There are many extended warranty companies on the market, so which should you choose? Our team created an in-depth CarShield review to help you get to know this third-party provider. This review is based on cost, customer experience, reputation, and coverage.
We’ve also reviewed many of the best extended car warranty companies available. Check out our top recommendations and compare quotes from multiple providers.
In This Review:
- About CarShield
- CarShield Extended Car Warranty Coverage
- How Much Does CarShield Cost?
- How CarShield Extended Warranties Work
- CarShield Reviews
- Bottom Line On CarShield: 4.5 Stars
- Top Recommendations For Extended Car Warranties
CarShield began in 2005 in Saint Peters, Missouri. Since then, it has grown to be one of the most popular extended warranty providers on the market. It has covered over a million vehicles at this point. There are also thousands of CarShield reviews on Google, Trustpilot, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Plans are available for drivers in every state except California. However, drivers can still get repairs in California if they purchased a plan in another state.
Besides the vast number of CarShield reviews, its warranty options make it stand out from the crowd. CarShield offers six types of coverage. One plan is dedicated to high-tech vehicles, and another covers specialty vehicles like ATVs.
- Roadside assistance, trip interruption, and rental car reimbursement included
- Repair shop paid directly
- Wide range of coverage options
- Low or $0 deductibles
- Coverage up to 200,000 miles
- Negative reviews about advertising practices
- Some plans only come with roadside assistance
Car Shield is a vehicle service contract broker, which means it sells contracts that other companies administer. This is common in the extended coverage world, and most other third-party warranty providers operate like this.
CarShield has also been featured on outlets like TBS, ESPN, HGTV, and CNN. Overall, CarShield is a reliable company with affordable options for many drivers. CarShield plans are accepted at any repair shop certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
The first stop on our CarShield review is its coverage options. You purchase an extended warranty to cover repair costs, so what repairs does CarShield cover?
As we mentioned above, there are six main types of coverage. All of the plans will only pay for a repair if it is due to a mechanical failure. Further than that, CarShield won’t repair parts expected to wear out over time like brake pads or serpentine belts.
Damage from accidents or environmental acts is not covered, nor is damage from lack of maintenance. In short, CarShield will repair mechanical failures due to defects in material or workmanship. Here’s an overview of the plans:
- New Car Diamond: This plan is similar to a manufacturer’s warranty on a new car. It covers almost any mechanical or electrical component minus a few exclusions.
- Platinum: CarShield’s Platinum plan is the best option for cars with high mileage. This comprehensive plan covers parts on 15 major systems of the vehicle.
- Gold: This is an enhanced powertrain plan. It covers parts on 10 major systems of the vehicle.
- Silver: This plan covers the basic powertrain (engine, transmission, and drive axle) plus the water pump, turbocharger, and 4x4 transfer case.
- Aluminum: This plan is CarShield’s high-tech option designed for luxury and specialty vehicles. It covers some basic systems plus high-tech components like factory GPS, instrument clusters, gauges, and sensors.
- Motorcycle and ATV: Motorcycle and ATV owners can choose between either Platinum- or Silver-level plans for their vehicles.
When we break it down, CarShield actually only offers four main plans for standard cars: Diamond through Silver. The last two plans wouldn’t necessarily apply for most drivers. However, CarShield offers multiple contracts within these plans, including a month-to-month option for each plan. That’s one of the reasons CarShield reviews well.
Let’s talk about the Diamond plan first because it’s the highest coverage level, similar to a factory warranty. It’s an exclusionary contract, so it only lists exclusions to define coverage. Overall, the exclusions for this plan are fairly standard and mostly fall into categories like cosmetic items or wear items. Here are a few examples:
- Sheet metal
- Weather stripping
- Spark plugs and wires
The extended warranty plan will also cover a single repair for certain high-tech items like the LCD screen, rearview backup camera, and convertible top motors.
Beyond CarShield Diamond coverage, each contract only covers the parts written down. All contracts share some common exclusions, such as:
- Damage from lack of maintenance
- Damage from environmental events or accidents
- Wear items and standard maintenance
- Pre-existing conditions
- External nuts, bolts, or fasteners
- Damage from a non-covered part
Extended car warranties don’t cover pre-existing conditions. That’s why CarShield’s waiting period is 30 days and 1,000 miles. The company doesn’t want to pay for issues that existed prior to a contract, which makes sense.
All CarShield plans–except ATV contracts–come with roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption reimbursement. The ATV contracts only come with roadside assistance. Here are the details:
- Roadside assistance: CarShield provides up to $75 per occurrence and $400 total for the life of the contract for towing, spare tire installation, lockout service, fuel delivery, battery jump-starts, and winching.
- Rental car reimbursement: CarShield will reimburse you up to $40 per day ($160 per occurrence) for rental car expenses in the case of a covered repair.
- Trip interruption reimbursement: CarShield will reimburse you up to $50 per day ($150 per occurrence) for food and lodging if you experience a breakdown more than 100 miles from home.
CarShield is an affordable provider, as many CarShield reviews attest. We also found affordable rates compared to other providers in our research, and we named CarShield Best Budget Warranty for those reasons.
We’ll cover some example quotes, but it’s important to know that car warranty prices are dependent on your situation. Your car’s make, model, year, and mileage all affect the price. Prices can also vary between states because of regulations in different markets.
Here’s a couple of CarShield quotes we received:
Vehicle: Honda Civic
- CarShield warranty: New Car Diamond
- Term length: 5 years/70,000 miles
- Monthly payment: $89 for 18 months
- Down payment: $295
- Deductible: $100
Vehicle: Subaru Outback
- CarShield warranty: Gold
- Term length: Variable
- Monthly payment: $90 monthly
- Down payment: First payment
- Deductible: $100
These monthly prices are pretty affordable. On average, extended warranties can cost between $50 and $155 per month, so $90 is a good price. CarShield can cost a bit less than that on average. If you find a coverage plan with CarShield that looks good to you, we think the company is worth the money.
It’s a painless process to buy an extended warranty from CarShield. You just need to provide your car’s make, model, and mileage, as well as some contact information. When we called for a quote, our team was only on hold for about a minute. The whole phone call took about 10 minutes.
The CarShield claims process is easy since the company pays the repair shop directly. However, if the repair is extensive, you might have to wait for an inspection for CarShield to verify coverage. You also might have to authorize a diagnosis, and CarShield won’t cover the diagnosis if the repair isn’t covered.
Some CarShield reviews talk about the company not paying for repairs. It’s important to read the contract thoroughly and understand exactly what’s covered. For example, damage from overheating isn’t covered. So, if an engine component that is normally covered was damaged from overheating, CarShield won’t pay for the repair.
And remember that rental car reimbursement is just that–reimbursement. You’ll have to pay for a rental up front and submit receipts later, unless you get the repair at a dealership that also provides rental cars.
CarShield extended warranty plans can be transferred to secondary buyers with a $50 fee. You can’t transfer the contract from one of your own vehicles to another, but you can get in touch with customer service to change coverage when you replace your car with a new one.
You can cancel a CarShield contract within 30 days for a full refund, as long as you haven’t used it for any auto repairs. After that period, you can cancel coverage for a prorated refund based on time and mileage.
CarShield is the most popular provider we’ve reviewed. There are over 2,800 CarShield reviews on Google and over 9,500 on Trustpilot. The CarShield reviews on Google give the company 4.2 stars overall, and reviews on Trustpilot give it 4.0 stars. We’ll go over some example reviews here.
“CarShield lived up to their end of the deal when I had trouble with my Chrysler 300. They had it towed to a shop. They provided a rental. CarShield paid the repair bill. Everything I could ask.” – Paul E., BBB
In addition to this CarShield review, many others mention pleasant and helpful service during a claim. Many drivers also talk about helpful staff when they went to get a quote and purchase a plan.
“I was informed that the cam gear bolts caused damage to the cam cradle and metal throughout the engine. To be informed that you will not cover “fastening hardware” is ridiculous. I find this unacceptable because it’s a part of the unit. I’m highly disappointed with this warranty!” – Diane B., BBB
This CarShield review brings up a common problem with all extended warranty companies: The driver expected a repair to be covered when it wasn’t. CarShield’s sample contracts state that the company doesn’t cover fastening bolts. Because of that, any damage caused by bolts isn’t covered, either.
But the problem here might be that the driver didn’t get time to read over the contract thoroughly. In other negative CarShield reviews, customers mention pushy salespeople who try to have callers buy a plan over the phone on the first contact. The sales staff might not go through every exclusion over the phone, either.
Still, CarShield has the 30-day guarantee period. It’s important to take that time to read the whole contract and understand what’s covered.
At the end of the day, we think CarShield is definitely worth the money. The important thing is to understand exactly what’s covered under the contract. If you feel comfortable with the terms of the warranty, there won’t be any surprises waiting for you later on.
- Reputation: 4.0
- Coverage: 5.0
- Price: 5.0
- Customer Experience: 4.5
Even if you find a very attractive price from CarShield, you should probably check out a couple of other options at the same time. Different companies have different criteria for determining what cars can get what plans, too.
In our research, we’ve found Endurance and CARCHEX to be great options. Both companies offer plenty of coverage choices and allow drivers to visit any ASE-Certified® repair facility.
Endurance has been around for 14 years. The company is a direct provider, so it administers all of its contracts. Endurance offers five plans, including a bumper-to-bumper option. In addition, all plans come with a host of perks for the first year including roadside assistance, tire repair, personal assistant services, and shopping benefits.
To get a quote from Endurance, call 855-258-0580 or use the tool below.
We think CARCHEX is the best option for older vehicles because it can cover up to 250,000 miles. CARCHEX has also been around for a while (21 years), and is endorsed by industry leaders like Edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book, and CARFAX.
To get a quote from CARCHEX, call 866-254-0205 or use the tool below.