A vehicle protection plan can give drivers peace of mind knowing that vital car parts are covered in the event of a mechanical breakdown. But are car protection plans worth it for every vehicle?
In this article, we’ll examine the cost of an extended auto warranty and help you decide whether it would be worth the investment to protect your vehicle. We’ll also introduce you to some of the best extended warranty companies on the market so you can find the right coverage to fit your automotive protection needs.
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Table of contents
What Is an Extended Car Warranty?
An extended car warranty is a contract that promises to cover repairs to your vehicle in the event of a breakdown. Extended warranties sometimes go by different names, like vehicle service contracts or vehicle protection plans.
Where to Buy a Car Protection Plan
You can purchase a vehicle protection plan from your car’s manufacturer or from a third-party provider. There are pros and cons to each option, which we outline in the table below:
|Manufacturer Extended Warranty||Third-Party Extended Warranty|
|Pros||Plans may be more tailored
to your car brand’s specific needs.
Repairs are guaranteed to be made by factory-trained technicians using genuine parts.
Prices may be negotiable.
|Plans are typically less expensive than extended manufacturer coverage, and prices
and may be negotiable.
Repairs can be made at
any licensed car repair facility.
Plans are often more customizable than manufacturer options.
Car protection plans can be purchased
at any point in your vehicle’s lifetime.
|Cons||Plans are often more expensive
than third-party options.
You must bring your vehicle
to the dealership for repairs.
Coverage typically must be purchased before your factory warranty expires.
|It may be hard to find coverage for more expensive automobiles, like luxury and electric vehicles.
You’ll need to vet a provider to know whether it’s trustworthy before purchasing coverage.
Cost Analysis: Are Car Protection Plans Worth It?
The average cost of a car protection plan is between $600 and $1,000 per year of coverage. With most third-party extended warranty providers, you won’t have to pay this cost upfront. Instead, you can pay off your coverage in monthly installments.
Warranties from manufacturers tend to be more expensive and most must be paid upfront or rolled into your auto financing, which means they’ll accrue interest.
To know whether a car protection plan would be worth it for your vehicle, it helps to consider the following factors:
- Your car’s reliability: More reliable vehicles are less prone to breakdowns, so extended coverage may not be necessary. Look up dependability awards and ratings from sites like RepairPal to get a sense of how reliable your vehicle is.
- Your car’s average repair costs: You can also use RepairPal to estimate the average annual cost of repairs for your vehicle and to see what common repairs may cost you out of pocket. If your repair bills will outweigh the cost of your protection plan, it may very well be worth it to purchase extended coverage.
- Your personal finances: When looking at your vehicle’s average repair costs, ask yourself whether you’d be able to afford to pay for common unexpected repairs out of pocket. If you can set aside money or start an auto-repair emergency fund to pay for breakdowns as needed, you may save money in the long run. However, if you’re not able to save quickly, it may be a good idea to purchase an extended warranty.
How Consumers Rate the Value of Protection Plans
A recent study published by software manufacturer Pegasystems, Inc. surveyed current extended car warranty owners to ask: Are car protection plans worth it?
While less than half of drivers surveyed owned an extended warranty for their vehicle, 60 percent of those who did reported benefitting from their extended car warranty within the past year.
These consumer reports are echoed when looking at reviews of reputable extended car warranty companies. Most popular providers have high customer satisfaction scores and positive ratings overall, but there are always a number of customers who are unsatisfied with their purchases.
Our Recommendations For Extended Car Warranties
If you’re looking for extended car warranty coverage, it’s smart to get quotes from the best extended warranty companies in the industry. We’ve evaluated the plans, costs, and customer reviews of every major provider, and based on our research, we recommend checking out Endurance and CarShield.
Endurance: Best Coverage
Our review team determined that Endurance offers the industry’s best extended car warranty coverage. There are many positive Endurance warranty reviews online in which customers express that their protection plans have been well worth the money.
Endurance plans come in six coverage levels that are tailored to the needs of certain vehicles. Here’s a breakdown of the coverage offered by Endurance:
- Supreme: Bumper-to-bumper exclusionary coverage for high-tech vehicles
- Superior: Comprehensive stated-component plan for drivers who have newer vehicles but don’t need high-tech coverage
- Secure Plus: Enhanced powertrain plan with a short waiting period for drivers who want coverage fast
- Secure: Affordable basic powertrain coverage for drivers on a budget
- Select Premier: Specialty coverage for drivers of high-mileage vehicle
- EnduranceAdvantage™: Covers mechanical breakdowns as well as maintenance
Some benefits to an Endurance extended warranty include:
- 24/7 emergency roadside services
- Rental car reimbursement
- Trip interruption coverage
- Repair financing loans
- Tire repairs and replacements
- Key fob replacements
- $250 in vouchers to be used on shopping, dining, and hotels
- Identity theft protection
To see how much an Endurance warranty would cost for your vehicle, click below.
Endurance is our pick for best direct provider with its comprehensive coverage options.
CarShield: Best Value
CarShield has the best warranties for drivers on a budget. We collected quotes from every top provider, and CarShield offered the most affordable pricing overall.
Here is a breakdown of the five car coverage plans offered by CarShield:
- Diamond: Comprehensive bumper-to-bumper coverage for new cars
- Platinum: Stated-component coverage specially designed for high-mileage vehicles
- Gold: Enhanced powertrain coverage that protects your car’s most vital components and then some
- Silver: Basic powertrain coverage that is best for drivers on a budget
- Aluminum: Specialty coverage for high-tech vehicles that have many electrical and computer-related parts
CarShield is also one of the only providers that also covers motorcycles and ATVs. Benefits that come with all CarShield plans include 24/7 roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and courtesy towing.
You can read more about the provider’s customer satisfaction scores and pricing in our full CarShield review, and use the buttons below to get a personalized quote for your vehicle.