Let’s explore the coverage that comes with a Carefree extended warranty.
In the world of extended car warranties, there are lots of options when you are ready to purchase a service contract. The trouble is, not every third-party warranty company has your best interest at heart. That’s why we dig deep when it comes to investigating various protection plans. In this article, we will evaluate the coverage that Carefree Auto provides to consumers.
To gain a full understanding of the company, we will look at its reputation, coverage, and reviews. By the time we finish, you will know whether or not it’s wise to give this warranty provider your hard-earned money.
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Read Motor1’s guide to the best providers available.
In This Article:
About Carefree Auto
Carefree Auto is a warranty provider that offers protection plans for unexpected repairs and routine maintenance. The company is part of Coverdell & Company, a marketing and insurance organization that serves more than 6 million people nationwide.
Carefree Auto has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) but lacks accreditation. Its parent company has an A+ rating with accreditation. Coverdell & Company only has six reviews with the BBB, all for one star, but this isn’t necessarily representative of its auto plans because the company deals in a number of protection plans including dental and medical care.
Right away, this is a small red flag. It’s challenging to be an expert in the auto warranty industry, and this is not the organization’s primary business.
As far as industry endorsements, we were unable to find any support for Carefree Auto from industry leaders, although the provider includes an “As Seen on TV” logo on its homepage.
Carefree Auto Coverage
What makes Carefree Auto different than most car warranty providers is that there are no specific plans for protection. Instead, members receive a card that provides discounts and various services. This plan is not a comprehensive bumper-to-bumper warranty like you can purchase from many other reputable companies.
With Carefree Auto, consumers pay $24.95 per month to be a part of this membership club. In return, the following benefits are received:
- Repair Reimbursement: After visiting a licensed repair facility, the membership covers 30 percent of the covered non-collision repair, up to $500. This rebate can be redeemed up to $1,000 per year.
- Rental Car Discounts: Receive up to 25 percent off qualified rental vehicles.
- Routine Maintenance: Receive up to 20 percent off at thousands of participating service centers.
- Towing and Roadside Assistance: 24/7 roadside assistance and towing are included, up to $100 per incident, with a maximum of three calls per year.
- Tire and Wheel Protection: With membership, you receive $150 per tire or wheel replacement and $25 per flat tire repair, up to a maximum of two flat tires per year.
- Carefree Auto Expert Hotline: This hotline provides advice about the cost of car repairs, do-it-yourself advice, and more.
Because the coverage offered by Carefree Auto isn’t your typical extended warranty – in fact, we are hesitant to put it in that category at all – it’s difficult to differentiate the plan from the perks. Most of what is included in the plan is given as a bonus with reputable providers, often to a much greater extent.
For example, you can expect the following services with many of the top extended car warranties:
- Roadside assistance
- Rental cars
- Trip interruption
- Lockout service
The only difference is, with a reputable company, you receive more than simply a discount. Instead, your rental car is covered and trip interruption is paid for, up to the amount outlined in the terms and conditions. With these perks alone, most other extended warranties are more valuable than what we see from Carefree Auto.
Carefree Auto Customer Reviews
To really understand the Carefree Auto experience, it’s important to look at current customer reviews. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find many out there. Carefree Auto doesn’t have a single review on Google, Trustpilot, or Facebook, which raises some bigger red flags.
The provider only has one review on its BBB page for two stars, and that review doesn’t even make Carefree Auto’s small discount program sound good.
“…Every time you try to utilize a coupon, they kick the price up to retail cost, and you don’t save anything.”
-Joy D. via BBB
Our Verdict On Carefree Auto
Non-traditional coverage options combined with lack of customer reviews don’t put Carefree Auto at the top of our list for extended warranty providers. The company’s discount program may work for some consumers, but if you are looking for more comprehensive protection, we suggest looking elsewhere.
Do You Need An Extended Warranty?
If you want more coverage than Carefree Auto provides, but you aren’t sure if an extended warranty is right for you, consider the following. Vehicle owners that fall into one of these categories would likely benefit from protection beyond the factory warranty.
You want to keep your vehicle.
As your car gets older, it becomes more susceptible to mechanical failure. If repairs are taken care of, there’s no reason to replace your vehicle sooner than you need to.
You want to sell your vehicle.
With a transferable plan, potential buyers may see more value in your vehicle.
You don’t have the money to pay for expensive car repairs up front.
Americans spend approximately $1,986 on car repairs over the course of five years. Keep in mind, that’s an average. Many people are paying far more than that, especially when the engine or transmission fails. If you don’t have the money to pay for an unexpected car repair, smaller monthly payments toward an extended warranty may be the best option for you.
You want peace of mind.
With an extended warranty, you know that you are protected against hefty repair bills if something breaks.
You would benefit from additional perks.
Many protection plans come with benefits such as roadside assistance, towing, and rental car coverage.
Our Recommended Warranty Providers
While we aren’t impressed with the coverage provided by Carefree Auto, there are plenty of warranty companies out there that offer great coverage and customer service. In our review of the nation’s top extended warranty providers, we found a few great choices.
CARCHEX Extended Protection: Best Overall
We named CARCHEX the best overall warranty provider for its great reputation, comprehensive coverage offerings, and added benefits. CARCHEX has an A+ rating and accreditation with the BBB, as well as industry endorsements from Edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book, and CARFAX.
No. 1 overall, beating the competition in company reputation, coverage options, and customer service.
CARCHEX has five customizable coverage plans, unlike the membership plan for discounts offered by Carefree Auto. You can opt for top-of-the-line, bumper-to-bumper protection or basic powertrain coverage, as well as everything in between. CARCHEX covers a variety of vehicles including high-mileage cars and trucks.
Other benefits to using CARCHEX include:
- Affordable plans
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Rental car reimbursement
- Choice of auto repair shop
- Direct payments to repair shops
- 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
CarShield Extended Protection: Most Popular
Another top choice for a warranty is CarShield, which we rated as the Most Popular provider. The company has been in business since 2005 and has covered more than one million vehicles. On top of that, CarShield has a 4.5-star rating on Google with more than 1,500 reviews.
A great provider with a history of over one million vehicles protected and thousands of customer reviews.
With CarShield, you can choose from six levels of protection, including the bumper-to-bumper plan and powertrain coverage for your engine and transmission. In addition, CarShield has the High Tech plan to cover the expensive electronic systems that many of today’s vehicles offer. This includes the GPS, audio system, power windows, and more. CarShield also has a plan for specialty vehicles like motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.
Other benefits to using CarShield include:
- Low deductibles
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Free rental cars with some plans
- Choice of auto repair facility
- Direct payments to repair shops
- 30-day money back guarantee
CARCHEX and CarShield aren’t the only great extended warranty companies out there. When we researched the best warranty companies, we evaluated each on the following criteria:
- Customer service
- Customer reviews
- Coverage levels
- Additional perks
- Accolades and endorsements
That being said, if you’re looking for an alternative to Carefree Auto, we recommend looking into these providers:
Your needs may be different than those of your neighbor. We encourage you to reach out to several providers for quotes to find the extended warranty that is right for you.