CARCHEX review

CARCHEX is one of the biggest names in the extended car warranty industry, but the company's vehicle protection service extends to auto inspection, insurance and financing

CarChex extended car warranty

Our Verdict

CARCHEX offers average warranty coverage, but it gives you a lot of policy plan choices and lengthy coverage.

For

  • The average price of the quotes is very affordable

Against

  • The contracts are very long and hard to read

CARCHEX is one of the biggest names in the extended car warranty industry, but the company's vehicle protection service extends to auto inspection, insurance and financing. As a vehicle service contract broker, it offers 18 plans at varying coverage amounts, so you can likely find a plan that's right for your vehicle.

Read our round-up of the best extended car warranty services.

Quoting process

The quoting process earned a B+ grade. It wasn't as fast or as affordable as Autopom, but I was able to get my quotes emailed to me within an hour of submitting the vehicle information via the quote form. The reason it didn’t receive a higher grade was because of how many calls I received after getting the quote. I expected follow-up contact from sales representatives, but CARCHEX was a bit aggressive at calling back, though only a few callers left messages.

But despite the relatively smooth quote process, there are some concerning aspects to it. Below the quote tool is a disclaimer, found in tiny gray font conveniently blending into the background. It gives the company "and partners" permission to call, text or email you. The "partners" part is concerning as it implies your personal information will be shared for telemarketing purposes, resulting in unwanted calls and emails from other companies. That said, I haven't received telemarketing calls or emails from any of CARCHEX's many partners.

In the quotes I got on multiple vehicles, the coverage terms were for 48 months and ranged from 36,000 miles to 125,000 miles at an average cost of about $0.02 per mile. This makes the service one of the most affordable extended warranty brokers on the market. By comparison, most services I got quotes for averaged $0.05 per mile covered. The average down payment was 5 percent. This is the market average for a down payment, as is the $100 deductible on repairs.

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Coverage options

CARCHEX has five levels of coverage with a total of 18 contracts. It offers different policy plans, with the best plans providing coverage for most vehicles with less than 250,000 miles. The Titanium coverage has five plans with six- to seven-year terms. These are exclusionary plans with the maximum coverage. Every other level of coverage – platinum, gold, silver and bronze – works backward from these exclusionary plans, covering fewer of the car's components.

Contracts

With 18 contracts of varying length, one of the biggest downsides to this company is the average length of the contracts. While the readability of the contracts was above average in terms of the formatting and font size, these contracts have one of the highest words-per-page average. When you consider the average length is 18 pages and the average words per page is about 900, you can expect to read nearly 16,000 words per contract. This means it takes longer to get through and longer to grasp. And with extended warranties, reading the contract is critical before you decide to buy.

Verdict

CARCHEX is an excellent vehicle service contract broker with many plans available at very good prices. The contracts are long but fairly easy to read. The quoting process isn't the best, but it's still very good – much better than most services. The sales representatives are a little aggressive on the follow-up and there's some concern over sharing personal information with its partners when you use the quote tool, but CARCHEX is still one of the best extended car warranty brokers on the market.

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