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Is an Extended Car Warranty Worth It?

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We recently received an inquiry from Romentha asking if we knew anything about CarShield, an extended car warranty company. She had seen their ads and thought that an extended warranty on her car could come in handy. But is CarShield really the answer?

What is—and Isn’t—In a Warranty

Most cars include a warranty in the initial purchase. And even if the warranty is not included in the purchase price, many car buyers purchase the warranties from the dealership. But, eventually, warranties expire, while the looming threat of car repairs only grows. That’s why companies like CarShield and others offer third-party extended warranties. These warranties claim to protect you in case of emergency auto repairs, which could be pretty pricey if you have to pay out of pocket. But not every extended warranty is what it claims to be.

CarShield and the Better Business Bureau

In the case of CarShield, it’s not hard to determine whether their services are what they claim to be. A simple visit to the Better Business Bureau website will tell you all you need to know. CarShield has an F rating from the BBB. They also have a pattern of complaints alleging misleading sales and advertising practices, rude customer service, failure to cover needed repairs, difficulty canceling a policy and obtaining a refund, and that the firm made harassing calls or sent harassing mail solicitations. In short, CarShield seems to be a poor choice for an extended car warranty.

Are there Reliable Warranties?

While TrustDALE cannot specifically recommend any extended car warranties based on our own research, Dale has heard good things about a few companies. These include Endurance, Car Checks, and Ally Flex Coverage. However, it is always important to read the fine print. If a particular repair is not explicitly mentioned in the contract, you should assume it isn’t covered. And even if something is covered, you may have to contribute at least some of the cost of the repairs. Since TrustDALE has not reviewed these companies or any others, we can’t tell you what’s in the fine print, so it’s up to you to be an educated consumer