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CARCHEX Extended Warranty Review (2020)

Illustration for article titled CARCHEX Extended Warranty Review (2020)
Photo: Gorodenkoff

CARCHEX will show up in any online search for extended car warranties, but what is the company like? Our CARCHEX review dives deep and lays out the coverage, pricing, customer experience, and reputation of the company.

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We’ve reviewed a number of the best extended car warranty companies, so drivers can make sense of the market. Get quotes from CARCHEX and other top providers to compare coverage and find the best plan for you.

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In This Review:


About CARCHEX

CARCHEX offers vehicle service contracts, which are commonly called extended warranties. The company sells plans administered by other highly rated providers. This translates into more contract choices for drivers.

CARCHEX has been in business for 21 years. That’s a long time in terms of car warranty companies. In fact, CARCHEX has been around for six years longer than any of the other leading providers we’ve researched.

CARCHEX is also one of the few providers available in every state (some providers don’t sell plans in California or other states). Add to that the fact that you can go to any shop certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) for car repairs, and CARCHEX becomes a reliable option for warranty coverage.

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CARCHEX Pros:

  • Choose any ASE-Certified® repair shop
  • Coverage available up to 250,000 miles
  • Five plans to choose from
  • Pays repair shop directly
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • No-Haggle, Low-Price Everyday Guarantee™

CARCHEX Cons:

  • Not every car is eligible for coverage
  • Hybrids cost extra

CARCHEX maintains an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with accreditation. It’s also endorsed by industry leaders like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com, CARFAX, and RepairPal. We chose CARCHEX as the best option for older vehicles since it can cover up to 250,000 miles.

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CARCHEX Extended Car Warranty Coverage

What does CARCHEX cover? Well, it depends on what protection plan you get. There’s a big range from basic coverage to coverage similar to your car’s factory warranty. Depending on your vehicle, these plans can cover up to 250,000 miles on cars up to 20 years old.

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Here’s an overview of the coverage options:

  • Titanium: This is CARCHEX’s bumper-to-bumper coverage option. As an exclusionary warranty, it covers almost any mechanical or electrical component on the car.
  • Platinum: This plan is the most comprehensive component coverage contract. It covers parts on 15 systems including the engine, brakes, suspension, electronic high-tech components, the turbocharger, and audio.
  • Gold: This mid-tier plan covers parts for 13 major systems and is a good option for higher mileage cars.
  • Silver: This plan covers the powertrain (engine, transmission, and drive axle) plus the cooling system, transfer unit, fuel system, air conditioning, electrical, and related seals and gaskets.
  • Bronze: This plan covers the powertrain plus the cooling system, transfer unit, and related seals and gaskets.
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These are the main types of coverage, but there are multiple contracts within these types. There are also different ways you can modify a specific contract. For example, many plans have an option to add coverage for a higher repair shop labor rate.

Many CARCHEX contracts only cover up to $100 per hour in labor by default. You have to add the market labor rate option to raise that maximum limit. One hundred dollars per hour might sound like a lot, but it’s not uncommon for shops to charge $150 or $200 per hour in some areas. To be safe, you might want to add that option.

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Other add-ons include the luxury electronics package, key guard package, and emissions package.

When Does CARCHEX Cover Repairs?

Just because a part is listed as covered on the contract doesn’t mean CARCHEX will pay for the repair under all circumstances. Here are a few exclusions common to all CARCHEX warranties:

  • Damage from lack of maintenance
  • Damage from misuse
  • Modified parts
  • Repairs over $250 made without prior authorization
  • Damage from accidents, the environment, or vandalism
  • Recalls and technical service bulletins
  • When a non-covered part damages a covered part (and vice versa)
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Degradation without actual failure

That might look like a lot, but there are more exclusions on the contract. It’s important to read the entire contract so that you’re clear on what’s covered. If you didn’t get a chance to read it before purchasing the plan, take CARCHEX’s 30-day guarantee period to review it.

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It’s also important that you keep up on scheduled maintenance. You might have to present oil change and service records when you go in for a repair, and CARCHEX can deny a claim if you haven’t been taking care of your car.

CARCHEX Warranty Perks

CARCHEX plans come with several perks, including:

  • Roadside assistance: CARCHEX covers $75 per occurrence for towing, lockout service, spare tire installation, jump-starts, fuel delivery, and winching. There’s a maximum limit of $400 for the life of the contract.
  • Car rental reimbursement: CARCHEX will reimburse you up to $40 per day for four days in the case of a covered breakdown. Some contracts say $35 for five days.
  • Trip interruption reimbursement: If you’re over 100 miles from home and experience a breakdown, CARCHEX will reimburse you up to $50 per day for three days to cover food and lodging.
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Since CARCHEX offers multiple contracts through different providers, the terms for these perks may differ slightly between contracts.


How Much Does CARCHEX Cost?

CARCHEX is generally affordable coverage compared to other providers. However, prices are influenced by many things, including your car’s make, model, year, and mileage. You’ll probably find different prices than these when you get an extended warranty quote.

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Vehicle: Honda Civic

  • CARCHEX plan: Titanium
  • Term length: 7 years/125,000 miles
  • Monthly payment: $107 for 24 months
  • Down payment: First payment
  • Deductible: $100

Vehicle: Subaru Outback

  • CARCHEX plan: Platinum
  • Term length: 5 years/60,000 miles
  • Monthly payment: $154 for 24 months
  • Down payment: First payment
  • Deductible: $100

Vehicle: Subaru Outback

  • CARCHEX plan: Silver
  • Term length: 6 years/60,000 miles
  • Monthly payment: $108 for 24 months
  • Down payment: First payment
  • Deductible: $100

How CARCHEX Extended Warranties Work

Getting a quote from CARCHEX is easy and quick. The company offers instant quotes, though in reality they are only instant during business hours. When our review team called CARCHEX for the extended auto warranty quotes listed above, our team member was only on hold for about a minute, and the entire process took about 10 minutes.

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Claims are also easy. CARCHEX pays repair costs directly to the shop, though you might have to authorize a diagnosis before any work can be done. CARCHEX won’t pay for the diagnosis if the repair falls outside of warranty coverage.

All of CARCHEX’s extended auto warranties come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can cancel at any point within those 30 days for a full refund. After that point, you can also cancel for a prorated refund.

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If you sell your car, you can transfer your contract to a secondary buyer for $50.


CARCHEX Reviews

There are over 1,300 CARCHEX reviews on Trustpilot that give the company a 3.7-star rating overall. CARCHEX reviews with the BBB give the company a lower rating, but it has relatively fewer complaints on the BBB compared to some other providers. We’ll include a few example CARCHEX reviews here.

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Positive Reviews

“Great prices and great customer service! Would recommend it to anyone looking for [an] extended warranty on their vehicle.” – Horacio S., BBB

“I had heard horror stories of trying to utilize warranties when needed, but this was far beyond my greatest expectations. The phone representative I spoke to was very kind and personable as well, and the turnaround was so quick.” – Andrew R., BBB

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Negative Reviews

“I pay $170+ a month and have had my truck in the shop twice since I’ve had the policy. They denied the first claim that my mechanic put in, and the second claim my mechanic also put in they denied covering 95 percent.” – Eric A., BBB

“The whole entire day the phone lines are busy… It’s my second day trying to reach the claims phone… The worst experience ever.” – Urge E., BBB

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Bottom Line On CARCHEX: 5.0 Stars

Considering the company’s reputation, coverage options, and prices, we think CARCHEX is one of the best extended car warranty options out there. It can be a great choice for drivers with older vehicles since it covers up to 250,000 miles.

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  • Reputation: 5.0
  • Coverage: 5.0
  • Price: 4.5
  • Customer Experience: 5.0

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Top Recommendations For Extended Car Warranties

Like anything you shop for, it’s always smart to compare a few different options. In researching extended auto warranties, we also found Endurance and CarShield to be reliable choices.

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Endurance: 5.0 Stars

As a direct warranty provider, Endurance administers and manages all the plans it sells. That means drivers work with the same customer service and claims team the whole time. Endurance has been around for 14 years, and it offers a range of perks in addition to five types of coverage.

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To get a quote from Endurance, call 855-258-0580 or use the tool below.

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CarShield: 4.5 Stars

CarShield is another reputable provider, and many drivers find affordable coverage through the company. In our research, CarShield quoted the cheapest prices. This company has been around for 15 years and offers six types of plans.

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To get a quote from CarShield, call 800-563-2761 or use the tool below.

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