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A vehicle service contract, also known as an extended warranty, covers your automobile after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. This may happen when the vehicle reaches 60,000 or 100,000 miles, depending on the car make and model. If you drive more than 12,000 miles a year, an extended warranty can cover drive train problems including transmission and major engine repairs.

  • The extended warranty and maintenance contract can come directly from the manufacturer, the dealer or another independent auto service or third party company. The car dealer and manufacturer are anxious to sell you the extended warranty when you purchase the vehicle. There are many available options for you to explore before buying.
  • Consumer Resources explains the types of warranties available and the possible costs, including deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. You will find access to the information necessary for a warranty coverage for the make, model and year of your vehicle.
  • Vehicle manufacturers are developing new engines each year including the hybrids which use more battery and less fuel. The maintenance and repair on hybrids is different from standard gasoline or diesel engines. The extended warranty or service contract must specify certain repairs, parts and maintenance service for each hybrid model. Consumer Resources helps you find the right service contract to cover hybrids.
  • Pickup trucks and service vehicles such as extended vans may have different warranty requirements depending on their usage. Consumer Resources explains the special warranties available for these vehicles.
  • You can purchase a previously owned vehicle and buy an extended warranty and service contract from a dealer, manufacturer or third party company. The warranty is not exclusively for a new car. Some dealers selling used cars will provide a warranty or guarantee for a limited time with the used car purchase.
  • Want to find the best company? Read our independent extended auto warranty companies reviews.

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what you should know about warranties

Extended Auto Warranty Buying Guide

The original factory coverage lasts for a certain amount of miles or years and usually covers any part that is defective due to defective materials or poor workmanship. If you typically keep your vehicle a long time or drive more than 12,000 miles per year, you’ll probably benefit from having extra coverage.

cost of protection policy for trucks, SUVs and sedans

How Much Should an Extended Auto Warranty Cost

Prices may vary wildly depending on the policy provider you select. Learn how different factors affect the price of the premium and how much the coverage plan should cost. It will help you understand how policy providers come up with a premium for your plan.

cost of protection policy for trucks, SUVs and sedans

Understanding Different Types of Protection for Used and New Cars

When you buy a vehicle from a dealership, there’s usually a bunch of paperwork involved. When you go through the paperwork this is when the dealership will offer you extras you can add to your purchase such as credit insurance or extended auto warranties.


What does the policy usually cover?

Consumers are strongly urged to shop around for all service contracts to find the one that covers what each vehicle needs.  Standard items usually covered in a service contract include the turbocharger or supercharger, axle assembly, transmission and wheel assembly. The service warranty may specify how frequently you are required to have standard lubrication and oil changes, tire rotations, wheel alignments and balancing.

Many independent or third party tire or lube services offer contracts. Or you may decide to go with the manufacturer’s warranty service since it is easier to get parts when needed.

Check out all of the Consumer Resources and find the contract that works for you.


Vehicle Service Contracts are often referred to as extended car warranties, but they are not warranties. Vehicle Service Contract protects your car after original factory warranty expires. All covered components are listed in the contract and exclude regular wear and tear items.