What is the Best Coverage for Older Cars? - CarShield (2024)

What is the Best Coverage for Older Cars? - CarShield (1)

Only vehicle manufacturers can offer a warranty. Third-party providers can offer Vehicle Service Contracts (VSC), which are commonly referred to as extended warranties. VSCs provide contractual coverage after a manufacturer’s original warranty has expired for people who want to help control the expenses of unexpected breakdowns. The difference for you, the customer, is negligible, but things can actually improve under a VSC.

Getting protection for an older car can be quite a struggle. It might be in “fine working” condition with no apparent damage, but insurers and warranty providers can still look at it as nothing more than an “old car.”

Thankfully, perceptions toward older vehicles are shifting, and finding a warranty for older cars is no longer an arduous task. In fact, with such a wide spread in vehicle condition, usability, and value, the protection options are just as vast. Whether you’re protecting a future classic or you use it for your daily commute, a decades-old car is no longer a hassle to protect.

Realistically, most protection plan buyers looking for the best VSC for older cars will try to cover a 10- to 20-year-old car. Generally, these cars will be in respectable condition with plenty of life left in them. So, if the car is drivable, reliable, and safe, how do you best continue protecting it with an older car warranty?

Can You Even Buy a Warranty for Older Cars?

As you might imagine, condition, mileage, and age heavily factor into whether a vehicle is eligible for an older car VSC, and they determine what levels of protection are available.

With very few exceptions, manufacturers won’t provide warranty coverage past ten years or 100,000 miles, so it’s up to owners to seek third-party coverage. But there’s no blanket answer to the question of cost. Vehicle Service Contract providers, for older cars, each calculate their coverage prices differently. Some charge based on the car's age, while others depend entirely on the car’s mileage.

The reason behind these differences is that as cars age, problems start to creep up that make repairs potentially difficult, such as:

Parts That Get Hard to Find

As manufacturers discontinue models, they generally stop making parts for them. While some cars have aftermarket support with third-party parts, that are as good or better than those of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), not all do.

Discontinued and aging cars with computerized controls can be especially difficult to service, as electronics tend to be highly specific to certain models (and even model years). Once they break, they require exact replacements or expensive refurbishment.

Age Being Harsher Than Mileage

Some cars get stashed as investments, which is why it’s possible to buy older vehicles with hundreds or even just dozens of miles on the odometer. Still, unless the owner was meticulous about maintenance, it could be in significantly worse shape than a well-cared-for car with 40,000 miles.

The simple reality is that time is extremely harsh on items such as rubber and plastic. As such, it’s not uncommon to see preserved cars from the recent past with rotted tires, cracked hoses, discolored dashboards, and other age-related issues.

Specialized Service Techs

Not every mechanic can service older cars, and even manufacturer dealerships can have trouble locating out-of-production parts. This can mean a long, costly search or even the fabrication of a new part from a third-party supplier. Yes, even a car that’s just 10 years old can rely on parts and processes that are tough to source!

As a result, service contract providers understandably don’t want to get stuck with a massive, unexpected repair bill, so they’ll cap the cost upfront. For the same reason, in most circ*mstances, the plan’s coverage won’t begin until the end of a waiting period.

Service Records Being Spotty

Having a complete record of all oil changes, maintenance, and repairs is a huge asset when purchasing a used car. Even a vehicle that’s just five years old can have hidden issues that are hard to identify without accompanying service paperwork.

Unfortunately, it’s all too common for these documents to go missing as the years go by, making getting protection for an older car increasingly more complicated. Ultimately, the best course of action is to call and ask about the VSC price for your specific vehicle. The provider will likely have to calculate a cost based on your car’s metrics.

Types of Warranties for Older Cars

If your vehicle is less than ten years old, you might be able to get coverage from the OEM. Many will offer an extended warranty for used cars, but their restrictions are much tighter than they are with third-party providers, which means the following:

  • Repairs must be done by factory-trained techs at approved repair centers
  • Only OEM parts may be used
  • The extended warranty must be purchased before the standard warranty expires
  • Term limits are almost always 150,000 miles or less

However, plenty of third-party coverage providers will offer the same (and possibly even better) protections than an OEM warranty.

Under a Vehicle Service Contract, the restrictions are lifted in the following ways:

  • Repairs don’t have to happen at factory-approved repair centers
  • Parts don’t have to be OEM
  • Buyers can purchase a Vehicle Service Contract at any time
  • Term limits can be up to 250,000 miles or more

In addition, service contracts generally offer more flexible coverage terms. Buyers may want flexibility in their protection based on their financial situation. Either way, whether a car owner has an extended warranty from the factory or a vehicle service contract, they get the same protection from those unexpected car repairs.

Keep in mind that a Vehicle Service Contract is not insurance: The latter assists with repairing vehicle accident damage, whereas the former covers you in case a part breaks unexpectedly. If you have an AC compressor quit, an Engine Assembly fails, or an Entertainment System dies, that’s when your warranty or service contract will come in handy.

Where to Find Good Warranties for Older Cars

Most Vehicle Service Contract companies, such as CarShield, will cover older cars, but the trick is in getting the plan that’s appropriate for your older car. You’ll need to spend time researching the specific plans available to you and asking the providers about their policies.

Here are some questions you need to have at the ready:

  • What are your stipulations for coverage (i.e., make, model, model year, condition, mileage, etc.)?
  • What types of repairs are protected, and what is the dollar amount covered?
  • What repair facilities can I use?
  • What are the term lengths of the contract?
  • Is there a maximum or minimum amount I can drive the car?

In other words, you want to make sure that your coverage will be seamless and simple.

Is It Worth It?

A Vehicle Service Contract can spare many financial headaches. Repairs are expensive enough as it is, with many replacement parts costing thousands before the labor to install them, and even if you purchase an older vehicle from a scrupulous seller who plays by the rules, there can be problems that appear only after you purchase the car.

If you rely on your older car to commute, protecting it with an extended warranty or Vehicle Service Contract can prevent you from ending up stranded — especially if your warranty includes roadside assistance, towing, or rental car options!

Steps to Lower Your Monthly Premium with Older Cars

If you want to keep your warranty/service contract payments as low as possible, here are some things to keep in mind to do so:

Cars in Better Condition Cost Less to Cover

Before you buy your Vehicle Service Contract, the provider will have plenty of questions about your older car. The better shape your car is in, the less you’ll pay.

Be Willing to Pay Higher Deductibles

Paying a higher deductible reduces risk for the provider, and it can be a way to lower your VSC cost. The benefit for you is that things work out in your favor the less you need to repair your car.

Limit Your Coverage

There are several plan options available, you can significantly reduce your costs depending on your coverage needs at that time.

Protect Your Older Vehicle Through CarShield

Whether your older car is meant for daily transportation or you’re preserving it as a future classic, you can keep it safe with a Vehicle Service Contract through CarShield. Just remember to check the vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule, and stay on top of it. Before you resign yourself to spending out-of-pocket to fix your aging vehicle, contact CarShield to get a plan in place today.

What is the Best Coverage for Older Cars? - CarShield (2024)


What is the Best Coverage for Older Cars? - CarShield? ›

Platinum. This vehicle service contract is the best coverage option for a vehicle with higher miles on it, it protects your vehicle's engine, transmission, AC, electrical system, starter, water pump, fuel pump & more.

Does CarShield cover older vehicles? ›

Most Vehicle Service Contract companies, such as CarShield, will cover older cars, but the trick is in getting the plan that's appropriate for your older car. You'll need to spend time researching the specific plans available to you and asking the providers about their policies.

What are the negatives of CarShield? ›

CarShield Warranty Pros and Cons
Wide selection of plans available, including for recreational vehiclesMaximum mileage of 225,000 miles
Strong financial ratingsSome customers claim difficulty getting claims approved
$1 billion in paid claims, proving commitment to customersInstant quotes not available online

What will CarShield not cover? ›

CarShield coverage plans do not cover pre-existing issues, wear and tear parts or issues with parts not listed on your contract. CarShield warranties also exclude traditional car maintenance services such as oil changes, tire rotations and windshield wiper blade replacements.

What is the best car warranty company for older cars? ›

In our research into the best used car warranty companies, we found five providers that offer exceptional vehicle protection plans. Carchex, Endurance, CarShield, Olive and Omega Auto Care all offer comprehensive coverage with long term lengths for used vehicles.

Does CarShield cover cars over 10 years old? ›

Whether your car is 5 years old or 10 years old; has 36,000 miles or 136,000 miles, CarShield has plans for it. Plans vary based on the age of the vehicle and the mileage, so it's best to purchase your Vehicle Service Contract when the Factory Warranty is about to run out.

Is the CarShield warranty a ripoff? ›

Is CarShield warranty a ripoff? CarShield has an above-average number of complaints compared to other extended warranty providers. However, it also sells many more vehicle service contracts as the most popular provider in the industry and is not a scam or ripoff.

Is CarShield a sham? ›

CarShield is a legitimate extended auto warranty provider, offering six vehicle service contracts. In our review of the best car warranty companies, we gave CarShield an overall review score of 8.9 out of 10.0 based on its reputation, coverage, cost, transparency and customer experience.

Why does CarShield have so many complaints? ›

The BBB website lists more than 1,500 complaints against Carshield and gives the company an 'F' rating. "The reason that they have an 'F' grade is because of advertising issues, and also because they failed to address the underlying pattern," said Chris Thetford, a spokesman with the Better Business Bureau.

Which company is better than CarShield? ›

Best Extended Car Warranty Companies
Car Warranty CompanyOur AwardOverall Score
Endurance Check PriceBest Comprehensive Coverage9.3
CarShield Learn MoreBest for Flexible Payments8.9
Carchex Learn MoreBest Industry Reputation9.1
Omega Auto Care Learn MoreBest Maintenance Benefits8.7
4 more rows
7 days ago

Will CarShield replace my engine? ›

If the vehicle needs a full engine and transmission replacement, it will cover up to 14 days. Ride Share reimbursem*nt is also available. It will cover expenses up to $60.00 per day reimbursed (reasonable Tip included).

Which is better, endurance or CarShield? ›

CarShield holds a star rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars from over 45,500 reviews, while Endurance checks in with a solid 3.6-star rating out of 5 based on over 8,200 reviews. Endurance has a healthy 3.6 out of 5 stars from nearly 3,400 customer reviews on the BBB.

Do you have to pay a deductible with CarShield? ›

As mentioned above, CarShield lets you either pay month-to-month or purchase a long-term plan upfront. Each of these options requires a down payment equal to the first month's payment. You also have the option of choosing from a $0, $50, $100 or $200 deductible.

Can you get warranty on a 10 year old car? ›

Our used car warranties are designed for vehicles from 10 years old up to and beyond 20 years. People continue to drive cars for many years past the 10-year mark for any number of reasons and used car warranty protection gives drivers peace of mind that they won't be stuck in park because of expensive vehicle repairs.

Are car warranties worth it on older cars? ›

Used car warranty plans for older vehicles are often worth the cost for drivers, as they can protect you from unexpected and expensive car repair costs. Because of age, used cars are typically at an increased risk for mechanical issues than newer vehicles.

Is CarShield worth it? ›

CarShield is a below-average company, based on its D rating from the Better Business Bureau and the fact that the BBB issued a consumer warning about the company due to a pattern of customer complaints. Some customers have a great experience with CarShield, but I can't justify a higher rating due to the BBB's findings.

What type of coverage should a person with an older car have? ›

The only insurance you usually need is liability coverage and, in some states, personal injury protection. Full coverage is often recommended, but it becomes much less valuable financially with an older car.

Does CarShield actually pay for repairs? ›

With a service contract from CarShield, your covered repair claims will be paid 100% to your mechanic or dealer by your administrator. The costs you're responsible for paying to the repair facility are; the deductible and any parts that are not covered by your contract.

What is the average cost of CarShield per month? ›

What's the average cost of CarShield? Our research found that CarShield costs between $110 and $140 per month on average. The price you pay for vehicle protection will depend on your warranty coverage plan, deductible and specific vehicle.

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