CarShield Car Warranty
CarShield is a brokerage specializing in automotive service contracts, often referred to as extended car warranties or service plans. While car dealers sell new vehicles with a warranty, CarShield’s plans are purchased separately to extend your car’s warranty.
CarShield works with several automotive service contract providers so you can compare multiple extended car warranty service plans in one place. The company also offers specialty plans to cover the electronics in your vehicle, for example, or for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. Once you purchase a plan, the company providing the extended warranty handles customer service and fulfillment of the contract.
If you are looking to compare different companies and various car warranty options, be sure to check out our car warranties guide.
- Consumers can compare a variety of extended car warranties at once
- Specialty plans such as lease end, motorcycle and vehicle electronics
- Sample policies available for review before purchase
- No guarantee all mechanics will honor the contract
- Terms of service contracts can be confusing
Working with CarShield
Because CarShield works with a variety of extended warranty plan administrators, the company can help you find the best coverage at the lowest cost. Fill out the form on the CarShield website to get a quote from plans by United Car Care, American Auto Shield, Interstate National Dealer Services (INDS), and the National Insurance Underwriters (NIU) of Florida. CarShield will email the quote or call you, and you can always call their toll free number to talk to an agent about a service plan quote.
Once you buy a service plan, you will need to follow your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule found in the manufacturer’s owner’s manual. Failure to comply with scheduled maintenance can negate your coverage under many service plans.
CarShield Car Warranty Policies
CarShield offers policies for new cars, used cars, motorcycles, ATVs and other off-road vehicles. Policy types, explained below, are comprehensive, powertrain, powertrain plus, specialty and motorcycle/ATV. Read the policies on CarShield’s website and discuss with a representative to get all the details.
|CarShield Car Warranty Plans|
|Type of Policy||Best For|
|New Car||Newer vehicles with high miles and expired manufacturer’s warranty|
|Comprehensive||Used cars with no manufacturer’s warranty|
|Powertrain +||High mileage vehicles|
|Powertrain||Most affordable, covers essential parts of the vehicle|
|Specialty||Leased vehicles, performance vehicles, items not covered by other warranties|
|Motorcycle/ATV||Off-road vehicles and road-driven motorcycles|
CarShield’s New Car plans are designed to provide the most complete coverage available. Similar to new car warranties, these service contracts are intended for car owners whose warranties have expired early either due to a short-term policy or high mileage on the vehicle causing the warranty to end. New Car policies may include limited roadside assistance depending on your state of residence.
Comprehensive plans offer slightly less coverage than New Car plans and are designed to cover the essentials within a car, which make it operable. The engine, transmission, air conditioning, starter, water and fuel pumps, and electrical are covered with some exclusions.
Powertrain + service contracts include fewer extras compared to Comprehensive plans and are intended to help keep higher-mileage vehicles on the road. Powertrain + plans cover alternators, starter, air conditioning, water pumps, transmission and specific engine functions.
Slightly scaled-down versions of Powertrain + plans, Powertrain plans focus heavily on mechanical parts of the car, such as lubricated engine parts, transmission and the water pump.
Specialty policies cover components not typically covered by service contracts. Depending on the plan, coverage may include vehicle electronics, built-in TVs, air conditioning, turbochargers, steering and more. Specialty plans for lease-end coverage are intended to cover the cost of repairs needed when you return the vehicle, such as minor body dings, wheel rim damage or other repairs typically required by the dealer.
Road driven motorcycles, off-road motorcycles and ATVs are subject to many of the same mechanical issues as cars and trucks, but rarely offered the same strong warranties found in new vehicles. Because the systems and challenges are unique, a regular vehicle contract is not a good fit for motorcycles and ATVs. Motorcycle/ATV service contracts are specifically designed for those vehicles and come in both Comprehensive and Powertrain levels of coverage.
CarShield Car Warranty Complaints
Not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), CarShield does have a presence on the BBB website. It currently has an “F” rating and a consumer warning notice issued due to concerns over advertising practices and a pattern of complaints alleging misleading sales and advertising practices.
Other review sites, such as ConsumerAffairs, rank CarShield more favorably. On the ConsumerAffairs site, the company has a ranking of 4 stars out of 5, based on more than 650 reviews, 280 posted in the past year. Representatives at CarShield do a good job of responding to consumers on the site, which is a sign that excellent customer service is an increasing priority for the company.
How do I get service for my car under a CarShield auto service contract?
Each CarShield contract will vary somewhat depending on the specific plan and the company administrating it. However, the majority of contracts require you to call the plan administrator for service authorization before making any repairs.
Do CarShield plans reimburse my costs or pay the mechanic directly?
This will vary according to your contract. A few service contracts only make direct payments to the company that services your vehicle. However, most will either reimburse you or pay the mechanic directly.
What happens if my mechanic wants payment up front?
Most contracts allow you to take your vehicle to any ASE Certified mechanic, which is an auto service technician certified with a Blue Seal from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Mechanics do not have to agree to the terms of the service contract, but most will accept the terms because they want your business. If the mechanic will not work with your plan and that plan does not include the option for you to pay and get reimbursed, you will have to decide to pay for the repair yourself or take your vehicle elsewhere.
Who do I call if I have a problem with my CarShield plan?
As a broker, CarShield is only the point of sales for your service contract. If you have a problem with your plan, you will need to contact the plan administrator for customer service. If you disagree with your plan administrator, you can call your state’s insurance commissioner or local consumer protection agency.
Do CarShield plans replace my vehicle’s warranty?
No, these plans do not replace your vehicle’s warranty. The CarShield plan will go into effect when your manufacturer’s warranty lapses. If you purchase a plan while your original warranty is still in effect, there is no time delay on when the service contract will begin. While this sounds ideal, you could end up paying for unnecessary overlap in coverage as long as your warranty is still active. Ask questions to verify when a plan you’re considering starts.
Do any car manufacturers endorse CarShield?
No. CarShield’s plans are service contracts offered by private companies unrelated to an automobile manufacturer or dealer.
The costs of a vehicle don’t stop when you purchase it. AAA calculates maintenance and repairs alone cost an average of $1,186 a year for a new vehicle, with total average annual costs to own and operate a vehicle topping out at $8,469. Combine that with the initial cost of a new or used car, and it’s easy to be concerned about the unexpected breakdowns having a significant impact on your wallet. Beyond the original vehicle warranty, a service plan is a way to reduce those expenses. If you’re considering an automotive service contract, CarShield can make the process easier by allowing you to view numerous companies and multiple plan types all in one place.