Whether you’re purchasing a new or used vehicle or the factory warranty has expired on your current car, extended warranty coverage can provide peace of mind in the case of a mechanical breakdown. An extended warranty can help you avoid paying for expensive repair bills out of pocket, but plans themselves can be pricey.
Our team has reviewed the best extended car warranty providers in the industry and will highlight the best companies for cheap car warranties. You’ll find out which companies offer cheap car warranties to help you save even more. We recommend comparing quotes from multiple providers to find the best cost and coverage for your car.
Extended Car Warranty Overview
An extended car warranty, also known as a vehicle service contract, covers the cost of certain repairs and replacements in the case of a mechanical breakdown. Extended coverage takes effect after your vehicle’s factory warranty has expired, providing additional coverage for a set number of years or vehicle miles. You can purchase an extended warranty from your car’s manufacturer, through a car dealership, or from a third-party provider.
Types Of Warranty Coverage
When searching for extended warranty coverage, you’ll come across a few types of warranty plans. The levels of coverage typically include:
- Bumper-to-bumper warranty: Also called exclusionary coverage, these types of warranties cover most of a car’s major mechanical systems, with a list of specific exclusions. This is usually the most comprehensive extended warranty option.
- Stated component: This type of extended warranty covers auto repairs for a list of named parts and is often called inclusionary coverage.
- Powertrain warranty: This covers the most essential systems in your vehicle, including the internal parts of your engine and transmission. It’s typically a good option for older cars and high-mileage vehicles.
Common Extended Warranty Exclusions
Vehicle service plans come with a list of exclusions in the contract, which is why it’s important to read the fine print so you know what is and what isn’t covered. Extended car warranties cover repair costs for components that fail only due to a mechanical breakdown. This means accident-related damage that would be covered by your car insurance company and routine maintenance costs like oil changes aren’t covered.
Extended warranties also typically don’t cover wear-and-tear items such as:
- Spark plugs
- Brake pads
Top 3 Cheap Car Warranty Companies
Our team reviewed several of the top third-party auto warranty companies to determine which ones offer comprehensive coverage for the most affordable prices. One benefit of a third-party warranty is that you often have your choice of repair facilities. Learn more about our top recommendations below.
|Cheap Car Warranty Companies||Our Award||Overall Rating||Cost Rating|
|#1 Endurance||Best Coverage||$5||$5|
|#2 CarShield||Best Value||$4||$5|
|#3 CARCHEX||Best for Used Cars||$4||4.3|
#1 Endurance: Best Coverage
Endurance received our review team’s highest rating and the Best Coverage award due to its wide range of available coverage plans and positive industry reputation. The company offers six levels of coverage that last up to 8 years/200,000 miles. Its plans include:
- Supreme: This is Endurance’s most comprehensive coverage plan. Similar to bumper-to-bumper coverage, it covers car repairs for most of your vehicle’s components and systems.
- Superior: Endurance’s highest level of inclusionary coverage, this plan covers hundreds of components.
- Secure Plus: This mid-level option has a short, 30-day waiting period. It covers parts on the main systems of the car.
- Select Premier: This Endurance warranty plan offers enhanced powertrain coverage designed for high-mileage vehicles.
- Secure: This is basic powertrain coverage and is Endurance’s most affordable plan.
- EnduranceAdvantage™: EnduranceAdvantage is a combined mechanical breakdown coverage and routine maintenance plan. This unique plan option is available in three coverage levels: Prime, Plus, and Preferred.
Our research shows that Endurance warranty plans cost between $86 and $124 per month on average. The price you pay for a vehicle protection plan with the company depends on the coverage level you choose and several other factors. Compared to competitors, Endurance vehicle warranties are among the most affordable.
Learn more about the company in our Endurance warranty review.
#2 CarShield: Best Value
CarShield offers some of the cheapest extended warranties on the market, which is why it earned our Best Value award. With five coverage options that range from the average powertrain warranty to bumper-to-bumper coverage, car owners can find the coverage they need through CarShield. The company’s plans include:
- Diamond: This plan offers exclusionary coverage similar to a manufacturer’s warranty. It covers a wide range of vehicle repairs, including everything from engine failure to water pump breakdowns.
- Platinum: This plan is the best coverage option for high-mileage vehicles. It protects major and minor vehicle parts that are more likely to fail in an older vehicle.
- Gold: This enhanced powertrain coverage protects the powertrain, starter, alternator, air conditioning, and more.
- Silver: The most affordable of the CarShield protection plans, the Silver plan is CarShield’s standard powertrain warranty. It provides coverage for the most essential parts of your vehicle, like the transmission, drive axle, and engine.
- Aluminum: Designed specifically for your vehicle’s high-tech electrical components, the Aluminum plan covers parts like the engine control module and GPS.
- Motorcycle & ATV: CarShield offers coverage for specialty vehicles like ATVs and motorcycles as well.
With a CarShield extended warranty, you can expect monthly payments of between $79 and $129. One advantage of CarShield plans is the company’s flexible contracts. You can opt for a plan with a set term length or choose a month-to-month contract that allows you to choose how long you maintain coverage.
Check out our CarShield warranty review for more information about costs and plan options.
#3 CARCHEX: Best For Used Cars
From affordable prices to long term lengths, CARCHEX extended warranty plans are a popular choice due to the number of benefits they offer. We named the provider Best for Used Cars due to its long terms and high mileage limits of up to 10 years/250,000 miles.
The company offers five levels of coverage, ranging from a basic powertrain warranty to comprehensive coverage similar to a factory warranty. Its plans include:
- Titanium: This plan is CARCHEX’s highest level of auto protection. It offers exclusionary coverage for most of your vehicle’s components, similar to a bumper-to-bumper warranty.
- Platinum: This stated-component warranty plan offers coverage for hundreds of vehicle repairs.
- Gold: This powertrain-plus coverage plan is ideal for cars with over 60,000 miles.
- Silver: This enhanced powertrain plan is ideal for older cars with high mileage.
- Bronze: This powertrain warranty is the most basic and affordable protection the company offers.
Although each coverage option offers something different, all CARCHEX warranties include multiple perks such as 24/7 roadside assistance, trip interruption coverage, rental car reimbursement, and towing. The company’s plans are a good value compared to competitors, with costs ranging from about $100 to $215 per month.
Find more information on the company in our in-depth CARCHEX warranty review.
Extended Car Warranty Costs
How much you pay for an extended warranty can vary widely depending on the provider you choose, details about your vehicle, and the level of coverage you need. In our 2022 extended car warranty survey, we found that half of the 1,000 respondents paid between $1,615 and $3,208 for their extended warranty. See how respondents’ answer break down below:
Extended Warranty Cost Factors
Extended warranty costs vary significantly based on a number of factors about your vehicle and the type of coverage you need. We’ll take a look at some of the most significant factors below.
The make, model, and mileage of your vehicle all play a role in the final cost of coverage. Car warranties for newer vehicles typically cost less than those for older models.
Because each provider offers a range of coverage options that cover different levels of repair costs, the plan you choose significantly influences how much you pay for coverage. Powertrain coverage is generally the cheapest, while the most comprehensive plans cost the most.
Your deductible is how much you’ll pay out of pocket for covered repairs. The higher your deductible, the cheaper the plan will likely be.
How To Find The Best Cheap Car Warranty
With so many providers and coverage levels to choose from, it can be challenging to determine which option is best for you and your vehicle. We recommend taking the following steps to find the car coverage option that best suits you.
- Get quotes from several companies: Reaching out to multiple companies for free quotes is the best way to compare your cost and coverage options.
- Choose the best payment plan: Some extended warranty companies allow you to make monthly payments while others typically require upfront payments. Take your budget into consideration and find a company with a payment plan that best fits your needs.
- Inquire about discounts: Some providers offer discounts on their warranties. Make sure to check with a representative when getting a quote to see if you’re eligible.
Cheap Car Warranty: Conclusion
When looking for an extended warranty for your used or new vehicle, you don’t have to break the bank to find the coverage you need. There are several reputable third-party companies that offer cheap car warranties to give you peace of mind behind the wheel. We recommend getting several quotes to compare your options and find the best warranty plan.
Cheap Car Warranty: 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 Better Business Bureau (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