Purchasing a car is necessary for most of us, and along with the purchase comes an array of things to consider. One of the considerations is a bumper to bumper warranty and what it covers. There are a whole lot of different warranty varieties that either come standard or optional with a new and used automobile. Most consumers often find that they can’t keep up with the full range of car warranties and will opt for the first one they come across. Two of the most common choices are the bumper to bumper and powertrain warranties. Both options can offer peace of mind for your vehicle if it breaks down or in the event it needs repairs.
Carmakers love to exaggerate about the factory warranty that comes with your new vehicle. On top of the various deals and discounts, they are likely to throw into the mix, a high number of salespeople try to build up the importance of a new manufacturer’s warranty to close the deal. Keep in mind that all factory warranties are not the same. For example, while the Kia warranty bumper to bumper lasts five years or 60k miles, the Nissan bumper to bumper warranty is three years or 36k miles.
So, does the bumper to bumper warranty cover your automobile? Sure it does. And is it one of the extra perks to sweeten the deal? Not exactly. The truth is that the factory limited warranty is standard with all leading automakers. Irrespective of the cost of a new vehicle, it will have a new bumper to bumper protection, provided it’s a new purchase. The three year Ford bumper to bumper warranty, for instance, comes with all new Fords, whether it’s a truck, sedan, or SUV. Therefore, this is something you can turn into a good account if the opportunity comes up. However, you may find some myths concerning what a limited new vehicle warranty is and isn’t. Don’t worry for we’ll be dispelling most of those myths in this post.
The Best Bumper To Bumper Warranty: Everything You Should Know
The term bumper to bumper warranty is not only a cliché in the automotive industry, but it can also be misleading. As you buy a new vehicle, the sales rep is likely to encourage you to purchase an extended bumper to bumper warranty as well. What does is it they are trying to say? If for instance, you are getting a Honda, what’s the difference between a Honda bumper to bumper warranty and an extended warranty bumper to bumper for the same car? And what would each stripe cover?
We recommend that you begin by understanding what a bumper to bumper warranty is and what it protects so you can make a smart decision about your vehicle’s lengthened warranty. Note that third-party providers offer different types of extended warranties with varying term lengths. We explored some of the finest extended warranty providers, and we’ll look into their bumper-to-bumper coverage options later in this post.
But here we are, where for many years, the phrase bumper-to-bumper extended warranty got most drivers thinking they had protection for everything on their vehicle from the back to front bumpers. Although it sounded like the best deal, it was not accurate and led to a lot of confusion. The Toyota bumper to bumper warranty, for example, doesn’t cover some wear and items to parts like cabin surfaces, fabric, and glass, among others.
A comprehensive or basic cover would be more precise terms for bumper to bumper warranty. Grasping these phrases could be a lifesaver, and getting the right protection for your car will depend on knowing exactly what each plan covers. Even though the factory and extended warranties can offer excellent auto-coverage and save you from costly out-of-pocket repairs, no policy is all-inclusive. That’s why we recommend ‘comprehensive’ as a more appropriate word than ‘bumper to bumper’.
What is Bumper to Bumper Warranty?
As the name suggests, a bumper to bumper warranty protects nearly everything between the front and rear bumpers of your new car. There are always a few exceptions, nonetheless, such as specific wear items, including brake pads, windshield wipers, and tires plus regular maintenance like tire rotations and oil changes.
When you buy a new vehicle, it comes with one or more coverage types, irrespective of the manufacturer. The protection plans, otherwise called factory or manufacturer warranties, generally include;
- Bumper to bumper coverage
- Powertrain warranty
- A rust or corrosion coverage
There could be other warranty stripes depending on the automaker. A case in point is the jeep bumper to bumper warranty, which has a few different versions like the jeep lifetime bumper to bumper warranty and the jeep bumper to bumper extended warranty. Also, it’s not uncommon to find the bumper-to-bumper protection going by the name ‘limited warranty’ or ‘new vehicle limited warranty’.
Either way, the term bumper to bumper is simply another word to describe comprehensive coverage that comes from the factory through auto dealerships. And a real basic warranty will offer nearly complete protection from mistakes during the car’s manufacturing process for a specific period. It means the bumper to bumper warranty is the most significant element of a new vehicle’s warranty package since it often includes comprehensive coverage for all auto parts and systems.
It makes the limited warranty reasonably attractive from the surface. Given that it’s an automatic inclusion in your brand new car is also appealing because it theoretically will be a money saver if issues arise with the purchase. Despite that, the truth of what this warranty involves can be disappointing.
Yes, a factory basic warranty protects almost every part of the car. Sure, it freely comes with a new automobile. No, it will not always save you cash on routine maintenance or repair work. If anything, it will probably kick in less than you imagine, leaving you without pocket payments.
What is The Bumper To Bumper vs Powertrain Warranty?
Bumper-to-bumper coverage is more inclusive than the simple powertrain protection since it covers just about every component between the bumpers of the vehicle. The powertrain policy, as the name implies, only covers the parts that ‘power’ your car or make it move. A powertrain’s major inclusions are the transmission and the engine, plus their related components. The limited manufacturer’s coverage builds on the powertrain warranty by including all other non-wearable vehicle components from the A/C to electronics, and suspension.
What Does Bumper to Bumper Warranty Cover?
The exact coverage details in a bumper to bumper warranty will depend on the agreement and the manufacturer. You should expect some contracts to be more inclusive of coverage parts than others. Here are examples of components that a limited warranty covers;
- Braking system
- Electrical parts
- Fuel delivery systems
- Navigation systems
- Heating and cooling components
- Safety equipment like airbags
Different automakers often include optional warranties and additional perks to their coverage plans. The Chevy extended bumper to bumper warranty, for instance, comes with added protection for the hybrid components. The Honda bumper to bumper extended warranty adds Honda Care Sentinel that comes with oil changes. Moreover, factory warranties factor in emissions coverage and corrosion protection as well.
While factory extended warranties give comprehensive protection and extra perks, it limits the consumer to the dealership when they have to repair the car or replace parts. That’s where you’ll need to extend your coverage with a reputable third-party provider. Some of these companies have extensive coverage plans with comparable or even better perks than the manufacturer deal. And in addition, they’ll offer you the flexibility of tens of thousands of network repair facilities.
What Does Bumper to Bumper Warranty Not Cover?
You’ll probably hear or come across the term exclusionary coverage. An exclusionary plan is similar to a bumper to bumper warranty, with term referring to the list of exclusions in the warranty contract instead of a lengthy list of covered parts. Usually, limited factory protection does not include wear components in a car, including; brakes, windshield wipers, seatbelts, brake pads, tires, and other parts. Besides, the contract doesn’t cover damages on components resulting from an accident, mishandling, as well as improper maintenance.
So, before you get too comfortable with having a bumper to bumper warranty, you should probably ask, “what does the limited part in a limited coverage entail?” It explains that your policy won’t cover all the components in all instances and that you may need to incur the expenses of a repair or replacement.
A factory limited protection plan will only kick in when an arising defect is the fault of the manufacturer. If your digital display mysteriously starts flickering, for example, or you notice body panels falling off, the manufacturer’s policy kicks in. Regardless, the basic factory coverage will apply if these issues are because of poor craft or substandard materials.
But if the malfunctions are due to normal wear and tear or an accident, then you’ll be unfortunate. This is what confounds most of the new car owners. You’ll assume that the impressive limited warranty will decrease the cost of a regular oil change only to get a nasty surprise.
Sadly, you will need another warranty to give you that kind of cost-saving protection. So, while cost-effective repairs plus routine maintenance are practicable, a bumper to bumper warranty isn’t just your best bet.
Here’s a more inclusive list of items that your basic warranty won’t cover:
- Oil filters and oil changes
- Wiper blades
- Tail and headlights plus lenses
- Fabric and vehicle upholstery
- Improper maintenance or neglect-based repairs
- Personal-modification-based repairs
- The tires
- Turn signals
- The brake pads
- Break lights
- Cosmetic repairs, including dents, paint, or dings
- Accident-related repairs
- Standard parts’ wear over time
- Severe weather-related damages
Away from the explicit limits of a manufacturer’s warranty, it’s advisable to know the specifics of your coverage. The details often include:
- Inclusions: It refers to the parts that a bumper to bumper warranty Note that most factory limited warranties have less of exclusions and more inclusions. Essential inclusions should at least cover one or more items like brake pads and wiper blades, although most plans don’t.
- Exclusions: These are components that a limited warranty doesn’t cover. The majority of limited protection plans only give the exclusion list since the warranty coverage is usually comprehensive.
- Coverage Term: Factory warranties don’t last forever. In anything, limited coverages are often the shortest. Warranties have time and distance limitations. The time could be in years or months while the distance is in mileage. A three-year, 36,000-mile warranty, for instance, will expire any time the vehicle is three years old or reaches the 36,000-mile mark.
It’s always best to shop around as you consider these options.
How Long Does A Bumper to Bumper Warranty Last?
Up to a couple of years ago, the standard bumper to bumper warranty for most new automobiles would be active for 36-k miles or three years, whichever came first. Currently, you would be hard-pressed to come across a manufacturer’s term length falling below this level. Even so, many carmakers are adopting a new marketing strategy that involves enhancing their new vehicle coverage terms to five or six years.
Today, it’s more accurate to associate the duration of a new car’s limited warranty with the reliability ratings of its manufacturer. It makes sense since the more reliable the brand, the more willing the automaker will be to back the product for lengthier periods.
The chart below shows term lengths for new vehicles from the most popular automakers:
|Vehicle Brand||Bumper to Bumper Warranty|
|Toyota||Three years or 36-k miles|
|Honda||Three years or 36-k miles|
|Chevrolet||Three years or 36-k miles|
|Land Rover||Four years or 50-k miles|
|Kia||Five years or 60-k miles|
|Ford||Three years or 36-k miles|
|Nissan||Three years or 36-k miles|
|BMW||Four years or 50-k miles|
|Hyundai||Five years or 60-k miles|
Why Purchase A Bumper To Bumper Extended Warranty?
Now we all aware that every new vehicle qualifies for a bumper to bumper warranty. So, it would seem odd when a dealer tries to advance the subject of an extended bumper to bumper warranty before you even sign the contract for your car. It would leave you doubting, are extended auto warranties worth it?
It’s perfect timing, nevertheless, since lengthened protection can be appealing if you wish to have peace of mind concerning your finances. The feeling of security that comes with investing in a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty is one of the plan’s greatest benefits. This protection policy can be less or more appealing, depending on your car’s reliability. You can check a vehicle’s consistency on websites such as Consumer Reports, J.D. Power, and RepairPal.
Furthermore, extended warranties have other perks adding to their appeal, including reimbursements for rental cars, 24-hour roadside help, and towing discounts, among others. If history shows that your car’s make and model will need costly repairs as it gets old, you can invest in an extended warranty to reduce the financial burden of hefty fixes.
But dealerships are not the only sellers for these protection plans because there are two types of extended auto coverages: those that manufacturers sell and those from independent, third-party providers.
Where Should I Buy My Extended Bumper To Bumper Warranty?
So, where should you purchase an extended warranty between dealership vs aftermarket companies? Each type of extended coverage vendor has some advantages and disadvantages. However, when you weigh both sides, we would recommend getting coverage from a third-party extended warranty company for more flexibility and the best affordable rates.
Independent extended warranties don’t include the marked-up rates that come with dealership offers, which should even give you more bargaining room. Besides, dealerships are likely to wrap up the extended protection into your car loan, where you’ll be paying interest for the warranty as well.
When we talk about flexibility in aftermarket extended coverage vendors, we imply both eligibility and coverage. For instance, CARCHEX offers five protection levels, which range from powertrain to bumper-to-bumper coverage. And each tier provides several customizable contract options for your car. There are tons of other extended warranty providers with similar offers.
Some dealerships offer multi-layered extended protection plans, but not as with independent companies. And while you’ll probably get to pick from one or two plans, you can only modify your terms.
Most vehicles will qualify for an extension of the bumper to bumper warranty with a third-party firm. Usually, these vendors will cover new, used, and certified pre-owned automobiles, including those that are well over 100-k miles.
Many times, you can only buy an extension plan at the dealership if your bumper to bumper warranty is still valid. And like we said, this limited factory coverage may only last through your initial three ownership years.
The 5 Best Third-Party Bumper To Bumper Warranty Companies
Before we start, let’s emphasize that any car coverage you get away from the purchase of a new or used automobile, which we’re reviewing here, is not an actual warranty. A warranty is what an automaker provides when getting a car and may come as a bumper to bumper warranty, powertrain protection, or both. What we colloquially refer to as auto warranties are actually vehicle services contracts or VSCs, which lengthen certain coverages of the original factory warranties.
For this post, however, we’ve used the term car warranty interchangeably to imply both the factory coverage and the aftermarket protection plans, which pay for specific repairs to your already used vehicle. When we say manufacturer’s warranty, we’re talking about the coverage that comes as part of the new car purchase price.
Similarly, you shouldn’t confuse car warranties with car insurance. While warranties cover repair expenses relating to normal wear, insurance safeguards against theft, accidents, as well as the loss you may cause on other motorists or property while driving. Auto insurance is a legal requirement, whereas a warranty is optional.
Now, here are our best five best aftermarket bumper to bumper warranty providers:
It is one of the most popular extended vehicle warranty companies in the market. The firm provides long and confusing contracts and plans for various coverage levels. But they always have a representative on standby to walk you through their offers. The company brags an A+ BBB rating plus accreditation, besides various industry endorsements from brands such as CARFAX and others.
This vehicle service contract provider has five levels of protection:
- Titanium: Offers bumper to bumper protection with minimal exclusions for up to ten years
- Platinum: Covers hundreds of specific parts for a maximum of ten years
- Gold: Protects your vehicle’s major systems for up to ten years
- Silver: It gives essential protection for most of the major systems for up to seven years
- Bronze: It guards you against the most prevalent and costly repairs for up to six years
Endurance is another household brand in the extended vehicle coverage industry. One thing that sets Endurance aside from its competition is the ability to administer plans directly to consumers. Besides, this VSC vendor has an A-rating from A.M. Best.
- Select Premiere: Suitable plan for covering high-mileage vehicles
- Secure: The best affordable tier at Endurance covering various vehicle components
- Superior: It is the most plan with the most inclusive plan for added components coverage
- Supreme: Endurance’s top-tier choice comparing to a limited factory warranty
The company has the most extensive plan options for an extended vehicle warranty. CarShield works with highly rated insurance providers such as the A.M. Best A-rated American Auto Shield as well as the United Car Care for its lengthened warranties.
- New Car Diamond: Gives comprehensive cover for new autos
- Platinum: The comprehensive protection plan at CarShield
- Gold: Builds on the manufacturer’s powertrain warranty
- Silver: It’s an equivalent of an automaker’s powertrain coverage
- High Tech: A specialty protection plan from CarShield
- Specialty: It includes many other vehicle protection options
AAA compares to CarShield in terms of the variety of contract selections for your car. But they have the upper hand concerning more collaborating partners, which results in a more extensive price range options.
Levels of Coverage
- Full coverage protection with six third-party providers
- Premium Stated Component with five third-party collaborators
- Stated Component Plan with seven collaborating warranty providers
- Premium Powertrain Plus has three third-party providers
- Premium Powertrain that outsources to three warranty vendors
The vehicle service contract company is famous for its most straightforward contracts in extended car protection. Unlike other providers on our list, Protect My Car only has three options for extending your vehicle’s coverage.
- Driveline: The lowest protection plan covering automobiles ranging from four to ten years old with over 80-k miles.
- Select: The plan is suitable for covering cars with more than 50-k miles, and has many similarities to the top-tier Supreme protection.
- Supreme: Protect My Car Supreme program embodies a new vehicle factory warranty.
The following is a side to side feature comparison table of the top five best aftermarket bumper to bumper warranty companies:
|CARCHEX Extended Warranty||Endurance||CarShield||A.A. Auto Protection||Protect My Car|
|Start||any time||Any time||Any time||any time||Any time|
|Max Coverage yrs||10||15||n/a||10||10|
|No. of Plans||Five levels, 16 plans||Five plans||Six plans||Five levels, 24 plans||Three plans|
|Repair Network||> 30,000 facilities nationwide||> 350,000 ASE-certified shops||Select ASE-certified shops||any ASE-certified mechanic||Any licensed repair shop|
|Cancellation Policy||Refund if in 30 days||Refund if in 30 days||Refund if in 30 days||Refund if in 30 days||Refund if in 30 days|
|Availability||Free, instant quote online||Free, instant quote online||Call for an instant quote||Free, instant quote online||Free, instant quote online|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Yes. A bumper to bumper warranty is the best way to save yourself from costly out-of-pocket repairs and having the peace of mind of reliable vehicle protection. Most plans also come with other perks like roadside assistance and car towing.
Yes and No. The limited factory protection will only cover bodywork if the defects are a result of the manufacturer’s mistake.
No. bumper to bumper protection does not include normal wear, damages due to vehicle mishandling or accident-related repairs. But it would cover the dents if you can show that it’s a mistake on the manufacturer’s workmanship or low-quality materials.
Battery coverage on the limited factory warranty often varies from one provider to the next. Some automakers will cover the battery for up to a certain period from where you’ll cost-share repair or replacement expenses.
No. The windshield is one of the wear items in the exclusionary list of most bumper to bumper warranties.
Yes. A bumper to bumper warranty includes paint as long as your plan comes with corrosion or rust coverage.
It will depend on the cause of the damage. Manufacturers will only cover your vehicle’s body damages if it’s a mistake in the manufacturing process. However, it will not cover accident-related or extreme weather damages to the car’s body.
The Bottom Line
When you buy a new car, the purchase price is inclusive of a manufacturer bumper to bumper warranty. The contract takes care of any arising factory defects in the vehicle. As such, the automaker will pay for repairs and defective parts replacements because of manufacturing errors. However, the factory warranty often has a short lifespan, and will not even include protection against regular wear and tear.
Most dealerships provide an extension plan, lengthening the new vehicle factory warranty, which may throw in a few added perks like roadside assistance and car towing. But you must purchase the extended coverage before your original limited warranty expires. In this arrangement, the dealer is most likely to include these payments in your car loan. You will end up paying interest for the extended protection as well, making it costlier.
Third-party bumper to bumper companies have more affordable options since their policies are without marked-up prices. Also, these vendors have more protection levels even for older cars and will allow you to customize your plan in each of their offerings. Therefore, when it comes to extending your bumper to bumper warranty, you’ll get a better deal with an independent, aftersales vehicle service contract.