When you’re buying a car, one way to avoid potentially expensive repair bills is to investigate vehicle service contracts (VSCs). Colloquially known as extended warranties, vehicle service contracts protect you against mechanical breakdowns caused by manufacturer defects. Instead of a repair bill, all you might have to pay is a relatively small deductible.
While we think that VSCs can be a great option to minimize risk, we recommend researching them extensively to ensure they make sense for you. This typically means that you’ll need to consider your personal risk tolerance, along with the average cost of repairs for your vehicle, to know whether a VSC is a worthwhile purchase.
Today, we’re going to take a look at two companies that offer extended warranties: Your Auto Advocate and CarShield. In this post, we’ll go over who these companies are, what their VSCs cover, and showcase some customer reviews.
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 going.
Your Auto Advocate vs. CarShield: An Overview of each Company
Understanding some basic information about a company can help you to get a feel for how they operate. It also paints a picture of how they might treat you if you become a customer.
Your Auto Advocate and AUL Corporation
Your Auto Advocate was founded in 2020. We specialize in providing a number of solutions to our members to help them secure a great deal on a new car. As a part of our comprehensive tools for car buyers, we also offer vehicle service contracts through our partner company, AUL.
We interviewed many different extended warranty administrators in advance of deciding to work with AUL Corporation. There are a lot of “fly by night” companies out there, and AUL is not one of them.
AUL Corporation has been in business for 31 years. They are fully accredited with the BBB and have an A+ rating. Their BBB rating is 4 out of 5 based on 54 customer reviews, with corporate headquarters in Napa, California.
The reason we chose to work with AUL Corporation is because of their track record in the industry, commitment to customer service, and quality vehicle service contracts.
CarShield has been in business for 16 years. They operate out of Missouri. They are not accredited with the BBB and they currently have an F rating through the service. Their customer rating is 1.45 out of a possible 5.
Instead of managing the plans that they sell directly, CarShield sells plans that are managed by third-party companies. At the time of purchase, CarSheild fully discloses which company sells the plan that you’re buying.
Your Auto Advocate vs. CarShield: What Do the Vehicle Service Contracts Cover?
You need to consider two factors when deciding which VSC to purchase: Coverage and cost.
As we went over in our guide to vehicle service contracts, the cost of a VSC is based on your VIN and the mileage of your vehicle. As such, your cost and quote may be quite different from the quotes that other consumers receive for their vehicle.
You’ll need to request quotes from any prospective company to compare prices. Keep in mind that you may be able to use quotes to negotiate offers from other companies.
Your Auto Advocate promises to always be transparent in our pricing. Currently, our pricing model charges a flat $500 markup on every VSC we sell. If we are required to change our pricing in the future, we will always provide a reason for the change. Our priority is transparency, so we encourage potential customers to reach out if they have any questions.
Your Auto Advocate Coverage
Your Auto Advocate’s VSCs are administered by AUL Corporation and are insured by American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida. We interviewed many different VSC administrators in advance of deciding to work with AUL Corporation.
AUL offers a comprehensive selection of coverage options under the umbrella of 15 different plans. These plans range from exclusionary coverage that will cover almost everything on your vehicle to stated coverages that are more hyper specific, along with some customizable levels of coverage.
Here at Your Auto Advocate we sell AUL’s Sentinel brand of products. There are four coverage options we are able to provide:
- Supreme Plus
Supreme Plus is the highest level of coverage that most closely mimics a manufacturer’s new car warranty. Supreme, Premier, and Powertrain are all stated coverages that are more limited in scope. In the spirit of transparency, you can view a sample contract as well as a breakdown of specifically what is and isn’t covered by each level of coverage by logging into your Your Auto Advocate account.
Take note that there is no coverage for issues that relate to abuse, misuse, or neglect. VSCs are intended to protect you from manufacturer defects, not other forms of breakdowns, like forgetting to change your oil or getting into a car accident.
All of the plans from AUL come with a few notable perks, including:
- 24/7 roadside assistance with towing
- Trip interruption coverage of up to $100 per day for up to 3 days
- Rental car reimbursement
Please note that our VSCs are not currently available to customers in California, Florida, or Massachusetts.
Customers will be able to choose any repair shop that has been certified by ASE or AAA. This includes any local dealerships. Covered repairs will be paid directly to the repair shop. However, repairs must have prior authorization before they begin, and because AUL has long standing relationships with dealers, a service advisor will handle this on your behalf.
A deductible may be applied, depending on the type of plan you choose. As with any VSC, you should be fully aware of the deductible before you sign the contract.
As mentioned above, CarShield’s VSCs are managed by a third-party company. CarShield has arranged all of its plans into six categories, with one of those categories including plans for motorcycles and ATVs. Of the five categories that pertain to cars, coverage ranges from simple powertrain coverage to exclusionary coverage.
Currently, CarShield makes sample contracts available for three policies in each tier. You may view the sample contracts of these policies on their website.
Just like the plans from Your Auto Advocate, there is no coverage for issues related to neglect, abuse, or misuse. Only issues related to any manufacturer’s defects will be covered.
Repairs may be completed at any repair facility that is ASE or AAA-certified. Repairs must be authorized before they begin and they will be paid for directly by the administrator of the VSC.
Some of their plans may come with added benefits, but CarShield does not highlight these benefits on their website. You’ll need to review the contract that they give you to determine if there are any additional benefits available.
Your Auto Advocate vs. CarShield: Exploring Customer Reviews
How can you tell what kind of treatment you might get while filing a claim if you become a customer of one of these companies? One of the best ways to find out is to read customer reviews.
Your Auto Advocate Customer Reviews
When you look at reviews of Your Auto Advocate, many of them surround the solutions that we provide to our members or discuss on our YouTube channel instead of mentioning our VSCs. Because of this, instead of going over Your Auto Advocate reviews, we will highlight AUL customer reviews. Because AUL is managing the VSC, we believe that highlighting their reviews is more pertinent.
Below are some of the reviews that we believe summarize the opinions of the average AUL customers .
Jeff S., 5-star review, BBB site
“Everyone is so nice and listens. I am glad I bought an AUL plan on my Silverado, as things just happen when you least expect them to. Had no issues getting claims paid. It was like money in the bank and no wait for payments. The shop said, ‘You can leave now. It’s taken care of and paid by AUL.’”
Agnes H., 5-star review, BBB site
“I have worked with AUL for over 9 years. They have been professional in all of our communications and proactive in their planning. I highly recommend them as they are a fantastic partner.”
Scott S., 5-star review, BBB site
“Always are quick to answer (no robocalls or operators) and they are understanding of our needs and quickly connect us to the department that I need to speak with. They are a top-notch provider and emphasize customer service as their number one priority.”
CarShield Customer Reviews
CarShield has an F rating with the BBB, due to misleading and confusing advertising practices. Furthermore, CarShield has a current customer rating 1.45 rating out of 5. This rating is composed from a total of 887 customer reviews.
Let’s highlight a few reviews that seem to show the common themes across most of the reviews.
Brian M., 1-star review, BBB site
“Shady business tactics. A salesperson said I could sign up and cancel any time within 30 days for any reason. I went ahead and signed up. I changed my mind 3 days later and called to cancel. They tried to pressure me into staying. I kept saying no. They said they would cancel my policy. Next, I received an email saying I needed to send a letter to request my policy cancellation. I called back and was told I could send an email instead. I sent the email requesting to cancel my policy and received a reply telling me to call customer service. If they are this lousy about keeping their 30-day money-back guarantee, imaging trying to get them to pay a claim. “
D.C., 1-star review, BBB site
“Bought Diamond Plan. Adaptive cruise control went out. They would not cover anything. One rep said it involved the headlight harness so it was not covered; another said they did not cover cruise control.”
“I started using CarShield 6 months ago, and when I went in 3 weeks ago to get the air conditioner fixed….and it was going to cost about $1,000 — CarShield denied my claim because a little hole was not included in the warranty. I had to pay the mechanic $200 to diagnose the problem before he called CarShield and then they said it wasn’t covered! Since this happened, I’ve read other bad things about them…. I’ve paid them $79 a month for 5 months as the monthly charge and was out the $200 for the diagnosis and they will not give me a refund! Not even for the $79 they took out on Sept. 4th. They have never put out any money on my car so they get an extra $395 that was free to them… it’s not right.”
The Battle of Your Auto Advocate vs. CarShield: Who Do We Recommend?
It might come as no surprise that we recommend using the services of AUL via Your Auto Advocate. They have excellent reviews and an A+ rating, while CarShield’s reviews and ratings leave much to be desired.
We decided to work with AUL thanks to their great customer service, reasonable cost, and excellent plans. Still not sure if a VSC is right for you? Give us a call! 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.