Buying a new car is exciting, and most models are far more reliable than they used to be, but warranty coverage is still an important thing to consider. Automakers offer warranty coverage to provide cost-free service for components that break during a limited period, but some offer far longer and more comprehensive coverage than others. Here’s a look at the best and longest car warranties around today.
Best car warranty coverage of 2023
Genesis – Hyundai – Kia
Korean automakers Genesis, Hyundai, and Kia offer the best warranty coverage in the game. Every gas-powered vehicle they make comes with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a ten-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Genesis and Hyundai offer roadside assistance for five years and an unlimited mileage limit, and Kia vehicles are limited to five years/60,000 miles during the basic warranty coverage. Hyundai and Genesis vehicles also come with three years or 36,000 miles of complimentary maintenance, but Kia does not.
Mitsubishi’s is the only warranty that rivals the offerings of the Korean automakers. Its five-year/100,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and ten-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty add up to serious coverage of most vehicle components. The automaker also offers a seven-year/100,000-mile anti-corrosion/perforation warranty for rust-through on body panels.
Infiniti offers a surprisingly stout new car warranty that includes four years/60,000 miles of basic coverage and six years or 70,000 miles of powertrain coverage. The automaker offers add-ons, including a vehicle service contract, certified pre-owned coverage upgrades, prepaid maintenance, and more.
The American luxury brand offers a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty, which includes towing to the nearest dealer when repairs are needed. Owners also get a six-year/70,000-mile warranty on powertrain components and roadside assistance for the duration of that coverage. If the covered vehicle needs repairs, owners are entitled to a loaner car or reimbursement of some transportation expenses.
Ford’s luxury arm offers a long powertrain warranty that extends to six years or 70,000 miles, and its basic warranty coverage spans four years or 50,000 miles. Buyers have the option to extend or supplement coverage with four plans that range from basic (29 components covered) to comprehensive (1,000+ covered parts).
Acura backs its vehicles with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. The company also offers extended warranties and will cover towing to the nearest Acura dealer if the vehicle breaks down due to the failure of a covered component.
Every Lexus comes with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. Hybrid models get eight-year/100,000-mile coverage. The automaker also offers long-term protection through vehicle service agreements and auto protection plans that can help lessen the cost of maintenance and repairs over time. It’s worth noting that Lexus is one of the best automakers for predicted reliability, so coverage may be less of a concern.
Types of car warranty coverage
You’ve seen us talking about basic and powertrain coverage, but what do the two terms actually mean?
Basic warranty coverage
New car basic warranties are typically slightly shorter than powertrain coverage but cover a more comprehensive set of components. Basic warranties usually cover components like the stereo, trim pieces, electrical systems, climate systems, and more. Many extended warranties cover similar components, but some have restrictions, so it’s a good idea to understand what you’re getting.
Powertrain warranty coverage
Powertrain warranty coverage is just what it sounds like. Automakers typically include at least four years, but sometimes many more, of coverage for powertrain components, such as the engine, transmission, and drivetrain. You’ll have to maintain your vehicle and not abuse it, but powertrain coverage can make the difference between a slight inconvenience and a multi-thousand-dollar repair.
Electric vehicle warranty coverage
The federal government requires that automakers provide at least eight years or 100,000 miles. California takes things a step further, requiring ten years/100,000 miles on powertrain and battery components. Beyond the newness of the technology, batteries can cost thousands upon thousands of dollars to repair or replace, so the additional coverage should be welcomed by all EV owners.
Extended car warranties explained
Several companies offer extended coverage that protects your car after the factory warranty expires. Like the factory coverage, many offer options for powertrains and other vehicle systems, such as electronics and climate systems. The number of bad reviews and poor customer experiences can make it feel like there are no legitimate extended warranty providers, but that is not the whole story.
Before shopping for an extended warranty, consider these things:
- Your vehicle: If you own a newer model from a brand with stellar predicted reliability ratings, you might want to hold off on buying warranty coverage. The costs to cover powertrain components, electronics, and other parts may not be worth it for models that experience fewer issues than others
- Your budget: Don’t spend more money than you can afford just to get peace of mind from an extended warranty. Making hundreds of dollars in monthly payments can be a real strain for some people, so it’s best to save your money if there are concerns around affordability
- The warranty company: Research the company’s customer reviews and dig into the language around claims payment. Companies like CarShield have gathered a significant number of negative reviews, but many others have accumulated an equally impressive number of positive reviews. Check out Endurance and Carchex for two of the best
The value of warranty coverage depends entirely on your lifestyle and how you view car repairs. Most people hate surprise expenses, so the peace of mind from an extended warranty is worth it, but for some, it’s just another expensive monthly bill to pay.
Car warranty frequently asked questions
We’re here to answer some of your most pressing questions.
Does my car warranty transfer to a new buyer if I sell it?
In the vast majority of cases, yes. Warranties are typically connected to the car’s VIN and not the owner, but you may need to submit a change or transfer form to the manufacturer when you well.
What voids my car’s warranty?
Several things can cause your warranty to be voided, and most of them are your fault. Abusing your car, including racing or ignoring routine maintenance, is a great way to void the warranty. Modifications and aftermarket parts can also void the warranty, so be sure before you install that honking exhaust system. Your warranty may also be voided if the car has been in a wreck or has a rebuilt title due to flooding or other severe damage.
How long do extended warranties last?
Some extended warranty providers limit their policies to a set mileage, but some offer unlimited mileage over a period of time. Though it has terrible customer reviews. CarShield offers an unlimited time and mileage warranty for some vehicles with a reasonable monthly payment.
Do car dealerships make money on extended warranties?
If you buy a warranty from the dealership when buying your car, there’s a great chance they’re getting a commission from the sale. You may end up overpaying in these situations, so it’s best to purchase the warranty on your own later, if possible.