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Autonation Vehicle Protection Plan

Illustration for article titled Autonation Vehicle Protection Plan
Photo: Aleksandar Malivuk

AutoNation is the largest auto retailer in the U.S. with over 300 locations in 18 states. If you ever visit an AutoNation dealership to purchase a car, you’ll be presented with the AutoNation vehicle protection plan (also called an extended warranty). So, is it a good deal?

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We’ll dive deep into the AutoNation extended warranty here. We will also compare it to other third-party companies we’ve researched. There are a number of reputable providers on the market, so get multiple quotes and compare plans to find the best extended car warranty.

You can get a free quote from our top choice Endurance by getting started with the tool below.

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In This Review:

About AutoNation

AutoNation has been around since 1969 and is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The company sells new and used cars plus vehicle service, financing, and insurance. Over half of its business comes from the sale of new cars. The headquarters location has an A+ rating with accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

It’s a little tricky to figure out what customers think about the warranty since most of the business is focused on selling vehicles. Not to mention, you can only get an AutoNation vehicle protection plan when you buy a car through the company.

AutoNation Vehicle Protection Plan Pros:

  • Five coverage levels
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • 70,000 repair shops
  • Multiple deductible options

AutoNation Vehicle Protection Plan Cons:

  • Below average customer service
  • Only available from dealerships

AutoNation Extended Car Warranty Coverage

AutoNation offers five plans for drivers to choose from:

  • Platinum: The highest plan is similar to a bumper-to-bumper warranty that comes with a new car. This AutoNation vehicle protection plan covers almost any mechanical or electrical part unless the part is specifically excluded.
  • Gold: This plan covers parts on all major systems, plus advanced electrical and mechanical components like anti-lock brakes and onboard computers.
  • Silver: This plan covers the powertrain (engine, transmission, and drive axle) plus parts in the steering, suspension, brake, electrical, and air conditioning systems. It also covers a few more hybrid parts than the Powertrain plan.
  • Powertrain: This plan covers the engine, transmission, and drive axle, plus some hybrid parts.
  • Engine: This AutoNation vehicle protection plan covers specific parts in the engine.
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What we like about AutoNation is that it gives you plenty of coverage options. Not all dealership plans offer the same level of choice. Another interesting thing is that you can get an AutoNation vehicle protection plan to just cover the engine. Most of the time, the lowest plan level covers the whole powertrain.

In addition to vehicle service contracts, drivers can get AutoNation Vehicle Care Protection (also known as prepaid maintenance), plus the following products:

  • Roadside assistance
  • Guaranteed asset protection (GAP) coverage
  • Appearance protection
  • Dent protection
  • Road hazard tire and wheel protection
  • AutoNation theft protection
  • Excess wear and tear protection (available on AutoNation leased vehicles)

Plan Benefits

Each AutoNation vehicle protection plan comes with the following perks:

  • 24/7 roadside assistance: AutoNation provides up to $100 per occurrence for battery jump-starts, spare tire installation, lockout service, fuel delivery, and towing.
  • Rental reimbursement: AutoNation will reimburse you up to $35 per day for five days in the case of a covered repair.
  • Trip interruption: AutoNation will reimburse you up to $200 per day for five days if you experience a breakdown more than 100 miles from home.
  • Manufacturer’s deductible reimbursement: If a repair is covered by the manufacturer but the manufacturer requires a higher deductible than your AutoNation plan, AutoNation will reimburse you the difference.
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One thing to note is that AutoNation’s trip interruption benefit is much more generous than some other extended warranty providers. Some companies only pay a maximum of $300 or $500 for trip interruption, while AutoNation pays up to $1,000.

What An AutoNation Vehicle Protection Plan Won’t Cover

Here are a few exclusions common to all of AutoNation’s plans:

  • Maintenance
  • Wear items
  • Modifications
  • Damage from lack of maintenance or misuse
  • Damage from accidents or environmental events
  • Salvaged titles
  • Air leaks, rattles, noises, and external water leaks
  • Unauthorized repairs

Cost Of AutoNation Vehicle Protection Plans

Since you have to get an AutoNation plan through the dealership, prices aren’t listed online. Prices will also be dependent on the type of car that you buy. Typically, cars that cost more to repair will have higher warranty costs. Think luxury or old clunkers.

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According to our research, a five-year bumper-to-bumper warranty costs $2,411.18. We’ve seen monthly costs between $50 and $160 for the top providers. You can use that as a rough guide when you shop for warranties, whether at AutoNation or elsewhere.

How AutoNation Extended Warranties Work

AutoNation vehicle protection plans are really only available if you are in the market for a new or used car and want to purchase it from AutoNation. At that point, the salesperson will give you a few different coverage options. Each plan will have a different cost, but they all come from AutoNation.

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You should have the option to finance the cost of the plan into your car loan. Be aware, if you do that you’ll have to pay interest on your warranty as well.

A huge selling point is that AutoNation claims its plan is honored at 70,000 repair shops nationwide. That’s a huge number. Even though you can only get the plan in 18 states, you can get car repairs pretty much anywhere.

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If you experience a breakdown, the first thing to do is get your vehicle towed to a licensed facility. At that point, you need to connect the repair shop with AutoNation’s phone number for claims. No work can be done unless the repair is authorized. If it turns out the repair isn’t covered, you’ll have to pay for the repair plus any diagnosis cost.

You can transfer the AutoNation vehicle protection plan to a subsequent owner if you happen to sell your car. This just requires a $50 fee. You can also cancel the contract for a full refund. One AutoNation agreement we read stated you can cancel within 60 days, but since there are multiple administrators, we’d imagine others use a 30-day cancellation period. After that, you can still get a prorated refund.

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AutoNation Reviews

AutoNation doesn’t get great reviews online. Customer reviews with the BBB rate it just above one star, and Trustpilot reviews give the company two stars. Below are a few examples from AutoNation’s headquarters location in Florida, but keep in mind that most reviews are about the car buying process or the service department, not AutoNation’s extended warranty program.

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Positive AutoNation Reviews

“AutoNation’s service department provided me with nothing but excellence and amazing customer service during my visit this week. My car was serviced fast and very reasonably priced.” – Rosario R., BBB

“The finance guy was practical. [He was] open to reasonably negotiate the interest rate and he provided me with a favorable care plan for my car.” – Soraya H., BBB

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Negative AutoNation Reviews

“[The salesperson] was very rude, gave very defensive answers with no explanation of anything except his extended warranty.” – Walter M., Trustpilot

“I will never recommend this place to anyone and I hope you stay away from here. They rip people off and take advantage of people who don’t know any better.” – Joseph Z., BBB

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Bottom Line On AutoNation: 3.0 Stars

AutoNation vehicle protection plans seem to offer good coverage and perks. However, the company’s history of negative reviews is concerning. While we don’t think there’s anything wrong with buying a car from the company, you might want to shop around for extended warranty coverage.

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  • Reputation: 3.5
  • Coverage: 4.0
  • Price: 3.0
  • Customer Experience: 2.0

Top Recommendations For Extended Car Warranties

Most extended warranty companies will let you buy a plan after you purchase your car. Some companies will even cover cars up to 20 years of age (hint: CARCHEX). In any case, it’s always good to compare plans. An extended auto warranty can definitely be worth it for peace of mind if you find the right provider.

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CARCHEX: 5.0 Stars

Because it can cover vehicles up to 20 years and 250,000 miles, we think CARCHEX is the best option for drivers looking to cover older cars. CARCHEX has been around for 21 years, and it offers five different coverage options.

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The company is endorsed by leaders like Kelley Blue Book and CARFAX. You can look at sample contracts and compare plans online, which makes shopping easy.

To get a free quote from CARCHEX, check out the button below.

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CarShield: 4.5 Stars

In researching prices for extended auto warranties, CarShield’s quotes were the lowest we received. CarShield has been in business for 15 years and has been featured on CNN, HGTV, ESPN, and others. CarShield offers six plans, including coverage for high-tech components and specialty vehicles.

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To get a free quote from CarShield, you can get started with the tool below.

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