When buying a used automobile, you want to be sure it’s covered in case of a breakdown or malfunction. The six top used car warranty providers are listed below, along with the types of service plans and levels of coverage each offers for used cars.
Best Used Car Warranty Reviews
A national provider of extended and used car warranties, Endurance offers six different service plans, each one designed for specific auto needs and price ranges. The six types of used Car Warranty are:
- Secure: The company’s cheapest warranty option covers repairs to the car’s powertrain.
- Select Premier: Provides protection for very high-mileage vehicles (over 150,000 miles), including coverage for major car systems such as cooling/heating,
- electrical (including the alternator), and fuel, in addition to coverage for powertrain parts.
- Superior: Works best for car owners who wish to protect specific auto components.
- Supreme: Comprehensive warranty with the least number of exclusions among Endurance’s coverage options. Similar to a factory warranty.
- Secure Plus: Comparable to a powertrain plus warranty, it provides vehicle protection for major components and parts.
- Advantage: This plan combines protection against major breakdowns with coverage for regular maintenance services (such as oil changes) to provide a complete car service plan.
Although CARCHEX is not a directly used car warranty provider, it does connect car owners to independent vehicle service contract companies that offer extended warranties.
Used car warranties offered by CARCHEX are divided into the following five coverage levels:
- Titanium – CARCHEX’s highest coverage level, comparable to a factory warranty. It protects against major car breakdowns. Customers can choose among the six different coverage plans available, with different term lengths.
- Platinum – The second-highest coverage level offered by CARCHEX, it includes stated-component coverage with a listing of hundreds of auto parts.
- Gold – Not as comprehensive as the above levels of coverage, but does provide protection for the car’s major systems. The coverage is towards automobiles with more than 60,000 miles on them.
- Silver – Covers more components and parts than CARCHEX’s basic Bronze coverage.
Bronze – CARCHEX’s version of a powertrain warranty, providing auto protection for the engine and transmission.
CarShield has been in business since 2005, providing extended used car warranties for previously owned vehicles, as well as motorcycles and ATVs. CarShield offers different levels of coverage, with five distinct warranties:
- Diamond – The company’s most comprehensive plan covers most major auto system breakdowns, comparable to a bumper-to-bumper warranty.
- Platinum – Also works like a bumper-to-bumper warranty, but is a bit less extensive. It’s designed for higher-mileage vehicles.
- Gold – Serves as a step above a powertrain warranty, including coverage for major and minor parts and systems.
- Silver – The company’s name for a basic Powertrain warranty, it’s the most affordable of all its service plans and covers the most common engine and transmission failures.
- Aluminum – This warranty option is designed to cover repairs for high-tech systems and electrical components.
Omega Auto Care
With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Omega Auto Care has been providing used car warranties for over two decades. The company offers three coverage options:
- New Exclusionary – Covers repairs for most car component systems for vehicles up to seven years older than the current model year, and under 100,000 miles.
- Used Stated Coverage – Covers most car systems for vehicles up to ten years older than the current model year, and under 150,000 miles.
- Powertrain Protection – Offers three levels of coverage for systems such as engine, transmission, and drive axles. Available for cars up to 15 years old with fewer than 250,000 miles.
- At the moment, CarShield has an alert on the Better Business Bureau website because of a pattern of complaints. The BBB “alerts consumers to use caution if considering doing business with CarShield” due to misleading sales and advertising practices, among other complaints.
One of the newest companies to enter the extended car warranty market, Olive focuses on delivering technology-forward service to car owners who choose its service plans. It offers three coverage options:
- Olive Powertrain – The company’s most affordable option, it covers the most expensive parts of your used car, including all internally lubricated parts, engine seals and gaskets, cylinder block, thermostat, water pump, and many others.
- Powertrain Plus – Olive’s mid-tier warranty covers everything the powertrain option covers as well as additional parts like metal fuel lines, diesel injector pump, and harmonic balancer and bolt.
- Complete Care – The most comprehensive (and most expensive) of all the plans, it adds coverage for many other parts not included in the previous plans, including plugs, diesel oil pumps and rails, turbo actuators, and more.
Protect My Car
Protect My Car is an extended car warranty company that services car owners across the U.S. through its three different vehicle service contracts. These are:
- Driveline – The most basic policy, Driveline is designed for cars aged between four and ten years with more than 80,000 miles. The warranty offers coverage against mechanical failures for five years or 125,000 miles, after a $200 deductible.
- Select – Protect My Car’s mid-level coverage provides complete protection for vehicles with 50,000 miles or more, including front and rear suspension and select brake components. The deductible for this plan is $100.
- Supreme – The most comprehensive option the company offers, the Supreme plan is comparable to an auto manufacturer’s warranty. It also offers optional coverage for navigation systems.
Used Car Warranty Guide
What is a used car warranty?
In the United States, a used car warranty is an extended vehicle service contract that covers repairs on previously owned autos (except in California, which offers mechanical breakdown insurance, or MBI).
A manufacturer’s warranty is included with every new car sold at a dealership for a set period of time. If you buy a secondhand car, the original warranty may still apply for the remaining time you possess it. However, some manufacturers’ warranties may not be transferred, and most used cars are no longer covered by a factory guarantee.
Because used automobiles do not always come with warranties when they are purchased, an extended car warranty can come to the rescue and assist cover repair costs.
Automobile insurance, which covers damage to your car caused by collisions, accidents, theft, or environmental causes, should not be confused with extended car warranties. The types of breakdowns or system failures that an extended car warranty covers are not covered by even the best auto insurance.
What is the difference between the manufacturer extended warranty and a third-party warranty?
The manufacturer’s warranty, often known as the factory warranty, covers new or certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles sold by a dealership. The length of the factory warranty is set by the car’s manufacturer and the type of warranty coverage. It lasts for a predetermined number of years or miles, whichever comes first.
Honda, for example, gives a three-year or 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper guarantee and a five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty, which are fairly average numbers for major automobile manufacturers.
A third-party extended car warranty (such as a used car warranty) is given by an outside company rather than the manufacturer. It provides coverage for your car after the original warranty expires and works in a similar fashion to the original warranty, providing protection against major breakdowns or malfunctions with specific exceptions. Car owners typically compare the coverage options of an extended car warranty to those of a manufacturer’s warranty when deciding on the best-extended car warranty.
What is a used car warranty and how does it work?
Car owners pay a monthly, quarterly, or yearly payment for a warranty that ranges from basic powertrain coverage to more complete bumper-to-bumper coverage. Customers can file claims after an initial waiting period, which is usually 30 days.
When your car has to be serviced, the procedure for doing so will be determined by the extended warranty provider. Some firms enable customers to take their vehicles to any licensed repair shop, while others only allow certain garages to service them.
Many warranty companies require authorisation before any work on your car can begin, while others let you pay for the repairs and then submit a claim for reimbursement.
The used car warranty company will assess the claim when it is submitted and determine how much of the repair is covered under the warranty contract. Before reimbursing any amount of money, companies analyze the parts used, exclusions, and deductibles.
In addition to coverage, several used car warranty providers offer membership advantages. Roadside assistance, towing, travel interruption, and rental car reimbursement are just a few ways a used-vehicle service contract provider can provide value to your coverage.
What is covered by a used automobile warranty?
Used car warranties can help you cover the costs of mechanical breakdowns and system failures in your vehicle. Engine, transmission, and drive axle parts are usually covered by basic warranties, while more extensive guarantees cover repair expenses for more expensive elements like suspensions, air conditioning, high-tech components, and electrical systems.
Most used automobile warranties exclude parts that are subject to normal wear and tear, such as brake pad replacements and basic maintenance services like oil changes. It will not cover automotive modifications or alterations, nor will it cover repair costs incurred as a result of negligence or recklessness.
Used automobile warranties come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
There are a variety of used automobile warranties available, ranging from basic to comprehensive to specialist coverage. The finest used vehicle warranty providers provide service plans with a variety of coverage levels to meet the needs of each car owner. The following are some of the most prevalent forms of used automobile warranties:
Warranty from bumper to bumper
A comprehensive coverage warranty, also known as an exclusionary warranty, covers all of an automobile’s major systems with specified restrictions. Although the term bumper-to-bumper implies complete coverage for your used automobile, it’s crucial to read the contract’s exclusions.
Warranty on the Powertrain
The engine, drive axles, and transmission are the key systems that provide movement for the car, and the powertrain is the most typical extended car warranty. Many organizations that provide used car warranties also offer extended powertrain warranties that cover other main automotive systems.
Warranty on the Drivetrain
It covers all movement-producing parts except the engine and has a shorter guarantee than the powertrain. When it comes to coverage levels, the drivetrain warranty provides the least amount of protection for the least amount of money.
Warranty on Corrosion
This form of guarantee, as the name implies, covers rust damage to your car caused by natural sources such as water or salt, as well as exposure caused by an accident.
Warranty on the Wrap
The wrap warranty is only for used automobiles with a factory bumper-to-bumper warranty that has expired but still has a factory powertrain warranty. Until the factory powertrain coverage expires, the wrap warranty fills in the gap left by the original bumper-to-bumper warranty.
What are the prices of used car warranties?
Trying to figure out a general price range for a used car warranty is pointless. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), extended warranties such as these can range anywhere from hundreds to several thousand dollars depending on the term length of the service contract, the type of coverage it offers, and a whole host of other factors.
The following are some of the elements that will affect the premium pricing for used car warranties:
- Car make and model: Due to the higher cost of parts, used car warranties for luxury vehicles are nearly always more expensive.
- Car age and miles: Older vehicles and those with higher mileage have had more time on the road and might be more susceptible to major breakdowns.
- As a result, larger premiums may be possible.
- Deductible chosen: Similar to any type of insurance product, the deductible you select for your used car warranty will raise or lower your premium. The general rule of thumb is, the higher the deductible (the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket for car repair before the warranty kicks in) the lower the premium (your monthly payment).
- Other factors: Each used car warranty company will look at other factors to determine the premium it offers you. These can range anywhere from driving habits to current location.
- It’s important for consumers to understand how much they should pay to receive the best coverage for their situation. Overpaying for protection you already have is a waste of money. However, just like with cheap car insurance, underpaying for coverage can leave you exposed to expensive repairs.
Are used car warranties worth it?
As with any type of extended warranty plan, it will all come down to one simple question: Is the cost of the used car warranty more than what it would cost to repair the vehicle out of pocket? The answer, of course, is that it will depend on each individual car owner’s needs.
Generally speaking, the most common repairs for used cars are simple fixes such as battery replacement, which would be cheaper to take care of directly than by paying a deductible. For circumstances such as these, a used car warranty is not worth your money.
However, major breakdowns, such as a blown transmission, are expensive to repair. An extended car warranty could pick up a hefty amount of the repair costs, if the parts are covered, saving you a ton of money in the process.
Furthermore, the extended car warranty industry has developed a reputation of being aggressive in its sales tactics and of offering more (and charging more) than what the customer actually needs. Customers even report receiving “Final Warranty Notice” calls when they don’t even own an extended warranty with the company calling. The FTC warns against these car warranty calls and urges car owners to be “especially cautious” so as to not fall victim.
How to choose the best-used car warranty company
If you’re searching for the best-used car warranty you’ve probably already checked whether your used car’s original factory warranty has lapsed. Don’t automatically assume that since it’s not a new car it no longer has an active manufacturer’s warranty.
If that’s the case, the most important thing you can do when choosing the best-used car warranty for your vehicle is to shop around. You should consider how to choose the best-used car warranty company in much the same way you would learn how to buy car insurance. Just like with insurance companies, no two extended car warranty companies are the same, though they all tend to offer similar types of coverage levels.
Some might be geared towards high-mileage vehicles, offering service contracts to cars with more than 100,000 miles, while others might have a mile limit. Others might be more transparent about exclusions in coverage.
Another important part of shopping around is to ask for quotes from different warranty companies. Unfortunately, extended car warranty companies do not offer a resource, such as an insurance comparison tool, that helps you determine which provider is best for you.
Also remember that, since there is no set standard for pricing, car owners can negotiate the price of their used car warranty with the provider.
How much is an extended warranty on a used car?
Many factors go into determining the premiums of an extended warranty on a used car. Total costs can run anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars depending on your used car’s make and model, as well as its age and mileage. The type of warranty, its term length, and the deductible amount is chosen will also factor in the ultimate warranty cost. Warranty providers might also offer the car owner the option to enter into payment plans where customers can decide whether they want a monthly payment, yearly payment, some other specified time frame, or even pay the whole term upfront.
How to get a warranty on a used car?
Once a car’s factory warranty has expired, customers can purchase an extended car warranty to help cover certain repair costs. Car owners can view a vehicle service contract provider’s car warranty plans and choose the type of warranty and level of coverage that best serves their purpose.
Customers should request quotes or estimates from the warranty providers to understand the total costs they might incur. Used car owners are also encouraged to read through the list of coverage inclusions and exclusions to make sure they are covered for the things they actually need.
What does a used car warranty cover?
Used car warranties cover repairs to the vehicle’s parts and systems, mainly engine and transmission. Other more comprehensive warranty types (such as bumper-to-bumper warranties) cover additional car systems. Many warranties include a list of exclusions, that is, repairs that are not covered under the contract. However, used car warranties do not cover repairs associated with normal wear-and-tear, nor do they cover regular maintenance.
What is a factory warranty on a used car?
Factory warranties are offered by the manufacturer for every new car. Unless voided, the warranties last for a fixed number of years or until a mileage limit is reached, whichever comes first. When purchasing a used car, the factory warranty might still be valid, making the need for an extended auto warranty unnecessary until the original expires.
Key Takeaways for Best Used Car Warranty
- Used car warranties are more useful for major car breakdowns than for minor malfunctions.
- Before purchasing an extended warranty, make sure the used car you bought doesn’t still have a valid factory warranty.
- Used car warranties for high-mileage vehicles, older cars, and luxury automobiles tend to be more expensive.
- Bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties offer different coverage levels. Make sure to select the one that best suits your car’s needs.
- Read through the provider’s list of exclusions to understand what is or isn’t covered by the used car warranty.