CARCHEX was originally founded in 1999 helping consumers purchasing used vehicles have more peace of mind by providing reports and inspections. The company grew to offer extended service contracts and automobile insurance. Rather than underwrite and administer these products itself, CARCHEX became a broker, partnering with other companies to offer customers more options.
Quotes are easily obtained from CARCHEX, but as the quote is highly variable upon coverage, payment options, mileage, make, and model of the vehicle, there is too much variability for BestCompany.com to provide a pricing estimate. The company offers its customers the option to finance their contract for up to 24 months and accepts all major credit cards. Plans normally come with a deductible, with many reports of the deductible being $200 per repair for at least some plans, which is higher than most competitors, which usually have a $100 deductible per repair.
Basic Warranty Length
Unlike most of its competitors, CARCHEX is transparent about the length of coverage which is available for its service plans. Most of the plans sold through CARCHEX can be purchased for a maximum of seven years. There are shorter terms of coverage available from which customers can select. It is important to note that not all of the plans are renewable, so customers are usually counseled to purchase the term with the longest term length by CARCHEX representatives.
Coverage for the engine, transmission, drive axles and other parts of a vehicle’s powertrain is included for all of the plans sold through CARCHEX. The extent of coverage for these components varies by plan and company.
As CARCHEX is a broker for auto warranty providers, each plan is slightly different. All of the available extended service plans which are highlighted by CARCHEX on its site includes 24/7 roadside assistance. Limits to the individual plan’s coverage varies based upon the administrator, but each of the plans includes towing, emergency fuel delivery, flat tire changes, and emergency lockout service. Some of the added coverages that are available in most plans are keyfob replacement, windshield replacement, seals and gaskets rider, trip interruption assistance, and tire and road hazard protection.
Most of the plans offer comparable coverage to other companies with respect to roadside assistance. The options to protect keyfobs, windshields, and tires are unique in the industry, with most companies not offering coverage for these parts.
Basic Warranty Features
As CARCHEX is a broker for Assurant Solutions, American Auto Shield, and Royal Administration Services, the features in the extended service plans from these companies varies greatly, and it is not within the scope of this review to compare all of these plans offered through CARCHEX.
In spite of offering 16 plans divided into five levels of coverage, CARCHEX, when compared to other extended service plan brokers is significantly less transparent than other brokers and does not offer much for comparison shoppers as far as covered and excluded coverage. The plans which are offered through CARCHEX are divided into categories of coverage which represent the level of coverage, Titanium, Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
Time in Business
CARCHEX was founded in 1999. The company has been offering extended vehicle service plans since 2004. Compared to several of its competitors, CARCHEX has several fewer years’ experience in the industry. The companies which are represented by CARCHEX have experience which is also slightly below the industry average.
What Customers Are Saying
Before paying an expensive claim, the administrator often requires that evidence for all maintenance which was performed on the vehicle be provided, which includes oil changes, tuneups, etc. If this information is not available, the claim will be denied, as the terms of the service plan require that the vehicle be properly maintained with all records kept. It is important to note that there are several anecdotal reports of claims being denied due to check engine codes associated with the vehicle even before the current purchaser even owned the vehicle. These claims cannot be confirmed or refuted, but are themes which are frequently mentioned on reputable consumer reporting sites.
CARCHEX either has extremely positive or extremely negative reviews. There are very few that rate the company anywhere in between these two extremes. Those who have had a bad experience with the company are very vocal, to the point of alleging that CARCHEX is a scam. One should note that CARCHEX generally receives positive reviews for its customer service during the shopping and sales experience and the administrating company receives poor ratings for its denial of claims. As most people consider that they have purchased from CARCHEX, they are not always aware that another company is actually administering their service contracts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the warranty include towing? What are the limitations on towing expenses?
All plans include towing assistance. Limits on the coverage varies by plan.
Can a warranty be transferred if the car is sold?
All plans can be transferred to another individual if the vehicle is sold.
Are there any fees involved in the transfer of the warranty to a new owner?
Most plans require an administrative fee between $50 and $100 to transfer a service plan to a new owner.
Where can the repairs be done under warranty?
Repairs can be completed at any ASE licensed facility, dealerships, or chain repair shop.
What hours/days can a repair be reported?
Administering companies vary on their hours in which claims can be reported.
Does the warranty cover a car rental while the repair is being made?
All of the plans brokered by CARCHEX offer some assistance with a replacement rental vehicle during covered repairs.
How many days/hours does car rental cover?
Maximum coverage for a replacement rental car varies by plan.
How long does it typically take to file and process a claim?
Filing and processing times vary, as claims are managed by the administrator, not CARCHEX. There are anecdotal reports of claims taking a week or more to process, but nothing which identifies which administrators was managing the claim of the three that CARCHEX has contracts with.
Does the warranty cover defects which are discovered or which occur in a different state than the state of purchase?
Provided the plan selected by the customer through CARCHEX covers the affected component, repairs are covered. If the defect is deemed to be from a defect which occurred before the plan was purchased and went into effect (usually 30 days and 1,000 miles after the initial purchase), the administrating company will not pay for expenses for the repair. Plans are valid in the United States, but not always in Canada or Mexico.