CARS Protection Plus has been in business for more than 20 years and currently sells 11 vehicle service contracts for drivers to choose from. But is a CARS warranty the best choice to protect your vehicle?
In this review, we’ll take a closer look at CARS warranty plans, pricing, customer reviews, and more. We’ll also see how CARS warranty coverage stacks up against some of the industry’s best extended car warranty companies, so you can get a better understanding of which company may best suit your vehicle protection needs.
Remember, it’s always smart to shop around and get quotes from multiple providers before deciding on an extended warranty. To start getting free, personalized quotes from our top recommended providers, use the buttons below.
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CARS Warranty Highlights
CARS Protection Plus has been underwriting vehicle service contracts since 1998. Today, CARS partners with industry leaders like AAMCO, Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, Meineke, and LKQ Corporation.
What Does a CARS Warranty Cover?
Drivers interested in a CARS warranty have seven standard vehicle service contract options to choose from, as well as four Flex Protect levels that add coverage for diagnostic fees and rental cars.
Here’s a breakdown of the seven standard CARS warranty plans:
|Ultimate Value||ONYX Plus||Value Plus||Value Limited||Independence||Power Train Limited||Power Train|
|Drive Axle Assembly||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Seals and Gaskets||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Engine Cooling System||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
The ONYX Plus plan is a specialty plan designed for vans and trucks that run on diesel, weigh one ton, or have dual rear wheels. It also covers trucks and Jeeps lifted up to four inches.
Although there are a few CARS warranty plans that don’t differ all that much in terms of vehicle coverage, the benefits are what make each plan unique.
|CARS Warranty Plan||Benefits|
|Ultimate Value||Roadside assistance, towing, rental reimbursement, $100 hourly labor rate|
|Onyx Plus||Roadside assistance, towing, rental reimbursement, $70 hourly labor rate,
up to an hour of diagnostic coverage
|Value Plus||Roadside assistance, towing, rental reimbursement, $70 hourly labor rate|
|Value Limited||Towing, rental reimbursement, $60 hourly labor rate|
|Independence||Towing, rental reimbursement, $70 hourly labor rate|
|Power Train Limited||Towing, $60 hourly labor rate|
|Power Train||Towing, rental reimbursement, $60 hourly labor rate|
*Plans with roadside assistance and/or towing cover up to $50 for each service per claim. Rental car reimbursement covers $25 for every eight hours of labor up to a maximum of $300.
As you can see, not all standard CARS Protection Plus plans come with roadside assistance or diagnostic coverage, and the highest labor rate limit is $100 per hour. If you want to guarantee that your diagnostics will be covered, you may be interested in a Flex Protect plan over a traditional CARS warranty.
There are four levels of Flex Protect coverage, which cover the following vehicle components, as well as all diagnostics, rental coverage, and towing. Levels 2 through 4 come with a $0 deductible and a labor limit of $160 per hour:
- Flex Level 1: Covers the engine, transmission, drive systems, seals, and gaskets
- Flex Level 2: Covers everything in Level 1, plus the turbocharger, suspension, steering, braking components, engine cooling system, and select electrical components
- Flex Level 3: Covers everything in Level 2, plus the fuel system, air conditioning, radiator, enhanced electrical components, and roadside assistance
- Flex Level 4: Covers everything in Level 3, plus navigation, entertainment systems, the computer, and all other original factory-equipped mechanical and electrical parts unless specifically excluded
Extended auto warranties generally do not cover routine maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotations, or wear and tear items, such as windshield wipers and brake pads.
How Much Does a CARS Warranty Cost?
CARS warranty costs are not available online. Because CARS Protection Plus sells vehicle service contracts exclusively through dealerships, our research team was unable to get a quote from this company.
On average, extended warranties cost between $600 and $1,000 per year of coverage, so if you’re offered a CARS warranty at a dealership, that range can be a good measure of whether or not a CARS warranty is affordable.
The price of your extended car warranty coverage depends on many factors, such as:
- Your location
- Type of car you drive
- The number of miles on your odometer
- The level of coverage you buy
- Where you purchase your extended car warranty
CARS Warranty Claims Processes
In order to file a CARS warranty claim, your auto repair facility will need to contact CARS for pre-authorization before any work begins. After repairs are completed, you must send CARS an invoice for payment that includes the following information:
- Your CARS pre-authorization number
- Your warranty information
- Your vehicle identification number (VIN)
- The current mileage of your vehicle
- Your name and address
- Your signature
CARS Warranty Ratings and Reviews
CARS Protection Plus has a strong reputation among extended car warranty industry experts and partners with major companies like AAMCO and Meineke. It has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which indicates the company uses sound business practices. However, it only has a 1.51 out of 5.0-star BBB customer rating based on less than 50 reviews.
Positive CARS warranty reviews include details about courteous customer service representatives, impressive mechanical repairs, and praise for the ability to renew your CARS warranty every three months. Negative customer reviews report difficulty getting coverage for claims, rude claims service agents, and trouble getting in touch with agents to cancel contracts.
One customer also reported getting a CARS warranty for free from a shoddy car dealer. As with any car warranty company, be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. The extended car warranty industry is full of scam companies, but CARS Protection Plus seems reliable overall, even if a bit slow to process claims.
CARS Warranty: 3.6 Stars
CARS Protection Plus has a positive industry reputation and a number of comprehensive plan options. However, the company’s 11 plans don’t have much distinction between them, and determining which level of coverage you want can be confusing. Additionally, not all plans come with free standard benefits like roadside assistance and trip interruption coverage.
If benefits and straightforward plan information are important to you, your best bet is to go with another reputable extended car warranty company. You can read more about our top recommended providers below.
Top Recommendations for Extended Car Warranties
If you want peace of mind on the road knowing you’re protected against the high cost of repairs of a mechanical breakdown, we recommend looking into top car warranty providers like Endurance and CarShield. Our review team evaluated each major extended warranty company in the industry and found these providers to offer two of the best vehicle service contracts available for new cars, as well as used cars.
Endurance: Best Coverage
Endurance offers six levels of high-quality extended car warranty coverage:
- Supreme: Exclusionary bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage
- Superior: Comprehensive stated-component coverage
- Secure Plus: Enhanced powertrain warranty coverage
- Secure: Affordable basic powertrain warranty coverage
- Select Premier: Specialty coverage for high-mileage vehicles
- EnduranceAdvantage™: This plan covers mechanical breakdowns as well as maintenance, like oil changes, engine diagnostics, and brake pad replacements.
When you purchase an Endurance warranty, you will also receive a year of free enrollment into the Endurance Elite Membership program. This program grants you access to some of the most comprehensive benefits in the industry, including:
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Two tire repairs or replacements per year
- Key fob replacements
- Identity theft protection
- Up to $5,000 in repair loans
- $250 in vouchers to be used at select retailers
For more on this provider, check out our full Endurance warranty review, in which we take a look at customer experiences, detailed plan pricing, and more. Or to get a free, personalized Endurance quote, use the buttons below.
Endurance is our pick for best direct provider with its comprehensive coverage options.
CarShield: Best Value
CarShield provides the most budget-friendly warranty on the market and gives drivers flexible payment options, such as a month-to-month contract that can be canceled at any time.
There are six levels of CarShield coverage:
- Diamond: Bumper-to-bumper coverage
- Platinum: Comprehensive coverage for high-mileage vehicles
- Gold: Enhanced powertrain coverage
- Silver: Affordable basic powertrain coverage
- Aluminum: Specialty coverage for electrical components and high-tech vehicles
- Motorcycle & ATV: Coverage for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles
All CarShield vehicle protection plans come with 24/7 roadside assistance, towing, and rental car reimbursement benefits.
You can read more about the company in our full CarShield review, or use the buttons below to get a personalized quote.