When you’re shopping for an extended warranty, chances are you will run across the term “bumper-to-bumper extended warranty.” Before purchasing such a policy, it is important to understand what “bumper-to-bumper” actually means.
This article will review the basics of a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty. Find out what to expect from bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage, including typical costs and standard exclusions. We’ll also recommend a few of the best extended car warranty providers for those looking to purchase a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty.
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Table of contents
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty Overview
All new cars come with a factory warranty. Many manufacturers have two separate warranties for vehicle components: a bumper-to-bumper warranty and a powertrain warranty. These two warranties are promises that the manufacturer will cover the cost of parts and labor to replace or repair any components that malfunction. The difference between the two warranties is what is covered.
A powertrain warranty covers the parts of the car that make it move. This includes the engine, transmission, and drive axle. Some plans will cover additional components like the air conditioning, fuel system, and cooling system.
A bumper-to-bumper warranty covers nearly every vehicle component, with certain exceptions. When a manufacturer offers separate powertrain and bumper-to-bumper warranties, the powertrain warranty will typically last a couple of years longer.
Some third-party providers sell what’s called “wrap coverage.” These plans are designed for customers with factory warranties under which bumper-to-bumper coverage expires before powertrain coverage. Once your vehicle’s bumper-to-bumper coverage expires, you can purchase wrap coverage that “wraps” around the remaining powertrain warranty to cover other vehicle components.
What is a Bumper-to-Bumper Extended Warranty?
A bumper-to-bumper extended warranty is a vehicle service contract that promises to help customers pay for auto repair costs. The term “bumper-to-bumper” indicates that most vehicle components (from the front bumper to the rear bumper) are included in the extended warranty coverage.
Ironically, bumpers themselves are rarely covered by bumper-to-bumper warranties.
When a vehicle’s manufacturer warranty expires, many drivers opt for extended coverage. Third-party providers generally offer a number of different service contracts. The most comprehensive contracts may be referred to as “bumper-to-bumper coverage.”
You can purchase a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty directly from most manufacturers or from third-party providers.
Manufacturer Bumper-to-Bumper Extended Warranty
Manufacturer bumper-to-bumper extended warranties typically cover most of the components that were covered under the new vehicle warranty. Usually, these warranties must be purchased at the time you buy your vehicle. But in some cases, they can be purchased after the fact, so long as your car is still covered under its original factory warranty.
Most manufacturer extended warranties will add an additional two to three years of coverage and cost anywhere between $2,000 and $4,000. Exact coverage details are different for each manufacturer.
Third-Party Bumper-to-Bumper Extended Warranty
A bumper-to-bumper extended warranty from a third-party provider usually has more flexible term options. Contracts can stretch anywhere from three to 15 years, depending on the provider.
In general, third-party warranties are less expensive than manufacturer’s warranties. The average price for a third-party warranty varies depending on the deductible and coverage term. Most plans come with a $100 deductible and cost between $650 and $1,000 per year of coverage. Some plans offer deductibles ranging from $0 to $500 and allow you to choose the best option for your budget. Typically, the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly rates for coverage are.
Manufacturer vs. Third-Party Bumper-to-Bumper Extended Warranty
Both manufacturer and third-party bumper-to-bumper extended warranties have their charms. A manufacturer warranty may be more reliable and often comes with a guarantee that only specialized technicians and original parts will be used. Third-party providers offer more coverage options and are typically cheaper.
Other benefits to a third-party warranty include:
- More repair shop options (not limited to the dealership)
- Better financing options
- No time limit on when you can purchase
Which option is best depends on your vehicle and your budget.
How Much is a Bumper-to-Bumper Extended Warranty?
The price of a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty depends on your:
- Car make and model
- Car year
- Car mileage
- Coverage level
- Coverage term
The chart below details quotes we’ve received for the highest level of extended warranty coverage on a 2017 Ford Explorer with 45,000 miles.
|Provider||Contract Term||Payment Plan||Down Payment||Deductible|
|Endurance||3 years/80,000 miles||$166.88 for 18 months||$178.10||$100.00|
|CARCHEX||5 years/100,000 miles||$202.89 for 18 months||First payment||$100.00|
|CarShield||Unlimited||$129.99 monthly||First payment||$100.00|
|Protect My Car||4 years/100,000 miles||$96.00 for 48 months||$99.00||$100.00|
How Much Should I Pay for an Extended Warranty?
Expect to pay anywhere between $650 and $1,000 per year of coverage for an extended warranty from a third-party provider. Manufacturer extended warranties are likely to be a little more expensive.
What Does a Bumper-to-Bumper Extended Warranty Not Cover?
No bumper-to-bumper extended warranty covers everything. Wear-and-tear items and auto body components aren’t usually covered. Here are some common exclusions:
- Catalytic converter
- Brake pads and shoes
- Wiper blades
- Pre-existing damage
- Covered components damaged by uncovered components
- Damage caused by acts of nature
- Damage caused by wrecks or accidents
- Damage already covered by an insurance policy
- Damage caused by lack of maintenance
Is a Bumper-to-Bumper Extended Warranty Worth It?
Bumper-to-bumper extended warranties are certainly worth it for some customers. Consider the annual cost of maintaining your vehicle and weigh that against the annual cost of an extended vehicle service contract. Then, consider the peace of mind that a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty offers.
In many cases, a service contract may not entirely pay for itself in covered repairs. However, a service contract does help customers budget for repairs and serves as a safeguard against having to pay large repair fees all at once. With an extended auto warranty, you can budget the cost of repairs on a monthly payment plan and insure yourself against the unexpected.
For some people, the peace of mind provided by an extended warranty is worth it even if a warranty is more expensive in the long term.
Top Recommendations for Bumper-to-Bumper Extended Warranties
If you’ve decided that a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty is right for you, be sure to compare costs and providers. It’s worth looking at plans from some of our recommended providers, even if only to compare against your other options.
Endurance: Best Coverage
Endurance offers a total of six levels of coverage. Our Endurance Review found that the first five are extended warranties with varying levels of coverage to protect against mechanical breakdowns. The last Endurance plan, EnduranceAdvantage™ is a combination between an extended auto warranty and a maintenance contract.
Warranty plans come with 1-year Endurance Elite membership including roadside assistance, ID theft, member rewards, repair financing up to $5,000 in repair loans, personal assistant, key fob replacement, tire repair, and access to the Endurance Protect App.
To learn if Endurance is the best fit for your needs, use our tool below to get a free quote.
Endurance is our pick for best coverage with its comprehensive warranty options.
CarShield: Best Value
CarShield offers service contracts in every state except California. There are six levels of coverage that range from basic powertrain to exclusionary bumper-to-bumper coverage. CarShield customers even have the option to purchase extended warranty plans for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.
Our CarShield review found that this provider has some of the longest contract terms. When we reached out for a quote, we were offered a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty contract with an unlimited term length for about $130 per month.
CarShield also offers powertrain plans for customers with older vehicles and those on a tighter budget. CarShield’s Gold has some of the lowest monthly payment options we’ve seen. We received the following quotes for a 2013 Dodge Caravan with 88,000 miles:
|CarShield Extended Warranty Plan||Term Length||Monthly Payment||Down Payment||Deductible|
|Gold||4 years/48,000 miles||$78 for 18 months||$250||$100|
|Gold||4 years/48,000 miles||$63 for 24 months||$150||$100|
All CarShield plans include rental car reimbursement, 24-hour roadside assistance, and a towing benefit.
To find out how much you would pay for a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty from CarShield, get a free quote for your vehicle.
Our research found this provider to be the most affordable. Plus, it offers monthly plans.
Protect My Car: Best Financing
Protect My Car has some of the best long-term financing options. Monthly payment plans can extend as long as 60 months. While this results in a higher overall cost, it is a nice option for those with a limited monthly budget. Protect My Car sells three levels of coverage, including a bumper-to-bumper protection plan called Supreme.
In our Protect My Car review, we contacted the provider for a quote on a Ford Explorer with 45,000 miles and were offered the following terms:
|Protect My Car
Extended Warranty Plan
|Term Length||Monthly Payment||Down Payment||Deductible|
|Supreme||4 years/100,000 miles||$96/month for 48 months||$99||$100|
Protect My Car has been around for over 15 years and has built a solid customer reputation. It is a good choice for budget shoppers who want a low monthly payment plan.
Learn more about bumper-to-bumper extended warranty coverage from Protect My Car by getting a free, personalized quote.