The Gist:

  • Bumper-to-bumper warranties cover nearly all car parts after damages caused by defective parts or faulty workmanship.
  • New cars come with a free bumper-to-bumper warranty but extended coverage can be purchased once that expires.
  • Endurance and CARCHEX offer two of the best extended bumper-to-bumper warranties on the market.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at what’s covered under a bumper-to-bumper warranty, explain how they work, and mention what voids a contract. Our team of experts has combed through the aftermarket auto industry to find the best extended car warranty companies. We’ll provide our recommendations if you’re considering getting a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty when your initial factory coverage expires.

What Is A Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty?

A bumper-to-bumper warranty is a vehicle service contract that comes with almost all new cars and covers the repair and replacement of the vast majority of your vehicle’s parts. However, they usually only pay for repairs caused by defective parts or workmanship errors. This means that bumper-to-bumper warranties give protection in the case of mechanical breakdowns from regular use of a vehicle.

New Car Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty

Bumper-to-bumper new vehicle limited warranty plans expire at certain mileage or time limits and are typically included in a factory warranty as part of a new car purchase. Coverage generally lasts for three years or 36,000 miles, though certain brands offer longer term lengths. 

Manufacturers have many names for the bumper-to-bumper warranty. Ford and Hyundai offer new vehicle limited warranty plans, whereas Lexus calls its coverage a basic warranty. The details of your plan, including the length of coverage, are decided by the car manufacturer.

Bumper-To-Bumper Extended Warranty

Once your factory warranty ends you’ve got two options if you’re hoping to extend your bumper-to-bumper warranty: picking up coverage through the automaker or turning to a third-party provider.

Purchasing extended warranty coverage from the dealership is something a salesperson will likely bring up when you’re buying a new car. That’s because you can generally only purchase an extended warranty from the manufacturer before your original factory warranty expires.

Car manufacturers sell customers extended bumper-to-bumper warranty plans, while third-party companies offer nearly identical vehicle service contracts. Third-party contracts tend to provide greater flexibility at lower costs, and they can be bought at any point in your car’s life.



Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty Coverage

A bumper-to-bumper warranty provides coverage for everything from major vehicle systems to specific parts like catalytic converters. While bumper-to-bumper warranties usually offer full coverage of car components, they have exclusions that vary by the automaker. The best way to check what’s covered is by carefully reviewing your warranty contract.

Since the comprehensive coverage offered by many bumper-to-bumper warranty options covers hundreds of parts, many manufacturers write exclusionary warranties. This means that your warranty contract will specifically list out any parts that are ineligible for repairs. The reverse of this is statedcomponent coverage, where the manufacturer only lists out covered parts.

What Is Covered By A Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty?

Here are some components usually covered by a bumper-to-bumper warranty:

  • Air conditioning and heating
  • Engine cooling system
  • Steering
  • Electrical systems
  • Suspension
  • Entertainment, audio, and high-tech systems
  • Powertrain components (for the duration of the powertrain warranty)

While a bumper-to-bumper warranty offers protection for most major components of your car, it has its limits. For one thing, coverage is only for problems caused by defective parts or workmanship errors.

Bumper-To-Bumper Powertrain Coverage

Another common piece of the bumper-to-bumper warranty is powertrain coverage. A powertrain warranty backs the most essential components that provide power to your vehicle.

Common items found in a powertrain warranty include:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Fuel pump
  • Drivetrain
  • Transfer case
  • Seals and gaskets
  • Drive axles

You’ll need to contact your extended warranty provider to find out exactly what your powertrain warranty covers. Generally, powertrain coverage outlasts your bumper-to-bumper warranty due to the importance of the parts it covers.

What Isn’t Covered By A Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty?

While a bumper-to-bumper warranty takes care of repair costs for a number of components, not everything is backed by your vehicle’s coverage. Here are a few common exclusions:

  • Normal wear and tear items: These include components like brake pads, tires, rotors, drums, interior trim and upholstery, seat belts, paint, and windshield wiper blades.
  • Regular routine maintenance: This includes oil changes, tire rotations, wheel alignment, and any scheduled services.
  • Automotive glass: Common exclusions include windshield glass, headlights, brake lights, windows, and turn signals.
  • Damage: This includes damage from a car accident, environmental factors, or anything stemming from owner neglect or abuse.

What Voids A Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty?

Bumper-to-bumper coverage can be voided for many reasons including:

  • Vehicle misuse: Racing, off-road traveling, and going over the weight limit of the car can result in voided coverage. However, this tends to be a situational issue and depends on the decision of your warranty provider.
  • Tampering with the odometer: Anything that will cause your mileage to not be read like disconnecting your odometer, damaging it, or replacing it can cause your warranty coverage to be removed.
  • Salvaged titles: If your car was declared a total loss or has a salvage title at any time in its history your warranty coverage will be voided. This is especially important to keep in mind when purchasing a used car, so we recommend getting a vehicle history report to ensure it can be covered under a warranty.

Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty Term Lengths

The average factory bumper-to-bumper warranty lasts for around three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. After that, you’ll be on your own when dealing with unexpected repair costs. However, the length of a bumper-to-bumper warranty varies depending on your car manufacturer. The same is true of third-party extended bumper-to-bumper warranties, as these providers may also have different coverage limits.

Below are bumper-to-bumper warranty term lengths for several major automakers:

Car ManufacturerBumper-to-Bumper WarrantyPowertrain Warranty
Buick3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Chevrolet3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Chrysler3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Dodge3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Ford3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
GMC3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Honda3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Jeep3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Mazda3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Nissan3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Ram3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Subaru3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Toyota3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Acura4 years/50,000 miles6 years/70,000 miles
Alfa Romeo4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles
Audi4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles
BMW4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles
Cadillac4 years/50,000 miles6 years/70,000 miles
Fiat4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles
Land Rover4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles
Lexus4 years/50,000 miles6 years/70,000 miles
Lincoln4 years/50,000 miles6 years/70,000 miles
Lucid4 years/50,000 miles8 years/100,000 miles
Mercedes-Benz4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles
Mini4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles
Polestar4 years/50,000 miles8 years/100,000 miles
Porsche4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles
Tesla4 years/50,000 miles8 years/100,000-plus miles
Volkswagen4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles
Volvo4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles
Infiniti4 years/60,000 miles6 years/70,000 miles
Genesis5 years/60,000 miles10 years/100,000 miles
Hyundai5 years/60,000 miles10 years/100,000 miles
Jaguar5 years/60,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Kia5 years/60,000 miles10 years/100,000 miles
Mitsubishi5 years/60,000 miles10 years/100,000 miles
Rivian5 years/60,000 miles8 years/175,000 miles

As can be seen, coverage lengths are pretty standard across the auto industry. The longest bumper-to-bumper warranty plans are five years or 60,000 miles and are provided by Hyundai, Genesis, Mitsubishi, and Kia.



Extended Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty Cost

Our research on the aftermarket warranty industry found that the average cost of a third-party bumper-to-bumper extended warranty is $3,124 in total. If you don’t choose to pay up front for coverage, there are payment plans that average about $120 per month.

Bumper-To-Bumper Extended Warranty Prices

Bumper-to-bumper warranty plans are included as part of the manufacturer’s warranty, which is in turn folded into the price of a new car. Buying a manufacturer’s extended warranty usually comes with a higher price tag compared to third-party protection plans.

To get a better sense of how much a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty costs, we reached out to leading third-party warranty companies for free quotes on a 2018 Honda Civic with 30,000 miles. Our warranty experts were given quotes with the following prices:

Warranty CompanyProtection PlanWarranty LengthCost Per MonthDown PaymentTotal Cost
EnduranceSupreme6 years/
71,000 miles
for 24 months
CarShieldDiamond5 years/
70,000 miles
$110 monthlyFirst month’s paymentVaries
Protect My CarSupreme4 years/
unlimited miles
for 36 months
First month’s payment$3,600
CARCHEXTitanium7 years/
125,000 miles
for 18 months
First month’s payment$3,001

All of the bumper-to-bumper warranty plans we obtained quotes for include deductibles of $100. While Endurance was easily the cheapest option, its coverage length is far eclipsed by that of Protect My Car.

Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty Deductible

If you end up needing a covered repair during the life span of the factory warranty, check your warranty contract to see if you’ve got a deductible. The deductible is the amount of money you must pay upfront at the repair shop before a warranty covers the rest.

Deductibles usually range from $0 to as high as $250 depending on the automaker. Some plans include vanishing deductibles, which means your upfront payment is waived if you get service done at a specific dealership.



Is An Extended Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty Worth It?

Getting an extended warranty can be a smart way to budget for unexpected auto repair costs, especially if you want peace of mind while on the road. Many warranties include additional coverage such as roadside assistance and towing services, which can make mechanical breakdowns less stressful to deal with.

Even so, deciding whether to buy an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty hinges on factors such as the reliability of your car, the overall cost of the warranty, and the company that will be providing repair services. For example, paying out of pocket may save you money in the long run if you’ve got a reliable car since it won’t break down often. However, if your car isn’t as reliable and a bumper-to-bumper plan is affordable, it may be the best choice for you.

The sections below will provide further information on bumper-to-bumper extended warranties.

Where Can I Buy A Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty?

You can either purchase a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty from a third-party provider or your manufacturer. However, if you decide to purchase from a manufacturer, it typically must be done before your limited factory warranty expires. There are advantages and disadvantages to whichever option you choose.

Factory warranty extensions can give you perks like specialized technicians and access to genuine manufacturer parts, but these service plans are pricey. They also require you to pay interest as part of your vehicle financing plan for potentially unneeded repairs.

By contrast, third-party bumper-to-bumper warranty providers tend to offer greater flexibility. You won’t be limited to repair services from your local dealership, there are far more plans to choose from, and you can even get an extended warranty for cars over 100,000 miles. They also typically offer similar coverage for lower costs overall and can be bought at any time.

It should be noted that if you choose a third-party option, consider the reputation of the company. Look at reviews from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot to search for recurring issues and learn how customer complaints are handled.

Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty Benefits

Most major third-party warranty providers and manufacturers offer bumper-to-bumper extended car warranties that come with perks like:

  • Courtesy towing: This provides coverage for towing to the nearest dealership or the certified repair facility of your choice if you have a third-party warranty.
  • Roadside assistance: This covers services like lockouts, battery jump-starts, and emergency fuel deliveries.
  • Rental car reimbursement: This coverage provides alternative transportation while your vehicle is in the repair shop for a covered service.
  • Trip interruption coverage: This reimburses you for meals and lodging if your vehicle breaks down far from home and you have to stay overnight while it’s being repaired.

Reasons To Avoid A Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty

If your car has a solid factory warranty that will last a long time, buying an extended warranty may not be right for you. You might be better off saving the money for potential auto repairs, especially if you’re only planning to keep the car for as long as the factory warranty lasts.



Bumper-To-Bumper Warranties: Conclusion

If you’re looking for most parts from the front to the back of your vehicle to be covered, an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty could be a smart buy. However, whether you need it depends on your particular situation and the provider you chose. In any case, we recommend that you compare bumper-to-bumper warranties from multiple providers to make sure you find the best deals.

Best Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty Providers

Our team selected Endurance and CARCHEX as two of the best extended bumper-to-bumper warranty providers for their extensive coverage offerings and strong customer reviews.

Endurance: Best Coverage

Endurance offers some of the most comprehensive warranty plans in the business. The company is a direct provider of warranties, meaning it manages its own plans rather than contracting services out to other companies.

Endurance has six offerings that range from bumper-to-bumper warranty plans to repairs for only the essential powertrain components. All customers who purchase Endurance plans get one free year of membership in Endurance Elite Benefits, which includes perks such as tire repair and replacement. Note that Endurance warranty plans aren’t available in California.

Learn more: Endurance warranty review

CARCHEX: Best For Used Cars

If you have an older car that you want to keep on the road, CARCHEX may suit your needs. It’s our top choice for used vehicles since it offers coverage for up to 250,000 miles and has consistently low pricing.

What makes CARCHEX truly stand out is its solid reputation after more than 20 years in the industry. The company is accredited by the BBB and holds a stellar A+ rating on the site.

Learn more: CARCHEX review

Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty: FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions about bumper-to-bumper warranties:

How We Rate Warranty Providers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of extended auto warranty providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a warranty company successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Reputation: It’s important that an extended car warranty company is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) score well in this category. Established providers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
  • Coverage: Our team of experts looks at the number of extended warranty plans available, as well as term limits, exclusions, and added benefits like roadside assistance. Ratings also take into account the availability of maintenance coverage.
  • Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between providers because so many factors impact vehicle service contract pricing. To determine our cost score, we perform a secret shopper analysis for a variety of vehicles and plans and consider available deductibles.
  • Transparency: Our team evaluates the availability and transparency of each company’s contracts, as well as whether each provider offers a money-back guarantee.
  • Customer Experience: We listen to real customer sales calls and comb through reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Warranty companies with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider the availability of mobile apps and chat features.

*Data accurate at time of publication.

View Pricing for our Most Affordable Provider – Carshield | Save up to $360 per year