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How Can I Find a Car Warranty That Fits My Budget?

BY: Chris Brown
A young man looking for an extended warranty on his phone while sitting in his car.

Whether you’re shopping online or at a dealership, there are few things as exciting as buying a car — no matter if it’s brand new or has a few miles on the engine. After all, purchasing a new or used car, truck or SUV is more than just finding a sticker price that fits your budget. Learning about a vehicle’s reliability, available features, as well as its various maintenance and repair costs all, need to be considered before you sign on the dotted line. After all, purchasing any new or used vehicle can often be one of the most significant purchases you can make.

Even after taking the keys and driving off with your new set of wheels, the learning doesn’t stop there. Understanding the information in your owner’s manual and identifying your car’s maintenance schedule is crucial in helping any new or used vehicle last for years to come.

Finding an extended car warranty can also help you get peace of mind when it comes to those unexpected breakdowns and costly car repairs not covered by your car insurance policy.

What Is an Extended Car Warranty?

When you buy a brand new car, the automaker will provide you with what is known as a factory warranty or manufacturer’s warranty. This warranty is a contract that states the automaker will promise to repair or replace any and all components that break down due to poor craftsmanship or from defective materials used when being built. However, there are some exceptions, such as high wear and tear components like tires.

In general, factory warranties are usually valid for either 3-years/36,000 miles or 5-years/60,000 miles—whichever milestone you reach first. Some automakers, such as Hyundai, will even offer various types of factory coverage for up to 10-years/100,000 miles.

To help protect different components within a vehicle, you may find your brand new car to have some of the following types of factory coverage:

Powertrain – This coverage is one of the most essential as it covers any issue with the components needed to make your vehicle move, including your engine, driveshaft, transmission and differential. 

Bumper-to-Bumper – As you could guess based on the name, bumper to bumper warranty is the most comprehensive form of coverage available for your car — from your front bumper to your rear bumper. This type of guarantee can also assist with dents, nicks, and windshield damage repairs.

Corrosion – This type of protection is excellent for individuals who live in areas with a lot of rain, harsh winters, or places that use a lot of salt to de-ice their local roads and want to prevent rust and other forms of corrosive damage.

Emissions – These warranties are one of the most important, as they can help cover the cost of repairs for components that are vital for passing an emissions test and will usually begin after 90 days or 3,000 miles after your purchase. An emissions warranty will also reimburse you for auto repairs if your car, truck, or SUV’s catalytic converter is lost. If you reside in a state or region where emissions testing is required, keep in mind that it will void your emissions warranty if your car does not pass an emissions test.

Regardless of the type of factory coverage your vehicle has, once it’s over, you’re on your own when it comes to paying the bill for any repair and maintenance costs. Unless that is, you take out a vehicle service contract or VSC for short. However, VSCs are more commonly known as extended warranties, even though they aren’t technically a warranty by definition. It is also vital to remember that any factory or extended coverage differs from any auto insurance, mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) or gap coverage you may have.

Instead, you can find these maintenance and repair protection plans available from third parties, such as us here at Endurance, Pelican Administrator, CARCHEX, Concord Auto Protect, Carshield, Olive, and Protect My Car — to name a few. And just as it’s vital to do your research before making any new or used car purchase to help fit your budget, the same is true for finding extended coverage.

How to Find the Right VSC for Your Budget

There are two reasons to take out a VSC: to give you peace of mind and to minimize the costs of owning a vehicle. If your car’s factory warranty has run out or will soon, now is the time to buy ongoing coverage to make sure expensive auto repairs and essential maintenance won’t catch you off guard.

With lots of providers around, researching your options can get a little time-consuming, so it’s essential to recognize some of the top things to consider when selecting warranty coverage or a VSC that is right for you.

You’ll need to consider your needs, budget and the provider’s credentials. Ask yourself the following questions as you’re comparing plans:

  • What level of cover do you need for a car, given its age and mileage?
  • What is your budget?
  • What are the provider reviews like?
  • Does the provider offer any added extras, such as 24/7 roadside assistance in the event of breakdown or maintenance coverage?

Endurance

At Endurance, we have one goal: to empower you with confidence for the road ahead. As the nation’s leading provider of auto protection plans, we’ve been protecting America’s drivers like yourself and their vehicles since 2006. We also work as a direct administrator, unlike many of our competitors, meaning we’re able to help our customers with every step of maintenance and repair coverage. In fact, we pride ourselves so much on our service and coverage that we’ve won various awards because of them.  

Our plans were designed specifically to help cover your every need and to help fit your budget and automatically come with various perks, such as 24/7 roadside assistance, no matter the plan you choose. From high-mileage protection, basic powertrain coverage or comprehensive exclusionary coverage, you can choose from one of our six plans: Supreme, Superior, Select Premier, Secure Plus and Secure—as well as Advantage, our most comprehensive auto protection package. 

Unlike other warranty or VSC providers, the Advantage plan can even help you save when it comes to your car’s essential maintenance needs by offering up to $3,500 in regular coverage. This coverage includes essential maintenance tasks such as engine diagnostic exams, tire rotations, alignment checks and state safety inspection services. You can even save up to three oil and filter changes as well. Each Advantage package also comes with various special, one-time services like a brake pad/shoe replacement or cooling system maintenance to give you even more coverage and savings. 

Each Endurance plan also comes with immediate access to a year’s worth of Elite Benefits, including perks such as key fob replacements, tire repairs or replacements and collisions discounts. All you need to do is find the right Endurance plan for you and your vehicle, pay a small activation fee, and enjoy your year’s worth of extra perks and savings.

Pelican Administrator

Florida-based Pelican Administrator offers three primary coverage levels: Enhanced Powertrain, Platinum, and Ultimate. They don’t offer coverage in KS, WA, CA, NV, MO, MD, or DE.

You can learn more about how they compare to our plans at Endurance here.

Protect My Car

Also hailing from Florida, Protect My Car offers three standard car warranty policies: Supreme, Select and Driveline. Currently, Protect My Car doesn’t provide coverage in AK, CA, HI, MO, OK or WA. 

You learn more about how they compare with Endurance here.

CARCHEX

Though they are a reseller, not a direct administrator, CARCHEX is well known for its extended warranties, which are available across five coverage levels: Titanium, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. 

You can find more information on how CARCHEX plans compare to ours at Endurance here.

Carshield

Carshield is a vehicle service contract broker and not a direct administrator of their plans like Endurance. However, they are still a popular choice for auto protection plans, as they offer five primary levels of coverage: Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Aluminum. 

See how they compare with the Endurance plans here.

Olive

Olive customers can choose from three coverage plans: Powertrain, Powertrain Plus and Complete Care, their most comprehensive plan. 

You learn more about these plans and how they compare to plans from us at Endurance here.

Concord Auto Protect

Pennsylvania provider Concord Auto Protect started in 2014 and offers three primary coverage levels: Premium, Advanced and Powertrain. 

You can find more information about how Concord Auto Protect plans compare to those from Endurance here.

Why Endurance Is the Right Plan for Your Vehicle

When searching for an auto protection plan, just as you should when finding your next new or used vehicle, it’s essential to do your research. Check if they offer plans that fit your specific needs and budget, what additional benefits they may offer, and any other perks or exclusions that may apply.

With Endurance, you can take the worry out of protecting your car, truck, or SUV with the country’s leading provider of auto protection plans. Each Endurance protection plan is designed to help give you the automotive coverage you’re looking for without breaking your budget. You can even save up to $3,500 when it comes to your vehicle’s essential maintenance needs, including up to three oil and filter changes, tire rotations, alignment checks and more with Advantage, our most comprehensive. Each Advantage package also comes with several other special, one-time services for even more coverage.

You can also save even more with a year’s worth of Elite Benefits, including perks such as key fob replacements, tire repairs or replacements, collision discounts and more. Simply purchase any Endurance protection plan, pay a small activation fee and enjoy your year of extra perks and savings.

To learn more about why Endurance is the right choice for you and your vehicle, request a free quote or give us a call at 800-253-8203. You can also discover more helpful and fun articles on a variety of automotive topics such as DIY maintenance guides, road trip tips and vehicle buying guides by visiting our Learning Center.

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