In this article, we’ll take a close look at what’s covered under a bumper-to-bumper warranty, how they work, and mention what voids a contract and how long coverage lasts. Our team of experts has combed through the aftermarket auto industry to find the best extended 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 service agreement 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 bumper-to-bumper warranties give protection in the case of mechanical breakdowns from regular use of a vehicle.
New Car Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty
There are two types of bumper-to-bumper warranties which include limited and lifetime plans. Bumper-to-bumper limited warranty plans expire at certain mileage or time limits and are typically included in a factory warranty as part of a new vehicle purchase. A lifetime bumper-to-bumper warranty pays for covered damages for as long as your vehicle is on the road.
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 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 Coverage Vs. Powertrain
While a bumper-to-bumper warranty provides protection from the front to the back of the vehicle, powertrain warranties only provide coverage for the parts that allow your vehicle to move. A powertrain warranty also has a longer term than bumper-to-bumper plans and is typically cheaper since it covers fewer parts overall.
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty Coverage
A bumper-to-bumper warranty provides coverage for almost all vehicle parts, from major vehicle systems to specific parts like catalytic converters. While bumper-to-bumper warranties usually offer full coverage of car components, they do not always cover everything and exact details vary by the automaker. The best way to check what’s covered is by carefully reviewing your warranty contract.
Since the extensive 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 only the parts that are ineligible for repairs. The reverse of this is stated component coverage, where the manufacturer only lists out covered parts.
What Is Covered Under A Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty?
Here are some components usually covered by a bumper-to-bumper warranty:
- Air conditioning and heating
- Engine cooling system
- Electrical systems
- 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 included in a powertrain warranty include:
- Fuel pump
- Transfer case
- Seals and gaskets
You’ll need to contact your warranty provider to find out exactly what’s covered under your powertrain warranty. Generally, powertrain coverage outlasts your bumper-to-bumper warranty due to the importance of the parts it covers.
What Is Not Covered Under Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty?
While a bumper-to-bumper warranty covers 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, 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 collision or 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:
- Weather damages: Any breakdowns of your vehicle caused by weather like hail or rain, fire, or natural disasters are not honored and can void your warranty coverage.
- Vehicle misuse: Using your vehicle in ways that it wasn’t designed to function properly, such as 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.
- Your vehicle has a salvaged title: If your car was declared a total loss or has a salvaged 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.
How Long Does Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty Last?
The average factory bumper-to-bumper warranty lasts for around 3 years/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 Manufacturer||Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty||Powertrain Warranty|
|Buick||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Chevrolet||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Chrysler||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Dodge||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Ford||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|GMC||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Honda||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Jeep||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Mazda||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Nissan||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Ram||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Subaru||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Toyota||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Acura||4 years/50,000 miles||6 years/70,000 miles|
|Alfa Romeo||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Audi||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|BMW||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Cadillac||4 years/50,000 miles||6 years/70,000 miles|
|Fiat||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Land Rover||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Lexus||4 years/50,000 miles||6 years/70,000 miles|
|Lincoln||4 years/50,000 miles||6 years/70,000 miles|
|Lucid||4 years/50,000 miles||8 years/100,000 miles|
|Mercedes-Benz||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Mini||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Polestar||4 years/50,000 miles||8 years/100,000 miles|
|Porsche||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Tesla||4 years/50,000 miles||8 years/100,000-plus miles|
|Volkswagen||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Volvo||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Infiniti||4 years/60,000 miles||6 years/70,000 miles|
|Genesis||5 years/60,000 miles||10 years/100,000 miles|
|Hyundai||5 years/60,000 miles||10 years/100,000 miles|
|Jaguar||5 years/60,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Kia||5 years/60,000 miles||10 years/100,000 miles|
|Mitsubishi||5 years/60,000 miles||10 years/100,000 miles|
|Rivian||5 years/60,000 miles||8 years/175,000 miles|
As can be seen, coverage lengths are pretty standard across the auto industry. The industry’s longest bumper-to-bumper warranty plans are 5 years/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 around $2,394. If you don’t choose to pay up front for coverage, there are monthly payment plans that range from under $60 to around $90 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:
Cost Per Month
for 36 months
New Car Diamond
for 18 months
for 48 months
for 24 months
First month’s payment
All of the bumper-to-bumper warranty plans we obtained quotes for include deductibles of $100. While CarShield was easily the cheapest option, its coverage length is far eclipsed by that of CARCHEX and Endurance.
Extended Car 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 up front 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 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’d rather have peace of mind while on the road. Many warranties also 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 many 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 Purchase 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 fro ma manufacturer, it typically must be done before your limited factory warranty expires. There are advantages and disadvantages to whatever 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 service 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. If you’re considering an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty, read our breakdown of reputable extended car warranty companies.
Bumper-to-Bumper Extended Car 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, if you have a third-party warranty, the certified repair facility of your choice.
- 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.
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranties: Conclusion
If you are looking for most parts from the front to the back of your vehicle to be covered, a bumper-to-bumper warranty can help give you peace of mind on the road. 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 ensure you find the best deals.
Best Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty
Our team has reviewed the market and 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 best coverage plans in the auto warranty business. The company is a direct provider of warranties, meaning it manages its own plans rather than contracting with other companies for some services.
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.
Learn more about this provider by checking out our complete Endurance warranty review. Be aware that Endurance plans are not available in California.
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 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.
Read our CARCHEX review to find out more information about the company’s bumper-to-bumper warranty offerings.
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.