Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because Warranty Direct has stopped selling extended vehicle warranties. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this service's information.
Warranty Direct has been selling extended car warranties for over 30 years and is one of the rare vehicle service contract brokers to handle all the claims directly. Most services sell contracts from third-party administrators, so when you need to file a claim, you contact and deal with the third-party administrator, not the service that sold you the policy. One of my favorite aspects of Warranty Direct is the education resources the service provides on its website. The number of articles and tools devoted to helping you understand both pros and cons of extended warranties makes it clear this service is confident in its value.
This confidence extends to the quoting process. It gave us the only truly instant quote, and it comes with no sales pressure. You can see exactly what coverages your vehicle qualifies for and how much it costs in less than a minute. The only comparable quoting tool is USAA, though you need to be a USAA member to access the quoting tool.
Most extended warranty brokers use the quoting tool, always found prominently on the website, to funnel you into a sales call. There's nothing inherently wrong with sales calls, but when a company's marketing tactics are all focused on getting you to talk to a salesperson, I usually see a red flag. It suggests the company doesn't believe whatever it sells has enough persuasive value on its own merits to convince you to make a purchase but requires someone trained in persuasive dialogue to sell the product.
With Warranty Direct, you don’t have to worry about this. The quoting tool does what a quoting tool should do – it calculates the coverage and cost of plans your vehicle is eligible for. You know in less than a minute whether the price and coverage is going to fit your needs. It's fast. It's easy. It doesn't put pressure on you to make a purchase. You aren't called several times a day thereafter by an overeager salesperson. It's the best quoting process in the vehicle contract industry.
Each vehicle I got quotes for qualified for two or three plans. Most services, even ones with the most vehicle service plans, provided only one plan option in their quote. Warranty Direct's average price per mile covered in the quotes was $0.04. While this certainly wasn't the most affordably priced extended warranties, only a few services had cheaper prices per mile covered. The down payment average was 5 percent, a standard for most services.
Every quote I received from Warranty Direct came with an 18-month pay period, even if the plan had a term of 48 months. Most services spread the cost of the plan over 24 months. This means the average monthly payment for Warranty Direct is more expensive than other services. For example, on one quote, the monthly payment was $186.55 (for a contract with a 48-month, 100,000-mile term limit.) However, a quote from Autopom with the same terms was about $107 per month, in part because the total cost of the plan was lower but also spread over 24 months.
Warranty Direct separates its plans into three types – new, used and high-mileage. The new vehicle coverage has the "ultimate exclusionary protection" Elite Advantage plan. The Premier Advantage covers almost as much, but leaves the emissions system and luxury components as optional. There is also a wrap protection plan, designed to fill gaps in a manufacturer's warranty. The rest of the plans for the used and high-mileage vehicles progressively get less comprehensive until you reach the Standard Essential plan. This covers the engine, transmission, drive axle, seals and gaskets, transfer unit and turbo/supercharger. The emissions system can be added to the plan at an additional cost.
With nine total coverages, Warranty Direct has more options than most services. There are services selling as many as 32 contracts, but the coverage terms are usually limited to three or four coverages. So, when you consider almost any vehicle made after 2000 and with under 200,000 miles is eligible for coverage with this service, your chance of finding the best coverage for your car is excellent. And, as I mentioned earlier, this service was one of the only services to provide more than one coverage option in its quotes.
Vehicle Service Contract
Warranty Direct's contracts received an A+ for both length and readability. The contracts are between six and eight pages, and the pages average around 750 words per page, making these the shortest contracts I reviewed. The formatting is excellent. There's a clearly logical separation in the sections and never any huge blocks of dense text. Overall, the contracts were very easy to read. There are even moments when the contract provides examples to explain some clauses, such as how the estimated repair time equates to rental reimbursements.
Speaking of reimbursements, the vehicle rental coverage pays $35 per day and a max of $175. It's on the lower end of the reimbursement scale. Some services reimburse up to $65 per day and $320 total. However, you can be reimbursed $375 to pay for food and hotel rooms if your car breaks down on a road trip. The trip interruption coverage, as it's called, is one of the best on the market.
Warranty Direct offers above-average prices with multiple coverage options per vehicle. The contracts are short and easy to read, and the website does a great job providing resources to help you make a confident purchase. However, the quoting tool is what sets this service apart from others. It's the fastest, easiest way to find out what coverage you can get and at what cost.