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In our CARCHEX review, we give the warranty provider 4.4 out of 5.0 stars and name it Best For Used Cars due to its solid reputation and flexible coverage.
Our team of warranty experts has researched the best extended car warranty companies and is ready to compare CARCHEX reviews to those for other industry leaders. In doing so, we’ll look at this provider’s coverage plans, pricing, customer experience, and company reputation.
CARCHEX offers five levels of extended warranty coverage through various administrators in all 50 states.
Perks mentioned in CARCHEX reviews include 24/7 roadside assistance, towing benefits, rental car coverage, and trip interruption benefits.
We named CARCHEX as Best For Used Cars due to its many coverage options for vehicles with up to 250,000 miles on them.
Our review team has spent hundreds of hours researching car warranty companies to help consumers choose the best coverage for their vehicles. Writers and editors evaluate each brand based on industry data and real customers’ experiences, meeting high editorial standards to keep readers informed.
Our CARCHEX Review
In our study of the best extended car warranty companies, CARCHEX earned a score of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. Because of the company’s favorable coverage options for older and high-mileage vehicles, we named it Best For Used Cars in 2023.
Our CARCHEX review score of 4.4 out of 5.0 is determined by the same system we use to evaluate all warranty providers, which is based on ratings in five areas: cost, coverage, reputation, transparency, and customer experience. The table below shows how CARCHEX scored in each of these ratings categories:
In addition to its ample coverage options, reasonable rates, and solid reputation, here’s what stood out to our researchers when reviewing CARCHEX:
Coverage options: With five coverage tiers available, CARCHEX contracts are among the most wide-ranging in the extended warranty industry.
Expansive benefits: Each plan comes with numerous benefits and add-on options, including a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Flexibility: You can choose to have repairs done through any licensed repair facility certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE®).
CARCHEX Pros And Cons
See the table below for a list of things we liked and disliked when reviewing CARCHEX:
ProsRespected company with a long historyAffordable and solid coverage plansPlans available for up to 10 years or 250,000 milesChoose from 30,000 authorized repair shopsPressure-free sales process
ConsService varies by administratorCannot renew some policiesNo motorcycle or RV coverageNo coverage for exotic cars
Is CARCHEX Legit?
CARCHEX is an aftermarket extended warranty broker that markets and sells vehicle service contracts, or vehicle protection plans, for third-party providers. Based outside of Baltimore in Hunt Valley, Maryland, CARCHEX has served customers for over 20 years.
CARCHEX entered the market in 1999 as a vehicle inspection company and was purchased in 2003 by entrepreneur Jason Goldsmith, who expanded the company to all 50 states. Today, CARCHEX is among the largest and most experienced extended auto warranty companies on the market.
In our March 2022 extended car warranty survey that polled 1,000 respondents, over 19 percent stated they had purchased a CARCHEX warranty for their vehicle.
CARCHEX regularly receives top ratings and endorsements from industry experts such as:
Kelley Blue Book
MotorWeek’s Pat Goss
In the media, CARCHEX has been given five stars by Top Consumer Reviews for six consecutive years and was ThoroughlyReviewed’s 2017 top pick. Additionally, the Golden Bridge Awards awarded the company with “Silver Status” for three consecutive years. CARCHEX also won Best Choice Award by BestReviewsHub.com for four years in a row.
CARCHEX extended warranties cover vehicle repairs caused by mechanical failures or malfunctions. At a minimum, most CARCHEX plans provide powertrain coverage, meaning the warranty covers your vehicle’s engine, transmission, drive axle, and turbocharger. The highest–tier plans offer bumper-to-bumper coverage similar to a new car factory warranty.
CARCHEX Coverage Plans
With five coverage levels and warranty periods spanning from 12 to 84 months, it’s easy to find an affordable option that fits your needs. The maximum coverage period for CARCHEX warranties lasts up to 10 years, which is long for the industry.
Since plans aren’t renewable, many CARCHEX reviews recommend choosing the longest term available. Coverage begins 30 days and 1,000 miles after signing the contract and an inspection may be required for eligibility. These policies are in place to ensure that the provider doesn’t pay for issues that customers knew about before purchasing.
CARCHEX Plan Levels
From entry-level plans that cover drivetrain components to comprehensive bumper-to-bumper policies, CARCHEX brokers plans to fit most drivers’ needs. However, contracts from different administrators at the same coverage level may differ on specific covered components.
The table below offers descriptions of each CARCHEX warranty plan:
CARCHEX Warranty Plan
What It Covers
This bumper-to-bumper warranty plan offers the highest level of coverage available. With few exclusions, Titanium offers comprehensive coverage similar to a manufacturer’s warranty and is best for those looking for long and exclusionary protection.
Platinum is the most comprehensive inclusionary coverage plan available. It covers hundreds of stated components from all systems and is great for those seeking balance between savings and coverage.
This plan covers essential components and benefits vehicles over 100,000 miles needing protection for all major systems. Coverage includes everything in the Powertrain warranty plan along with components related to the electric, fueling, and air conditioning systems.
A basic coverage tier designed to protect high-mileage vehicles from the most expensive repairs, Powertrain covers major systems like the engine, transmission, and drive axles.
Provides vehicle protection for important items unrelated to the powertrain such as electrical, steering, suspension, and braking components.
Each of the five tiers of coverage offered by CARCHEX is available in all 50 states, including California. This is a rarity because few warranty providers operate in California due to a strict legal environment.
You’ll find sample contracts like the one below readily available for each level of coverage from CARCHEX.
You can find sample contracts like this on the CARCHEX website.
The following items aren’t covered by CARCHEX extended warranties:
Modifications: Lift kits, custom parts, and performance upgrades
Major events: Includes situations typically covered by car insurance such as collisions, environmental damage, and instances of vandalism or theft
Exotic cars: Lamborghini, Ferrari, and other pricey and rare car brands
Wear and tear items: Tires, windshield wiper blades, brake pads, and spark plugs
Regular maintenance: Tune-ups, oil changes, tire rotations, and belt replacements
Specialty models: Coverage for recreational vehicles (RVs) and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
Neglect: Repair costs from failing to maintain a vehicle per manufacturer specifications
Preexisting conditions: Repairs needed prior to purchasing coverage
Keep in mind that these exclusions are the industry norm and that some protection plans may have more.
CARCHEX Added Benefits
In addition to the warranty coverage offered with each vehicle service contract, CARCHEX reviews speak well of the following benefits:
24/7 roadside assistance: Lockout services, fuel delivery, and flat–tire changes
Towing: Reimbursements for what it costs to tow your vehicle to the nearest repair facility
Rental car coverage: Reimbursements for a rental car in the event of a covered repair
Trip interruption assistance: Reimbursements for meal expenses and lodging if your vehicle fails during a trip
Satellite radio: Free SiriusXM satellite radio for eligible vehicles
These provisions enhance all warranty contracts and have amounts dependent on each coverage tier, allowing flexibility for customers to increase their standard reimbursement level.
CARCHEX Coverage Upgrades
In addition to the coverage and benefits provided in standard CARCHEX protection plans, customers can add on the following upgrades for more specialized coverage:
Commercial use option
Luxury electronics package
Navigation system coverage
Key replacement coverage
Emissions component coverage
Reducing deductible option
Windshield repair coverage
Raise the market labor rate coverage limit
Navigation system coverage
CARCHEX Warranty Cost
Our researchers found through secret shopping efforts that CARCHEX warranties range from $167 to $222 per month. The table below offers a detailed look at CARCHEX quotes for its Titanium, Platinum, and Powertrain Plus levels of coverage.
Car Make and Model
2018 Honda Civic
7 years/125,000 miles
2012 Subaru Outback
5 years/60,000 miles
2012 Subaru Outback
6 years/60,000 miles
We found the average extended car warranty cost across all providers to be $3,026 in total. However, keep in mind that your specific costs will vary depending on factors like your chosen level of coverage and your vehicle’s make and model.
CARCHEX pays for covered repairs other than a small deductible, typically $100. CARCHEX reviews speak highly of the company’s flexibility with deductibles since there are $0, $50, $100, and $200 options.
CARCHEX Payment Options
CARCHEX customers can pay bills with all major credit cards over the phone, on the company website, or through the online app. Payment options include being charged a lump sum or by using no-interest installments of varying periods. The maximum payment time is a total of 24 months, but there’s also an 18–month option with higher payments. For some, upfront costs may correspond with a down payment equivalent to the first month’s installment.
When getting a quote from CARCHEX, the provider carefully guides car owners through the process. Its “No-Haggle, Low-Price Everyday Guarantee™” means questions are viewed as opportunities to get you an optimal price and level of coverage. You won’t be pressured, have information withheld, or only be told the most enticing details.
The two options for getting an instant quote are through phone consultations with a specialist or by filling out a quick online form. When we called by phone, we went through an automated menu tree that took about a minute to connect before we spoke with someone from CARCHEX.
The salesperson we talked with lived up to the CARCHEX reputation for quality, being willing to walk through all warranty options. We were also presented with discounts for first-time buyers and were told about a military discount. Overall, our CARCHEX review team was satisfied with its experience.
CARCHEX Customer Reviews
As with most extended warranty companies, customer reviews about CARCHEX are mixed. It has a 2.6 out of 5.0 Trustpilot score and a “Poor”rating on the platform based on over 1,500 customer reviews. Overall, though, 85 percent of CARCHEX customer reviews on Trustpilot are positive and the average response time for customer complaints on the platform is less than one week.
CARCHEX BBB Ratings
CARCHEX has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for over 10 years and has long held an A+ rating. However, its customer satisfaction score of 1.9 out of 5.0 stars is lower than for many extended vehicle protection providers.
Positive CARCHEX Warranty Reviews
CARCHEX sets itself apart by saying it places “customer experience above all.” This customer-centric emphasis is something that many CARCHEX reviews say the company lives up to. Below are some examples of happy CARCHEX customers:
“Great prices and great customer service. Would recommend it to anyone looking for [an] extended warranty on their vehicle.”
– Horacio S., BBB
“I had heard horror stories of trying to utilize warranties when needed, but this was far beyond my greatest expectations. The phone representative I spoke to was very kind and personable as well, and the turnaround was so quick.”
– Andrew R., BBB
CARCHEX Warranty Complaints
If you perform a brief internet search, you’ll find a high number of negative CARCHEX reviews. Several customers have complained about the company’s refund policy and bad service during the claims process. Here are a few examples of complaints filed against CARCHEX:
“I pay $170+ a month and have had my truck in the shop twice since I’ve had the policy. They denied the first claim that my mechanic put in, and the second claim my mechanic also put in they denied covering 95 percent.”
– Eric A., BBB
“The whole entire day the phone lines are busy… It’s my second day trying to reach the claims phone… The worst experience ever.”
– Urge E., BBB
With around 175 complaints closed in the past three years, CARCHEX receives less negative feedback than most extended warranty providers. Also, many complaints are a result of customers who fail to understand their coverage and interpret claim denials as poor service.
How Does CARCHEX Work?
CARCHEX is an extended warranty broker, meaning it doesn’t directly administer the vehicle service contracts that it sells. Instead, the company acts as an intermediary that focuses on sales and customer service.
It partners with experienced administrators like Royal Administration Services, American Auto Shield, Zurich, and Allegiance. Since these providers are insured, you won’t be at risk of them being unable to fulfill claims because they ran out of money.
CARCHEX compares quotes from reputable warranty administrators to get better rates for its customers. However, because claims processing is administrator-dependent, the downside to this approach is a higher potential for inconsistency in the claims process.
This is evident in the variation of customer experiences expressed through CARCHEX reviews online, as some laud rapid service while others complain about wait times.
CARCHEX Customer Service
CARCHEX has several options to assist contract holders, including 24-hour customer service reps. The table below shows how CARCHEX compares with other competitors regarding customer support:
*For customers with an active contract
CARCHEX Warranty Car Repairs
CARCHEX customers can choose from any of 30,000 ASE-certified repair facilities in the U.S. for covered repairs. Because terms may vary, call or visit the company website or mobile app to make sure any repair facility in question is authorized before taking your vehicle.
To prove your car has been maintained per manufacturer guidelines, make sure to keep all of its service records. This will aid in getting your repairs approved quickly if they’re covered under your chosen protection plan.
Filing a claim is easy according to most CARCHEX reviews. When you sign up, CARCHEX will give you a card and a packet containing plan information. If you run into vehicle problems, simply show your card to a facility or dealership and it’ll deal with charges through the administrator.
Claims are paid to the shop or dealership, preventing large out-of-pocket expenses. For plans where the repair facility files claims, there is a department to contact directly via phone number if someone forgets to file.
How To Cancel A CARCHEX Warranty
All CARCHEX extended auto warranty plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can cancel at any point within those 30 days for a full refund. If you request a cancellation after that point, you can cancel for a prorated refund.
If you sell your car, you can transfer the contract to a new owner for a $50 fee.
Is CARCHEX A Good Extended Warranty?
The bottom line is that CARCHEX is one of the most experienced and reputable providers in the extended warranty space. CARCHEX stands out due to the consultative nature of its quote process, as the company emphasizes helping potential clients get the best warranty. Additionally, the CARCHEX app makes it fast and convenient to find a licensed repair facility.
CARCHEX has room to improve in some areas, especially with regard to its consistency across administrators. If you’re considering a CARCHEX warranty, read the fine print so that you understand your coverage.
CARCHEX extended warranties are worth it if you prefer having peace of mind knowing that you’re protected against unexpected repairs. Additionally, the company’s wide plan selection is its most attractive quality for customers seeking flexible coverage and expansive benefits.
Along with its numerous coverage options, the added benefits of CARCHEX like fuel delivery and roadside assistance can save you money. This is especially the case if you own a vehicle that is older, has high mileage, or is unreliable. That said, those with newer vehicles are less likely to benefit from a CARCHEX extended warranty.
CARCHEX Review: The Bottom Line
We rate CARCHEX 4.4 out of 5.0 stars in total after exploring the company’s reputation, coverage options, prices, and customer experience. After a thorough CARCHEX review, we name the company as Best for Used Cars because it covers vehicles up to 250,000 miles.
Top Recommendations For Extended Car Warranties
Even if you’re convinced that CARCHEX has the best auto warranty, it’s worth getting free, no-obligation quotes from multiple companies. In our comprehensive research into the most reputable extended car warranty companies, we found Endurance and CarShield to also be good choices.
Endurance: Best Coverage
As a direct warranty provider, Endurance administers and manages every plan it sells. This means that drivers work with the same customer service and claims team for the entire length of their warranty plan.
Endurance has been around for 17 years, and it offers six types of coverage along with a wide range of benefits. Drivers get one free year of Endurance Elite Benefits, which include perks like a $500 collision discount and tire repair or replacement.
CarShield is another reputable extended car warranty provider, and many drivers find affordable coverage through the company. In our research, CarShield quoted the cheapest monthly prices. The company has been in business for 18 years and has a 4.0-star rating out of 5.0 from over 39,000 customer reviews on Trustpilot. Its six coverage plans provide perks such as 24/7 roadside assistance, trip interruption benefits, and rental car reimbursement.
Here are some frequently asked questions brought up by our CARCHEX review.
Yes, CARCHEX is a well-regarded company within the auto industry and has been backed by industry leaders and experts including Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com, and CARFAX.
CARCHEX has a waiting period that lasts for 30 days after the purchase. This is designed to protect CARCHEX from covering preexisting conditions the customer knew of. After that, you can submit a claim directly to CARCHEX via its web portal or phone if your car breaks down.
CARCHEX warranties can be worth it if you want peace of mind that a variety of auto repairs are covered. An extended warranty can also be worth it if you don’t have a large savings account or credit line to use for car repairs. However, an extended warranty might not be good if you’re financially capable of paying for major repairs out of pocket.
CARCHEX and CarShield are two different extended warranty companies. CarShield covers vehicles up to 200,000 miles, while CARCHEX covers vehicles up to 250,000. In addition, CarShield offers six plans while CARCHEX provides five.
CARCHEX offers five coverage tiers that are available through multiple administrators. Below are basic descriptions of the five coverage tiers offered by CARCHEX:
Titanium plan: Bumper-to-bumper warranty similar to a new car limited warranty
Platinum plan: Highest level of stated–component coverage offered by CARCHEX
Powertrain Plus plan: Provides relatively extensive coverage for major vehicle components
Powertrain plan: Essential protection for major vehicle parts like the engine and transmission
Extra Care plan: Offers protection for almost all major vehicle systems other than the car’s powertrain
CARCHEX is an extended warranty broker that offers vehicle service contracts administered by several providers. This increases the likelihood that CARCHEX will find a protection plan to fit your vehicle and budget. Many makes and models of vehicles of various ages can be protected by a CARCHEX warranty.These include cars from Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Audi, Volvo, Lexus, Dodge, Kia, Chrysler, Chevrolet, Mercedes, Hyundai, and Land Rover.
If you buy a new car or a pre–owned vehicle, the dealership will probably try to sell you an extended warranty. Dealership warranties tend to be more expensive than third-party providers, and they require you to visit a dealer for repairs. The plus side is that manufacturer plans cover original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and factory-trained technicians.
All CARCHEX warranties other than Extra Care cover transmissions and other powertrain parts like your car’s engine and drive axles.
Brake pads are not covered by CARCHEX warranties. Along with parts like wiper blades and tires, brake pads are considered regular maintenance items that get excluded from coverage
CARCHEX is based in Hunt Valley, Maryland, which is part of the Baltimore metropolitan area.
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.