Extended Warranty for Toyota

Toyota - Manufacturer Extended Warranty Overview

The Toyota Vehicle Service Agreement (VSA) is offered by Toyota Motor Insurance Services. Despite the name using the term “service,” this is a warranty program which covers unexpected repairs, not routine maintenance or wear items. What makes Toyota’s VSA unusual is that plans are offered for new Toyotas still under the original three year/36K comprehensive warranty, as well as certain used Toyotas and certified pre-owned Toyotas at the time of purchase from a Toyota dealer.

VSA is an extended program Toyota handles itself, and it only sells the program through its own dealer network. You can certainly buy a third-party warranty for a Toyota, but you cannot buy this one any place except at a Toyota dealership.

Toyota offers three levels of coverage within its VSA program. They are Platinum, Gold, and Powertrain. As you might suspect, Platinum is the almost-all-inclusive warranty that is quite similar to Toyota’s comprehensive new car warranty. It covers pretty much all the things that you can imagine, aside from wear items like tires and maintenance like oil changes.

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Toyota allows its dealers to define the programs they offer from a wide selection. A Toyota employee we spoke to via the VSA customer service line said, “The dealers have thousands of versions from which they can choose.” However, estimates on the plan that we’ve seen in Toyota forums, depending on which level you choose, which car you’re covering, and how many miles are on the vehicle, range between $1,500 and $3,000.

Like almost every extended warranty, Toyota offers a choice of a zero deductible or a $100 deductible plan in every one of its offerings. Toyota also offers varying lengths of time and miles for its contracts.

Toyota only offers its VSA policies for used and CPO vehicles at the time of purchase from its dealers. The VSA program will only apply to used vehicles sold by dealers that are under 10 year old and have less than 100K miles. You cannot get a VSA for a used Toyota outside of the new car comprehensive warranty period unless you opt-in when you buy your used vehicle from a Toyota dealer.

Specs / Key Features

  • Available for new, used, and also certified pre-owned Toyotas
  • For sale only by Toyota dealers
  • Work is done by Toyota dealerships
  • Reputation for being affordable and having good value
  • Restrictions on the age of the vehicle apply

Third-Party Extended Warranty Providers for Toyotas

Third-party warranties for Toyota vehicles make sense when your Toyota is older than the three-year 36K period. Since Toyota will not sell you a used car VSA outside of that window, if you already own an older used Toyota, an extended warranty from a third-party is your only option.

Pros and Cons of Third-Party Warranties

Third-party extended vehicle warranties can be purchased for Toyota vehicles. Our research reveals that the industry is a mixed bag, but there are some highly-rated companies such as Endurance and CARCHEX. One advantage of the third party companies may be flexibility on older models. One disadvantage is that you are not dealing directly with Toyota.

Endurance

Endurance is a well-known extended vehicle warranty company. Endurance administers the policies it sells, so you won’t be dealing with a surprise provider you have never heard of when you need to use the policy. Overall ratings for Endurance are good. You can read our full review of Endurance here/a>.

CARCHEX

CARCHEX is known as one of the more flexible third-party car warranty companies. CARCHEX acts as a broker and sells plans administered by others. This enables CARCHEX to offer a wide range of plan options. CARCHEX has excellent overall ratings, including an A+ rating from BBB. You can read our full review of CARCHEX here.

MakeRepairCost (Approximate)
RAV4Audio System Repair $770
CamryDoor Lock Malfunction$310
SiennaAlternator$800
Highlander Brake Caliper Frozen (replacement)$450
Highlander Wheel Bearin$425

What is covered by a Toyota extended warranty?

Toyota offers three levels of coverage within its VSA program.

No matter which level you choose, this is an exclusionary policy, meaning that the policy only covers exactly what is on the “covered items” list, and no more.Toyota spells out clearly what is included and what is not in a detailed Brochure. Platinum provides the most protection. Gold has a very comprehensive list with common failure items. Powertrain is the most limited, but covers the biggest mechanical systems. It’s very important for you to understand exactly what’s covered before you make a decision about what level you’re signing up for.

Included In Powertrain VSAIncluded In Gold VSAExcluded By Platinum VSA
EngineEverything In Powertrain VSATires
Turbocharger (if equipped)Alternators12-Volt Battery
TransmissionAC CompressorBrake Pads and Rotors
Axles and CV JointsFuel PumpAccessory Drive Belts

For example, no matter which level of policy you choose (Platinum, Gold or Powertrain), if your camshaft fails, it’s covered.

If you choose the Gold or Powertrain coverage, though, and your air pump fails, you’re NOT covered. That’s only covered under the Platinum coverage.

And, if your Anti-Lock Braking/Traction Control Actuator, Pump and Motor fails, that would be covered under either the Platinum or Gold levels of coverage, but not under Powertrain, since that isn’t a powertrain related item.

For more information on what’s covered by which plan, visit the “Compare Vehicle Service Agreements” section of the website. There’s a printer-friendly version of the coverages that you can print out and read at your leisure.

What is not covered by a Toyota extended warranty

Like all vehicle warranties, the VSA from Toyota should not be confused with a prepaid maintenance contract. Toyota offers that product separately, and it is called Toyota Care, or Toyota Extra Care. So, a Toyota VSA plan, even Platinum, does not cover the cost to replace your timing belt or water pump. Nor would it cover the cost of a routine oil change. Those are maintenance items you pay for. A Toyota VSA also does not cover wear items like tires, wiper blades, batteries, and glass. Things that wear out in normal use are not covered.

As we discussed above, a Toyota VSA Gold or Powertrain extended warranty also has a long list of items that they do not include coverage for. If you want “full” coverage, you can buy the more expensive platinum plan.

Do I need an extended warranty on my Toyota?

Wondering if an extended warranty is particularly applicable to Toyota, since it is arguably the most reliable car brand on the planet. The answer depends on your situation.

If you plan to own your Toyota outside of its included warranty coverage but wish to have a fixed cost of ownership, this is a plan to consider. You will keep your repair bills entirely predictable. Also, if you buy the plan and then opt to sell your Toyota, the warranty is transferable. That can be very valuable. Imagine yourself a used car buyer considering two used RAV4s from private party sellers. One has the Toyota Platinum VSA included and one has no warranty. Which would you opt for?

Many Americans also budget from paycheck to paycheck or from month to month. If you can’t handle the financial upheaval of a big repair bill, a VSA plan financed into your payments may make sense. Similarly, if you just can’t tolerate the stress of worrying about such a large unexpected bill, the VSA program offers peace of mind.

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FAQ

What is Toyota VSA?

Toyota VSA is an extension of your Toyota’s original factory warranty. It’s available in three levels of coverage (Platinum, Gold, Powertrain) at three different cost levels, depending on the model and age of your vehicle.

What does Toyota VSA cover?

Like all extended warranties, Toyota VSA is an exclusionary coverage program. It only covers what’s on the list. The lists of coverage for the Platinum, Gold and Powertrain warranties are available here.

Is an extended warranty on my Toyota worth it?

The answer depends on how you budget. If you can handle the unusual repair of a reliable Toyota model, the answer is no. However, if you like the peace of mind that comes from a fixed cost of ownership, the answer is yes.

Can I buy an extended warranty after I purchase my Toyota?

Yes, you can, but only on Toyotas still covered under the new car comprehensive warranty. . Toyota offers its VSA program for new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles. The used policies and CPO extended warranties can be purchased only when the new or CPO car is bought.

What alternatives to Toyota’s VSA program are there?

There are some good alternatives to Toyota’s VSA program, including Endurance and CARCHEX.

Is my Toyota Warranty Transferable?

Yes. The VSA policy can be transferred one time to a private party. You cannot transfer it if you trade it in to a dealer, but you can cash it out for a refund of the unused portion of the premium in that situation. A small fee will apply.

Editor's note and disclaimer: Car Talk is supported by our fans, readers and listeners. When you click on some of the links on our website, we may receive referral compensation. However, you should know that the recommendations we make are based on our independent editorial review and analyses.

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