Here at Best Company, we want you to be prepared for all of life's biggest decisions and purchases. For that reason, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to help you decide if a car warranty is right for you. This e-book walks you through what an extended car warranty is, if your car is already covered, what to ask before purchasing, what voids an extended car warranty. It also provides you with useful next steps as well as a list of top-rated car warranty companies. In this e-book, we partner with the following industry experts:
- Jenni Newman of Cars.com
- Ethan Lichtenberg of CarInsurance.org
- Tony Arevalo of Carsurance
- Jake Lane of NuBrakes Mobile Brake Repair
- Lauren Fix the Car Coach
- Laura Gonzalez of Audi Peoria
- Melanie Musson of AutoinsuranceEZ
- Jared Weitz of United Capital Source Inc.
Other reading options
For even more detail than is provided in the e-book, check out the links below for an expanded version of each chapter.
What is an extended car warranty?
An extended car warranty is a type of insurance policy on your vehicle that is designed to safeguard you against unforeseen and expensive repairs. Basically, you pay a monthly fee to an extended car warranty company, and they agree to pay for certain services that might be necessary for the maintenance on your vehicle.
An extended car warranty is sold separately from your vehicle and the various types differ in their scope and coverage. Other names for an extended car warranty are service agreement, service contract, maintenance agreement, or vehicle service contract.
Once you know the kind of warranty you want, compare plans from several companies. Most plans will be similar, but some companies have more variety.
For example, some companies offer very basic powertrain warranty plans, while others offer more comprehensive powertrain warranty plans. The more comprehensive plans will cover more parts and will usually be more expensive. Evaluating plans from multiple companies can help you find the best plan for what you want.
As you’re researching companies, consider the benefits included with many extended service contracts. For example, 24/7 roadside assistance has become standard in the industry. Many companies also offer rental car and trip interruption reimbursement. The reimbursement is only available if the car needs covered repairs.
In addition to comparing plans and benefits, read customer reviews to be sure that you’re purchasing an extended warranty from a reliable and trusted provider. Reviews will give you insight to the level of customer service and quality of the extended warranty.
About the experts
Jake Lane lives in Austin, TX and is a local service expert and Director of Growth for NuBrakes, an on-demand mobile brake repair service. For over six years, he's tackled growth and marketing for local on-demand services, and now primarily spends time educating vehicle owners on cost-effective auto repairs and preventive maintenance.
Jared Weitz is the CEO and founder of United Capital Source, one of the fastest-growing business financing brokerages in the nation. Through his years as a business owner, Jared gained a great deal of knowledge that he is committed to sharing with young entrepreneurs and business owners. Jared has since been featured in an extensive list of publications, including Forbes and Inc, providing financial and business advice. Jared now lives on Long Island with his wife Allison and their 2-year-old son Maxwell.
Jenni Newman Jenni leads the Cars.com editorial team as the company’s first female editor-in-chief. She is also a certified child passenger safety technician – she focuses on delivering content to help parents and caretakers determine which vehicles will best fit cars seats, and she will talk your ear off about family cars and car seat safety. When she’s not working with car seats and managing editorial deadlines, she can be found navigating the streets of Chicago in her Subaru Outback while shuttling her kids to their daily activities
Melanie Musson is an insurance expert and writer for AutoInsuranceEZ.com. Her goal is to help others find the best insurance for their situation and not overpay for it. She lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and their four children.
Ethan Lichtenberg is a writer for CarInsurance.org who specializes in marketing and travel writing. Ethan hopes to leave a positive impact in a world that sees too much negativity. He lives on the beaches of Tarpon Springs, Florida and reads Paulo Coelho every chance he can.