Carefree Auto offers drivers roadside assistance, discounts on routine maintenance, and auto repair reimbursements. But are the benefits worth the cost of membership?
In this review, we take a closer look at Carefree Auto membership perks, breaking down the company’s costs, coverage, and reputation. We’ll help you decide whether Carefree Auto is a good choice to help lower the costs associated with maintenance and mechanical breakdowns.
If you’re looking for more vehicle protection than is offered by Carefree Auto, we will also recommend a couple of the best extended car warranty companies in the industry.
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Carefree Auto Highlights
Carefree Auto is not a standard extended car warranty provider. Instead of offering vehicle service contracts, Carefree Auto is a membership-based program that provides benefits to help you save money in the event of a mechanical breakdown.
Carefree Auto, whose office is located on El Cajon Blvd in San Diego, CA, is owned by Coverdell and Company, which provides consumer discount programs to more than six million people across the country. These companies have been working together for over 50 years, helping customers save money on routine auto maintenance and unexpected repair costs.
What’s Included in a Carefree Auto Membership?
A Carefree Auto membership gives drivers the following discounts and reimbursements on auto-related services:
- Repair reimbursement: Take your car to a licensed repair facility for any mechanical or electrical repair, and Carefree Auto will reimburse you for 30 percent of the cost, up to $500 per occurrence and up to $1,000 per year.
- Maintenance savings: Your Carefree Auto membership will give you up to 20 percent off maintenance items like oil changes, brake services, new tires, and replacement parts at thousands of participating auto repair shops, service centers, and dealers.
- Roadside assistance: For services like fuel delivery and towing, Carefree Auto will cover 24/7 emergency roadside assistance up to $100 per call for up to three calls per year.
- Tire and wheel protection: You’ll receive up to $25 per flat tire repair (up to two repairs per year) and $150 toward a tire replacement per year. If your wheel is damaged, Carefree Auto can help you get a discount on the cost of repairs.
- Rental car discounts: When your vehicle is in the shop for covered repairs, you’ll receive up to 25 percent off the overall cost of a rental car.
- My Auto Expert™: Carefree Auto provides a hotline that will connect you to an expert if you need unbiased advice on car repairs or services.
How Much Does a Carefree Auto Membership Cost?
Unlike typical extended warranty providers that have eligibility restrictions and make you cover each car separately, a Carefree Auto membership covers every vehicle you own—regardless of age or mileage—for a total monthly cost of $24.95. This comes out to $299.40 per year, which is significantly lower than the average annual pricing of extended car warranty coverage.
Quotes and Claims Processes
Carefree Auto is upfront about the cost of membership on its website. Coverage costs $24.95 per month regardless of how many vehicles you own. If you have questions about price or wish to speak with a representative about this offer, call 888-801-2584.
To cash in on your membership perks, simply call the number on your Carefree Auto membership card to submit a repair reimbursement claim or get roadside assistance. To get your maintenance discounts, you’ll need to download a coupon specific to the repair facility you choose, which you can do from the Carefree Auto website.
Carefree Auto Ratings and Reviews
Carefree Auto has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which bodes well for the company’s reliability. There is only one customer review on the BBB for Carefree Auto, in which the customer said they were able to find coupons on retailers’ websites that offered a better discount than Carefree Auto.
Because there are so few reviews online about Carefree Auto, it’s hard to judge its industry reputation and quality of customer care. Its parent company, Coverdell and Company, has similarly low numbers of reviews on the BBB, most of which detail difficulty canceling memberships or making recurring payments for services customers claimed to never have signed up for.
Carefree Auto Extended Warranty: 3.7 Stars
Carefree Auto provides roadside assistance and discounts on a variety of mechanical breakdown services for a low monthly cost. However, the membership program does not cover repairs as comprehensively as typical third-party extended warranty providers.
While Carefree Auto can reimburse you a fraction of the cost of select mechanical repairs, extended car warranties cover the entire repair—but this type of coverage is much more expensive. If you’re thinking you may benefit from better breakdown coverage, you can read more about our top recommendations for reputable extended car warranty companies below.
Top Recommendations for Extended Car Warranties
Our review team has examined each major extended car warranty provider, evaluating companies based on coverage, costs, reputation, and more. Based on our research, we’ve determined Endurance and CARCHEX to be the industry’s top two providers.
Endurance: Best Coverage
An Endurance extended warranty provides the best coverage on the market. With comprehensive benefits, extensive plans, and a positive reputation, Endurance may be the best vehicle protection plan for you.
Endurance offers customers six levels of vehicle service contracts to choose from:
- Supreme: Exclusionary coverage
- Superior: Comprehensive stated-component coverage
- Secure Plus: Enhanced powertrain coverage
- Secure: Affordable basic powertrain coverage
- Select Premier: Coverage designed for high-mileage vehicles
- EnduranceAdvantage™: This plan covers mechanical breakdowns as well as maintenance, like oil changes, engine diagnostics, and brake pad replacements.
Endurance also offers comprehensive benefits through its Elite Membership program. Drivers get free enrollment in this program for their first year of coverage. Endurance Elite Membership perks include:
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Key fob repairs and replacements
- Identity theft protection
- Tire repairs and replacements
- Up to $5,000 in repair financing loans
- $250 in vouchers to be used at select shopping, hotel, and dining locations
Use the buttons below to get a free quote for an Endurance coverage plan tailored to your vehicle, and learn more about the provider in our complete Endurance warranty review.
Endurance is our pick for best direct provider with its comprehensive coverage options.
CARCHEX: Best Service
CARCHEX is known for having the best service in the aftermarket car warranty industry. CARCHEX has an outstanding reputation, with accreditation and an A+ rating from the BBB, plus partnerships with well-known brands like CARFAX, Edmunds.com, and Kelley Blue Book.
CARCHEX offers customers five levels of coverage:
- Titanium: Exclusionary coverage, similar to a bumper-to-bumper warranty
- Platinum: Highest level of stated-component coverage
- Gold: Mid-tier stated-component coverage
- Silver: Enhanced powertrain coverage
- Bronze: Basic powertrain coverage
Some benefits that come with all CARCHEX plans include:
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Rental car reimbursement
- Gas delivery
- Trip interruption coverage
Get a free CARCHEX quote for your vehicle using the buttons below, and learn more in our full CARCHEX review.