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Carshield vs Carchex

Illustration for article titled Carshield vs Carchex
Photo: Photographee.eu

Extended auto warranties can help cover repair costs, but there are so many providers on the market. To help you in your search, we’re comparing two leading providers head-to-head: CarShield vs. CARCHEX.

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Vehicle service contracts, also called extended warranties, come in many varieties. Some are similar to your car’s factory warranty, while others cover just the basics and nothing more.

We’ve reviewed a number of the best extended car warranty companies and rated CarShield and CARCHEX at the top of the class. Both of them are great choices, so take a few minutes and get a quote from each to compare your options.

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You can get a free quote from CarShield or CARCHEX by checking out the tool below.

In This Review:

CarShield Vs. CARCHEX Comparison

We know you might not have time to read article after article on extended warranty companies. Take a look at this quick comparison to get a feel for the main differences and similarities between CarShield vs. CARCHEX.

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CarShield:

  • Years in business: 15
  • BBB grade: F
  • BBB customer review rating: 2.0 stars
  • Deductible: $0, $50, or $100
  • Coverage levels: 6
  • Rental reimbursement: $40 per day ($160 per occurrence)
  • Towing reimbursement: $75
  • Extra benefits: Roadside assistance, fuel delivery, lockout, spare tire, jump-starts, trip interruption
  • Waiting period: 30 days and 1,000 miles
  • Cancellation period: Full refund within 30 days

CARCHEX:

  • Years in business: 21
  • BBB grade: A+
  • BBB customer review rating: 1.5 stars
  • Deductible: $0, $50, $100, or $200
  • Coverage levels: 5
  • Rental reimbursement: $35 to $40 per day (varies by contract)
  • Towing reimbursement: $75
  • Extra benefits: Roadside assistance, fuel delivery, lockout, spare tire, jump-starts, trip interruption
  • Waiting period: 30 days and 1,000 miles
  • Cancellation period: Full refund within 30 days

If things look eerily similar, you aren’t seeing double. The two companies match each other on a number of points. For many drivers, it comes down to details between coverage options and the type of quotes that each company provides.

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One last thing when comparing CarShield vs. CARCHEX: If you live in California, CARCHEX is the one for you (CarShield doesn’t offer plans in the Golden State).

Digging Deeper: CarShield

CarShield has been around for 15 years, which is a fairly long time in the world of extended warranties. It’s longevity says the company can handle resources well and pay out for the auto repairs that it covers under contract.

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CarShield has been featured on ESPN, TBS, CNN, and HGTV, among others. Out of all the providers we’ve researched, CarShield has the highest number of reviews on Trustpilot and Google. We also named it the Best Budget Warranty when we compared quotes between companies.

Here are a few things to consider when comparing CarShield vs. CARCHEX:

CarShield Pros:

  • Affordable coverage
  • Wide range of coverage options
  • Pays repair shop directly
  • Roadside assistance with all plans

CarShield Cons:

  • Rental reimbursement not offered with all plans
  • Hybrid vehicles not covered

Coverage

CarShield can cover vehicles with up to 200,000 miles on the odometer depending on the plan. With cars lasting longer and repairs increasing with age, that’s a good amount of coverage to have.

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Drivers can go to any licensed repair shop in the U.S. or Canada, including dealerships. There are six main plans to choose from:

  • New Car Diamond: This plan is similar to a new car warranty. It covers any part of the car unless it’s excluded by the contract, and it’s the best option for cars with low mileage.
  • Platinum: This plan covers hundreds of parts for most major systems of the car. It includes the powertrain, electrical, steering, air conditioning, turbocharger, high-tech components, and more.
  • Gold: This mid-level plan is a good option for cars with higher mileage and includes the powertrain, turbocharger, cooling, fuel system, air conditioning, transfer unit, and basic electrical.
  • Silver: This basic powertrain plan includes coverage for the engine, transmission, turbocharger, cooling system, and drive axle.
  • Aluminum: This CarShield plan is made for high-tech vehicles. It covers some basic systems like cooling and fuel delivery. It also covers additional high-tech and audio components and comes with options to increase coverage further.
  • ATV and Motorcycle: CarShield gives ATV and motorcycle owners a choice between Platinum or Silver coverage plans.
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CarShield covers any repairs due to a mechanical breakdown or failure. The provider won’t replace a part that has worn over time but isn’t broken, unless it’s a critical part that has worn beyond manufacturer tolerances.

Always read the list of excluded parts and circumstances on the contract carefully. Here are a few common exclusions:

  • Wear and tear
  • Maintenance
  • Cosmetic items
  • Unauthorized repairs
  • Damage from lack of maintenance
  • Damage from accidents or environmental events

If you want a plan that includes maintenance, you’ll have to look for a prepaid service plan from another provider.

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Price

Out of the quotes we received from different providers, CarShield was the cheapest. That’s one thing CarShield definitely has over CARCHEX. But before we share those numbers, you should know that quotes can vary significantly between vehicles and drivers. Prices are based on make, model, and mileage, plus variations in state regulations.

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We received two quotes from CarShield, one for a Honda Civic with 30,000 miles and another for a Subaru with 88,000 miles. Here’s what we found:

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

In our research, we found extended warranties cost about $480 per year of coverage on average. The New Car Diamond plan from CarShield costs about $340 per year, which is a good price.

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Again, these prices might not apply to you. The best thing to do is get multiple quotes to find a low price. Even if you don’t find prices quite this low, we think CarShield is a great company and is worth the cost for coverage.

Reputation

CarShield doesn’t have a great rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, the company’s marketing tactics are the main reason for the official rating from the BBB. It has used aggressive mailers that appear to be from a manufacturer and not a third-party. While that’s not the most ethical thing to do, CarShield is hardly the only guilty company.

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Customer Experience

When looking at customer reviews from other sources, CarShield fares much better. For example, more than 2,800 reviewers on Google give the company 4.1 stars overall, and more than 9,700 reviews on Trustpilot give the company 4.2 stars.

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Positive reviews talk about helpful staff and CarShield claims being honored. The company has a number of complaints on the BBB, but when you consider the total number of customers, those complaints only account for a small fraction. Overall, most people have positive experiences with CarShield.

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Digging Deeper: CARCHEX

CARCHEX is one of the longest-running extended warranty companies and has been around for 21 years. The company is endorsed by auto industry leaders like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com, and CARFAX. Over the years, it has paid out millions in claims. CARCHEX also provides coverage in California.

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To help you better compare CarShield vs. CARCHEX, here are a few things to keep in mind:

CARCHEX Pros:

  • Can cover up to 250,000 miles
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Choice of any licensed shop
  • Five coverage plans

CARCHEX Cons:

  • Doesn’t cover exotic vehicles
  • No coverage for ATVs or motorcycles

Coverage

CARCHEX covers vehicles in a similar way to CarShield. There needs to be a mechanical breakdown or failure for coverage to kick in, and CARCHEX shares many of the same exclusions.

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Here are the company’s five coverage plans:

  • Titanium: This is CARCHEX’s bumper-to-bumper extended car warranty. It covers almost any mechanical or electrical part unless the part is specifically excluded.
  • Platinum: This is the highest level of stated-component coverage. It covers many parts on all major systems of the vehicle, including audio, high-tech, brakes, and suspension.
  • Gold: This mid-level plan covers parts on 13 systems of the vehicle including the suspension, air conditioning, and steering.
  • Silver: This enhanced powertrain plan covers nine systems, including the electrical, air conditioning, and fuel systems.
  • Bronze: Under this plan, CARCHEX covers the basic powertrain consisting of the engine, transmission, cooling system, transfer unit, and drive axle.
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The highest mileage covered is 250,000, and plans can cover some vehicles up to 20 years old. Because of this, we recognized CARCHEX for having the best coverage for older vehicles.

CARCHEX also lets drivers go to any licensed repair facility for coverage. Some companies restrict the network of available repair shops, so this is an important thing to note when you’re comparing CarShield vs. CARCHEX.

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CARCHEX exclusions are pretty similar to the CarShield exclusions listed above. There may be slight differences, so it’s always a good idea to consult sample contracts online for each company.

Price

One thing we like about CARCHEX is its Low-Price, No-Haggle Everyday Guarantee™. It means the price you’re quoted is the lowest price available.

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While some people might like to negotiate prices, it can actually be nice knowing you’re looking at the lowest price from the start. Some other companies won’t offer discounts unless you specifically ask for them or show lower quotes from other companies, and that can be a hassle.

We received a few quotes from CARCHEX for the same vehicles. The same rules apply here as earlier–make, model, and mileage all influence price.

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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

Similar to CarShield, the bumper-to-bumper plan from CARCHEX (Titanium) also had an affordable price of $368 per year of coverage.

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Reputation

Overall, CARCHEX gets good ratings from industry leaders. It has an A+ rating from the BBB with accreditation and has worked with the BBB whenever issues came up. It has a reputation for being a reliable extended car warranty company with many happy customers. That’s one of its selling points when comparing CarShield vs. CARCHEX.

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Customer Experience

Customer reviews with the BBB give CARCHEX 2.0 stars overall, and about 1,300 customers give the company 3.6 stars on Trustpilot. Reviews say the customer service representatives are kind and personable, and that they explain every part of the warranty during the quotes process.

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Some negative reviews are from people who were caught off-guard by certain repairs being denied coverage. You can reduce the likelihood of this happening by reading the contract thoroughly and asking for help in understanding each part.

CARCHEX and CarShield both have 30-day guarantees, so make the most of that time to understand the coverage. The vast majority of CARCHEX reviews are positive, so you shouldn’t have any problems if you understand the contract.

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Bottom Line: CarShield Vs. CARCHEX

At the end of the day, both of these providers would be a good choice for peace of mind for repairs. Between CarShield vs. CARCHEX, it comes down to the details. Here’s a quick recap:

  • CarShield doesn’t cover vehicles in California.
  • CARCHEX has five plans, and CarShield offers six.
  • CarShield covers up to 200,000 miles, while CARCHEX covers up to 250,000.
  • CARCHEX is best for high-mileage vehicles, and CarShield is best for affordable payment plans.
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So, which should you choose? Well, considering it only takes a few minutes to get a quote, we think you should get a quote from each of them. That way, you can compare which specific plans and monthly payments are available for your vehicle. We found CarShield and CARCHEX both to be top providers in our research, so you can’t go wrong with either of them.

CarShield:

  • Overall Rating: 4.5
  • Coverage: 5.0
  • Price: 5.0
  • Reputation: 4.0
  • Customer Experience: 4.5

CARCHEX:

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

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