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What are features to look for in extended auto warranty plans

Mitch Avatar By: Mitch | Last updated September 30, 2022

car tech looking over a vehicle on a hoist


When you purchase a car, you would most likely receive a warranty for that car. It could be either a manufacturer warranty or just a dealer warranty. Whatever the case may be, thanks to that warranty, you will be protected from most damages and breakdowns for a certain number of years or miles.

But what would happen once that warranty period has finally ended? After all, most big breakdowns usually happen after the warranty is over. What should you do when such a thing inevitably happens?

The answer is an extended auto warranty. In this brief article, you would learn about what is an extended auto warranty, what are the features that you should look for in an extended warranty plan, and finally what is a recommended extended auto warranty company.

What is an extended auto warranty?

As the name suggests, an extended auto warranty is an extension above and beyond your manufacturer or dealer warranty. More often than not, an extended auto warranty would be able to offer you coverage beyond what your original warranty is willing to cover. 

You could see it as a kind of insurance that would protect you from the heavy financial burden should your car experience a terrible breakdown one day. But one thing you should keep in mind is although it is often referred to as an extended warranty, it is actually not a warranty at all. It is something called a Vehicle Protection Plan (VPP) or Vehicle Service Contract (VSC). 

That being said, a VPP or VSC does provide repair coverage for your vehicle after the original warranty has expired. And in most cases, having a proper extended warranty plan proves to be the lifeline that would save most people from the hundreds or even thousands of dollars that they should've paid to repair their car. 

That's why you should definitely give an extended warranty a try. But since not all extended warranty companies are created equal. There are things that you should look for within their plans before you finally commit to their services. 

Features to look for in extended auto warranty plans
  • The eligibility of your vehicle. The first thing that you need to find out upon examining a coverage plan is whether or not your vehicle is eligible for any particular plan. Because every company usually has rather strict rules when it comes to eligibility. So you should contact them for further support and information.
  • The extent of coverage. This one is usually laid out plainly on their official website. Even down to individual parts like seals and gaskets. Usually, there would be several plans with each plan covering more parts than the next.
  • Aftermarket components and pre-existing conditions. This one is a bit specific, and different companies might have different policies regarding these things. So if your car has either one of these things, then you should definitely talk to their sales representative before you even begin to look for further coverage.
  • Waiting period. A waiting period is a set amount of time where the company would evaluate your vehicle and your driving style and habits before deciding whether to activate your contract or not. Every company has a different stand when it comes to waiting periods. Some use them and stand by them, while others don't really care for them. But different companies might use a different term for it, so look for it carefully. 
  • Transferable contracts. This term dictates whether or not you could transfer your extended auto warranty contracts to another person. Such a thing is usually useful when you intend to sell your vehicle in the near future. A car with a robust extended auto warranty in place would certainly boost its selling price.
  • Cost and payment. And this is where you should talk about how much that particular coverage plan would cost you and what kind of payment they accept. Some companies offer a hefty lump sum price upfront while others might accept a pay-as-you-go method. Others might have different methods altogether.
  • Claims. After how you pay them, you should also look into how they're gonna pay you when you need to repair your car. Again, different companies have different policies. When a breakdown happens and you find out about the cost of repair, some would pay you immediately, some would pay the mechanic either directly or through installment, some might reimburse your money after you pay for the repair, and some might process your claim differently. 
  • Additional benefits. Most extended auto warranty companies offer some kind of additional benefits on top of their coverage plans. Something like 24-hour roadside assistance, rental service for when your car is breaking down, support for your gas and tires, and some even offer a meal and housing package for when you're out of town. 
The best extended auto warranty company

This is where I finally introduce you to Automotive Peace of Mind, or better known as AutoPOM!. AutoPom is an extended auto warranty company from California that has been in the business for more than two decades. They are also a member of the Better Business Bureau with a customer rating of A+. So as a company, you can trust that they will honor their promise to the customers. 

They offer several coverage plans that would progressively cover more parts until virtually all mechanical and electrical parts are covered. But even their most basic plan would cover the most essential major system of your vehicle, and some electrical components as well. Unfortunately, they don't accept vehicles with aftermarket parts and pre-existing conditions.

They are well known in the industry to have one of the fastest and easiest claim processes than other similar companies. Once your car is breaking down, all you need to do is contact their 24-hour support and they will take care of everything for you. In the meantime, you could enjoy their additional benefits such as vehicle rental support for your temporary vehicle needs, trip interruption reimbursement, and many more.


Nowadays, an extended auto warranty is a necessary service that you should take to protect yourself from financial burden when your vehicle inevitably breaks down. But you should look for several reputable companies and research each one properly before you decide to use their services.

This article has covered some of the most important things that you should know before you sign an extended warranty contract. After you get the general information on any company, I strongly advise you to contact their support team or sales representative to find out more about them and their policies.

And if you still can't decide which one you should choose, then I recommend giving AutoPOM! extended auto warranty a try. With their services and track records, you won't go wrong with them.