Getting the most out of your vehicle means being prepared for the occasional repair. One way to do this is purchasing a vehicle protection plan for your car, but does an extended warranty cost more than paying for repairs out of pocket?

In this article, we’ll look at what factors shape extended warranty costs and what’s included in the coverage. Our review team has researched service providers across the aftermarket warranty industry to find the best extended car warranty companies. We recommend looking into your vehicle’s needs and getting free quotes to find the best price and coverage.

Average Cost Of Extended Warranty

Unlike the factory warranty, an extended warranty isn’t included in the price of the car. Our research found that the average cost of a third-party extended warranty is around $3,000. That said, there is no universal method for how extended warranty providers set rates.



How Much Does An Extended Warranty Cost?

Several factors determine the cost of an extended car warranty. Providers generally consider:

  • The condition and mileage of the vehicle
  • Warranty coverage limits and term lengths
  • The deductible amount

Generally, choosing a more comprehensive plan increases the price of coverage. The same is true for picking a plan with a smaller deductible because the warranty provider handles more of the car repair costs in that case.

Extended Car Warranty Cost

The cost of extended warranties varies from provider to provider based on the type of plan and length of coverage you choose.

Since extended warranty plans offer different levels of coverage, let’s briefly look at what is covered by a bumper-to-bumper warranty and a powertrain warranty.

  • Bumper-to-bumper warranties offer a level of comprehensive coverage similar to what you would see in a factory warranty.
  • Powertrain warranties are less comprehensive and ensure major systems like your engine and transmission are protected.

We will discuss these two warranty plans in more detail in another section of this article.

Extended Car Warranty Quotes

As part of our research, we reached out to several well-reviewed independent warranty providers to get bumper-to-bumper extended warranty quotes for a 2018 Honda Civic with 30,000 miles.

We also contacted several third-party providers to get powertrain warranty quotes for a 2012 Subaru Outback with 88,000 miles.

Bumper-To-Bumper Extended Warranty Cost

If you want to compare the cost of industry-leading bumper-to-bumper extended warranty plans, check out the table below.

Warranty Company

Protection Plan

Warranty Length

Extended Warranty Cost Per Month

Down Payment

Total Cost



6 years/

71,000 miles

$98 for 24 months





5 years/

70,000 miles

$110 per month

One month’s payment


Protect My Car


4 years/

unlimited miles

$100 for 36 months





7 years/

125,000 miles

$167 for 18 months

One month’s payment


According to our research, Endurance generally offers the lowest overall cost compared to its competitors. It also has one of the shortest payment periods, but coverage only lasts until the vehicle reaches 71,000 miles.

For comparison, CARCHEX’s most comprehensive coverage option lasts 125,000 miles but costs about $650 more than CarShield’s. Each plan we obtained quotes for has a $100 deductible.

Powertrain Warranty Cost

If you want to compare the cost of industry-leading powertrain extended warranty plans, check out the table below.

Warranty Company

Protection Plan

Warranty Length

Extended Warranty Cost Per Month

Down Payment

Total Cost



5 years/

51,000 miles

$121 for 30 months






$140 per month

One month’s payment


Protect My Car


4 years/

unlimited miles

$116 for 36 months





6 years/

60,000 miles

$193 for 18 months

One month’s payment


Even though CARCHEX has the highest monthly payment, it offers the lowest overall extended warranty cost. Certain plans from CARCHEX cover vehicles up to 250,000 miles, which is an advantage to those looking to keep older cars on the road.

CarShield’s Gold plan could save you money since it’s a month-to-month plan, but maintaining your contract for several years could also cost you more than what you might pay with Endurance or Protect My Car.



Extended Warranty Coverage

An extended warranty, also known as a vehicle service contract, acts as an extension of the warranty coverage you receive when purchasing a new car. A car’s factory warranty covers the repair and replacement of many of the components that fail within a certain mileage or time period.

Depending on your extended warranty, you can get coverage similar to the manufacturer’s warranty or buy a plan that covers only crucial parts like the drivetrain. 

The coverage that an extended warranty provides depends on the type of plan you choose. There are two main types of extended warranty plans: a bumper-to-bumper warranty and a powertrain warranty.

  • Bumper-to-bumper: This type of warranty covers most parts between the vehicle’s front and rear bumpers. It is sometimes called an exclusionary warranty.
  • Powertrain: A powertrain warranty backs your vehicle’s essential components, like the drive axle, engine, transmission, and transfer case.

Each of these plans covers specific parts in the vehicle, but bumper-to-bumper warranties typically cover noncritical components in addition to a car’s essential parts and systems. Many third-party extended warranty companies offer a range of coverage options that can fall between these two types of plans. It’s important to always thoroughly read through your warranty contract to familiarize yourself with what is and isn’t covered.

Extended Auto Warranty Additional Benefits

Besides handling a host of issues at the repair shop, vehicle service contracts often come with perks that can provide extra peace of mind if you file a claim. Here are some additional features that often come with an extended warranty:

  • Roadside assistance: If you need fuel or lock your keys in your car, the warranty provider will send someone to assist you.
  • Towing services: In the event of a covered mechanical breakdown, your warranty contract may offer towing to the closest repair facility within the provider’s network.
  • Rental car reimbursement: Your warranty provider may reimburse you up to a certain amount if you need to rent a car during a claim.
  • Trip interruption coverage: If your vehicle experiences a mechanical breakdown while you’re away from home, the warranty company may reimburse you for lodging and meal expenses.
  • Maintenance benefits: Some coverage plans include services like oil changes and other regular maintenance.

Can You Cancel An Extended Warranty?

If you are unhappy with your warranty, some providers offer money-back guarantees for a limited period during the start of your plan. You might be able to get a full refund, although it’s common for companies to subtract your deductible if you filed a claim early on.

Extended Warranty Refund

If you want to cancel a warranty, read the contract to see if the provider offers any money-back services. Also, check whether it’s possible to transfer a warranty to a subsequent owner if you sell your vehicle.



Do I Need An Extended Car Warranty?

Whether you need extra protection against costly vehicle repairs depends on your situation. Unless you choose a month-to-month plan, purchasing a vehicle service contract may mean years of payments or a lot of money paid upfront. Before you make a decision, consider what makes the most financial sense for your circumstances and check if you have any existing coverage.

How Do I Know If I Have An Extended Warranty?

Depending on your vehicle’s age, mileage, make, and model, you might still have some warranty coverage from the manufacturer. Factory warranties vary by carmaker–brands like Ford and Toyota offer a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and powertrain coverage for 5 years/60,000 miles. For comparison, Hyundai’s powertrain warranty lasts 5 years/100,000 miles.

Some used vehicles are covered under certified pre-owned (CPO) warranties that offer similar levels of protection as the factory warranty. If you’re unsure about what coverage you may have, check the automaker’s website or reach out to the dealership where you purchased the vehicle.



Are Extended Warranties Worth It?

With an extended warranty costing about $3,000 on average, you’ll need to decide whether the financial commitment of a warranty plan is worth it for you or if you’d rather pay for potential repairs out of pocket.

Around 32 percent of Americans would struggle to cover a surprise expense of $400, according to the Federal Reserve. A vehicle service contract could help you budget for any sudden repairs if you can afford the monthly payments.

That said, every extended warranty has a list of parts that aren’t covered, so there’s a chance you could foot the bill even if you have warranty coverage. If you can pay out of pocket, you can save on car repairs in the long run with an extended warranty.

Extended Auto Warranty Reviews

To better understand what contract holders and potential customers want in their warranty coverage, our experts polled 1,000 consumers who have purchased or considered purchasing an extended car warranty.

We found that the extended warranty coverage is the most important factor to consumers, with cost and customer ranked next in importance. You can see our findings below.

  • Over 51 percent of customers got the most comprehensive or bumper-to-bumper coverage.
  • Nearly 70 percent of consumers we polled got their warranty when they purchased the vehicle or soon after.
  • Approximately 54 percent of respondents said they had purchased extended warranty coverage through a dealership.



Buying An Extended Warranty: Tips And Tricks

If you are considering a protection plan for your vehicle, we recommend using reputable extended car warranty companies as your starting point. Unfortunately, some warranty companies use aggressive marketing tactics and push warranties with shoddy coverage.

If you’re looking to get the most out of an extended warranty company, here are a few things to look out for to make sure you’re working with a reputable company.

Extended Warranty Terms And Conditions

The best way to check what’s covered under your warranty is to review the contract. Many reputable providers post sample contracts on their websites for customers to review. It allows consumers to see covered components and exclusions in detail and get an overview of the claims process.

A salesperson should also give you a detailed overview of the coverage you qualify for during the quote process. If a service provider doesn’t share the contract unless you buy a warranty, consider that a red flag.

Auto Extended Warranty Reviews BBB

You want to work with a company that takes time to respond to customer complaints and offers solutions to problems. Customers share reviews and their experiences with many warranty companies through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot, so these sites can provide a sense of what a provider’s customer service looks like.

The larger the company, the more negative reviews it is likely to have. Reputable warranty companies are no exception, but it’s important to see how a provider responds to customer complaints.

Compare Extended Car Warranty Companies

Just like getting the best price on car insurance, taking time to compare warranty companies can help you get the best value. We recommend getting quotes from at least four companies to see what levels of coverage you qualify for and to compare service and costs.



Extended Warranty Cost: Conclusion

In this article, we reviewed the cost of extended warranties. The cost of an extended warranty depends on several factors, namely, your vehicle’s, make, model, year, and mileage. The type of extended warranty coverage you choose also affects the cost of an extended car warranty. When looking for an extended warranty, check if you have existing coverage. We recommend getting at least three quotes from extended warranty companies.

Top Extended Warranty Companies: Recommended Providers

If you’ve decided that an extended auto warranty is the right choice for your vehicle, we recommend comparing quotes from a few top providers to get a sense of which company is a good fit. Based on our research, Endurance and is a top-rated company with affordable extended warranty costs and quality coverage options.

Endurance: Best Coverage

Our pick for Best Coverage is Endurance. The company has been providing extended warranty coverage for over 16 years and has built a reputation for great customer service. Endurance operates as a direct provider, meaning it manages all the plans it sells–an uncommon feature in the warranty industry.

Each of Endurance’s six coverage plans includes a free year of Endurance Elite Benefits, which includes perks like 24/7 roadside assistance and tire repair/replacement.

Read more our Endurance warranty review for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are common questions related to extended car warranties:


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.

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