on the reliability of your car and the cost of its repairs. You can review the many extended car warranty plans here, to find the best value that suits your specific needs.
How Long Does a Car Warranty Last?
New car warranties vary depending on the make of your car, but they typically last between three and five years, or between 36,000 and 60,000 miles. If you need repairs after three years, you’ll have to foot the bill yourself—unless you’ve purchased an extended car warranty. These service contracts can last for up to 10 years, depending on the provider and plan you choose.
How Does an Extended Warranty Work?
An extended warranty works like an insurance policy for your car. You pay a small, known amount up front and are protected against expensive surprise repairs in the future. Let’s say you purchase an extended warranty and then experience a breakdown. What are your next steps?
The first thing you’ll do is gather your warranty documentation and get an estimate for the repair from an approved auto shop.
Next, you’ll submit a claim to the warranty company. They will confirm whether the repair you need is covered. The warranty company will also tell you if they’ll pay for the repair directly, or if you’ll pay the bill and get reimbursed. This depends on your specific warranty.
Then, you can take your car in for the repair, same as always—except you’ll have peace of mind that it’s covered and your budget will remain intact. Your provider may even cover rental car expenses, if necessary.
What Do Extended Auto Warranties Cost?
The cost of an extended auto warranty can be based on these factors: your car’s age, your car’s mileage, level of coverage, your driving habits, your provider.