Disclosure: This content was produced by an independent editorial party for the purposes of educating our customers, and is not influenced by the other business operations of CARCHEX.

An extended car warranty—whether for a new or used car—can save you money on a vehicle’s expensive repair costs. This is especially beneficial because as vehicles age, the likelihood of needing repairs increases. Additionally, once a manufacturer’s warranty on a car expires, the average repair costs can skyrocket. Depending on your provider, different coverage plans allow you to customize your extended warranty to meet your needs.

Portrait of a mechanic at work in his garage

Are Extended Warranties Worth it?

Many drivers may not realize the potential savings offered by an extended car warranty, but they can help you:

  • Spread car repair costs out over time—Rather than pay a large repair bill all at once, an extended warranty allows you to pay for those repairs in smaller amounts over time.
  • Maintain high-mileage vehicles—If you tend to keep cars for many years, you can benefit from an extended car warranty. Older cars with high mileage are prone to breakdowns and often require expensive repairs. Adding an extended car warranty helps you afford repairs when you need them and keep the car on the road.
  • Realize a return on investment—Owners who are interested in selling their car may see a return on the purchase of an extended car warranty. Many extended warranties from companies like CARCHEX can be transferred to a new owner. This can make the car more marketable, as it shows that you care about maintenance and repairs.

Do You Need an Extended Warranty?

Almost every new car will come with a factory warranty from the manufacturer. Many times, this manufacturer’s warranty has fine print and limitations. While a new car is less likely to need repairs, it can still be worthwhile for a new car owner to purchase an extended warranty once the manufacturer warranty expires. Warranty companies base the cost of an extended car warranty on the vehicle’s age, mileage, make, and model. An extended warranty for a new car with fewer miles can cost less than a warranty for an older vehicle with more mileage.

Extended Warranties for Used Cars

Buying a used car comes with risks, such as prior care and repairs made to the vehicle, and often doesn’t include a manufacturer’s warranty. There may be underlying issues that will cause the car to break down within a few years of buying it. To combat the costs of their repairs, used car owners can purchase an extended car warranty. If the used car breaks down, you may save hundreds of dollars in repairs.

If you are considering purchasing a used car, consider the following to determine whether an extended warranty is right for you:

  • Known issues with your car—Some older cars suffer from issues like leaks or certain parts going out over time. These issues can be consistent in certain makes and models. Do some research and see what kind of repairs to expect in your used vehicle and whether you can fit them into your budget without the assistance of an extended warranty. Also, make sure to get the car’s history from its previous owner.

  • Determine the reliability of your vehicle—Is your vehicle’s make and model known for its lifespan? Understanding how reliable the used car is will help you determine how much coverage you need in an extended car warranty.
  • How long you plan on driving the car—Whether you’re planning to keep or sell the car in a few years, an extended car warranty has its advantages. If you keep it, you can reap the financial benefits of a protection plan yourself. When selling the car, the warranty increases the value of the car, since you can transfer it to the new owner.

How Much Does an Extended Car Warranty Cost?

Extended warranties can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. Car warranty providers calculate the cost of a warranty using specific data about each vehicle. Factors such as the make, model, mileage, and age of the vehicle help determine how much an extended auto warranty will cost. That’s why it’s less expensive to add an extended warranty to a car when it’s younger and has fewer miles.

The level of coverage will also affect the cost of an extended car warranty. The more coverage you opt for, the more the extended warranty will cost. Vehicle protection plan providers like CARCHEX take all of your vehicle’s information into account to give you the estimated price of different coverage options.

Some car dealerships or car warranty companies require you to haggle to get the best price. A warranty company that hides the best price from you in the beginning may create headaches down the road when filing a claim. It is best to find an honest warranty provider that doesn’t waste your time with useless haggling. CARCHEX promises a No-Haggle, Low-Price Everyday Guarantee™ for our customers.

Due to the many different factors that go into determining the price of an extended car warranty, it is best to contact your warranty provider and get a quote.

Different Types of Warranties

There are several types of warranties offered by car dealerships, manufacturers, and third-party warranty companies. Each type provides different levels of coverage and may vary across providers.

Types of Warranties

Manufacturer warranties

usually come with new car purchases. Some manufacturers also offer warranties for cars that have been through a certified pre-owned (CPO) program. The warranty from an auto manufacturer generally covers repairs in the first 3–5 years of the car’s life. Powertrain warranties can last longer. These warranties also have restrictive mileage limits.

Dealership extended warranties

are usually restrictive and offer less protection over time than other warranty options. You may be required to use only the dealership repair shop and their choice of parts, which can be inconvenient and more expensive.

Third-party warranty companies

offer the best value and most flexibility in extended car warranties. They usually include roadside assistance and other benefits. Third-party warranty companies also offer several levels of protection. Choosing to buy an extended warranty from a third-party provider like CARCHEX allows you to customize your warranty to meet your needs and doesn’t tie you down to a certain manufacturer.

Dealership vs. Third-Party Extended Car Warranties

Many car dealerships offer extended car warranties for both new and used cars. By comparing your options, you’re better positioned to make an informed decision.

Dealership Extended Warranties

Extended warranties from car dealerships are known for being restrictive. Short-term lengths and mileage limits prevent car owners from getting the most out of their protection plan.

Buying an extended warranty from a car dealership can also place major limitations on where you can have your car repaired. It is not uncommon for a dealer to require that any repairs made under their extended car warranty be completed by their service center or an approved repair facility. That means you’re limited to their locations. For example, if you purchase a Lexus extended warranty from the dealership, all the repairs are by factory-trained technicians. It’s good to have a mechanic who knows your type of car, but not being able to visit the trusted repair shop down the road can be a real inconvenience if you’re in a fix.

Third-Party Extended Warranties

Third-party providers specialize in extended car warranties. Where a dealership is focused on selling as many cars as possible, a third-party warranty company is focused on offering you protection that makes sense for your vehicle. A CARCHEX Extended Vehicle Protection Plan, for example, allows you the freedom to repair your vehicle wherever you like.

An extended auto warranty from a third-party company also gives you the option of customizing your coverage. A dealership likely only offers a couple of extended warranty options with limited miles and years. Reputable third-party warranty companies provide several coverage levels. CARCHEX even has several plans options within each coverage level.

Sales person presenting some information on digital tablet to woman while she sitting in new car in dealership.

Compare Extended Car Warranty Companies

When looking for the best extended car warranty, a trusted provider can make all the difference. You will want to find a company with a great Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and endorsements from other reputable businesses in the industry. They should also offer plans that are backed by reliable insurance companies.

The chart below compares some of the nation’s leading car warranty companies.

CARCHEXAutoAssureConcord Auto ProtectEndurance
Years in Business24131017
Instant QuoteYesYesYesYes
BBB AccreditationYesNoNoNo
BBB RatingA+C+D-Not Rated
BBB Complaints (last 36 mo.)1591171602,029
Partnerships/EndorsementsCARFAX, RepairPal, Edmunds.com, Autoblog, SiriusXM, Vehicle Protection Association, and Goss’ Garage.Vehicle Protection Association, Dun & BradstreetConsumer AffairsCourtney Hansen, Katie Osborne, Vehicle Protection Association

While companies like Endurance, Concord Auto Protect, Delta Auto Protect, AutoAssure, and AA Auto Protection provide extended car warranties, they are not BBB accredited. Additionally, many of these companies have been in business less than 15 years. Companies like CARCHEX, for example, have been providing extended car warranties for more than 20 years.

Questions to Ask the Warranty Provider

With 89% of cars on the road today needing some kind of repair or service, an extended car warranty can save you money on those inevitable repair expenses. As you research buying a protection plan, be sure to ask potential providers these important questions. Knowing information about the coverage, cost, and length of contract can help you make the best decision for your extended warranty.

What Coverage Options Are There?

Learning the different coverage levels offered by a potential extended car warranty company is the first step in determining what type of extended warranty is right for you. Extended car warranty companies usually provide several coverage options to ensure everyone can find a warranty that meets their specific car’s needs.

For example, an extended warranty may only need to cover major repairs for a few years before the car is sold or traded. A new car owner probably feels more comfortable with a comprehensive bumper-to-bumper warranty to protect their investment and most components of their vehicle.

If you have an older car that needs protection from just the most expensive repairs, a powertrain warranty may be the best fit. Powertrain warranties cover the engine, transmission, and related parts.

Whether you choose a dealership or third-party extended warranty, consider the following:

  • Determine how much risk you are willing to take in the repair costs of your car and how long you plan to keep the vehicle.
  • Research the reliability of your car to estimate common repair costs for your vehicle.
  • Talk with a representative of your potential warranty provider and find out what coverage options they have available. They should be able to tell you what plan is the best fit for you. To speak with a CARCHEX representative, call 866-261-3457.

How Long Do Extended Car Warranties Last?

Extended car warranties range in length of contract, lasting from just two years up to 10 years or well over 100,000 miles. Here’s what to consider when determining the length of your coverage:

  • The length of time you plan to own the car—Owners who want to keep their car for many years should recognize the risks associated with an older car. As cars age and are more expensive to repair, it can be beneficial to choose a warranty with the longest term available. Even if you plan on keeping the car for only a few more years, an extended warranty lasting five or more years that can be transferred may help raise its value when you to go sell.
  • The costs of coverage options—Generally, a longer extended warranty will be more expensive than a shorter one, depending on how much coverage is offered. To get the best price on a longer, comprehensive warranty, consider buying your warranty as soon as possible. That’s because a younger car’s extended warranty will be less expensive up front and will still cover the car as it ages.

Why Choose CARCHEX for Your Extended Car Warranty?

There are many reasons to purchase an Extended Vehicle Protection Plan from CARCHEX:

  • Comprehensive, flexible coverage—Select from a variety of coverage levels and several plans within each level.
  • Affordability—Ask us about our financing options and easy monthly payments.
  • Customer Experience Above All—Serving you is our top priority.
  • Excellent customer service—Our representatives are knowledgeable and professional, and we have an A+ Better Business Bureau customer service rating.
  • Trusted partnerships and endorsements—Brands like Edmunds, The Motoring Club, CARFAX, and more all recognize CARCHEX as a reputable provider.
  • No-Haggle, Low-Price Everyday Guarantee™—By offering our best price up front, we show the honesty and great customer service that keeps our customers happy.
  • Work with your repair shop of choice—No dealership or chain requirements.
  • Claims made directly to repair shops—You don’t have to wait to be reimbursed.
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee—Not satisfied? You can get your money back.
  • Extra benefits—Roadside assistance, gas delivery, trip interruption services, car rentals, and other perks are included in every plan.
  • A free, customized quote—Call today for a quote that’s tailored to your specific vehicle.

With five levels of coverage, CARCHEX has an extended auto warranty for every budget and vehicle. Plans range from Titanium—which provides up to 10 years of bumper-to-bumper protection for your car—to Powertrain, which protects your powertrain and offers up to six years of coverage for major repairs.

Find the Best Extended Car Warranty for You

An Extended Vehicle Protection Plan from CARCHEX helps protect your car—and your wallet— for years to come. By comparing our great customer service, A+ BBB rating, and industry endorsements with other warranty companies, it’s easy to see why CARCHEX is a top choice for extended car warranties. We offer five levels of coverage to meet the needs of every vehicle owner.

Find the best extended car warranty for your car by calling 866-261-3457 for a free quote.



Consumer Reports: https://www.consumerreports.org/car-maintenance/the-cost-of-car-ownership/

Phys.org: https://phys.org/news/2018-04-car-warranties.html

Car Care Council: http://www.carcare.org/car-care-service-schedules/general-service-schedule/

J.D. Power: https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2019-us-vehicle-dependability-studyvds

Better Business Bureau: https://www.bbb.org/us/md/hunt-valley/profile/extended-warranty-contract-service-companies/carchex-0011-23015869