CarShield Review: Cost, Coverage & More (March 2022)

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Car driving down the road
CarShield Extended Warranty Review
In Our Opinion:
In its 16 years of business, CarShield has covered over 1 million vehicles and its administrators have paid out over $1 billion in claims. What makes CarShield such a popular provider? We think it’s the company’s below-average prices and flexible month-to-month coverage plans.
Industry Standing

Coverage

Affordability

Customer Service

Pros
Six plans available, including those for high-tech features and speciality ATVs
Long-term and month-to-month coverage options
Covers some vehicles up to 200,000 miles
Cons
Low rating and warning of complaints from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Not all contracts transferable
Rental car reimbursement not always included

4.5
Most Affordable

CarShield is one of the country’s most popular independent warranty providers, offering drivers month-to-month contracts, flexible protection plans, and a range of deductibles. In our review of the best extended auto warranty companies, we gave CarShield the distinction of Most Affordable. But do CarShield reviews from customers suggest the low-cost option is the best choice?

Below, we delve into CarShield reviews, coverage options, and costs to help you determine whether a CarShield extended warranty may be right for your vehicle.

 

Most Affordable

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(877) 265-5123

Well-known provider that offers great coverage with great pricing

CarShield Highlights

Our research found that CarShield offers a useful range of plans and very reasonably-priced coverage for such a reputable extended car warranty company. That’s why we named it “Most Affordable” among the providers in our study.

CarShield earned a 4.2 out of 5.0-star rating, placing it fourth among all providers. Here’s how that rating breaks down:

  • Industry standing: 3.8
  • Coverage: 4.6
  • Affordability: 4.5
  • Customer Service: 3.6

CarShield Overview

Founded in 2005 and based in St. Peters, Missouri, CarShield is technically a vehicle service contract broker, meaning it offers protection plans administered by other companies such as American Auto Shield, called obligators. This setup gives drivers a wider variety of coverage options and price points. You can even find coverage for ATVs and other alternative vehicles. 

If you have a CarShield vehicle service contract, covered repairs can be made at any dealership or repair facility certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE®). This makes finding an eligible mechanic easy, which is important if you have a breakdown far from home. Many CarShield reviews mentioned how easy it was to use the company’s coverage for repairs.

CarShield also includes perks to help cover the costs of getting you to the nearest repair shop.

CarShield Pros and Cons

CarShield Pros CarShield Cons
  • Makes direct payments to repair shops
  • Coverage can be used at any ASE-certified mechanic
  • High maximum mileage limit of 300,000 miles
  • Not all plans come with rental car reimbursement
  • Relatively high number of negative reviews

CarShield Extended Warranty Costs

When we reached out to CarShield for a quote for a 2018 Toyota Camry with 28,000 miles, the total cost of CarShield’s most comprehensive protection plan was $1,794.04. CarShield is an affordable provider compared to other extended car warranty companies. Our research team conducted a 2021 warranty survey polling 1,000 drivers, and most said they paid $1,500 to $2,500 for their vehicle service contracts.

Note that your extended car warranty costs will vary depending on your situation. Your car’s age, make, model and mileage will all affect how much you pay for coverage.

CarShield Extended Warranty Cost Estimates

We reached out to CarShield for free quotes on a couple vehicles, and the company gave us the following pricing:

Vehicle Type CarShield Warranty Term Length Monthly Payment Deductible
2018 Toyota Camry Diamond 5 years/100,000 miles $83.28 for 18 months $100
2013 Honda Accord Gold Unlimited $99.99 monthly $100

With CarShield, drivers can choose from multiple deductibles, starting at $0. The company also offers monthly payment plans, so you don’t have to worry about being locked into a long-term contract.

CarShield Warranty Coverage Options

What an extended car warranty covers depends on the plan you choose. CarShield offers six coverage plans:

CarShield Warranty Details
Diamond Comparable to a new car’s manufacturer’s warranty, CarShield Diamond coverage is an exclusionary plan. This means all systems and components of your vehicle are included, except for a short list of non-covered parts.
Platinum Good for high-mileage vehicles or used cars, the Platinum plan covers certain parts of your vehicle’s engine, transmission, cooling system, air conditioning, steering, brakes, electrical components, and fuel pump. CarShield Platinum is stated-component coverage, meaning each covered part is listed in the vehicle service contract.
Gold As CarShield’s enhanced powertrain coverage, the Gold plan focuses on common powertrain components such as the engine, transmission, and drivetrain. It also includes parts such as the alternator, power window motors, and starter.
Silver The Silver plan is CarShield’s most basic (and most affordable) powertrain plan. It covers only the most important parts of your vehicle, including your engine, transmission, water pump, and drive axle.
Aluminum The Aluminum plan covers most computer-related and electrical components, including the power seat control, sensors, cruise control, electronic gauges, and LCD screens.
Motorcycle & ATV If you have a motorcycle or all-terrain vehicle that needs coverage, CarShield offers plans for specialty vehicles.

Most of CarShield’s plans allow customers to transfer coverage to subsequent owners. The process requires a $50 administrative fee, and customers cannot transfer coverage to other vehicles.

CarShield contracts can be canceled at any time.

CarShield Warranty Exclusions

Even the most comprehensive extended auto warranties have their limits. The exclusions in CarShield plans are common among almost every extended warranty provider on the market.

CarShield does not cover:

  • Parts that have been modified or altered
  • Wear-and-tear components such as brake pads and air filters
  • Damage caused by acts of nature, collision, vandalism, or lack of proper maintenance
  • Auto repairs that have been made without pre-authorization from a CarShield claims representative

CarShield Added Benefits

In many CarShield reviews, customers touted the company’s benefits. With CarShield warranty contracts, drivers also receive:

  • 24-hour roadside assistance
  • Courtesy towing for breakdowns
  • Rental car reimbursement (not included with all plans)
AdobeStock 82744342
CarShield includes 24-hour roadside assistance in each of its vehicle service contracts.

How Do CarShield Extended Warranties Work?

According to many of the CarShield reviews we saw, the company offers an easy process for purchasing an extended warranty. To get a quote, you can call the warranty provider directly or input your information on its website. When our team called to inquire about a quote, the hold time was less than a minute and the whole call took about 10 minutes.

If you need to use your extended warranty coverage, you can file a claim online or over the phone. You can also take your vehicle to any licensed repair facility if you experience a mechanical breakdown.

If your repairs are covered under warranty, CarShield will pay the repair shop directly. You will only have to pay a deductible for service. More than a few of the CarShield reviews we read mentioned a smooth, easy repair and claims process, meaning you can reasonably expect the same from the provider.

How to Cancel Your CarShield Contract

You can cancel a CarShield policy at any time. However, to cancel your contract you’ll need to contact customer support directly and submit a policy cancellation notice. 

If you cancel within the first 30 days of your policy, you’ll get a full refund. After 30 days, you can get a prorated refund for the amount of time left on your policy in most cases.

CarShield Reviews & Ratings

CarShield has been featured on ESPN, CNN, HGTV, and TBS and has a number of celebrity endorsements, including one from rapper and actor Ice-T. Additionally, there are thousands of online CarShield reviews from customers. The company holds a rating of 4.1 out of 5.0 stars on Google, with more than 8,000 reviews. It also has 4.0 out of 5.0 stars on Trustpilot, with over 22,000 driver ratings.

Despite these positive CarShield reviews, the BBB gives the company an F rating and indicates a pattern of complaints involving pushy or misleading sales and advertising, difficulty canceling policies, and rude CarShield representatives.

There are more than 1,100 CarShield customer reviews on the BBB website, with an average rating of 1.4 out of 5.0 stars. CarShield customer service responds to many comments, and about 1,200 complaints have been closed in the past year. The complaints actually represent a small number in comparison to the more than a million contracts the provider says it has sold.

Here’s what a few customers had to say in CarShield reviews:

Positive CarShield Reviews

In many of the positive CarShield reviews we saw, customers wrote about how easy it was to use their warranty to pay for car repairs.

“I have had to use CarShield two times. Both times they responded and covered my repairs without any hassle.” – Mary M. via BBB

“We bought a car warranty for our 2007 Impala. We were in California when the transmission went out. CarShield stepped in, got the claim approved quickly, and we were back on the road. Don’t know what we would have done without them.” – Marion Roth via Google

Negative CarShield Reviews

Customers who reported a less-than-fulfilling experience in their CarShield reviews tended to focus on certain components not being covered under the extended warranty contract.

“Paid $121 per month, and when my car broke down, they didn’t pay a cent.” – Lee via BBB

“I bought CarShield because of the awesome commercials. On the phone, the salesperson said that ‘anything that is not a wear item is covered, so no brake pads, no tires, etc.’ … Turns out that a lot of things are not covered. There are 10 pages of fine print.” – Marco Borrillo via Google

Conclusion: CarShield Wins “Most Affordable”

Our research on CarShield’s coverage options, costs, and customer service shows that CarShield could be a great choice to protect your vehicle in the long run, especially if you’re on a tight budget and in need of a used car warranty or you’re approaching your factory warranty expiring. The company’s pricing on its warranty plans was the reason we named it “Most Affordable” among providers in our study.

Although the company has received complaints, CarShield reviews are predominantly positive, and the company has a good name in the industry. Considering CarShield is one of the best extended warranty companies and says it has covered more than 1 million vehicles in 16 years, a few hundred negative comments barely make a dent in the company’s reputation.

Most Affordable

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Get Quote

(877) 265-5123

Well-known provider that offers great coverage with great pricing

Our Top Picks for Extended Warranty Coverage

It’s always smart to shop around for extended warranty plans to make sure you’re getting the best deal for the coverage you need. We recommend comparing free quotes from CarShield with quotes from other reputable extended car warranty companies. Below, we spotlight two of those companies: Endurance and CARCHEX.

Endurance: Best Overall

Endurance is a reputable extended car warranty provider that’s been in business since 2006. The company stands out in the vehicle protection industry for being a direct extended warranty provider rather than a broker or reseller. This means that Endurance provides and fulfills most of its plans without any outside help.

Endurance offers six levels of coverage. Each plan comes with one year of Endurance Elite Benefits, which include perks such as tire repair or replacement, a collision discount, and 24/7 roadside assistance. Endurance has solid reviews from customers, with a 4.4-star rating out of 5.0 on Trustpilot and a 3.4-star rating out of 5.0 on the BBB website.

You can find out more about the company in our Endurance warranty review.

Best Overall

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(866) 990-3410

Industry veteran that handles your plan directly, from quote to claim

CARCHEX: Best for Used Cars

CARCHEX is a reputable third-party warranty provider offering five levels of coverage and a long list of perks, including towing coverage, 24/7 roadside assistance, and rental car reimbursement.

CARCHEX has an A+ rating from the BBB but earns just 2.1 stars out of 5.0 based on customer reviews. The warranty provider has a 3.3-star rating out of 5.0 from Trustpilot.

Read our CARCHEX review to find out more about the third-party warranty provider.

Best for Used Cars

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Top-rated provider with unmatched customer service and affordable coverage

FAQ: CarShield Reviews

How much does CarShield cost per month?

Based on our research, the average cost of a CarShield Diamond plan for a late-2010s SUV with fewer than 50,000 miles is between $100 and $130 per month with a $100 deductible. A Gold plan for a 2013 sedan with just under 100,000 miles would also cost $130 per month with a $100 deductible.

Is CarShield worth having?

As our pick for Most Affordable third-party warranty provider, CarShield can be a good choice for drivers seeking low-cost coverage. The provider offers multiple coverage plans and month-to-month contracts, but buying any protection plan carries the risk of paying for services you may not need.

What repairs does CarShield cover?

CarShield repair coverage depends on the extended auto warranty you purchase. The provider offers basic powertrain warranty plans that cover the engine, transmission, and drive axles. CarShield also offers exclusionary bumper-to-bumper warranties that cover almost every mechanical and electrical component.

Most of the company’s protection plans provide coverage somewhere between a powertrain warranty and a bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Does CarShield cover electrical problems?

CarShield’s Platinum plan and Diamond plan both cover electrical systems. The Aluminum plan covers most electrical parts, including the starter and navigation systems.

Are extended car warranties worth it?

An extended car warranty can be worth it for owners of older vehicles who want peace of mind and want to avoid paying for unexpected repair costs out of pocket. But this depends on your needs and your vehicle. Check average repair costs on sites such as RepairPal to compare them to your extended car warranty quotes.

Does CarShield have a deductible?

With CarShield, customers can choose the deductible – as low as $0 – with their plans. However, just like with car insurance, a lower deductible means a higher premium.

What is the average cost of a CarShield warranty?

The average cost of a CarShield warranty varies based on several factors, including your vehicle’s age and mileage and the deductible and level of coverage you choose.

Does CarShield cover brakes?

Four of CarShield’s warranty plans cover the actual brakes on your vehicle. However, normal wear items like brake pads are not covered.

What is CarShield’s waiting period?

All CarShield plans come with a 20-day/500-mile waiting period before becoming active. This is to prevent the company from covering pre-existing mechanical issues.

How do you contact CarShield customer service?

To get support for your issue, you can use a form at CarShield.com to submit a request for help. If you need immediate help during business hours, you can call their customer service phone number at 1-800-974-9385. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM.

Our Methodology

Our expert review team takes satisfaction in providing accurate and unbiased information. We identified the following rating categories based on consumer survey data and conducted extensive research to formulate rankings of the best extended auto warranty providers.

  • Affordability: A variety of factors influence cost, so it can be difficult to compare quotes between providers. Our team performs ongoing secret shopper analyses for different vehicles, mileages, warranty plans, and locations to give this rating.
  • Coverage: Because each consumer has unique needs, it’s essential that a car warranty company offers an array of coverage options. We take into account the number of plans offered by each provider, term limits, exclusions, and additional benefits.
  • Industry Standing: Our team considers Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, availability, and years in business when giving this score.
  • Customer Service: Reputable extended car warranty companies operate with a certain degree of care for consumers. We take into account customer reviews, BBB complaints, and the responsiveness of the customer service team.

Original article: CarShield Review: Cost, Coverage & More (March 2022)

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