There’s a heated debate among car owners about whether it’s worth it to extend a car warranty via a vehicle service contract. A vehicle service contract (VSC) is similar to a manufacturer warranty, except it’s offered by a third-party provider.
We think that buying a VSC is a great idea, as long as you negotiate the price if you’re buying it from a dealer (or better yet, just get it from us with our transparent pricing!).
CarShield and Endurance Warranty are two of the most frequently advertised third-party companies that offer vehicle service contracts. Today, we’re going to compare them by taking a look at the different levels of coverage made available by each company. We’ll examine some background information about each company and take a look at customer reviews. Ultimately we’ll determine which one (if either) we recommend as a good value for you.
Remember, as a Your Auto Advocate member, you can schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation call with us to discuss VSCs. We’ll be happy to walk you through your VSC options. Create a free Your Auto Advocate account to schedule your call today.
Let’s get started.
Endurance Warranty vs. CarShield: Company Background
It’s always worth taking a deeper look into any company that you might do business with. Understanding the way that they operate is important since you want to work with companies that have integrity. For this reason, we’re going to briefly go over the company background for both Endurance Warranty and CarShield.
Endurance Warranty is not a BBB-accredited business. It has a C+ rating with them. The company has been in business for 15 years and they operate out of Illinois. They have a less-than-ideal BBB rating due to some questionable advertising practices that they’ve engaged in. Particularly, they’ve sent out misleading mailers that aimed to confuse and manipulate consumers. For this reason, the BBB has downgraded the rating for Endurance.
Two other things to note: Endurance marketing commonly talks about their plans as being “extended warranties,” similar to the ones given by manufacturers. This is not actually the case, as you’ll find on the footer of their website. It is actually a vehicle service contract.
But Endurance does underwrite most of their plans. This means that they do have the ability to better help customers directly.
CarShield is not a BBB-accredited business and it has an F rating with the service. They have been in business for 16 years and operate out of Missouri. Their poor BBB rating comes from complaints received and deceptive advertising tactics. The BBB believes that CarShield has intentionally manipulated consumers through its advertising tactics.
Like Endurance, CarShield’s marketing often refers to their plans as extended warranties. However, as you may notice on the footer of their website, what they offer are actually VSCs.
Because they are primarily a marketing company, this means that they cannot directly intervene on behalf of their customers.
Endurance Warranty vs. CarShield: Coverage
It’s worth noting that CarShield is a third-party reseller of other vehicle service contracts. This means that you’ll be interacting with CarShield at every step of the process, including when you go to file a claim, but that the VSC will officially be backed by another company.
With Endurance Warranty, all plans are directly provided by Endurance. It’s important to understand this distinction. Carshield is simply a reseller of another insurance company’s products, and Endurance is both the seller and the provider of the product.
Endurance Warranty vs. CarShield: What Is the Same?
Before we dive into the differences between Endurance Warranty and CarShield, let’s discuss what is similar between the two.
The plans sold by both companies will only cover issues related to manufacturers’ defects. There is no coverage for anything wear-and-tear related, such as brake pads, on most of the plans offered by the companies. This is fairly standard in the “extended warranty” world.
There will be no coverage for misuse, abuse, or neglect, such as not having regular oil changes completed or missing routine maintenance. Some instances will call for proving that you had oil changes completed with maintenance records.
What do plans from Endurance Warranty and CarShield cost? Unfortunately, neither company makes their prices publicly available. As discussed when we’ve gone over vehicle service contracts in previous articles, pricing for any given contract will be determined based on VIN and mileage of the car being covered. That means that someone else’s CarShield cost might be much less than yours, based on which car they’re driving.
All plans offered by the companies will allow you to take your vehicle to any auto shop that is certified by the ASE, AAA, or RepairPal. This means that you will have your choice of mechanics. However, you should call ahead to make sure that a mechanic accepts your VSC so that you won’t get stuck with filing the claim, or worse yet, a bill.
Both companies will work directly with the repair shop and pay them directly, meaning that you won’t have to wait for reimbursement.
Endurance Warranty offers six levels of car warranty coverage, while CarShield offers five plan categories. Both companies have plans that range from basic powertrain coverage to advanced bumper-to-bumper plans.
What Does Endurance Warranty Cover?
You can view an Endurance Warranty sample contract on their website. It’s always worth reviewing these sample contracts so that you can understand what is excluded, what’s covered, and any other pertinent details of the agreement.
Here is an overview of the coverage offered by Endurance Warranty:
- Supreme: This is their only exclusionary coverage program, which covers most electrical systems and many mechanical parts
- Superior: This is a named-component coverage plan that has hundreds of parts listed, in addition to everything shown in the Secure Plus plan below
- Secure Plus: Everything in the lower-tier Secure plan is covered, as well as steering, some brake components, and air conditioning
- Secure: This plan covers the engine, drive axle, and transmission
- Select Premiere: This plan covers high-mileage vehicles for most powertrain components
- Endurance Advantage: This selection provides basic coverage, along with maintenance coverage
These plans will only cover mechanical breakdowns that relate to a manufacturer’s defect. There is no coverage for issues that relate to abuse, misuse, or neglect.
What Does CarShield Cover?
You can view a few of CarShield’s sample contracts on their website. These contracts only discuss a handful of the programs available through CarShield, so you’ll need to contact them directly for additional sample contracts beyond the ones available online.
All of the plans that CarShield resells fit into the following categories:
- Diamond: As their only exclusionary program, this plan provides bumper-to-bumper coverage on anything that has not specifically been excluded.
- Platinum: This plan is advertised for high-mileage vehicles and covers most parts and many components
- Gold: Covers everything in the below plans, but adds coverage for the air conditioning, power windows, starter, and alternator
- Silver: This is a standard powertrain warranty that provides coverage for all lubricated parts, plus the transmission, drive axle, and water pump
- Aluminum: This plan has specialized coverage for computer-related parts and nothing else
All of these plans provide coverage for mechanical breakdowns, but they do not cover breakdowns that are related to abuse, misuse, or neglect.
What Perks Do They Offer?
When it comes down to the battle of Endurance Warranty vs. CarShield, how do the perks stack up? Their perks are actually quite similar.
Both companies offer:
- 24/7 roadside assistance with coverage for jump starts, flat tire services, and lockouts
- Towing coverage
- Trip interruption coverage
- Rental car reimbursement
CarShield’s towing coverage comes in the form of a $75 reimbursement, so you will be paying something out of pocket. With Endurance Warranty, towing is free within 25 miles.
When it comes to trip interruption coverage, Endurance Warranty provides up to $150 per day for 3 days, as opposed to CarShield’s offer of $50 per day for 3 days.
Rental car reimbursement offered by CarShield provides coverage of $40 per day for 4 days, while Endurance Warranty offers $30 per day for up to 5 days.
There are three other perks that are exclusive to Endurance Warranty:
- Tire repair and replacement
- Key fob replacement
- Identity theft protection
Each of the above benefits are available with the Endurance Elite Membership, which is included for one year at no extra cost with any Endurance Warranty auto warranty. However, if you sign up for it, you’ll be charged the next year (otherwise you’ll lose the above three benefits). Endurance Warranty does not make it clear how much the Elite Membership costs.
Endurance Warranty wins the battle of the benefits easily against CarShield’s modest benefit package. While this is worth noting, we don’t think that anyone should choose their VSC based on benefits. Coverage and cost are the things that matter much more.
Endurance Warranty vs. CarShield: Customer Reviews
One of the best ways to determine how a company will treat you is to understand how it has treated its past customers. Both CarShield and Endurance Warranty have been in the industry for long enough to acquire quite a few reviews.
We’ve scoured through these reviews to help paint a better picture of who these companies are and how you can expect them to treat you.
Endurance Warranty Customer Reviews
Endurance Warranty has a rating of 3.59 out of 5 stars on the BBB customer review site. This average is based on 1,081 reviews. With so many reviews, we’re assuming that the rating of 3.59 is an accurate representation of their business. Let’s examine some of the reviews.
Yakoya W., five-star review:
“[Everyone] who I spoke with during the entire process was extremely helpful, polite, kind, knowledgeable, and just amazing to me the entire phone call.”
Aubrey P., one-star review:
“Terrible warranty. Will mislead you and leave hanging with the repair bill. I contacted customer service the day before putting my car in the shop. Endurance customer service was very friendly and courteous, but don’t let that initial contact with the process fool you. They even told me my work was covered. The next day, the dealership called to tell me that my claim had been denied. They stated that I was covered for a replacement part, but not the gasket or seals to be replaced or just repaired. I told them that was never offered, nor explained when I was called with a solicitation to buy the Endurance warranty. Do your research. Look at CarShield or other vehicle warranty providers. This company will attempt to get out of paying your repair bill if it is large. They are in business to take advantage of you.”
Scott P., five-star review:
“Great customer service and policy protection; you won’t be disappointed and rates are acceptable.”
Most of the Endurance Warranty reviews follow this general pattern: A few good ones, then a bad one, then a few good ones, and so on. It seems like most of the bad reviews were from people who had their claims denied and had to pay for their repairs themselves.
CarShield Customer Reviews
CarShield has a rating of 1.44 out of 5 stars on the BBB customer review site. This average is based on 862 reviews. We can say that this rating is most likely an accurate representation of CarShield as a company.
Let’s take a look at a few of the CarShield reviews.
LF, one-star review:
“We have had CarShield for over 2 years. When the transmission went out in our truck, we tried very unsuccessfully to get in touch with them. Constantly being told someone will call us back within an hour from claims…never happened. Tried for over a month and a half. Finally got tired of them and canceled them. I feel we were scammed by this company and I feel we should get all of our money back that we paid in. No one ever, ever get involved with CarShield!”
Roosevelt, five-star review:
“It went great. It’s amazing. If I had not had it, it would have cost me over $1,700 for my repair. I have it on my daughter’s vehicles, as well.”
Ed K., one-star review:
“Signed up two of my vehicles with this company and paid over $700 each in monthly payments, only to discover when I needed them and brought my Chrysler into the shop, I was told by the shop I have the worst insurance warranty ever available anywhere because they take forever, which they did. Four days later (with no rental), they denied my claim for needing a new power steering pump and hose that was leaking. And I had the best Platinum policy available. Wow…we learn the hard way. And according to other dealership mechanic shops, they prefer not to service your vehicle under CarShield Warranty.”
This small selection of CarShield reviews captures the tone of most of the reviews that we looked at for CarShield. People were upset that their breakdowns weren’t covered or they were happy that their breakdown was covered. There are a few CarShield reviews about deceptive advertisements, as well. Based on their 1.44 rating, we’re guessing that most people don’t end up with covered repairs.
Endurance Warranty vs. CarShield: Which Extended Warranty Do We Recommend?
It’s not a difficult decision between these two companies. In a head to head comparison, we would recommend Endurance Warranty vs. CarShield.
With the customer and BBB ratings, Endurance Warranty shows that they put more effort into assisting their customers. While there are still complaints about Endurance Warranty, they outstrip CarShield by a long shot.
If you’re thinking about purchasing an extended warranty, we recommend you get a quote from Your Auto Advocate, as well. We even offer free consultation calls to help you determine whether a VSC is right for you. We will always be transparent in our pricing. Our current price model is to charge a flat $500 markup on all our VSCs. Should we be required to change our pricing it will be reflected here and the reasoning behind the change. Schedule a 15-minute consultation call with us. We’ll be happy to walk you through VSC options, even if you don’t choose ours. Create a free Your Auto Advocate account to schedule your call today.