5 most reputable extended car warranty companies of 2021

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When shopping for vehicle protection, it’s best to look for reputable extended car warranty companies. You don’t want to work with a company with poor business practices or a spotty customer service record.

We’ve sifted through the industry for you (see methodology below), comparing dozens of providers to find the five most reputable extended car warranty companies available, all of which also ranked highly in our best extended car warranty review. We’ll discuss each provider in detail, focusing on their business practices and industry reputation. We’ll also touch on what makes a company reputable and how to choose the right provider for your needs.

In this article:

  • What makes an extended warranty company reputable?

  • Top 5 reputable extended car warranty companies

  • 1. Endurance: Best coverage

  • 2. CARCHEX: Best for used cars

  • 3. CarShield: Most affordable

  • 4. Protect My Car: Best maintenance benefits

  • 5. Autopom!: Best customer service

  • Is an extended warranty worth it?

  • What to know before buying a third-party extended warranty

  • How much does an extended warranty cost?

  • How to find the right provider for you

  • FAQ: reputable extended car warranty providers

  • Our methodology

What makes an extended warranty company reputable?

Reputable extended car warranty companies should tick the following boxes:

Strong industry reputation

We turn to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and AM Best when considering a company’s industry standing. The BBB grades companies on their ability to respond to and settle customer issues. If a provider holds a high BBB rating, there’s a good chance it effectively communicates with contract holders in a timely manner.

Some providers work with vehicle service contract underwriters to guarantee claims payouts. To check these underwriters’ financial strength ratings, we look to AM Best, which rates a business’s financial ability to pay claims and manage risk.

Some extended warranty providers, like Carchex, are also endorsed by industry-leading companies. Prominent partnerships are a sign of a reputable provider.

Relatively high customer satisfaction ratings

The BBB, Google and Trustpilot all provide customer review scores for extended warranty companies. We recommend using multiple review sites when deciding on a provider. It’s not uncommon to see low customer review scores on the BBB, as customers looking to resolve a complaint are more likely to post a review on this platform. 

Positive customer reviews are an important way to gauge how you’ll be treated by an extended warranty company. Look for companies with reviews that mention a quick claims process and helpful service representatives. Also, beware of companies that customers say practice poor habits, like scam calls and misleading advertising.

Transparent business practices

Many reputable extended car warranty companies offer sample contracts online so customers can read coverage details before signing on the dotted line. A common issue among contract holders is claims denials.

By choosing a provider that readily offers information about its contracts, you’ll be better equipped to understand what is and isn’t covered. However, you should always read the fine print regardless of the provider you choose.

Longstanding company history

In our research, we’ve found the best, most reputable providers have been in business for more than a few years. The warranty industry is highly competitive, making it easy for companies to come and go, especially if they have negative customer reviews and shady business practices.

Ease of use

It’s also important to find a service plan that is easy to use. Does it pay the repair facility directly? Are there extra benefits like roadside assistance and rental car coverage? Is there a 30-day money-back guarantee to use if you change your mind? All of our recommendations offer these benefits.

Top 5 reputable extended car warranty companies

When identifying the five most reputable extended car warranty companies on the market, we considered the factors above, as well as cost and coverage options. After researching auto warranty companies throughout the industry, Endurance, Carchex, CarShield, Protect My Car and autopom! topped our list for reputability.

Extended Warranty Provider

Our Award

Year Established

Overall Rating

Reputation Rating

Customer Experience Rating

No. 1 Endurance

Best Coverage

2006

9.5

9.5

9.5

No. 2 Carchex

Best for Used Cars

1999

9.4

10.0

9.0

No. 3 CarShield

Most Affordable

2005

9.1

8.5

8.5

No. 4 Protect My Car

Best Maintenance Benefits

2005

8.5

8.0

8.5

No. 5 autopom!

Best Customer Service

2009

8.5

9.0

8.5

1. Endurance: Best coverage

Availability: All states except California

Highest mileage limit: 200,000+ miles

Extra benefits: Roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement and Endurance Elite Benefits

Endurance is our top pick for reputable extended car warranty companies. The company is a direct provider, which means it handles claims without a separate administrator. This means you’ll work with the same service representatives when filing a claim as you did when getting a quote. That said, Endurance plans are backed by highly rated insurers, meaning the company should be able to pay out customer claims regardless of the cost.

Regarding its industry standing, Endurance has a C+ rating from the BBB. This lower score is in part due to mailers sent out by the company, which sparked confusion among consumers. 

At the time of publication, the provider held a 3.41 out of 5-star customer review score on the BBB and a 4.4-star rating on Trustpilot. Endurance reviews often mention positive experiences with the provider’s knowledgeable customer service representatives.

In 2020, Inc. 5000 named Endurance as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S. The provider was also a Bronze Award winner at the 2019 Stevie Awards for Great Employers, which emphasizes the company’s efforts toward employee well-being.Endurance extended warranty plans

Endurance offers six coverage plans, starting with an exclusionary plan that covers all components except for those specifically listed as excluded in the contract. There are also several stated-component plans, which list every covered component in the agreement, and a plan that combines warranty and maintenance coverage. Here’s an overview of the plans:

Plan

What it covers

Supreme

Most comprehensive plan that covers almost all mechanical and electrical components, aside from a few exclusions

Superior

Highest level of stated-component coverage

Secure Plus

Covers the powertrain as well as the brakes, air conditioning, steering and some electrical components

Secure

Most budget-friendly plan that protects the engine, transmission and water pump

Select Premier

Plan tailored to high-mileage vehicles that covers the powertrain, electrical, cooling, air conditioning, heating and fuel systems

EnduranceAdvantageTM

Combines prepaid maintenance and stated-component coverage

Endurance customers also get one free year of Endurance Elite Benefits, which includes: 

  • 24/7 roadside assistance

  • Up to $1,000 toward total loss replacement

  • Collision discount of $500 per accident ($1,000 total limit)

  • Up to $500 for key fob replacement

  • Tire repair/replacement

2. Carchex: Best for used cars

Availability: 50 states

Highest mileage limit: 250,000 miles

Extra benefits: Roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement and trip interruption

  • Eight-time honoree on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies, including multiple features on the Top Work Places and Top Consumer Reviews lists

  • Named the top employer in the Baltimore area by The Baltimore Sun for six consecutive years

  • Silver Winner in the 2017 Golden Bridge Awards for the Customer Service Department of the Year category

Carchex holds an A+ rating from the BBB with relatively few customer complaints in the past three years, especially for a company of its size. At the time of publication, backed by just over 1,400 customer reviews, Carchex had a 3.2-star customer review score on Trustpilot. While this is an average rating overall, the majority of customers (87%) give the provider a 4.0-star rating or higher.

To offer financially sound contracts to drivers, Carchex works with insured administrators like American Auto Shield and Royal Administration Services.

Charchex extended warranty plans

Carchex offers coverage for vehicles with up to 250,000 miles, which makes it a great option for older cars. The company offers a variety of plans, from powertrain coverage to comprehensive coverage. Here’s a quick look at Charchex customizable coverage plans:

Plan

What it covers

Titanium

Exclusionary coverage for most vehicle components

Platinum

Highest level of stated-component coverage that covers hundreds of parts

Gold

Protects all major systems and is best suited for high-mileage vehicles

Silver

Covers powertrain components and a few other key systems

Bronze

Protects the engine and transmission

3. CarShield: Most affordable

Availability: All states except California

Highest mileage limit: 200,000 miles

Extra benefits: Roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement and trip interruption

CarShield is our top choice for affordable extended warranty contracts. Based on quotes we’ve received from scores of providers, CarShield coverage plans are often the lowest-cost option.

In the past three years, CarShield has fielded over 2,000 customer complaints through the BBB. This may raise red flags initially, but it’s important to consider the number of drivers CarShield covers versus the number of complaints against the company.

Since its founding in 2005, CarShield has covered over one million vehicles, making it one of the largest providers in the industry. Its customer complaints represent only a small portion of its contract holders.

Our review team reached out to CarShield for a comment on its rating and complaint volume and received the following response: “In the last [three] years we have 2,210 BBB complaints, but we sold 1,118,296 contracts. So only 0.21% of our customers complained.”

CarShield extended warranty plans

CarShield contracts are administered by American Auto Shield, which is backed by insurers that have received financial strength ratings of A from AM Best. An A rating is awarded to companies that have an “excellent” ability to pay out customer claims.

CarShield’s six warranty plans include:

Plan

What it covers

Diamond

Exclusionary coverage for almost all mechanical and electrical components

Platinum

Best suited for high-mileage vehicles with protection for the engine, transmission, air conditioning, electrical system, starter, water pump, fuel pump and more

Gold

Protects the engine, transmission, water pump, alternator, starter, air conditioning and power windows

Silver

Most affordable contract that covers the engine, transmission and water pump

Aluminum

Protects electrical and high-tech components, including the engine control module, starter, alternator, navigation system and more

Motorcycle & ATV

Multiple coverage tiers for motorcycles and other non-standard vehicles

4. Protect My Car: Best maintenance benefits

Availability: All states except Alaska, California, Hawaii, Missouri, Oklahoma and Washington

Highest mileage limit: 125,000 miles

Extra benefits: Roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement and trip interruption

Protect My Car holds some of the highest customer review ratings of any extended warranty provider. The company has an unaccredited A+ rating from the BBB alongside a 4.56-star customer review score at the time of publication. Customers weighed in on Trustpilot to give it an average of 4.5 stars with over 1,800 reviews.

Protect My Car’s employees are certified by the Association of Certified Vehicle Protection Professionals (ACVPP). The certification focuses on ethical business practices, consumer protections, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and more. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act “requires warrantors of consumer products to provide consumers with detailed information about warranty coverage.”

The provider’s customers often mention positive experiences with the service team and the ease of the claims process.

Protect My Car extended warranty plans

Protect My Car offers three coverage options, which can extend up to 10 years/125,000 miles. These include:

Plan

What it covers

Supreme

Similar coverage to the vehicle’s original factory warranty

Select

Best suited for vehicles over 50,000 miles and offers coverage a step below the Supreme plan

Driveline

Powertrain protection for vehicles between four and 10 years old with more than 80,000 miles

Protect My Car also has five prepaid maintenance programs called Ambassador Maintenance Plans. An Ambassador Maintenance Plan covers a combination of car repairs and regular maintenance.

5. Autopom!: best customer service

Availability: 50 states

Highest mileage limit: 150,000 miles

Extra benefits: Roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement and trip interruption plus tire protection on some plans

The last provider on our reputable extended car warranty companies list is autopom!, which stands for “automotive peace of mind.” At the time of publication, the company held an A+ rating from the BBB as well as a 4.57 out of 5-star customer review score.

In the past three years, autopom! has only fielded one customer complaint logged with the BBB. Compared with other providers, autopom! takes the most hands-on approach with customers, having service representatives work with potential buyers to navigate its administrators’ multiple contracts.

On Trustpilot, autopom! has an impressive 4.8 out of 5.0-star customer review rating, though fewer than 100 customers have weighed in to give it this score. Customer feedback is largely positive, and many customers note the provider’s reputability, knowledgeable service representatives and wide variety of coverage plans.

Autopom! extended warranty plans include:

Plan

What it covers

Exclusionary

Covers most mechanical and electrical components unless stated otherwise

High-Level

Inclusionary coverage for major systems like the engine, transmission, drive axle, steering, suspension, brakes, air conditioning, cooling, fuel and electrical

Mid-Level

Stated-component coverage for the engine, transmission, drive axle, steering, brakes, air conditioning and electrical components

Powertrain Plus

Covers the powertrain as well as the air conditioning system

Is an extended warranty worth it?

Extended warranties can be a worthwhile investment for many drivers, but it’s best to consider your situation when shopping for a contract. If you own a highly reliable vehicle or plan to sell your car before the factory warranty expires, a vehicle protection plan may not be worth the cost. This is also true for drivers with a savings account set aside for auto repairs.

However, you should consider added coverage if:

  • You want peace of mind: Vehicle repairs can be costly to pay for out of pocket. Once your manufacturer’s warranty expires, you’re financially responsible for any mechanical or electrical breakdowns. Extended warranties foot the bill for covered repairs, easing anxiety over future issues.

  • You want a predictable auto budget: By paying for a vehicle service contract upfront or through a monthly payment plan or included in your vehicle’s financing, you’re protected against paying for a surprise repair bill after an unexpected mechanical breakdown.

  • You plan on owning your vehicle for a long time: According to research from IHS Markit, the average age of operable light vehicles in the U.S. is 12.1 years as of 2021. Since most manufacturers’ bumper-to-bumper warranties expire within 4 years/50,000 miles, you could be driving an unprotected vehicle for over half its life span.

You should also consider your vehicle’s repair costs. The more you can expect to pay in repair costs, the more likely you are to benefit from extended warranty coverage. Here are some average annual repair costs for popular automakers, according to RepairPal:

What do consumers say?

Our team polled 1,000 consumers who had experience purchasing or shopping for an extended car warranty plan. Of this sample, about 75% had purchased a dealership extended warranty, while 44% had purchased a third-party extended warranty. 

Survey respondents said pricing was the most important factor followed by the length of the warranty and levels of coverage. Overall, 64% of the respondents were satisfied with their extended warranty, and 13% said they were neither satisfied or dissatisfied. 

On the other hand, 13% said they were dissatisfied with the warranty. Some said the vehicle warranty didn’t cover expected repairs, while others said they thought the company tried to get out of paying for repairs.

Should you consider an extended warranty from the dealership?

In addition to reputable extended car warranty companies, drivers can purchase coverage from their vehicle manufacturer. Since these contacts are usually backed by the automaker itself, they can reduce buyer anxiety about reputability. 

Manufacturer contracts guarantee factory-trained technicians and the use of genuine parts for repairs. However, they also come with a few limitations, including:

  • Limited repair shop choice: Most manufacturers require drivers to go to the dealership or a branded repair center for service. While this may not seem like a big deal, some automakers have relatively few dealerships nationwide. For example, there are just over 100 MINI dealerships in the entire U.S.

  • Expensive vehicle service contracts: You may face dealership markups on top of the contract’s price if you choose to purchase manufacturer-backed protection.

  • Fewer coverage options: Typically, manufacturers only offer one to three vehicle protection plans. Depending on your needs, you may end up purchasing too little coverage or paying for unneeded coverage.

What to know before buying a third-party extended warranty

With a third-party warranty, a company besides your car’s manufacturer covers certain repairs. The main advantage is that it’s usually cheaper than a manufacturer’s extended warranty. 

However, a third party plan may or may not cover OEM replacement parts. If you go to a dealer and get OEM parts, you may have to cover a portion of the repair cost depending on the contract terms. 

The most reputable extended car warranty companies will pay the repair shop directly. So, all you have to pay is your deductible. Some less-reputable providers will require you to pay for repairs upfront and submit receipts for reimbursement, so watch out for those companies. 

Make sure you’ve read through the contract thoroughly before buying the plan. Look for specifications on:

  • Labor rate coverage limits

  • What defines mechanical failure

  • Maximum payout per contract

  • OEM parts coverage

  • Waiting periods or inspections required before coverage

  • Required maintenance documentation

  • Emergency repair procedures

  • Cancellations and contract transfers

Finally, all extended warranty contracts come with a number of exclusions, so take some time to understand what isn’t covered to avoid disappointment down the road. One of the top reasons for extended warranty complaints is repairs not being covered. 

Sometimes, a company doesn’t cover a valid repair. But, in many situations, the contract clearly excludes the repair in question. Don’t count on a salesperson to read every exclusion to you. You have to do your homework and read all of the fine print in this industry.

How much does an extended warranty cost?

On average, an extended warranty can cost between $1,500 and $3,500. Extended warranty prices are based on your vehicle and condition, so you’ll need to compare multiple quotes to find the best price. According to our consumer survey, about 67% of respondents paid between $1,500 and $2,500 for an extended warranty.

How to find the right provider for you

When considering extended car warranty providers, it’s best to compare quotes from multiple companies. That way, you can ensure you find the right coverage plan that fits within your budget. Be sure to take a look at some sample contracts to know what the plan covers before making a purchase.

Provider

Trustpilot Rating

Number of Plans

Highest Mileage

Endurance

4.4 / 5.0

6

200,000 miles

CARCHEX

3.2 / 5.0

5

250,000 miles

CarShield

4.0 / 5.0

6

200,000 miles

Protect My Car

4.5 / 5.0

3

125,000 miles

autopom!

4.8 / 5.0

4

150,000 miles

FAQ: reputable extended car warranty providers

What is the best extended car warranty?

Based on our research, Endurance offers the best extended car warranty. Endurance customers can choose from six warranty options, which range from basic powertrain protection to exclusionary, bumper-to-bumper coverage. Contract holders also receive roadside assistance, trip interruption benefits and one free year of Endurance Elite Benefits membership. This program includes perks like tire and key fob replacements, entertainment vouchers, tire replacements and more.

Are extended warranties worth the cost?

Extended warranties can be worth it for the peace of mind they provide. After your factory new-car warranty expires, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for all car repairs and regular maintenance costs. With a vehicle service contract, you’re only responsible for a deductible and the cost of the contract. Warranties are also worth it for drivers who want a predictable auto budget.

Do extended warranties and car insurance offer the same protection?

Extended warranties differ from standard auto insurance coverage. An extended auto warranty only covers damage caused by normal use, meaning it won’t cover accidents or collisions. Warranties also won’t cover routine maintenance services, like oil changes, or wear-and-tear parts, like brake pads. Additionally, extended warranty plans aren’t regulated by the federal government like auto insurance policies.

Does AAA offer extended car warranties?

AAA may or may not offer extended car warranties, depending on where you live. For example, AAA Carolinas offers four coverage options that can extend up to 7 years/230,000 miles. On the other hand, AAA Mid Atlantic offers three extended warranty plans for new and used cars.

Is CarShield a rip-off?

No, CarShield is not a rip-off. Generally speaking, we found it to be the most affordable provider overall. The company also offers benefits like towing and rental car reimbursement with its plans.

Are car manufacturers’ extended warranties worth the money?

In the world of extended warranties, a manufacturer’s warranty is usually the most expensive option considering the time and mileage limits you receive. However, it also pays for dealership service and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. Compare terms from your dealer with free quotes from third-party providers to find out if it’s worth it for you.

Our methodology

Because consumers rely on us to provide objective and accurate information, we created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings of the best extended car warranty companies. We collected data on dozens of auto warranty providers to grade the companies on a wide range of ranking factors. The end result was an overall rating for each provider, with the companies that scored the most points topping the list.

Here are the factors our ratings take into account:

  • Reputation: Our research team considered availability, ratings from industry experts and years in business when giving this score.

  • Cost: Auto warranty rates and available deductibles were both taken into consideration.

  • Coverage: Companies that offer a variety of choices for warranty coverage, long terms and added benefits are more likely to meet consumer needs.

  • Customer Experience: This score is based on customer satisfaction ratings, contract transparency and the availability of a money-back guarantee. We also considered the responsiveness, friendliness and helpfulness of each warranty company’s customer service team based on our own shopper analysis.

*Data accurate at time of publication.

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