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Published: Mar 27, 2023 14 min read
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An extended car warranty is an optional insurance policy that you can buy to cover specific vehicle components and repair costs. This policy replaces or supplements the warranty coverage from your car's manufacturer.

Keep in mind that a car warranty isn't the same thing as auto insurance. Auto insurance is a contract between you and an auto insurance company that protects you from financial loss if you experience an accident or theft. You pay a premium, and in exchange, the insurance company pays out claims as outlined in your policy.

CARCHEX is one of the most well-known warranty companies and has provided independent warranties for over 20 years. CARCHEX is a broker, so while it offers warranties that carry the CARCHEX name, it also offers warranties from other companies.

This CARCHEX warranty review looks at the company’s extended warranty coverage, reviews from users, CARCHEX plans and pricing so you can see how it compares with its competitors.

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Best for customer service

CARCHEX customer service ratings are high on third-party consumer review websites. Additionally, respected organizations like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, RepairPal and CARFAX endorse and partner with CARCHEX. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has accredited CARCHEX and given it an A+ rating.

Keep reading to learn more about why CARCHEX customer service stands out, plus other pros and cons of the company.

CARCHEX extended car warranty pros and cons

Pros
  • Wide variety of benefits
  • Excellent customer service
  • Extensive range of repair shop options
Cons
  • Doesn't cover maintenance
  • No levels of coverage for motorcycles or RVs
  • Not many coverage levels for most luxury cars

Pros explained

Wide variety of benefits

CARCHEX has five different coverage levels, each with several plan options. This allows you to customize your coverage to exactly what you need. CARCHEX plans come with the following benefits:

  • Rental vehicle reimbursement: If your vehicle is under repair at a licensed repair facility, CARCHEX reimburses up to $40 per day or up to $320. Some of its contracts cover a rental car for $35 for five days.
  • 24/7 roadside assistance: This includes emergency gas delivery of up to $50, battery jump-starts of up to $50, and key lockout service by a locksmith of up to $50. (The latter excludes the cost of replacement keys.)
  • Trip interruption: If you're over 100 miles away from home and your vehicle needs to be kept overnight at a repair facility, CARCHEX covers up to $100 per day for food and lodging for up to three days.
  • Towing: If you have a covered breakdown, CARCHEX will provide towing and wrecker service for up to $100 through Quest Towing Services to the closest qualified repair shop.

Excellent customer service

CARCHEX offers 24-hour support via multiple channels, including email, telephone and live chat, ensuring that you can get help on things like repairs and claims at any time.

CARCHEX is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. Since the BBB's ratings take into account the number of complaints filed with the BBB against a business and whether the business responds to and resolves complaints, an A+ BBB rating indicates a high level of customer service.

Wide range of repair shop options

CARCHEX has partnerships with over 30,000 repair facilities around the country, giving you a range of choices to get your car repaired. You can use a CARCHEX Vehicle Protection Plan at any licensed repair facility in the U.S.

Repair facilities include national chains such as Pep Boys, Goodyear and Firestone, as well as independent repair facilities and dealers.

Cons explained

Maintenance is not covered

CARCHEX doesn't cover routine maintenance like oil changes or scheduled maintenance items like transmission fluid. It also doesn't cover damage from lack of maintenance, so it's essential to keep all your maintenance records if you purchase an extended car warranty.

Note that most extended car warranty companies don't typically cover routine maintenance.

No levels of coverage for motorcycles or RVs

While CARCHEX has many coverage options, it lacks plans and add-on options for motorcycles and RVs. Owners of these vehicles should check options with another extended warranty company.

Not many coverage levels for most luxury cars

CARCHEX warranties don't have many options for luxury car owners. If you want to cover your luxury vehicle's parts, your best bet is to purchase the highest-priced Titanium plan, which we explain below. Otherwise, your parts and electronics may not be eligible for a claim.

Note that CARCHEX plans don't cover exotic cars and some brands, including Bentley, Lamborghini and Porsche.

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CARCHEX extended car warranty plans and offerings

Extended warranties don’t cover all repairs and parts, but they may cover specific mechanical and electrical components that the factory warranty does not. Although it's not guaranteed, new cars typically come with manufacturer warranties that cover repairs for a minimum of three years or 36,000 miles. An extended car warranty supplements a manufacturer’s warranty or covers your vehicle after the manufacturer's warranty expires.

CARCHEX offers a wide variety of plans and options. We cover the essentials of each plan below. However, to choose the one that's best for you, we recommend speaking to someone from the company’s coverage team who will help match you with the right combination of options.

There are a few things to note about each CARCHEX plan:

  • CARCHEX is an extended warranty broker, so it markets and sells vehicle service contracts for third-party warranty providers in addition to CARCHEX-branded warranties.
  • There are sample contracts for every plan on CARCHEX’s coverage options page.
  • CARCHEX plans cover vehicles with up to 250,000 miles on their odometer.
  • Some CARCHEX plans have a $0 deductible, but you can also choose a $50, $100 or $200 deductible. Generally speaking, the higher the deductible, the lower your warranty payments will be.

Bronze plan

CARCHEX's bronze plans offer coverage for your vehicle's major systems. Bronze plans cover the engine, front and rear axle, transmission (automatic or standard) and transfer case.

Bronze coverage includes the following plans:

  • American Auto Shield: Up to six years of coverage
  • CARCHEX Care by Royal: Up to five years of coverage
  • Zurich: Up to seven years of coverage

Silver plan

CARCHEX’s silver plans cover everything in the bronze plans plus electrical systems, air conditioning and the steering system. Silver coverage has four plans to choose from:

  • American Auto Shield: Up to six years of coverage
  • CARCHEX Care by Royal: Up to seven years of coverage
  • Royal Administration Services: Up to six years of coverage
  • Zurich: Paid on monthly terms

Gold plan

CARCHEX's gold plans cover everything included in the bronze and silver plans, plus brakes, suspension, seals and gaskets, wear and tear and factory navigation. Gold coverage includes the following plans:

  • American Auto Shield: Up to five years of coverage
  • CARCHEX Care by Royal: Up to seven years of coverage
  • Royal Administration Services: Up to 10 years of coverage
  • Zurich: Up to seven years of coverage

Platinum plan

CARCHEX's platinum plans offer everything in the Bronze, Silver and Gold plans, plus the cooling system, fuel system and high-tech components like blind-spot monitors, autonomous cruise control systems and infrared systems. The specific high-tech components covered vary among plans.

With platinum coverage, you have four plans to choose from:

  • American Auto Shield: Up to five years of coverage
  • CARCHEX Care by Royal: Up to seven years of coverage
  • Royal Administration Services: Up to 10 years of coverage
  • Zurich: Monthly coverage

Titanium plan

CARCHEX's titanium plans offer the most comprehensive coverage and cover everything in the bronze, silver, gold and platinum plans, plus emission components. Titanium coverage includes the following plans:

  • American Auto Shield: Up to seven years of coverage
  • CARCHEX Care by American Auto Shield: Up to seven years of coverage
  • CARCHEX Care by Royal: Up to seven years of coverage
  • Royal Administration Services: Up to 10 years of coverage
  • Zurich: Up to seven years of coverage
  • Zurich (Electric Vehicle): Up to seven years of coverage
  • Allegiance: Up to seven years of coverage

CARCHEX extended car warranty pricing

The cost of your extended car warranty will depend on the coverage you select. CARCHEX frequently offers introductory specials, such as a $400 discount code to use when you sign up. Generally, extended warranty customers pay $500 to $3,000 per year, or $40 to $175 per month.

CARCHEX extended car warranty financial stability

Strong financial stability provides assurance that a warranty company will process your claims. CARCHEX’s warranty contracts are insured by American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida, which Moody's Investors Service has rated as stable.

CARCHEX extended car warranty accessibility

Availability

CARCHEX offers plans in all 50 states and has a network of around 30,000 servicers that you can choose from. You can go to national chains such as Firestone, Pep Boys and Goodyear or search for facilities online.

To find out if you can use a particular repair facility with your CARCHEX warranty, call the repair shop in advance and ask, “Are you AAA approved?” or “Are your technicians ASE certified?”

Contact information

CARCHEX's phone number is 877-227-2439. For general customer service requests, call 888-973-0758. Business hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

User experience

The experience of filing a claim with CARCHEX is fairly straightforward. While customer reviews on trusted third-party sites like the BBB generally indicate that it's easy to get repairs done and file claims, service may vary according to the third party you're dealing with.

Here are the steps to using your warranty:

  • Call a tow company to prevent further damage.
  • Have the tow company take your vehicle to a certified car repair shop in CARCHEX's network.
  • Have the repair shop assess the repair needs on your vehicle.
  • Get the repair shop to contact CARCHEX's claims department to get approval for your repairs.
  • Once the repair shop gets the approval, you pay the deductible and pick up your vehicle after repairs are done.

If you need to follow up on your claim, you'll have to call the third-party warranty company that administers your contract.

  • If your contract starts with ABC, call American Auto Shield at 1-800-531-1925.
  • If your contract starts with SDR1, call American Guardian Warranty Services at 1-800-579-2233.
  • If your contract starts with 801, 802, call Assurant Solutions at 1-866-305-4276.
  • If your contract starts with 9005, call Enterprise Financial Group at 1-800-527-1984.
  • If your contract starts with BAA, call National Administration Services Co. at 1-877-356-1500.
  • If your contract starts with 137, 491, 611, 642, 734, 820, RAD, SAD, call Royal Administration Services at 1-800-871-0467.
  • If your contract starts with CX, call The Warranty Group at 1-800-621-2130.
  • If your contract starts with PV, call Zurich at 1-800-643-9059.

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CARCHEX extended car warranty customer satisfaction

CARCHEX has above-average ratings on multiple online review sites. It's also rated well by multiple auto industry leaders such as CARFAX and Kelley Blue Book.

Additionally, CARCHEX is accredited by the BBB and holds an A+ rating for diligently following up on customer complaints.

Positive reviews frequently mention a positive customer experience, with praise for lack of pushiness from sales reps, quality discounts and transparency about plans and coverage. Frequent complaints mention denied claims and difficulties during the claims process.

CARCHEX extended car warranty FAQ

What does CARCHEX not cover?

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CARCHEX provides no levels of coverage for motorcycles, RVs and most luxury cars. Additionally, its plans exclude cosmetic items, routine maintenance (including oil changes), scheduled maintenance like transmission fluid, damage from lack of maintenance or improper use, car accidents and environmental damages.

How much is CARCHEX per month?

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CARCHEX customizes its pricing to fit your vehicle, its mileage and your coverage needs. CARCHEX's titanium coverage cost will typically be the highest.

The best way to get an exact CARCHEX warranty cost is to complete the online application or call the company for a quote. Plans can be paid with a single payment or via CARCHEX's financing option, which allows for monthly payments.

Is CARCHEX reliable?

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Yes, CARCHEX is reliable and gets high industry reviews. The company has been around for over 20 years, partners with reputable companies in the auto industry and earned an A+ rating from the BBB.

How we evaluated CARCHEX extended car warranty

To evaluate CARCHEX's extended warranty, we looked at four main factors: customer satisfaction, types of vehicle service contracts the company offers, price and how smooth the claims process is. Here are more details:

  • Customer satisfaction: We looked at ratings from trusted industry organizations and CARCHEX reviews across the internet from customers.
  • Vehicle service contracts (plans): We considered whether the company offers adequate coverage in its plans and nice-to-haves like CARCHEX roadside assistance, temporary rental vehicles and towing.
  • Price: We researched warranty costs for CARCHEX’s different plans to see if the cost is worth the benefit.
  • Claims and repairs process: We looked at whether the CARCHEX claims process is straightforward and how much flexibility the company gives you in choosing the certified repair shop you want to go to.

Summary of Money's CARCHEX extended car warranty review

CARCHEX distinguishes itself by providing excellent customer service, offering a wide variety of benefits and receiving high ratings from independent organizations like the BBB.

Remember that a car warranty doesn't cover damage that an accident causes to your vehicle. That's where ensuring you're getting the best possible deal on car insurance comes in.

Look into how much car insurance costs and how to switch car insurance to get the right combination of insurance and extended warranty for your needs.