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Are Car Warranties Dealer Specific? (2022)

motor1.com logo motor1.com 19/09/2022 Brogan Woodburn
2023 Subaru Ascent © Motor1.com 2023 Subaru Ascent

While some dealers are flexible about where you can have your vehicle repaired, third-party providers have wide repair shop networks.

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Finding a trusted mechanic can be a bit of a hassle. Although manufacturer extended warranties simplify the process by dictating where you can use your warranty coverage, that can cause different headaches. For instance, what if you’re out of town when your car breaks down? In this article, we’ll discuss where you can use your warranty coverage.

Our team researched the best extended car warranty companies – like CarShield – and found that most allow the use of a vast network of repair facilities.

In this article:

  • What Is A Manufacturer’s Extended Warranty?
  • Can I Only Use My Warranty At The Dealership?
  • CarShield Extended Warranties
  • FAQ: Are Car Warranties Dealer Specific?

What Is A Manufacturer’s Extended Warranty?

When you purchase a new vehicle, it comes with a factory warranty backed by the automaker. Factory warranties are a combination of several different warranties, usually including a bumper-to-bumper warranty, a powertrain warranty, and a corrosion warranty. Some carmakers include emissions warranties and, in the case of electric and hybrid vehicles, a battery warranty. In order to extend the factory warranty, you can purchase additional coverage from the manufacturer before the original terms expire. This is known as an extended warranty.

Can I Only Use My Warranty At The Dealership?

In order to use the coverage provided by your manufacturer's extended warranty, you’ll likely have to take the car back to the dealership where you purchased it. This can be frustrating for some car owners, especially those who travel often. A benefit of purchasing an aftermarket auto warranty is a wider range of repair shop options.

When deciding to buy an extended warranty from the manufacturer, you should ask the dealer a few questions:

  • Where can I go for covered repairs? Most likely, the dealer will tell you that you should bring the car back to their specific dealership in order to use your warranty coverage. It’s best to confirm whether that’s the case before purchasing coverage.
  • What if I’m not near this dealership in the event of a breakdown? If you’re away from home and your car breaks down, you may be able to go to a dealership of the same automaker. You might need to request approval from the manufacturer, but this is helpful information to know before you commit to a warranty plan.
  • Do you work with any outside repair shops? Sometimes dealerships work with mechanics at other shops for specialized work. If they do, these shops may be more convenient – and less expensive – for you to use.

CarShield Extended Warranties

If you’re looking for flexibility as well as affordability, CarShield is worth consideration. The company is the most popular extended warranty provider on the market, offering month-to-month contracts that range from $99.99 to $129.99 a month. CarShield’s warranty coverage is especially suited for car owners that travel away from home, as the company allows you to take your vehicle to any repair facility certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE® ).

In our CarShield review, our research team gave the extended warranty provider 4.2 out of 5.0 stars and named it the provider with the Best Value.

CarShield Warranty Plans

To protect you from costly repairs, CarShield offers six levels of warranty coverage. Here’s a breakdown of the different tiers and what they cover:

CarShield Plan What It Covers
Diamond This is CarShield’s most comprehensive plan. It covers almost all vehicle components, minus a few exclusions. Excluded components include brakes, tires, hoses, and belts.
Platinum The Platinum plan is CarShield’s highest level of inclusionary coverage. It covers parts of the engine, transmission, electrical system, steering, and more.
Gold As CarShield’s enhanced powertrain warranty, the Gold plan covers the engine, transmission, drive axle, alternator, starter, and more.
Silver The Silver plan is CarShield’s most affordable coverage plan. This basic powertrain warranty covers the engine, transmission, drive axle, and water pump..
Aluminum Designed for luxury vehicles with complex electronics, this CarShield plan covers power seat control, GPS, sensors, and voice activation control.
Motorcycle & ATV This CarShield plan protects motorcycles and ATVs.

Additional Perks

All CarShield warranties come with the following benefits:

  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Towing
  • Rental car reimbursement
  • Trip interruption protection
  • Choice of any ASE-certified repair shop

How To Find An Authorized Repair Shop

To help you find reputable, certified repair shops in your area, CarShield offers all its customers use of the Shield Repair Network. The Shield Repair Network aggregates information about repair facilities in CarShield’s network, providing a way for customers to find a mechanic that fits their needs. 

Some of the benefits of using the Shield Repair Network include:

  • Quicker claims process
  • Trustworthy mechanics 
  • Repair facility locator in the CarShield app
  • Ability to filter search results to show repair shops within a 5-, 10-, 25-, or 50-mile radius of your location
  • Easy access to CarShield’s customer service team
 

FAQ: Are Car Warranties Dealer Specific?

Can you use your car warranty anywhere?

If you purchase your extended warranty from a dealership, you may only be able to use the warranty at that dealership or another authorized dealer of the same automaker. Most aftermarket warranty providers, like CarShield, have a network of ASE-certified repair shops around the country.

Are new car extended warranties worth it?

To determine whether an extended warranty is worth purchasing, it’s best to look at your financial situation as well as the overall reliability of your vehicle. If you are purchasing a luxury vehicle or a car known for expensive repairs, purchasing an extended warranty on your new car might be in your best interest.

Are all car warranties the same?

No, car warranties differ based on the manufacturer or third-party provider selling the coverage. Additionally, the coverage and price of your specific warranty is determined by a number of factors, including your vehicle’s make, model, and age and your location.

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