If you are looking to purchase an extended warranty, you should feel comfortable considering Ally as one of your options.
Ally extended car warranties are offered by Ally Financial, which is a publicly traded company. This sets them apart from many of the less reputable vehicle warranty providers out there. Ally offers four different coverage options, which are all outlined in a single, simple to understand contract.
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Ally Premier Protection is careful to call its vehicle protection program what it is: A service contract. That’s what all of its competitors offer, too, but “extended warranty” has become a part of the language even though none of these products are extended warranties at all.
Ally works under completely different rules than all the other fly-by-night third parties that offer these kinds of products. Ally is a financial institution, a bank holding company that offers vehicle loans, mortgages, traditional banking services and an electronic stock trading platform. It is a public company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and therefore is required to exist under extremely strict rules governing the way it markets its products.
Ally started life as GMAC in 1910, with the express purpose of providing loans to people who couldn’t afford to buy a General Motors vehicle outright. During the financial meltdown of 2008-2009, the Treasury Department invested $17.2 billion to keep it afloat. In 2014, the Treasury Department collected $19.6 billion from the company to pay the loan back. During that time, GMAC rebranded itself as Ally Financial.
One of the products it offers is the vehicle protection program (aka a vehicle service contract), which allows consumers to pre-pay future maintenance needs. One of the nice things about Ally is that its product offerings are much more transparent than most of the competition.
Ally offers four levels of vehicle protection programs you can choose from, which we’ll list here and compare further down this page:
Ally is significantly different than any of the other third-party service contract providers in that it has ONE simple contract for all of its products. Every other third-party service contract provider we looked at has one set of contracts for some products that are “defined benefit” products, and another set of contracts for the more expensive plans that are “exclusionary coverage” products. That makes it nearly impossible to understand how those plans compare.
With Ally, there’s one contract that spells out what’s covered in each plan, and a very specific list of things that aren’t covered by ALL of its plans. Quoting the contract, here’s what’s not covered by any Ally plan:
“Unless required in connection with the repair of a covered part, WE will not pay for engine tune-up, filters, lubricants or fluids, engine coolant, drive belts, radiator heater or vacuum hoses, wiper blades, spark/glow plugs and wires, brake pads, brake shoes, rotors and drums, manual transmission clutch disc, air conditioning recharging, suspension alignment, wheel balancing or any maintenance service or part required to be performed or replaced as recommended by YOUR VEHICLE manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.”
Finding this information out from any other provider of these service contracts is nearly impossible, because the contracts are a shell game: “Keep your eye on the timing belt, sir, and try to find which contract it’s covered by.”
In the table below, we’ve described 10 of the most common car repairs, and mapped out which of the Ally service contract offerings will provide coverage, based on the information in their service contracts.
|Avg Cost||Feature Guard||Basic Guard||Value Guard||Major Guard|
Here are a few other notes on what’s covered and not covered by these service contracts:
None of the Ally plans cover electric vehicles. None of the Ally plans cover hybrid batteries. There are also a number of items related to the emissions system -- including the catalytic converter -- that are covered under a federally mandated emissions warranty.
All of the plans offered by Ally have a number of side benefits that you should be aware of before you purchase:
The Feature Guard plan is a weird one. It’s the least expensive of the four plans, and it really only covers a limited number of very specific, factory installed features. The exact things the plan covers are:
“a breakdown of GPS/ navigation hardware, DVD players & LCD screens, front and backup / reverse sensors & camera, lane departure warning system, adaptive cruise control and heads-up display, OnStar (or other similar factory installed telematic device), radio / satellite radio, compass & thermometer, factory-installed anti-theft alarms and keyless entry, ride control suspensions, electronic instrument clusters, electronic climate control, power sunroof/moonroof motor, convertible top motor, remote start, keyless start, heated steering wheel, heated seats, cooling seats, massaging seats, wi-fi, Bluetooth, crash sensors, avoidance systems and airbag systems.”
That’s it. If your engine fails, tough luck. If your transmission falls out? Get a loan.
This isn’t the plan that most people are going to be interested in.
The Basic Guard plan is the least expensive, least comprehensive of the Ally plans that actually covers stuff that most people are going to be concerned about. It covers:
Front/Rear/All-Wheel Drive Components
Fuel Delivery Components
Value Guard is the next step up the ladder. It covers everything that the Basic Guard plan does, PLUS:
Climate Control Components
Major Guard is the top vehicle service contract from Ally. It covers everything in the Value Guard plan, PLUS:
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The short answer is, we don’t know. Ally won’t provide a quote for any of these plans. What we did, though, was scour the internet for quotes to learn more about what these plans cost in the real world. We scoured internet forums to find out what people are being quoted for a range of different vehicles.
Note that the cost, term and deductibles for these plans are all over the place, depending on how many miles are on the vehicle, which plan you choose and which level of deductible you choose. There’s also no hard and fast rules about pricing because you’re going to be buying these plans from a dealership, and their pricing can vary wildly from one dealer to another.
|Vehicle*||Plan Name||Term*||Total Cost||Deductible**|
(*) Ally offers a range of terms, from 24 months and 24,000 miles to 60 months and unlimited mileage.
(**) Ally offers several levels of deductible: $0, $100, $200. Ally offers a $500 deductible for some select luxury vehicles. Ally also offers what it calls a “$100 Disappearing Deductible.” If you select that option, Ally will waive any deductible if you have the vehicle serviced at the dealership where you purchased the contract. If you choose to have the vehicle serviced elsewhere, the $100 deductible applies.
Ally has one major advantage over most of its competitors: It’s a recognized, legitimate company that trades on the New York Stock Exchange, and it’s part of one of the country’s largest financial institutions. You’re not going to sign up for coverage with Ally only to find that the company has folded its tent, leaving you holding the bag for major repairs.
That also comes through in the way that Ally presents its products. We’ve read everybody’s product offerings and sample contracts at this point, and we’re constantly surprised at how convoluted and confusing they can be. Ally Premier Protection’s four main service contract offerings are relatively simple to understand. The company uses one contract that clearly explains what’s covered and what’s not in each of those product offerings.
The only confusion we ran into is a separate product offering called Ally Flex Coverage. Under different names, it offers very much the same coverage as the ones we described above. The difference is that these products are only available on vehicles from 2016 or newer, with fewer than 65,000 miles, and the coverage is available month-to-month with no contract. You can quit at any time. We’ll post a separate review of Ally Flex Coverage at a later date.
The key coverage and added benefits that Ally offers are all in line with the product offerings from all of the major competitors.
You can have your vehicle serviced at any service facility in the United States, from franchised dealerships to the mom and pop garage you’ve been using for years. To file a claim, you contact Ally Premier Protection at 800-631-5590, or visit the Claim Support section of the website. From there, Ally says that “Most claims are approved immediately upon request.”
In general, most vehicles are eligible for coverage through Ally. There are a few minor wrinkles, like if you’re driving a wildly exclusive luxury car, you may have the option to select a higher deductible.
In addition, there are a handful of other things to be aware of, which you’ll only know if you read the contract, so be sure to do that. Ally doesn’t provide coverage if:
Claims denied by Ally seem to fall under several categories:
When you’re done, READ THE CONTRACT AGAIN.
First, Ally requires a “Lift Kit Surcharge” for ANY vehicle modified with a lift kit. Secondly, the company is abundantly clear about what it will accept: The total body and suspension lift modification is limited to 8 inches excluding lift kits installed at the factory by the vehicle manufacturer that do not affect the vehicle’s underlying manufacturer warranty; the maximum allowable body lift is 3 inches; the maximum allowable tire size is 37 inch diameter by 12.5 inches wide.
I bought a 2013 VW tiguan a little over a year ago in Rochester and got sold the same warranty. So far only 1 issue, but they had to replace the whole turbo (which would have cost me the same price as the whole warranty). Ally covered it no problem, was even able to take it to my normal small mechanic. They are inclusive, you should be provided/look up what they cover. Then just Google common issues with your vehicle to make sure they're listed on Ally list. -- kopitar, Reddit
I've used it twice in 30+ years and both times the dealership handled everything and all I had to do was pay my deductible. --obermd, CruzeTalk.com
If you’re looking for negative reviews of Ally’s products and services, you’re going to have a nearly impossible time finding them. Not because they’re good or bad, but because every single negative review we looked at out of dozens on multiple review sites is for Ally Financial, rather than the extended warranty products and services. The company gets a D- rating by the Better Business Bureau, but every single complaint we looked at was by somebody who was under water with the loan Ally had issued, rather than a problem with the warranty services.
We get into this topic in great detail in this infographic. Purchasing an extended warranty is simply paying for service up front in the hopes that you’ll manage to claim more service than you paid for the service contract.
If you’re driving a car that has a long history of excellent reliability, chances are pretty good that you’re going to pay more for the service contract than the maintenance you’d pay if you just wrote a check for it. But, if you don’t have money in the bank to cover an unexpected $3,400 repair, you’re going to wish you had signed up for a service contract.
If you own a car that has less-than-stellar reliability, or one that is notable for expensive repairs on a regular basis, then a service contract should be a part of your purchase of that vehicle. If you’re driving something like a Jaguar and the transmission fails at 74,000 miles, you’re going to be on the hook for a minimum of $5,000, vastly outweighing the cost of most of Ally’s plans.
Consumer rating agencies will provide stories about people who have bought $4,500 service contracts and only collected $350 worth of services on them, but those stories have to be apocryphal. A timing belt on anything is going to cost $1,000 to $1,500, depending on whether you also need to replace the water pump and idler pulley. Those repairs are covered by most of the recommended Ally plans, and that $1,500 repair would typically eat up half the cost. Throw in a few suspension issues, and the odd funky check engine light, and even without a major repair, you should be able to at least break even.
Car Talk has spent the last year doing a deep dive into the warranties industry for the benefit of our readership and long-time listeners. Our process for deciding on the best warranty companies for the year was exceptionally thorough, involving in-depth research and our unique secret shopper initiative. We compiled over 50 data points across all reviewed companies to refine and inform our selection process. Car Talk reviewed the following important criteria for each company:
Consumer Satisfaction: Cross referencing multiple trusted resources to pull our fair and balanced customer reviews.
Cost: Utilizing our secret shopper initiative, we got comparable quotes across all companies so we can validly compare pricing.
Coverage and Offerings: Our research team delved into the coverage and offerings for each company, comparing what is available, including extras and discounts.
Official Ratings: We consulted a wide range of verified review sites to extrapolate a ratings score for each.
Yes. Ally Financial is one of the largest financial institutions in America, and it’s traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Out of all the companies that provide service contracts, Ally has been around the longest, with roots stretching back to 1910. They’ll at least be around to answer your call.
Elsewhere in this article, we have 10 quotes that we’ve found for Ally’s products and services. The costs are all over the place, depending on the length of the contract, the age and mileage of the vehicle and the deductible. In general, you’re looking at $2,500 to $3,000, but that could be much higher for longer terms on more expensive vehicles.
It’s a pretty simple process. Once you’re signed up, when you have service on your car, you contact Ally and request the services required. According to Ally, most claims are processed instantly, and you’re only on the hook for the deductible you selected with you first opened your contract.
If you run into a major repair, definitely. Consider that something like a timing belt -- which you ARE going to need at 75,000 miles -- is going to cost around $1,200 to $1,500, just about any car is going to be able to collect that much in claims. If something major like a transmission fails, you’ll obviously be in the black. But as cars get more and more complicated, components that make semi-autonomous features like advanced cruise control work can be well into the thousands to repair.
Yes. If you cancel within 60 days, the entire purchase price will be refunded unless you have made a claim.After 60 days from the purchase date, you’ll receive a prorated refund of the purchase price, less a $50 administration fee.
Yes, following the procedure above, but what’s more important is the ability to transfer the warranty. If you sell your car, for a fee of $50, you can transfer the warranty to the next owner, which may be a significant selling point, depending on how much is left in the contract term.
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