Extended auto warranties safeguard against unexpected, costly repairs. If you’re in the market for a new or used car, chances are you’ll be asked if you want an extended auto warranty. Our partners at Consumer Affairs researched the best extended auto warranty in Detroit to protect your vehicle from Michigan’s rough roads.
How to choose an extended auto warranty in Detroit
The decision to buy an extended auto warranty comes down to your comfort with potentially major repair costs down the road.
Cheaper than a breakdown
You might never need it
Won’t cover all repairs
Peace of mind
Could require in-network repairs
First, research J.D. Power reports for your car’s reliability ratings. It makes more sense to buy an extended auto warranty if the car you’re eyeing lacks mechanical or electronic reliability.
The area you live in also makes a difference. We spend an average of $538 per year on car repairs caused by poor road conditions, such as potholes, according to the Detroit Regional Chamber. Michigan ranks dead last in the country in infrastructure spending per capita. We’ve been at or near the bottom since 1992 and spend almost twice as little as the average of our neighboring states.
It’s not just blown tires and cracked rims that you have to worry about. Potholes cause hidden damage to engines and steering columns. The result of such malfunctions is both dangerous and expensive. The state offers some recourse. Residents can submit a claim for damages with MDOT, but the likelihood of being reimbursed is slim.
Given the condition of our roads, it makes sense for Detroiters to consider an extended auto warranty, especially if you’re eyeing a low profile ride.
There are two types of extended auto warranties: OEMs and aftermarket warranties. Both cover repairs for a set amount of time and/or miles. OEMs are offered by the car maker. Aftermarket warranties are available through third party companies.
What it actually covers
Bumper to bumper
Everything not specifically listed in the warranty
Only what is specifically listed in the warranty
OEMs are usually rolled into the purchase price of a new car, but are often available for lightly-used cars at manufacturer dealerships.
Aftermarket warranties cover new, used and existing vehicles with fewer than 100,000 miles. Unless you are buying from the manufacturer, they’re probably your only option. The good news is these warranties cost significantly less than OEMs. The bad news is you’ll have to read the fine print.
Individual policies vary significantly in coverage exclusions and restrictions, service limitations, repair requirements and deductibles. Coverage usually doesn’t include standard maintenance, batteries, tires or incidents related to an accident.
Cost is dependent on each of the above factors and more:
Length/miles of coverage
A good rule of thumb is to opt for exclusion warranties (as opposed to inclusion warranties) if possible. Exclusion warranties list everything that’s not covered by the warranty. If it’s not listed, it’s covered.
Inclusion warranties cover only what’s included in the warranty. This often won’t include parts that require replacement or adjustment with service of common systems.
This list of providers is the next step in choosing the best extended auto warranty in Detroit.
Headquartered north of Chicago, Endurance has an ‘A’ rating with the Better Business Bureau. They offer four levels of coverage called Select, Secure, Superior and Supreme. Many customer reviews in Detroit find the plans to be affordable and one appreciated their way of communicating with the hearing impaired.
CARCHEX has a Direct Instant Quoting System, an interactive means of visually explaining their programs while speaking on the phone with a member of their sales or support teams. Online customer reviews say they have good customer service and that reps are knowledgeable about the plans offered.
CarShield stands out for providing flexible mechanic choices, courtesy towing, flexible payment plans, 24/7 roadside assistance and rental car services. Getting coverage is as easy as requesting a free quote, personalizing your inclusions and picking the right plan.
Infinite Auto Protection offers three extended auto warranty plans. Each comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Customers like being able to take their vehicles to any dealership or certified repair shop and say Infinite Auto Protection has an efficient claims process and low deductible.