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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.
It’s always a good idea to get multiple quotes when shopping for added coverage. Click below to get free, personalized quotes from our top three recommended providers.
In this article:
- What makes an extended warranty company reputable?
- Top 5 reputable extended car warranty companies
- Should you consider an extended warranty from the dealership?
- Is an extended warranty worth it?
- How to find the right provider for you
- Our methodology
- FAQ: reputable extended car warranty providers
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.
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.
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
Headquarters: Northbrook, Ill.
Endurance is our top pick for reputable extended car warranty companies. The provider works directly with customers, handling claims, contracts and quotes without an 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.
At the time of publication, Endurance held a 3.63 out of 5-star customer review score on the BBB and a 4.2-star rating (out of 5 stars) on Trustpilot. Contract holders 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 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:
- Supreme: Most comprehensive plan that covers almost all mechanical and electrical components, aside from a few exclusions
- Superior: Highest level of stated-component coverage, which means it covers every part listed in the contract
- 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
Click below for a free Endurance warranty quote.
No. 2 CARCHEX: best for used cars
Availability: 50 states
Headquarters: Hunt Valley, Md.
One of the longest-standing vehicle protection companies, CARCHEX is backed by industry leaders including Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com, RepairPal and Carfax. The provider has also received several awards, including:
- Eight-time honoree on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies, including multiple features on the list of Top Work Places and Top Consumer Reviews
- 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 accredited 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 3.3-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.
Here’s a quick look at CARCHEX’s customizable coverage plans:
- 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
To see how much a CARCHEX warranty would cost for your vehicle, click below.
No. 3 CarShield: most affordable
Availability: All states except California
Headquarters: Cottleville, Mo.
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 1,600 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.
CarShield contracts are administered by American Auto Shield, which is backed by insurers that have received ‘A’ financial strength ratings 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:
- 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 nonstandard vehicles
Reach out to CarShield for a free, no-obligation quote below.
No. 4 Protect My Car: best maintenance benefits
Availability: All states except Alaska, California, Hawaii, Missouri, Oklahoma and Washington
Headquarters: Saint Petersburg, Fla.
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 4.64-star customer review score at the time of publication. Customers weighed in on Trustpilot to give it an average of 4.4 stars with over 1,400 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 offers three coverage options, which can extend up to 10 years/125,000 miles. These include:
- 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. You can get free quotes for all Protect My Car plans below.
No. 5 autopom!: best customer service
Availability: 50 states
Headquarters: Lake Forest, Calif.
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 accredited A+ rating from the BBB as well as a 4.29 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:
- 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
You can click below to get a free autopom! quote for your vehicle.
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.
- Potential 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.
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, 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 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 11.9 years as of 2020. 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 lifespan.
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:
|Car Brand||Average Annual Repair Cost|
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. Click below to receive free, no-obligation quotes from top-rated reputable extended car warranty companies.
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.
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 membership. This program includes perks like tire and key fob replacements, entertainment vouchers, 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.
*Data accurate at time of publication.