While shopping for an extended auto warranty, you may wonder how industry leaders CARCHEX and CarShield compare in quality and service. After 1,475 hours of research, we put CarShield and CARCHEX side by side and evaluated each company’s coverage, cost, claims process, and customer service.
CarShield and CARCHEX are among the best extended car warranty companies in the industry. Read our CarShield vs. CARCHEX warranty review below to see which third-party provider will better fit your needs.
Our CarShield And CARCHEX Warranty Review And Methodology
We review many auto warranty providers to find the best the industry has to offer. Each provider is rated based on their scores in five main areas: industry standing, coverage, cost, transparency, and customer service. In our review, CarShield narrowly beats CARCHEX overall by less than one point:
How We Rated CarShield And CARCHEX Warranties
To give you the most current information, we update our review standards several times each year. Our warranty research looks at providers in the following categories:
Providers are given a high score in this category based on any awards, ratings, or recognitions by trusted warranty evaluators, like Kelley Blue Book or the Better Business Bureau (BBB). We also consider customer reviews on sites like the BBB and Trustpilot, and how much experience a warranty provider has.
Providers that offer several different coverage options are rewarded with a higher score in this category. If a company offers plans with long-term limits and several benefits, its Coverage score increases.
Providers that offer affordable coverage plans as well as deductible options can expect to see a higher score in the cost category. If these same providers offer discounts, their score will increase.
When it comes to this category, if a company offers a money-back guarantee and allows customers to view sample contracts on coverage plan pages, it will receive a high score. Its website also has to be relatively clear and easy to navigate.
Strong customer reviews online bring providers high scores in this category. If a provider has a mobile app and offers an online chat option for customers, their score for customer service will increase as well.
Overview Of CarShield And CARCHEX
Choosing between CarShield vs. CARCHEX can be a difficult decision for many drivers, as both are leading providers in the car warranty space.
CarShield has covered millions of vehicles since 2005. Known for affordable plan options and low deductibles, the company offers vehicle service contracts for new and pre-owned vehicles, as well as motorcycles.
Started in 1999 as a vehicle inspection service company, CARCHEX has offered extended auto warranty plans since 2004 and is endorsed by a number of industry heavyweights, such as CARFAX, Kelley Blue Book, and Edmunds.com. The best place to start comparing these two warranty companies is in their costs.
CarShield Vs. CARCHEX: Cost
Our research team collected 2,215 data points to compare providers such as CarShield and CARCHEX. CarShield is known for its affordable prices – it earned our award for Best Value – but you’ll find competitive rates with CARCHEX too. Warranty costs are customized and depend on several factors, such as the age and model of your vehicle, your driving habits, and your deductible.
CarShield Warranty Costs
We reached out to CarShield for free quotes for a few vehicles and coverage amounts. Here are the quotes we received:
When you have your vehicle repaired, your CarShield plan provider will pay the repair facility directly. Either your auto repair will be free or you will have to pay a small deductible of $50 or $100.
CARCHEX Warranty Costs
With CARCHEX, you can find vehicle service plans on par with industry prices of about $2,900. CARCHEX offers affordable coverage with its No-Haggle, Low-Price, Everyday GuaranteeTM, and monthly payment plans allow you to pay your contract in full over 24 months or more.
When we reached out to CARCHEX to get quotes for a few vehicles, this is what we found:
CARCHEX plans typically have low deductibles – starting at $0 – with $100 deductibles being more common. Keep in mind that your cost of coverage will depend on your vehicle, driving habits, and deductible.
CarShield Vs. Carchex: Coverage
Our team conducted a survey in 2022 for customers of extended warranties. Out of 1,000 respondents, 52 percent considered coverage to matter the most when choosing a warranty company.
CarShield offers six coverage plans, including two specialty plans for high-tech vehicle components and motorcycle components. Protection ranges from basic coverage to coverage that more closely resembles a factory warranty. CarShield coverage plans also include 24/7 roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption coverage.
Take a glance at this overview of each coverage tier:
CarShield warranty coverage is extensive, and the company offers vehicle service contracts for specialty vehicles, which are expected to increase in market share (compared with standard passenger vehicles) through 2024. For the growing number of motorcycle and ATV owners, an extended warranty may be necessary.
CARCHEX offers more standard vehicle coverage plans but does not offer coverage for specialty vehicles such as motorcycles or ATVs. CARCHEX aims to provide the best coverage for standard vehicles and markets Extended Vehicle Protection Plans across five coverage tiers that span basic powertrain warranties to comprehensive warranties.
Below is an overview of the five CARCHEX levels of coverage:
In addition, all CARCHEX plans include perks such as: 24/7 roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption coverage. Compared to CarShield, CARCHEX offers more differentiated coverage between tiers. The Titanium plan is available for new and pre-owned vehicles, and optional vehicle coverage for high-tech electronics and windshield repairs is also available.
When you compare CarShield vs. CARCHEX, both companies have strengths depending on what you’re looking for. With CarShield, you can get coverage up to 300,000 miles in every state except California. CARCHEX plans are available for vehicles up to 250,000 miles in all states.
CarShield Vs. CARCHEX: Claims Process
When evaluating the claims processes of CarShield vs. CARCHEX, we found that claims are made in the same manner for both companies.
Your claims department representative will take care of fulfillment, and payments are made directly from the provider to the car repair facility, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket (with the exception of a small deductible). When it’s time for an auto repair, you ask your mechanic to call your claims representative by telephone. The representative will speak to the repair facility about approvals, costs, and payment.
Who Fulfills The Contract?
CarShield primarily uses administrator American Auto Shield, an insurance-backed provider. If you’re considering a CarShield warranty, read your contract carefully to fully understand exclusions and what your plan covers.
CARCHEX plans are provided by American Auto Shield and Royal Administration Services. Both companies provide reliable vehicle service contracts, so you won’t be stuck paying for repairs on your own. As previously mentioned, CARCHEX also follows the regulations necessary to provide vehicle service contracts to California drivers.
Repair Facility Options
Both CarShield and CARCHEX are third-party extended warranty providers that offer the flexibility to choose from a larger network of mechanics rather than being limited to your vehicle’s dealership. The extent of CarShield’s approved network is not specified on its website, whereas CARCHEX makes it easy to find an approved repair shop through its app, which lists approved mechanics closest to you for your convenience.
CarShield Vs. CARCHEX: Customer Service
We analyzed 3,850 customer reviews online to get an idea of what people thought of the car warranty providers we evaluated. As it turns out, CarShield has the largest market share in the used car warranty industry.
CarShield Customer Service
CarShield has over 13,000 Google reviews, most of which are positive. However, CarShield sports a BBB rating of “F”, which is one of the lowest ratings a company can get on the BBB website.
There are also more than 3,400 customer complaints from the past 3 years on the BBB site.
To put this into context, CarShield has sold more than 500,000 plans during the same time. So, the online customer complaint volume is approximately 0.68 percent of all customers. We hear from some companies that they choose not to belong to the BBB because accreditation for large companies can cost more than $10,000.
In our 2022 survey, 56 percent of respondents chose CarShield to purchase their extended warranty from. This may be a result of the solid customer reviews online. When we called to get quotes from CarShield, wait times were less than one minute, and the representatives answered our questions without rushing or pushing a sale.
CarShield has received recognition and accolades for its great business, such as:
- Being put on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in 2017
- Receiving 2018 Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award
- Being voted as St. Louis Dispatch’s 2020 Top Workplace
CARCHEX Customer Service
Comparing customer service reviews between CarShield vs. CARCHEX, customer service is where CARCHEX truly shines. CARCHEX is BBB–accredited with an A+ rating and fewer than 200 customer complaints over the past 3 years.
Customer reviews commonly cite transparency and thorough contract explanations as part of positive experiences with CARCHEX. Representatives willingly answer questions with little pressure to buy, so you get the full picture of what is and isn’t covered by an extended warranty plan.
CARCHEX has received numerous awards for its outstanding customer service, including:
- Being put on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies eight times
- Getting a five-star rating from TopConsumerReviews.com for six consecutive years
- Being a 2017 Top Pick by ThoroughlyReviewed
- Receiving a 2017 Silver Winner award in Golden Bridge Awards®
- Being in Selling Power’s Top 50 Companies to Sell For list for four years
CarShield Vs. CARCHEX: Conclusion
Overall, both CarShield and CARCHEX are reputable auto warranty providers that offer peace of mind and help car owners avoid unexpected expensive repair costs after their manufacturer warranties end. However, the two providers differ slightly when it comes to coverage, cost, claims processes, and customer service.
Based on our comparison of CarShield vs. CARCHEX, we think CarShield is the better choice for customers looking for low prices and CARCHEX is the better choice for used cars with over 100,000 miles.
Car Warranty Companies Like CarShield and CARCHEX
Endurance and ForeverCar are extended warranty companies that are similar to CarShield and CARCHEX in many ways. Read below for more information on each of these top-rated providers:
Endurance: 4.6 Stars
Endurance’s six different coverage levels with terms up to 8 years/200,000+ miles is a big reason why this direct provider takes our award for Best Coverage. Our highest-rated warranty company is completely transparent, with a 30-day money-back guarantee and sample contracts for every protection plan it offers – ready for viewing on its website.
Read more: Endurance Warranty review
ForeverCar: 4.5 Stars
ForeverCar is unique in the auto warranty industry. It’s partnered with auto dealers and companies like Liberty Mutual and Consumers Credit Union. This makes it possible for you to purchase an extended warranty while buying a new or used vehicle. Despite having over a decade of experience in the warranty industry, ForeverCar boasts some of the most affordable rates on the market, which is why we’ve given it our Best Value recognition.
Read more: ForeverCar warranty review
CarShield Vs. CARCHEX Warranty Reviews: FAQ
Below are some common frequently asked questions about CarShield and Carchex extended warranties: