Best Extended Auto Warranty Companies in San Diego, CA
Nov. 19, 2019, 10:57 p.m.
An extended auto warranty assists with the expenses of owning a car past its original warranty period. Also known as a service protection plan, it can be useful for unexpected vehicle repair expenses. ConsumerAffairs researched the best extended auto warranty in San Diego to help you decide if this service is right for you.
How to choose an extended auto warranty in San Diego
Residents of San Diego know that many city streets have potholes and surface damage that contribute to extra wear on the car. An extended auto warranty might offset the cost of repairs.
Other benefits of an extended auto warranty/service protection plan:
Available for used cars
Some have low or no deductibles for repairs
Can transfer to new owner if car is sold
Some offer additional benefits, such as car rental discounts and towing
Effective after the manufacturer’s warranty expires
An extended auto warranty does not cover items like tires, brakes, batteries, lights and windshield wiper blades. Maintenance, like oil and fluid changes, is not included, nor is damage from accidents (car insurance covers that).
Depending on the level of service, basic coverage is available for the transmission, engine and axles. Choose a bumper-to-bumper plan, also known as an “exclusionary” plan, for more comprehensive coverage. If you are one of many San Diegans who owns a 4x4 vehicle for recreation in the backcountry, you might find a plan that will help take care of your all-wheel-drive system.
Many extended auto warranties have low deductibles, in the range of $50 to $100. Read the agreement carefully for details on what is covered and how to obtain coverage. Check that coverage limits are not below the average costs for parts and labor. Beware of per-repair deductibles; companies might itemize repairs and charge them separately even if they are all completed during the same mechanic visit.
Most service contract plans have a waiting period to prevent customers from purchasing coverage and making claims immediately when their cars are already in disrepair.
Extended auto warranties in San Diego come in various lengths and mileages, such as three years/36,000 miles or seven years/100,000 miles. Special high-mileage plans are available. Ask if the mileage refers to the number of miles you drive after you purchase the plan or the actual mileage on the vehicle.
Some extended auto warranty companies require you to use one of their in-network repair facilities, so make sure there is one nearby. Others allow you to visit any licensed and ASE certified repair shop.
California law requires service contract plan providers to be backed by insurance companies. The Federal Trade Commission explains the basics of auto warranties. It’s important to note that an extended auto warranty is not the same as a manufacturer’s warranty or dealer service plan for a new car. Also known as a service protection plan, an extended auto warranty comes from a third party, not the manufacturer or dealer.
Spanish-speaking San Diego residents will appreciate CarShield's customer services and website available in Spanish. Many of their plans include a rental or rental car reimbursement while your car is in the shop. Reviewers generally enjoy the great customer support, but the Better Business Bureau notes the company's failure to resovle complaints.
Infinite Auto Protection offers three extended auto warranty plans. Each comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Customers like being able to take their vehicles to any dealership or certified repair shop and say Infinite Auto Protection has an efficient claims process and low deductible.