How to Find the Best Extended Car Warranty

Giulia Nigrini
Giulia Nigrini
Vehicle Service Contract Specialist, Traveler, Car Enthusiast
July 13, 2023
min. read
mazda on a mountain road stopped overlooking a lake

You may be interested in an extended car warranty because you have heard that it is a good idea. Maybe, you are simply looking for information on extended auto protection. This could be for a used car you have purchased or for your vehicle that is on the cusp of coming to the end of the factory warranty. Whatever the case may be, there is a plan out there for you. We are going to take a look at the options and how to find the best extended car warranty. 

What is an extended car warranty?

When you want to get an extended warranty for your vehicle, you will contact your vehicle manufacturer. The extended warranty is offered through them directly. Each manufacturer will have a different level of coverage available according to the vehicle you are driving. Some manufacturers require you to purchase the extended warranty at the original purchase of the vehicle. Others offer the option towards the end of your factory warranty. Many do also offer coverage for certified pre-owned vehicles of a certain age. To find out the best options available to you should contact the vehicle manufacturer.

A vehicle service contract is often called an extended warranty colloquially. They are not warranties but rather coverage plans. They are offered by third-party providers. Giving you similar coverage. Vehicle service contracts are available toward the end of the factory warranty or even after the factory warranty has come to an end. They are particularly useful for used or older cars that fall outside of the manufacturer's coverage options. 

What do extended car warranties and vehicle service contracts cover?

Extended car warranties are typically sold under two main tiers. This is the bumper-to-bumper warranty and the powertrain warranty. The first offers complete coverage and the second offers basic coverage. Every manufacturer differs slightly in the specific parts covered. They also vary in length of coverage. Certain manufacturers will offer additional coverage options such as emissions coverage, rust protection, and roadside assistance.

A vehicle service contract is generally more flexible than the standard manufacturer plan. They are offered on three main tiers. This is the most comprehensive, powertrain plus, and powertrain plan. The first offers highly comprehensive coverage, the second offers great midway coverage, and the third offers the most basic coverage. Powertrain and powertrain plus plans have a standard list of systems that are covered while for most comprehensive plans it is easier to list the parts that are not covered.

Powertrain and Powertrain Plus Plans cover:

Most comprehensive plans do NOT Cover:

How to Find the Best Coverage

Now you have an idea of what an extended warranty is and what other options there are for coverage, we can take a look at how to find the best coverage. There are two ways you can go about it. The first is to phone or get a call back from vehicle manufacturers and vehicle service contract providers. 

The other is to search online such as through the Chaiz marketplace. Where you can compare a number of plans all in a few clicks. This cuts down on research time and makes it easy to see the differences between plans. 

Regardless of which route you take you should make note of the coverage terms, cost per month, and the specific parts that are covered in proper comparison. Thereafter find out what the waiting period might be, what the deductible is, and how the claims process works. All this information will give you the best all-around knowledge of which plans will suit you best. 

Should I buy a vehicle service contract?

Depending on what repairs are needed, bills can range from $300 to $8,000. The make and model also influence the cost of repairs and labor. Vehicle service contracts prevent you from having to get thousands of dollars for repair bills together in a short amount of time. Mechanical breakdowns tend to happen in an unforeseen manner. Keep in mind that you will still need to pay for any further services such as towing or car rentals. 

Overall there are a few good reasons to have a vehicle service contract, even outside of the savings aspect:

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