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Is CARCHEX a good extended warranty choice? We’ve reviewed a number of the best extended car warranty companies to help you make sense of the market. In order to help you determine whether the provider is a good fit for your needs, this CARCHEX review offers a look at the provider’s coverage, pricing, customer experience, and reputation.
In our extensive study on the best extended car warranty companies, CARCHEX earns a score of 4.3 out of 5.0 possible stars, placing the provider second overall. Because of the company’s favorable coverage options for older, high-mileage vehicles, we also name the company Best for Used Cars in 2022.
This overall score of 4.3 out of 5.0 is determined by the same system we use to evaluate all warranty providers, which is based on ratings in four areas: cost, coverage, reputation, and customer experience. The table below shows how CARCHEX scores in the ratings categories that we use to deliver unbiased reviews for all of the best extended car warranty companies:
In addition to its ample coverage options, reasonable rates, and solid reputation, here are some things that stood out to our researchers when reviewing CARCHEX:
- Coverage options: With five coverage tiers and 16 warranty contracts available, CARCHEX’s coverage offerings 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 if you decide to cancel.
- Flexibility for choosing a repair shop: You can choose to have repairs done from a large network of repair shops that includes any licensed repair facility in the USA certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE®).
CARCHEX Pros and Cons
The pros and cons table below contains a more extensive list of things we liked and disliked when reviewing the company:
CARCHEX Warranty Overview
CARCHEX is an aftermarket extended warranty broker that markets and sells vehicle service contracts for third-party providers. Based in Hunt Valley, Maryland, CARCHEX has served customers for over 20 years, providing consumer assurance products like car warranties, pre-inspections, and insurance in the automotive industry.
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. Goldsmith, who has been CEO since 2004, helped transform CARCHEX into a technology-enabled business that has disrupted vehicle protection services.
Shortly after becoming CEO, Goldsmith expanded the company into the third-party car warranty market. Today, along with being a leader in automotive direct-to-consumer products and services, CARCHEX is among the largest and most experienced extended warranty companies. 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.
What Does CARCHEX Cover?
CARCHEX extended warranties cover repairs that are a result of mechanical failure or malfunction from normal use. At a minimum, most CARCHEX plans provide powertrain coverage, meaning the warranty covers your vehicle’s engine, transmission, drive axle(s), and turbocharger. The highest tier plans offer bumper-to-bumper coverage similar to a factory warranty.
CARCHEX Coverage Plans
With five coverage levels and warranty periods spanning from 12 to 84 months for all new and used vehicles (including hybrids) that have up to 250,000 miles, it’s easy to find something affordable that fits your needs. With shorter timeframes available, the max coverage period for CARCHEX warranties lasts up to 10 years.
Since plans aren’t renewable, some 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 industry standard policies are in place to ensure the provider doesn’t pay for issues customers knew about before purchasing.
|Component Covered||Bronze Plan||Silver Plan||Gold Plan||Platinum Plan||Titanium Plan|
|Front & Rear Axle||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Seals And Gaskets||✓||✓||✓|
|Wear And Tear||✓||✓||✓|
From entry-level plans that cover drivetrain components to comprehensive bumper-to-bumper policies similar to new car factory warranties, CARCHEX brokers policies that fit everyone’s needs. There are five levels of coverage spanning 16 distinct plans from several warranty providers. Contracts from different warranty providers at the same coverage level may differ on specific covered components.
Below are descriptions of each CARCHEX warranty plan:
This CARCHEX bumper-to-bumper plan offers the highest level of coverage available. With few exclusions, this package offers comprehensive coverage similar to a manufacturer’s warranty. There are five plans at this level with periods of five to ten years. This plan is best for those who want to extend existing coverage or are looking for long, exclusionary protection.
As the second-best package and most comprehensive inclusionary coverage available, this extended vehicle protection plan covers hundreds of stated components from all systems. Three tiers are available at this level, with terms from five to ten years. This is great for those seeking balance between savings and thorough coverage.
This plan covers everything in the lower three tiers plus stated components, such as:
- Ball joints
- Mountings plates
- Enhanced technical components
- Wiper motors
- Heating components
- Mounting brackets
- Water pump
This CARCHEX powertrain plus option is the company’s highest level of basic coverage. It covers many components for all major systems. There are three tiers at this level with coverage periods of five to ten years. This plan is ideal for cars with over 60,000 miles.
In addition to coverage found in the two plans below, this tier covers repair costs for steering components and braking parts such as:
- Backing plates
- Disc calipers
- Master cylinders
- Metal hydraulic lines and fittings
- Braking system
The CARCHEX Silver plan covers essential components. There are three tiers at this level with contracts lasting for six or seven years. This plan benefits vehicles over 100,000 miles needing coverage of all major systems.
Coverage includes the following components related to the electric, fueling, and air conditioning systems such as the:
- Fuel pump
- Gas tank
- Ignition coil
- A/C compressor
- Condenser fan
This tier is designed to protect high-mileage vehicles from the most expensive repairs, covering major systems including the engine and transmission. There are two tiers at this level with five or six year contracts, making it a good choice for vehicles with over 150,000 miles.
Covered items include:
- Engine components
- Main bearings and crankshaft
- Timing gear
- Connecting rods and bearings
- Automatic and manual transmission components
- Front and rear axles (within differential housing, final drive housing, transaxle housing)
CARCHEX Warranty Plans
The chart below contains information about every CARCHEX warranty plan offered from all of its providers:
|Administrator||Plan Level||Program Name|
|American Auto Shield||Titanium||Diamond|
|CARCHEX Care by American Auto Shield||Titanium||Titanium Plus|
|CARCHEX Care by Royal||Titanium||Titanium|
|Royal Administration Services||Titanium||Ultimate|
|American Auto Shield||Platinum||Platinum|
|CARCHEX Care by Royal||Platinum||Platinum|
|Royal Administration Services||Platinum||Premium|
|American Auto Shield||Gold||Deluxe|
|CARCHEX Care by Royal||Gold||Gold|
|American Auto Shield||Silver||Powertrain Plus|
|CARCHEX Care by Royal||Silver||Silver|
|CARCHEX Connect||Silver||Powertrain Plus|
|American Auto Shield||Bronze||Bronze|
|CARCHEX Care by Royal||Bronze||Bronze|
Additionally, each of the five tiers of coverage offered by CARCHEX is available in all 50 states, including California. This is a rarity because few providers operate in California due to a strict legal environment brought forth by strong consumer protection laws.
The following items aren’t covered in CARCHEX extended warranties:
- Modifications: Lift kits, custom parts, performance upgrades, etc.
- Major Events: Collisions, environmental damage, vandalism/theft, etc. (usually covered by insurance)
- Exotic Cars: Lamborghini, Ferrari, etc.
- Wear and Tear Items: Tires, wiper blades, brake pads, spark plugs
- Regular Maintenance: Tune-ups, oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacements
- Specialty: RV and ATV coverage
- Neglect: Repairs from failing to maintain a vehicle per manufacturer specifications
- Pre-Existing Conditions: Repairs needed prior to purchasing coverage
*Keep in mind that these exclusions are the industry norm and some packages may have more exclusions.
In addition to the warranty coverage offered in with each vehicle service contract, CARCHEX offers the following added 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
- Your Choice Of Repair Facility: Choose from any licensed ASC certified facility in the U.S.
- Satellite Radio: Free Sirius satellite radio for eligible vehicles
The max amount for benefits several of the benefits is usually $50. These provisions enhance all contracts and have amounts dependent on coverage tier, allowing for the flexibility for customers to increase the standard reimbursement level.
Optional Coverage Upgrades
In addition to the coverage and benefits provided in its standard protection plans, customers can choose to add on the following upgrade options 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 that CARCHEX warranties range from $120 to $170 per month and have no required down payment. Specific costs vary depending on factors like the level of coverage you choose, your vehicle’s make and model, and your location.
CARCHEX Average Cost
Most customers pay between $100 and $200 per month for coverage from CARCHEX. Based on quotes we received, total costs range from around $2500 to $3000. Customers who choose a higher tiered plan can expect to pay around $2,500 and $2,800 for a lower tier plan, with specific costs depending on your vehicle.
CARCHEX’s average costs are within the range of what half of the 1,000 respondents reported paying for extended warranty coverage in our recent survey. Here’s an overview of what people paid for a warranty plan:
CARCHEX Auto Warranty Prices
When we reached out for quotes from CARCHEX, we were quoted $190 for 18 months for a 7 years/125,000 miles bumper-to-bumper extended warranty and $225 for 18 months for a 5 years/75,000 miles powertrain plus plan. Prices for several vehicle models are included in the chart below:
|CARCHEX Warranty Plan||Vehicle Profile||Coverage Term||Monthly Payment||Down Payment||Total Cost|
|Titanium||2018 Toyota RAV4 with 30,000 miles||7 years/125,000 miles||$190 for 18 months||$342||$3,420|
|Titanium||Honda Civic (miles unknown)||7 years/125,000 miles||$107 for 24 months||First month's payment||$2,574|
|Platinum||Subaru Outback (miles unknown)||5 years/60,000 miles||$154 for 24 months||First month's payment||$3,700|
|Gold||2012 Chevy Equinox with 90,000 miles||4 years/100,000 miles||$127.67 for 18 months||$99||$2,398|
|Silver||2012 Chevy Equinox with 90,000 miles||5 years/75,000 miles||$225 for 18 months||First month's payment||$4,050|
|Silver||Subaru Outback (miles unknown)||6 years/60,000 miles||$108 for 24 months||First month's payment||$2,592|
Because it was our first time calling CARCHEX, we were later offered a discounted down payment of $0 for the Titanium plan. The agent also offered to work with us to reduce the price further if we purchased plans for both vehicles. Compared to other top warranty providers, CARCHEX prices and payment plans are competitive.
An industry norm, CARCHEX pays for covered repairs and all you pay is a small deductible (typically $100). With low costs overall and some plans with no deductibles, you can choose from a total of $0, $50, $100, or $200 options.
With affordable and flexible monthly payments, you can pay your bill with all major credit cards by phone, company website, or the online app. Payment options are paying as a lump sum or no-interest installments of varying periods. Packages that require more money are usually cheaper overall. In addition, there is also a multi-vehicle discount of $650 per contract if you pay in full.
CARCHEX Monthly Payment
The maximum payment time is a total of 24 months. There is also an 18 month option with higher payments. For some, upfront costs correspond with the first month’s installment.
When getting a quote from CARCHEX, the provider does the heavy lifting and guides you through the process, as its “No-Haggle, Low-Price Everyday Guarantee™” means questions asked or requests are viewed as opportunities to provide the support and helpful information needed 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 phone consultations with a specialist at 1-(888)-860-8314 or filling out a quick online form with questions regarding your vehicle. 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.
CARCHEX Warranty Reviews
CARCHEX regularly receives top ratings from industry experts, including:
- Kelly Blue Book
- MotorWeek’s Pat Gross
In the media, CARCHEX has been given five stars by Top Consumer Reviews for six consecutive years and was Thoroughly Reviewed’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 consecutive years.
CARCHEX Customer Reviews
As is the case with most extended warranty companies, customer reviews about CARCHEX are largely mixed. CARCHEX has a 3.0 out of 5.0 Trustpilot score and an “Average” rating on the platform based on 1,467 customer reviews at the time of this writing. Overall, 86 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
A rarity for an extended warranty company, CARCHEX has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for over 10 years (since May 15th, 2009) and has long held an A+ rating with the organization. While its customer review score of 2.1 out of 5.0 stars is lower than many other businesses, CARCHEX has the highest BBB rating of any warranty company.
Take a look at how CARCHEX compares to top aftermarket warranty providers in terms of BBB ratings, aggregated customer review scores, and accreditation status. The BBB information for the various providers in the table below is accurate as of August 2022:
|Warranty Provider||BBB Accreditation||BBB Rating||BBB Score||BBB Complaints|
|CARCHEX||Yes||A+||2.15 out of 5.0||120|
|AutoAssure||No||Not Rated||4.63 out of 5.0||325|
|Endurance||No||B-||3.38 out of 5.0||788|
|AA Auto Protection||No||F||1.38 out of 5.0||142|
|CarShield||No||F||1.44 out of 5.0||1,905|
Positive CARCHEX Warranty Reviews
CARCHEX strives to set itself apart by emphasizing “customer experience above all.” In fact, “consumer advocacy across the car owning process” is a core value of the company. This customer-centric emphasis is something CARCHEX largely lives up to, as many of its customers are satisfied with pricing, business processes, and transparency. 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 will find a notable amount of highly negative reviews of the service provided by CARCHEX. Several customers have issued CARCHEX complaints regarding 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 161 complaints closed in the past three years (61 in the last 12 months), CARCHEX receives less negative feedback than most than other providers overall. Also, many complaints are a result of customers who fail to understand their coverage and interpret claims denials as poor service.
How Does CARCHEX Work?
Contrary to what many believe, CARCHEX is an extended warranty broker, meaning it doesn’t directly administer the 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, American Auto Shield, and Allegiance, that provide the vehicle service contract and pay claims. Since these providers are insured, you won’t be at risk because of them being unable to fulfill claims because the ran out of money.
Additionally, to ensure that customers get the best coverage and lowest rates available, CARCHEX uses technology to maximize this multi-provider approach through a “compete” model. Because the warranty administrators compete for your business, the dependable service they provide continually improves.
CARCHEX also leverages the resulting buying power from this competition to get better rates over time so customers pay less for coverage. On the other hand, because claims processing is administrator-dependent, the downside to this approach is a higher potential for inconsistency in the claims process.
This is evident the variation of customer experienced expressed in online reviews, as some laud the rapid service provided by CARCHEX while others complain about wait times.
CARCHEX Customer Service
CARCHEX has several options for assistance for contract holders, including 24-hour customer service. The table below shows how CARCHEX compares with other competitors regarding customer support:
|Provider||Email Support||Telephone Support||24-Hour Support*||Live Chat|
*For customers with an active contract
CARCHEX Car Warranty Repairs
CARCHEX customers can choose from any of 30,000 ASE-certified repair facilities in the United States for covered repairs. Because terms vary, call or visit the company website or mobile app to make sure any shop in question is authorized before taking your vehicle to a repair facility.
To prove your vehicle has been maintained per manufacturer guidelines, make sure to keep all of your vehicle’s service records.
Filing a claim is easy. When you sign up, CARCHEX will give you a card and packet containing plan info. If you run into vehicle problems, simply show your card to a facility or dealership and they’ll deal with the charges with the administrator.
Claims are paid to the shop or dealership, preventing large out-of-pocket expenses. For plans where the repair facility files claims, if someone forgets to file, there is a department to contact directly to make sure claims are completed.
How To File A Claim With CARCHEX
Follow these steps to file a claim with CARCHEX:
- Take your vehicle to a licensed repair facility
- Allow the repair shop to diagnose the vehicle and assess its needs
- Have the repair shop contract the CARCHEX claims department to have repairs approved
- Once the approval is received, pay the deductible and pick up the vehicle after repairs are complete
CARCHEX Claims Numbers
When filing a claim with CARCHEX, you need to call the warranty plan administrator listed on your contract. If you have an issue with your claim, you can contact CARCHEX customer service at 1-877-227-2439. The table below includes administrator phone numbers.
CARCHEX Warranty Administrator
Administrator Phone Number
Alpha Warranty Services
American Guardian Warranty Services
Century Warranty Services
Enterprise Financial Group
National Administration Services Co.
Royal Administration Services
How To Cancel A CARCHEX Warranty
All of CARCHEX’s 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. After that point, you can cancel for a prorated refund.
If you sell your car, you can transfer your contract to the new owner for a $50 fee.
Is CARCHEX A Good Extended Warranty?
The bottom line is yes, as CARCHEX is one of the most experienced and reputable providers, it’s a good extended warranty. CARCHEX has a high customer satisfaction rate compared to most warranty providers and holds numerous state licenses and third party certifications.
Another area where CARCHEX stands out is the consultative nature of its quote process, as the company emphasizes on helping potential clients get the best warranty instead of pressuring them. Additionally, its online app makes it fast and convenient to find a licensed repair facility.
Of course, as is the case with every extended warranty provider, the story is a little complicated. CARCHEX has room to improve in some areas, especially with regards to its consistency across providers.
While CARCHEX differentiates itself because it has an excellent standing among customers, researching customers’ experience with the company will quickly reveal many who believe they didn’t get the service they paid for (see below). If you are considering a CARCHEX warranty, make sure to read the fine print so that you understand your coverage.
Is CARCHEX Worth It?
CARCHEX extended warranties are worth it if you prefer having the peace of mind knowing that you are protected against unexpected repairs. Additionally, the company’s wide plan selection is its most attractive quality for customers who seek flexible coverage and expansive benefits.
Along with its numerous coverage options, CARCHEX’s added benefits like fuel delivery and roadside assistance can save you thousands of dollars. This is especially the case if you own 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.
Top Recommendations For Extended Car Warranties
Even if you’re convinced CARCHEX is the perfect auto warranty, it’s always worth getting free, no-obligation quotes from multiple companies so you can compare coverage offerings and prices. In our comprehensive research into the most reputable extended car warranty companies on the market, we also found Endurance and CarShield to be good choices.
Number of Plans
4.1 out of 5.0
3.0 out of 5.0
4.0 out of 5.0
4.4 out of 5.0
4.7 out of 5.0
Endurance: 4.6 Stars
As a direct warranty provider, Endurance administers and manages all the plans it sells. This means drivers work with the same customer service and claims team for the entire length of their warranty plan. Endurance has been around for 16 years, and it offers a range of perks in addition to six types of coverage. Drivers get one year free of Endurance Elite Benefits, which includes perks like a $500 collision discount and tire repair or replacement.
You can read more about the company in our Endurance warranty review.
CarShield: 4.2 Stars
CarShield is another reputable extended car warranty provider, and many drivers find affordable coverage through the company. In our research, CarShield quoted the cheapest prices. The company has been around for 17 years and offers six coverage plans. CarShield has a 4.0-star rating out of 5.0 from over 31,860 customer reviews on Trustpilot, and it’s the most popular extended warranty company on the market.
CARCHEX Reviews: Conclusion
We rate CARCHEX 4.3 out of 5.0 and Best for Used Cars in 2022 in this CARCHEX Review. Considering the company’s reputation, coverage options, prices, and customer experience, our team of experts recognizes CARCHEX as one of the best extended car warranty options available. After a thorough CARCHEX review, we award the company the designation of Best for Used Cars because it covers vehicles up to 250,000 miles.
CARCHEX Extended Warranty Reviews: FAQ
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Reputation: It’s important that an extended car warranty company is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong rating from the BBB score well in this category. Established providers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
- 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.