Save thousands on vehicle repairs with Endurance.
Get a FREE Quote

Warranty Comparison: Endurance vs. Sentry Auto Care

BY: Endurance
Car mechanic in auto repair shop

Buying a car brings with it unparalleled freedom, but that freedom doesn’t come cheap. And once you’ve emptied your bank account to get the keys in your hand, the cost only increases from there — with the AAA recently estimating that the annual cost of car ownership is now over $12,000. If you’re anything like most drivers, you’ll want to do whatever you can to keep as much of that money in your pocket as possible. And one of the best ways to do that is with an extended auto warranty.

With many providers across the U.S., it can be difficult to decide which is right for you. It usually takes a ton of time and research just to put together a shortlist. But we’re here to help you out. Our ongoing comparison series pits two of the leading names in vehicle service contracts against each other to see who comes out on top.

In today’s edition, we’ll be weighing up the pros and cons of Endurance and Sentry Auto Care. Keep reading to find out which you should invest in.

What Is an Extended Warranty and Why Do You Need One?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably already aware that an extended warranty is a fantastic way to save money on the cost of car ownership. But for us to give you the full picture, we need to go right back to the production line.

When a car is first manufactured, it comes with what’s known as a factory warranty or a manufacturer warranty. This effectively acts as the automaker’s promise to repair or replace any components that fail due to fault within a predetermined number of years or miles traveled (whichever comes first). The length of this type of warranty will completely depend on your manufacturer, with some being more generous than others. Once it expires, however, you can count on one thing: you, as the owner, are fully responsible for any future repair bills.

If you’d like to continue enjoying the peace of mind that you’re used to, there are two main options for protection. The first of these is a more traditional extended warranty, which can usually be purchased from a dealership or directly from your manufacturer. As you’d expect from the name, this type of coverage extends your vehicle’s factory warranty coverage beyond its expiration date — with a few key drawbacks. Unfortunately, extended warranties are notoriously expensive for what you receive in return, and they require you to have all repairs carried out at an authorized dealership. On top of that, you must purchase your extended warranty while your factory warranty is still active. Leave it just one day late, and you’ll no longer qualify, which completely rules out used car owners.

Because of this, a vehicle service contract from a third-party provider is the universally preferred alternative. Third parties do their very best to offer almost as comprehensive coverage at an even better price point, throwing in some added perks to sweeten an already great deal. Better still, work can be carried out at any certified auto shop of your choice, and you don’t need to have an active factory warranty to be eligible for third-party coverage.

For anyone wondering whether an extended warranty/vehicle service contract is different from auto insurance, the answer is yes. More specifically, an extended warranty/vehicle service contract is designed to protect you from the cost of repair bills incurred as a result of unexpected component failure, while auto insurance protects you from the cost of repair bills incurred as a result of a collision or other such incident. By investing in both, however, you’re covered from all angles — so it’s highly recommended that you do.

The Extended Warranty Companies

So, you know what an extended warranty is and how it can help you. Next up, let’s take a look at the companies in question:

Endurance Warranty Overview

Endurance is one of America’s longest-standing vehicle service contract providers. Since 2006, we’ve helped thousands of drivers protect themselves (and their wallets) from the ever-rising costs of car ownership. We pride ourselves on our unrivaled eligibility, offering a wide range of plans aimed at an even wider range of drivers, including casual commuters, commercial vehicle users, high-mileage vehicles, and even select luxury cars. We’re always willing to be flexible, too, so if none of our base plans quite suit your specific needs and budget, we’ll be more than happy to tailor a bespoke plan that does.

If top-quality coverage wasn’t enough, we also added some of the best benefits in the business. All Endurance plans come with 24/7 roadside assistance (including towing, fuel delivery, and lockout services), rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption coverage as standard. On top of that, new Endurance customers also get a year of access to our Elite Benefits package, which adds up to four tire repairs or replacements annually, key fob replacement, up to $500 in collision discounts, and up to $1,000 in total loss protection. Just pay a $29 activation fee, and they’re all yours to enjoy.

We’re also the direct administrator of most of our plans, which means there are no pesky middlemen to deal with when you want to make a claim. Our award-winning customer service team is on hand whenever you need them, plus the handy Endurance Mobile app puts all of the most important plan information right in your pocket. On top of all that, Endurance plans are also fully transferable to subsequent owners, potentially increasing the value of your vehicle should you come to sell it.

Endurance maintains a high rating on many consumer review websites, such as Trustpilot, Best Company, Consumer Affairs, and Google.

Sentry Auto Care Overview

Sentry Auto Care is a vehicle service contract provider based in Fort Mill, South Carolina, with a Better Business Bureau file spanning just four years. Their current BBB rating is an impressive A+, but this is in stark contrast with the measly 1 out of 5 stars from customer reviews. They aren’t registered with other customer review websites like Trustpilot.

The Sentry website isn’t particularly clear, but it appears there are just three levels of coverage, which more or less fall into the typical powertrain, stated component, and exclusionary brackets. Additional benefits are limited, with just towing reimbursement and rental reimbursement included with plans. Additional protections, such as tire and wheel coverage, are available for a fee.

Diving deeper into their BBB reviews, we see that many of them are negative. Most complaints revolve around claims being incorrectly denied, with one customer realizing that Sentry was referring to the contract for someone else’s car during their correspondence. While the Sentry Auto Care website looks reasonably well put together at first glance, it could be more user-friendly and lacks of an accompanying mobile app.

The Coverage Plans

As you’d expect from major vehicle service contract providers, both Endurance and Total Auto Protect offer a range of plans with varying levels of coverage:

Endurance Plans

  • Supreme – For totally comprehensive coverage that’s as close to a factory warranty as you’re likely to get, look no further than our Supreme plan. Almost every part, component, and system in your vehicle is protected, including seals, gaskets, and some advanced components. If you’ve found another provider with a Titanium plan, you can be confident that Supreme is at least as good (but probably better).
  • Supreme For Highline Vehicles – Owning a luxury vehicle is the dream for many drivers, but unfortunately, they look a lot better than they run. To help with their more frequent (and expensive) repairs, we created Supreme For Highline Vehicles, a warranty designed to protect specific luxury vehicles with under 80,000 miles on the clock and under 8 years of age.
  • Advantage – This is our most comprehensive plan, providing nearly unparalleled coverage in the event of an unexpected breakdown and up to $3,500 in annual maintenance costs. The two in combination will keep your vehicle in top running condition and save you even more money in the long run.
  • Superior – Superior is another comprehensive plan that is one step below Supreme. Covering a wide range of parts, it’s ideal for anyone who uses their vehicle for daily commuting or those who enjoy the occasional road trip. A number of electronic parts are covered, with the option to add extra protection for more advanced technology.
  • Select Premier – Many providers refuse to work with high-mileage vehicles, but Endurance is more than happy to. Our Select Premier Plan caters specifically for older cars with up to 150,000 miles on the clock and covers all of the key components, such as transmission and drive axle assembly components, as well as your cooling system, fuel system, and select air conditioning and electrical parts.
  • Secure – Our most affordable monthly plan, Secure, is the perfect option for anyone who just wants to protect the most crucial vehicle components. It covers all those essential powertrain parts that cost the most to repair.
  • Secure Plus – As you’ve probably guessed, Secure Plus has everything in our Secure plan, including some adding on brakes, air conditioning, steering, and select electrical parts.

Sentry Auto Care Plans

  • Sentry Exclusionary Coverage – Sentry’s most comprehensive plan, information is limited as to what is covered, but the provider’s website mentions “no drop in coverage after a certain miles” and “no surcharge for hi-tech items like navigation, GPS, cameras, parking assist, etc.”
  • Sentry Total Coverage – Sentry Total Coverage is a stated component plan that includes high-tech electrical and hybrid coverage for hybrid vehicles. Vehicles up to 20 years old with up to 150,000 miles on the clock qualify.
  • Sentry Plus Coverage – The closest thing to a powertrain plan that Sentry offers is Sentry Plus, which includes coverage for the engine, transfer case, drive axle, air conditioning, steering, brakes, fuel system, cooling system, and electrical system components.

Other Customer Benefits

It’s common for vehicle service contract providers to give customers access to additional benefits with their plans. Endurance and Sentry Auto Care are no exception:

Endurance Benefits

  • 24/7 roadside assistance: There are few things worse than breaking down and finding yourself stranded at the roadside. To make sure you’re always looked after, every Endurance plan comes with 24/7 roadside assistance. This includes towing, fuel delivery, and lockout services.
  • Trip interruption costs: Breakdowns usually happen at the worst possible moment, ruining your plans when you’re far from home. To minimize the inconvenience, we cover trip interruption costs.
  • Replacement travel reimbursement: When a bigger repair keeps your car in the shop for longer, we’ll help you get back on the road by reimbursing replacement travel costs.
  • Maintenance costs: As well as covering repair bills, our market-leading Advantage plan is the only one around to offer $3,500 in annual maintenance costs.
  • Endurance Elite Benefits: For new customers, Elite Benefits can be added to any plan, giving you access to up to four tire repairs or replacements annually, key fob replacement, up to $500 in collision discounts, and up to $1000 in total loss protection.

Sentry Auto Care Benefits

  • Towing reimbursement: After breaking down, Sentry Auto Care will reimburse you for the cost of towing to the nearest repair facility.
  • Rental car reimbursement: If you need a rental car while yours is at the auto shop, Sentry will reimburse you for up to six days.

Endurance Warranty vs. Sentry Auto Care: Pros and Cons

To help you make your mind up, let’s put the pros and cons of each provider side by side:

Endurance Warranty pros:

  • America’s top service contract provider
  • Direct administrator of most plans
  • Market-leading eligibility, flexibility, and affordability
  • Award-winning customer service team
  • Positive ratings on many consumer review websites
  • Fantastic benefits
  • Fully transferable coverage
  • New customers get a year of Elite Benefits

Endurance Warranty cons:

  • Not rated on BBB

Sentry Auto Care pros:

  • Reasonable range of plans
  • Some added benefits
  • Wide range of coverage add-ons
  • Good BBB rating

Sentry Auto Care cons:

  • Negative BBB customer reviews
  • Not registered with consumer review sites like Trustpilot
  • Limited added benefits
  • Outdated website that barely functions
  • Only available for purchase via dealership
  • Customers unable to contact Sentry directly

When It Comes to Warranties, Nothing Beats Endurance

Modern car components can cost hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to repair, so having an extended warranty in place has never been more important. However, a coverage plan is only worth paying for if you can rely on your provider, and Endurance is America’s top-rated provider.

Across the web, automotive experts unanimously rate us as the best coverage in the country. Call (800) 253-8203 to request a FREE quote, or shop online to see your price now.

If you want to keep reading, we also have many helpful articles, just like this one, over on our extended warranty blog.

More like this

Get started with a FREE quote.

        Get a FREE Quote