CarShield is a vehicle service protection plan company. Often misnamed “Extended Warranty”, a vehicle service protection plan helps to pay for unexpected repairs. Our research on CarShield and our discussions with its customer service representatives uncovered some interesting differences between what CarShield offers and other related products.
Due to the number of complaints we uncovered when reviewing CarShield, we suggest you at least comparison shop them against alternatives. You can read our article on the 8 Best Warranty Companies... or if you are lazy, just check out CARCHEX, Toco, Autopom or Endurance, all have better reviews than CarShield.
CarShield offers to pay for covered repairs to your vehicle for a set monthly fee. Your plan renews with each monthly payment. This makes it easy for you to depart from the plan, however, if you don’t pay the monthly premium you risk being dropped from the plan.
CarShield offers four plans in theory, but in practice, the cost is the same for each of the three plans. The CarShield service representative we spoke to informed us that the company doesn’t actually write new contracts for the lower tiered plans.
CarShield offers multiple levels of coverage, but as we mentioned above, there is no point in worrying about any but the top plan since they cost the same amount of money. CarShield says that its Diamond protection plan “Covers everything ranging from engine and transmission failures, to starter problems, and fuel pump breakdowns.”
This plan is similar to the bumper to bumper plan that your manufacturer offers, but not identical. Some items that are excluded include:
Most of what CarShield is excluding are wear items and items that have a life expectancy, but not all. Be sure that you read and understand section B of this Sample Contract Here before you agree to the plan.
|Common Repair||Avg Cost||Diamond Plan|
(*) Brake coverage does not include normal wear.
(**) Catalytic converters are covered under extended emissions warranties provided by every manufacturer. Check your state laws for details.
All of the plans offered by CarShield have a number of side benefits that you should be aware of before you purchase:
Since the CarShield representative we spoke to informed us that the company does not offer any meaningful difference in prices between plans, the Diamond Plan is the one the company offers.
The simple answer is that a CarShield plan costs $129.99 per month. The prices below were obtained by phoning CarShield’s free quote line at 1-800-974-9385. The representative we spoke to quoted us that price for a 2017 model year vehicle with 60,000 miles on the odometer at the time of the contract’s inception. Here is the list of vehicles we ran through with the representative:
|Vehicle*||Diamond Cost Per month||Platinum||Gold||Silver||Aluminum||Deductible|
The plan never expires as long as you continue to pay the monthly premium. The representative we spoke with told us that miles and years are unlimited.
Please note that CarShield does offer some discounts if you are a driver that falls into a specific category. These include:
The representative declined to offer the discount amounts, but said that it is not uncommon for the totality of discounts to bring a monthly contract price down to $100 per month.So be sure to ask your representative for the full listing of available discounts available to you.
CarShield pays the service provider directly. You do not need to file any paperwork. CarShield says that in order to have your vehicle repaired you simply need to take it to any dealership or any ASE certified repair facility in the United States or Canada. Claims are paid directly over the phone with a CarShield corporate credit card, so as long as your repair facility accepts credit cards, you should be fine.
CarShield says that most cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs are eligible for a Carshield vehicle service plan. You will need to have the full maintenance records proving that the vehicle was maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Also, if you have modified your vehicle, be certain to discuss that with the agent you speak with. In addition to cars, CarShield offers motorcycle and RV plans.
CarShield lists 21 situations in which your plan would not cover you. They are listed in the contract under section D. Exclusions. Most of these are common sense. For example, if your vehicle is covered under another warranty or if it is damaged by volcanic eruption (seriously).
Common reasons plans of this type are denied are failure to prove the vehicle was properly maintained and aftermarket performance modifications. If you put a chip in your Subaru WRX and the engine blows apart at 10,000 RPMs, don’t expect CarShield to pony up the repair costs Baby Driver.
CarShield has earned a 4-out-of-5 star rating on Google Reviews as of the date of our research for this article. But when we sorted the Google Reviews by “newest” we found that six out of the newest ten reviews were the lowest rating of 1 Star. Three of the six low ratings were from Google Reviews Local Guides (Folks who do frequent reviews and post up images and comments).
One positive CarShield review from a Google Local Guide reads, “Excellent warranty service for any vehicle. You can call them 24hrs a day and no matter what's wrong with your vehicle they'll take care of you.” A second Local Guide wrote, “Thank God, I haven't had to use this yet, but it gives me peace of mind to know that I have it.”
On Yelp, we found that CarShield earns a 1.5-out-of-5 star rating. The newest 20 reviews posted showed the lowest possible rating of 1 star. “Nightmare, scam, worst, beware,” and other descriptive words of this type gave us pause.
We like to look to the Better Business Bureau for its rating of companies we research. What we found about CarShield was disturbing. Here is the note we found on the BBB’s site warning consumers considering CarShield: “Better Business Bureau is advising consumers to use caution when considering doing business with CarShield, an Auto Service Contract company. BBB has received a pattern of consumer complaints alleging misleading sales and advertising practices, rude customer service, failure to cover needed repairs, difficulty canceling a policy and obtaining a refund, and that the firm made harassing calls or sent harassing mail solicitations.”
Check our helpful infographic to help you decide if you need a vehicle service plan. There are two types of shoppers for whom a product like this is a good idea. The first is vehicle owners who can have their monthly budgets upset by a large and unplanned repair bill. The second case is a shopper who owns a vehicle they still love and wish to hang on to, but which has a poor track record of reliability. Our advice is to listen to CarSheild when they tell you that the Diamond Plan is the only one that makes sense. Paying a few dollars less per month for a plan that does not include the most common types of breakdowns seems like a way to be unhappy down the road.
Call now 1-855-534-1173 or get an online quote
Our research shows that a plan typically costs buyers $129.99 per month, but that available discounts can drop that price to as low as $100 per month.
We hope readers will look closely at the red flags Car Talk uncovered when researching the company’s ratings. The warning from BBB gives us pause.
Vehicle owners who would have their monthly budget upset by a large vehicle repair cost may find CarSheild a good value. Also, owners of vehicles with known problems may also benefit.
No. CarShield does not offer any vehicle breakdown protection contracts in California.
Yes, you can purchase a CarShield policy that will cover your car’s transmission.
No. CarShield does not offer vehicle maintenance contracts. Please see our section on what CarShield does cover for more details.
Yes. You can purchase a CarShield warranty that will cover electrical issues.
Although not a direct provider, CarShield does a great job of building awareness about its brokerage services. The Better Business Bureau, however, advises caution when considering doing business with CarShield and even gives them an F rating, so we'd recommend reviewing our checklist of how to find a reputable car warranty company.
The best way to get a good price is to compare offers. These are some popular options...