AutoInsurance.com
January 20, 2023

CarShield Extended Warranty Review and Pricing

Is an extended warranty from CarShield right for you?

Founded in 2005, CarShield sells third-party vehicle service contracts, also known as extended warranties. Prices for CarShield’s extended warranty plans range from $99.99 to $129.99 per month. For comparison, fixing numerous mechanical problems might cost you thousands of dollars. Transmission repairs, for example, can cost anywhere from $300 to over $1,500.

Is a CarShield extended warranty right for you? Find everything you need to know about the company in our detailed review below.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great choice for short-term coverage

  • Affordable rates

  • Low-deductible options

  • Roadside assistance and rental car coverage in some plans

Cons

  • History of not paying out claims

  • Mixed reviews from customers

  • Consumer warning from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Who Should Buy?

Who It’s Good For

  • New-car owners who want to keep their vehicles in good, drivable condition without having to worry about large out-of-pocket expenses
  • Drivers who are planning for emergencies and want roadside assistance, towing, and rental car coverage options
  • Drivers who are on a budget and are looking for temporary, low-cost coverage

Who It’s Not Good For

  • People who own a used car or one with high mileage
  • Drivers of cars with preexisting conditions
  • People who need stellar customer service

Is Your Car Eligible?

Eligible

  • Most cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs
  • New and used cars
  • Vehicles with fewer than 300,000 miles

Not Eligible

  • Cars with over 300,000 miles
  • Cars in California
  • Cars with preexisting mechanical issues
  • Cars that have been declared “lemons”
  • Cars with modifications to the engine, transmission, drive axle, frame, suspension, emissions, or exhaust

How Does CarShield Work?

The Buying Process

You can buy an extended warranty from CarShield over the phone, but if you prefer to start the quote process online, you can do so by filling out a form on the company’s website at https://carshield.com/freequote. CarShield makes it very easy to get a quote for vehicle coverage, as long as you have the information you need on hand, like the year, mileage, make, and model.

Waiting Period

CarShield’s waiting period for coverage is 20 days or 500 miles after you purchase your plan. This policy is designed to protect CarShield from a needed repair that you knew about prior to purchasing coverage. When you sign with CarShield, representatives may ask for an assessment of your car and note any problems they find with it.

Transfer Policy

If you sell your vehicle while it is still under a CarShield warranty, you can transfer the policy to the new owner. To transfer your policy to a new owner, make sure you have the following materials ready:

  • Proof of the ownership change, such as a bill of sale, registration, or title
  • An administrative processing fee of $50
  • A completed transfer application (available upon request from CarShield)
  • The odometer reading at the time of the ownership transfer

CheckTIP:

You can also transfer your policy to a new vehicle by calling CarShield’s customer service team at 1-800-587-4162. They can help you set up coverage on your new vehicle and stop coverage on your old vehicle.

Claims

CarShield makes it easy to file a claim with your extended warranty plan. For your repairs to be covered, you must get your vehicle serviced within CarShield’s network of dealerships and ASE-certified repair facilities.

CheckNOTE:

You’ll need to receive authorization from CarShield before the repair shop starts working on your car.

The servicer will call CarShield’s claims department, and a warranty claims adjuster will review the necessary repairs. Once they approve the claim, CarShield will directly pay the servicer using a corporate credit card, so you won’t have to pay and get reimbursed. Rather, you will be responsible only for your deductible.

Deductible

Most contracts with CarShield include a $100 deductible per repair. You may have a higher or lower deductible depending on your selected plan and your vehicle. For example, some extended warranty plans have a $0 deductible.

Coverages

CarShield Plans

CarShield plans begin at $99 per month, but actual pricing varies based on your vehicle’s make, model year, and other factors (more on that below). CarShield offers five levels of protection plans, as well as a motorcycle and ATV coverage plan and a roadside assistance program.<sup.1

Plans Details What’s covered
Aluminum Specialty coverage for electrical and computer-related issues Air conditioner, alternator, brake system, electrical, factory audio, fuel delivery system, GPS/navigation, instrument cluster, power windows, radiator, starter, steering, suspension, water pump, wiring harness
Silver The most affordable powertrain plan that covers the major vehicle systems Drive axle, engine, fuel delivery system, transfer case, transmission, water pump
Gold Coverage for both major and minor vehicle components, as well as roadside assistance Air conditioner, alternator, drive axle, engine, fuel delivery system, fuel injector, fuel pump, power windows, radiator, starter, transfer case, transmission, water pump
Platinum Coverage for vehicles with higher mileage, as well as roadside assistance Air conditioner, alternator, brake system, drive axle, electrical, emissions, engine, factory audio, fuel delivery system, fuel injector, fuel pump, GPS/navigation, instrument cluster, power windows, radiator, starter, steering, suspension, transfer case, transmission, water pump
Diamond Comparable plan to an original manufacturer warranty, as well as roadside assistance Air conditioner, alternator, brake system, drive axle, electrical, emissions, engine, factory audio, fuel injector, fuel pump, radiator, starter, steering, suspension, transfer case, transmission, water pump, wiring harness
Motorcycle & ATV Plans specifically for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, as well as

roadside assistance

Alternator, brake system, drive axle, electrical, engine, factory audio, fuel delivery system, fuel injector, fuel pump, GPS/navigation, instrument cluster, power windows, radiator, starter, steering, suspension, transmission, water pump

What’s Covered

In addition to the coverage mentioned above, CarShield plans may include the following:

  • Rental car reimbursement: If you need a rental car while your vehicle is being serviced, CarShield will reimburse you for $40 per day, up to $280 for seven days total.
  • Trip interruption reimbursement: If your vehicle breaks down 100 miles or more from home and you need to leave it at a repair facility overnight, CarShield will reimburse your hotel and restaurant expenses up to $50 per day for a total of $150 over three days.
  • 24/7 roadside assistance: CarShield roadside assistance covers towing, tire replacement, lockout assistance, battery jump-start services, and fuel delivery. There’s a $500 maximum on services for the lifetime of your contract. Three claims are allowed per benefit period.

What’s Not Covered

One of the most important parts of your contract with CarShield will be the list of ineligible services. We recommend you read this section very carefully. CarShield vehicle service plans will not pay for the following:

  • Repairs performed without prior authorization
  • Issues caused by inadequate maintenance
  • Regular maintenance items, like brake pads, filters, and fluid changes
  • Damage caused by acts of nature or external circumstances, like vandalism or storms
  • Damage resulting from misuse
  • Issues caused by engine overheating due to inadequate levels of coolant, fuel, or fluids
  • Diagnostic costs, including engine teardown
  • Failures of airbags, seat belts, or other restraint systems

CarShield Cost

A very basic, no-frills CarShield plan costs between $99.99 and $129.99 per month. Your pricing will vary greatly depending on the age and mileage of your car and other factors that are specific to you. However, this extended warranty company is more affordable than most.

Discounts

CarShield offers discounts if you fall into one or more of these categories:

  • Senior citizens
  • Veterans and military personnel
  • Original vehicle owners
  • Law enforcement employees

While the amounts may vary, it is not uncommon for the totality of discounts to bring a monthly contract price down to $100 (or less) per month. Be sure to ask your representative for the full list of discounts available to you.

Money-Back Guarantee

If you cancel your CarShield warranty within the first 30 days of your policy, you’ll get a full refund. After 30 days, you can get a prorated refund based on the amount of time left on your contract.

Cancellation Fee

CarShield’s pay-as-you-go plan means you can cancel at any time by contacting the customer service department at 1-800-587-4162. Before you sign up for an extended warranty, ask your agent to point out the cancellation policy in the contract, as some plans may charge a $50 administrative fee.

Customer Service Contact Information

CarShield does not offer 24/7 customer support by phone, but you can file claims online at any time. You can reach the customer support department by calling 1-800-587-4162 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT.

Third-Party Reviews

Better Business Bureau

CarShield is not accredited with the BBB and has an F rating based on the company’s history of customer complaints (the average customer rating is 1.5 out of 5 stars) and a lack of transparency. The BBB issued a warning to consumers, alleging that CarShield:

  • Employed misleading advertisements.
  • Did not properly cancel policies or offer refunds.
  • Delayed claim processing, leaving customers without their vehicles for extended periods of time.
  • Was unable to find authorized repair shops.
  • Provided poor customer service.

In April and December 2020, the BBB contacted CarShield regarding how it planned to address these complaints. Although the company responded to the BBB, it failed to address the concerns raised.2

Trustpilot

In contrast, there were higher ratings and more positive CarShield reviews on Trustpilot, with an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars.3

How Does It Compare?

Because CarShield is a broker, not a vendor, it’s easiest to compare the company with other brokers, like Carchex and autopom, than to vendors such as Concord, Toco, and Endurance.

CheckTHE MORE YOU KNOW:

Unlike a broker, which can shop for extended warranties from multiple companies, a vendor can only offer its own warranties.

CarShield is less expensive than most extended warranty companies, and its month-to-month contracts are ideal if you’re looking for low-cost, temporary coverage. However, CarShield’s low customer ratings and reviews are concerning. If customer satisfaction is important in your evaluation, consider companies such as autopom, Endurance, Carchex, and Protect My Car, which have better average reviews from Trustpilot and the BBB.

Methodology

We consider these main factors in our extended warranty review and pricing pages:

Eligibility

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. We prioritize companies that don’t require a pre-inspection or waiting period.

As far as claims, we prefer companies that let customers use any licensed repair facility in the U.S. or Canada and those that pay the shops directly rather than reimburse customers. We also prefer flexible deductibles per visit, not per repair, to save the customer money.

Coverages

Coverages differ widely depending on both the provider and the plan. So, although 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 or replacement, trip interruption protection, and towing.

Pricing

Across the industry, the average annual cost of an extended warranty is $5,195, with an average range of $4,967 to $6,423. We compare the services each company offers with its average cost to see if it is a reasonable value. However, because nearly no extended warranty companies are forthright about their prices, we are forced to depend on averages.

Customer Service

We prioritize companies that let their customers reach them in multiple ways: email, online forms, and phone. We also check out customer service ratings from the BBB and Trustpilot, trusted third parties with reviews from thousands of real customers.

Mobile App

Some companies offer iOS and Android mobile apps, which allow for easy claim submission, repair shop location searches, and other tools. We look for well-designed apps that have ratings of at least 3 out of 5 stars in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.

Extras

Some companies offer extras, but these perks are 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 them.

Frequently Asked Questions About CarShield

Is CarShield a legitimate extended car warranty company?

Yes, although CarShield has a poor history with customer complaints and a low rating from the Better Business Bureau, it is a legitimate company. It can be worth it to buy vehicle service contracts from CarShield if you’re looking to avoid hefty repair bills after a mechanical breakdown.

Who accepts CarShield?

All repair shops included in CarShield’s Shield Repair Network accept its coverage plans. To find a CarShield repair shop near you, use the locator tool on shieldrepairnetwork.com. If you are a member, you can also find CarShield-approved shops through the locator tool on the CarShield app.

Will CarShield cover cars used for rideshare or delivery services?

Yes, CarShield provides coverage for vehicles that are used for rideshare and delivery services. A small surcharge may apply. However, CarShield does not provide coverage for taxis.

Citations

  1. CarShield Monthly Coverage. CarShield. (2022).
    https://content.naic.org/sites/default/files/publication-aut-pb-auto-insurance-database.pdf

  2. CarShield. Better Business Bureau. (2022).
    https://www.bbb.org/us/mo/saint-peters/profile/auto-service-contract-companies/carshield-0734-310030296

  3. CarShield. Trustpilot. (2022).
    https://www.trustpilot.com/review/carshield.com