We take a few main factors into account for our extended warranty review and pricing pages.
We see what vehicles the extended warranty would cover in terms of the driver’s state of residence and the car’s make, model year, mileage, and preexisting conditions, if any.
Buying and Claims Process
We prefer companies that allow customers to get quotes and buy warranties both online and over the phone, giving drivers options. We prioritize companies that don’t require a pre-inspection or waiting period.
As far as claims go, we prefer companies that let customers use any licensed repair facility in the U.S. or Canada, paying the shops directly rather than reimbursing the customers. We also prefer flexible deductibles per visit, not per repair, saving the customer money.
Coverages differ widely depending on both providers and plans within providers, so while the more coverages, the better, the best option really depends on what coverages the customer is looking for. We like companies that have 24/7 roadside assistance at a minimum, plus coverage for parts and labor, rental car reimbursement, tire repair/replacement, trip interruption protection, and towing.
Across the industry, the average annual cost of an extended warranty is $5,195, with a range of $4,967 to $6,423 on average. We compare each company’s services offered to their average cost to see if they are reasonable. However, since nearly no extended warranty company is forthright about their prices, we are forced to depend on averages.
We prioritize companies that let their customers reach them in multiple ways: through email, via online forms, and over the phone. We also check out customer service ratings on the BBB and Trustpilot — trusted third parties with reviews from thousands of real customers.
Some companies offer iOS and Android mobile apps allowing for easy claims submission, repair shop location searches, and other tools. We look for well-designed apps that have ratings of at least three stars in both the Apple and Google Play stores.
Some companies offer extras, but this is rare. Protect My Car, for example, features a points-based loyalty program called PMC Rewards, while Toco provides a discount on reservations from Hotels.com. However, these are bonuses, so we don’t penalize companies that lack extras.