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The Best Extended Car Warranty Companies in 2021

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    Everyone knows how important it is to carry auto insurance, but even the best car insurance companies don’t provide warranties for vehicle breakdowns and mechanical issues. To protect themselves from emergency car repair bills, many drivers turn to car warranty companies. There’s just one problem: Telling the best extended car warranties apart can be difficult until you’ve already handed over your money and are experiencing a claim.

    Technically speaking, extended car warranties aren’t warranties at all – they’re service contracts. These plans may be offered to you by used car dealerships, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be given a fair price, especially since most dealers get a commission for every service plan they sell.

    Before you purchase an extended car warranty, we recommend researching your options. To help you get started, we’ve performed our own extended car warranty reviews and compiled a list of the best options based on our assessment.

    The 5 Top Extended Car Warranty Companies

    Best Basic Coverage

    Why We Chose It

    Not every car has complex high-tech systems that warrant a comprehensive extended car warranty. If all you need is basic mechanical coverage, Infinite Auto Protection is the best option. Infinite Auto Protection sells three different service plans, but the entry-level Foundation package offers outstanding value. With this plan, you’ll get coverage for your car’s engine, transmission, drive axle, brakes, and essential electrical components. Both gas and diesel vehicles are eligible, and if your car has four-wheel drive, that’s covered, too.
    • N/A AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • B BBB Rating The BBB rates companies based on trustworthiness and performance. The company uses a variety of factors, including how the company handles customer complaints.

    Why we chose it

    Not every car has complex high-tech systems that warrant a comprehensive extended car warranty. If all you need is basic mechanical coverage, Infinite Auto Protection is the best option. Infinite Auto Protection sells three different service plans, but the entry-level Foundation package offers outstanding value. With this plan, you’ll get coverage for your car’s engine, transmission, drive axle, brakes, and essential electrical components. Both gas and diesel vehicles are eligible, and if your car has four-wheel drive, that’s covered, too.

    Pros

    • Budget-friendly foundation plan covers basic mechanical and electrical components
    • Provides a rental car for up to six days
    • Cancel anytime for a prorated refund

    Cons

    • Limited plans to choose from
    • No full-coverage option
    • Trip interruption capped at $50 per day for three days
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Available

    • Engine and transmission
    • Major systems
    • 4X4/AWD
    • Electrical components
    • Towing
    • 24/7 roadside assistance

    Add-on Options

    • High-tech parts

    Best for Newer Cars

    Why We Chose It

    If you’re driving a newer vehicle, Ally’s coverage will make sure all its bells and whistles are properly covered. Most new cars come with factory-installed high-tech components that make driving safer and more convenient than ever – but can be a nightmare to replace. Ally covers most of these smart systems, even offering a standalone tech package for items like AI-enabled safety features, sunroofs, and in-car Wi-Fi.
    • A- AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • B BBB Rating The BBB rates companies based on trustworthiness and performance. The company uses a variety of factors, including how the company handles customer complaints.

    Why we chose it

    If you’re driving a newer vehicle, Ally’s coverage will make sure all its bells and whistles are properly covered. Most new cars come with factory-installed high-tech components that make driving safer and more convenient than ever – but can be a nightmare to replace. Ally covers most of these smart systems, even offering a standalone tech package for items like AI-enabled safety features, sunroofs, and in-car Wi-Fi.

    Pros

    • All plans include 24/7 roadside assistance
    • Zero-deductible options
    • Renewable for up to 10 years

    Cons

    • Only covers vehicles made in 2015 or later with fewer than 75,000 miles
    • Higher deductible for high-mileage drivers
    • Claim assistance only available during business hours
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Available

    • Engine and transmission
    • Major systems
    • Electrical components
    • A/C and heating
    • 24/7 roadside assistance

    Add-on Options

    • High-tech parts
    • Safety components

    Best for High-Mileage Vehicles

    Why we chose it

    If you’re not eligible for coverage with other extended car warranty companies due to your vehicle’s age or mileage, Endurance may have an option for you. While most competitors only cover vehicles with less than 100,000 miles on the odometer, Endurance accepts most cars with up to 20 years and 200,000 miles under their belt. The company even offers a dedicated plan specifically for high-mileage vehicles, protecting essential components and electrical parts.
    • A AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • C+ BBB Rating The BBB rates companies based on trustworthiness and performance. The company uses a variety of factors, including how the company handles customer complaints.

    Why we chose it

    If you’re not eligible for coverage with other extended car warranty companies due to your vehicle’s age or mileage, Endurance may have an option for you. While most competitors only cover vehicles with less than 100,000 miles on the odometer, Endurance accepts most cars with up to 20 years and 200,000 miles under their belt. The company even offers a dedicated plan specifically for high-mileage vehicles, protecting essential components and electrical parts.

    Pros

    • Accepts vehicles with up to 200,000 miles
    • Administers its own plans
    • No dollar limit for towing, battery jumpstarts, flat tire changes, or fuel delivery

    Cons

    • Requires a deposit
    • Standard waiting period of 60 days
    • Not available in California
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Available

    • Engine and transmission
    • Major systems
    • Electrical components
    • A/C and heating
    • 24/7 roadside assistance

    Add-on Options

    • Identity theft
    • Personal concierge
    • Key fob replacement

    Most Customizable

    Why we chose it

    With over 20 flexible service packages to choose from, you’re likely to find ideal coverage through Carchex. In addition to selling its own administered plans, Carchex also makes warranty packages available from third-party providers like American Auto Shield and Allegiance. Tiers range from entry-level protection for your car’s major systems to bumper-to-bumper plans, which cover all repairs except a short list of exclusions.
    • N/A AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • A+ BBB Rating The BBB rates companies based on trustworthiness and performance. The company uses a variety of factors, including how the company handles customer complaints.

    Why we chose it

    With over 20 flexible service packages to choose from, you’re likely to find ideal coverage through Carchex. In addition to selling its own administered plans, Carchex also makes warranty packages available from third-party providers like American Auto Shield and Allegiance. Tiers range from entry-level protection for your car’s major systems to bumper-to-bumper plans, which cover all repairs except a short list of exclusions.

    Pros

    • More than 20 different plans available
    • Offers its own plans in addition to third-party options
    • Transferable if you sell your vehicle

    Cons

    • Five- to seven-year limit on most plans
    • Low coverage limits for towing and roadside assistance
    • Terms vary widely by plan and can be difficult to understand
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Available

    • Engine and transmission
    • Major systems
    • Electrical components
    • A/C and heating
    • Full-coverage exclusionary package
    • 24/7 roadside assistance

    Add-on Options

    • Luxury electronics
    • Emissions
    • Market labor rate

    Best for Frequent Travelers

    Why we chose it

    Road trip enthusiast? Protect your next adventure with autopom!’s travel-friendly packages, providing coverage for everything from breakdowns to GPS navigators. Autopom! offers one of the highest daily limits for trip interruption and rental vehicles in the event that you break down while away from home. Coverage is also available for GPS and navigation systems, night vision technology, and other luxury features like built-in entertainment.
    • N/A AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • A+ BBB Rating The BBB rates companies based on trustworthiness and performance. The company uses a variety of factors, including how the company handles customer complaints.

    Why we chose it

    Road trip enthusiast? Protect your next adventure with autopom!’s travel-friendly packages, providing coverage for everything from breakdowns to GPS navigators. Autopom! offers one of the highest daily limits for trip interruption and rental vehicles in the event that you break down while away from home. Coverage is also available for GPS and navigation systems, night vision technology, and other luxury features like built-in entertainment.

    Pros

    • Reimburses up to $125 per day for trip interruption and $50 per day for a rental vehicle
    • Coverage for GPS and navigation systems
    • Four plan levels ranging from basic to full comprehensive coverage

    Cons

    • Each plan administered by a different company
    • Deposit required
    • Website difficult to navigate
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Available

    • Engine and transmission
    • Major systems
    • Electrical components
    • A/C and heating
    • Full-coverage exclusionary package
    • 24/7 roadside assistance

    Add-on Options

    • GPS/navigation
    • Night vision
    • Luxury components

    Guide to Extended Car Warranties

    What is an Extended Car Warranty?

    An extended car warranty is a service plan that covers certain repairs to your vehicle. They’re typically purchased once the car’s manufacturer’s warranty expires following a certain number of years or miles. Many warranties also include roadside assistance and trip cancellation benefits.

    What is Covered by Extended Car Warranties?

    The coverage you get from an extended car warranty depends on the plan you choose. Some service packages only cover a short list of essential components, such as the car’s engine and transmission. These options are usually the cheapest. On the pricier end are exclusionary packages, which cover all issues that may arise except for a handful of listed exclusions.

    What’s included

    • Service, repairs and replacement for listed items
    • Roadside assistance and towing
    • Trip cancellation, including reimbursement for hotels and meals
    • Rental car costs if your vehicle is undrivable

    What’s excluded

    • Pre-existing issues
    • Interior details such as upholstery
    • Custom parts that aren’t factory-installed
    • Issues that arise from a lack of timely maintenance

    Decide Whether You Need an Extended Warranty

    Unlike auto insurance, extended warranties aren’t required by law or the vast majority of lenders. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether a service plan is in your best interest. Make sure you check for any manufacturer’s warranties or used car warranties from the dealership to avoid purchasing duplicate coverage.  

    Watch Out for Red Flags

    If you encounter any of these warning signs, it’s probably best to steer clear of a company:

    • You get an urgent notice about your warranty expiring: If you get a phone call or a letter claiming that your vehicle’s warranty is about to expire, proceed with caution. Many companies use this tactic to sell you an auto warranty you don’t need.
    • The dealer says it’s required: Some used car dealers may claim your lender requires an extended warranty, but this is often untrue. Check with the lender directly if you’re unsure.
    • It’s included in your loan: Dealerships should never sell you an extended warranty without your consent. If your sales contract includes a service plan that you didn’t agree to, ask the dealer to remove it.

    Decide on the Type of Extended Warranty You Need

    Extended warranties aren’t one size fits all. To help you choose the right type of plan, you’ll need to think about the type of vehicle you own and how long you plan to drive it.

    Older vehicles may be best suited by a basic plan that protects essential mechanical and electrical components. Comprehensive packages might be worth it if you drive a newer car with high-tech systems.

    You should also think about the warranty term and how long you plan to own your vehicle. Contracts are usually renewable for five to 10 years and may or not be transferable if you decide to sell the vehicle.

    Choose the Best Coverage for Your Needs

    Most extended warranty providers let you choose from specific types of coverage to create a plan tailored to your vehicle.

    Before purchasing a plan, read carefully through the list of items covered and compare them to your car’s specs. Make sure all the components you want covered are named; avoid paying for coverage that includes features your vehicle doesn’t have.

    If you frequently drive long distances, you should also consider a package that includes roadside assistance and trip cancellation protection, unless you have this coverage elsewhere. This coverage will make sure you aren’t stranded if your car breaks down away from home. Just check your auto insurance policy first to see if you already have these coverages.

    How We Chose the Best Car Warranties

    Reviews.com scores products, services and companies using five quantifiable criteria to help readers choose the best one for them. To find the best car warranty companies, we took the most popular companies in the U.S. and distilled them by looking at prices, plan options, coverage exclusions, and average customer ratings from the BBB.

    Extended Car Warranties FAQ

    About the Authors

    Lorraine Roberte

    Lorraine Roberte Contributing Writer

    Lorraine Roberte is a South Florida-based personal finance writer. Her work has been published on sites such as Thrive Global, Elephant Journal, Red Tricycle and Tweak Your Biz.

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