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CarShield

Overall Rating

3.6

284 Customer Reviews

Summary

CarShield is a popular provider of vehicle service protection. It has six service tiers with varying levels of coverage. However, paying for an extended car warranty may not be the most cost-effective option for you.

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CarShield Review: A Detailed Look at How It Works, Cost, and More

By Zina Kumok

Updated on: Mar 26, 2020

Extended warranty policies always sound great on paper. Much like insurance, you pay a set monthly fee in exchange for some peace of mind. If an emergency happens and your car needs major repairs, the extended warranty would, in theory, cover all the costs.

But how often do those emergencies actually crop up? As it turns out, not as often as extended warranty companies would like you to think.

A 2013 survey from Consumer Reports found that “55 percent of owners who purchased an extended warranty hadn’t used it for repairs during the lifetime of the policy, even though the median price paid for the coverage was just over $1,200. And, on average, those who did use it spent hundreds more for the coverage than they saved in repair costs.”

To examine the issue a little more closely, we took a look st CarShield, one of the most popular providers of extended warranty coverage. Here’s what we found.

How CarShield Works

CarShield provides extended warranties for cars when the original warranty has expired or when the owner wants to buy additional coverage.

If the car needs a repair, they take the car to a CarShield-authorized mechanic who will contact CarShield, verify the policy and start work on the car. CarShield will pay the mechanic directly, so customers don’t have to pay for the repairs and then wait to be reimbursed.

There’s no annual contract with CarShield; users can sign up and cancel anytime. Payments are made on a monthly basis.

Rates depend on the car’s make, model, year, mileage and location. There are also six different tiers of coverage which will affect the price. CarShield does not provide rates online.

On top of the monthly fee, you’ll still owe a copay every time you take the car in, generally around $100.

Every CarShield warranty has a 20-day and 500-mile waiting period, meaning that you have to wait 20 days and 500 miles after purchasing a policy for the coverage to kick in. This is to prevent someone who just found out their car needs a new engine from buying a policy and filing a claim immediately.

Customer reviews for CarShield vary. The company has a 3.8-star rating here on HighYa based on over 260 reviews, as well as a 4.1-star rating on Trustpilot with more than 6,000 reviews.

While that may sound respectable, they have an F rating from the Better Business Bureau with 630 complaints in the past three years. The BBB even has a warning for customers interested in CarShield, stating that there is a record of CarShield having “misleading sales and advertising practices,” including not covering repairs that should be under warranty.

CarShield has six service tiers with varying levels of coverage. All tiers cover towing and rental car reimbursement, and many have complimentary roadside assistance as well.

When you call CarShield for a quote, they’ll tell you which coverage level you qualify for. The price difference between levels may be minimal, around $10 or so, but not every car will qualify for each tier.

Getting a Quote

To get a quote, you have to submit some basic information about the car and wait for a phone call from a CarShield representative. It can be frustrating to not get a quote instantly or in an email.

Like some financial service companies, CarShield’s reps can be aggressive if you request a quote and don’t sign up right away. I sent information about my car and had two missed calls from them within two hours. They’ve called about once a day since then.

When I did call back, I was quickly connected to a sales rep who said my 2016 Toyota Camry with 51,000 miles qualified for the highest coverage possible. The diamond level covers the engine, transmission, drive axle, steering, suspension, computer, and electrical systems.

Initially, he said the rate would be $129.99 a month. Because it was my first time calling, the rep said he could knock it down to $109.99 a month. I told him I wanted to discuss the policy with my husband, and then he offered to decrease the cost to $99 a month.

I repeated that I’d have to talk with my husband and call back, and he offered to wait on hold while I did that. I told him that I would prefer to call back, and he became slightly irritated. Overall, it was a pushy experience.

Even with the highest-level policy, I would still be responsible for general wear-and-tear including oil changes, brake pads, and new batteries. The policy has a $100 co-pay for every repair. While the representative argued that paying $100 would be cheaper than a new engine or starter, this would still be a significant expense for such an expensive policy.

When I called back a few hours later with more questions, I spoke with a new rep who said he could offer me an employee discount for $89.99. As I tried to get off the phone, he told me his manager authorized him to offer me a policy of $79.99.

Finding a Mechanic

Like other extended warranty companies, CarShield requires you to use a certified mechanic when you submit a claim. You can go here to see if your current mechanic would be covered under a CarShield plan.

When I went to the CarShield website to see which mechanics would be covered, I couldn’t find any within a 10-mile radius. I called CarShield, and they claimed to work with any ASE-certified mechanic.

I then called my mechanic, who said he is ASE-certified but doesn’t work with CarShield because of delayed payment issues on their end.

Use a Sinking Fund Instead

Given CarShield’s high rates and frequent customer service complaints, you’re better off saving for car repairs yourself without relying on an extended warranty company.

The CarShield rep I spoke with quoted me $99 a month, which comes out to $1,188 a year.

RepairPal.com says a 2016 Toyota Camry will have an annual repair cost of $365. That will likely increase as the car gets older, but it still means a CarShield policy will cost three times more than what I’m likely to pay in a year.

Instead of relying on CarShield or another extended warranty company, consider starting a sinking fund for car expenses.

A sinking fund is a savings fund for a specific goal or future expense. In this case, the sinking fund will be exclusively for car maintenance and repairs. The fund should be held in a savings account, separate from an emergency fund.

High-yield savings account with an interest rate between 1.5 to 2% is your best bet, because the savings will earn interest to help combat inflation.

Instead of paying CarShield a premium every month, you’ll set money aside in your sinking fund. You can set up automatic transfers so you don’t have to manually move it from a checking to a savings account.

A sinking fund, unlike an extended warranty, has no restrictions or limits. You can put the money toward any repair or maintenance cost with any mechanic.

The downside of a sinking fund is that you’re completely responsible for the money. If you feel like spending it on a trip to Vegas or a new TV, there’s nothing stopping you. If you have trouble resisting temptation, a sinking fund may be more of a burden than a boon.

Another drawback to a sinking fund is that it may take a while to accrue enough money to pay for any major repairs.

If you have a CarShield powertrain warranty and your transmission dies, the warranty will pay for a new transmission right away. If you only have a $200 sinking fund when your transmission dies, you won’t have enough to replace it.

Most mechanics don’t offer a payment plan, so your only option would be to put the funds on a credit card, borrow money from another source or raid another savings account. Obviously, none of these are great options.

The Bottom Line

Car owners interested in the towing and roadside assistance that CarShield provides can look elsewhere for this benefit.

Many credit card providers offer this as a complimentary benefit to cardholders, and a AAA membership costs between $30 to $100 a year, depending on the membership and location. That’s generally less than the cost for one month of CarShield.

An extended warranty is often a poor financial decision. Instead of paying for CarShield, you’re better off taking that money and saving it yourself. If you save consistently, you’ll have enough to cover all the necessary repairs.

Customer Reviews

3.6 Stars out of 284 Reviews
5 Star:57% 4 Star:8% 3 Star:4% 2 Star:1% 1 Star:28%
68% Recommend This Company
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Posted on Jan 1, 2021

Repair request

By Aduko A., Blackwood, NJ, Verified Reviewer

I paid my contract in full with CarShield and when it came to the repair of my transmission work, they keep requesting baseless diagnoses. I called twice a day and each time they will tell me it is at the highest level of approval and I should expect a call back within 24 to 48 hours that never come.

My car has been with the repair shop for over three weeks long.

My repair ID which they provided is MRF 1171942.

I highly discourage shoppers for warranty services to look elsewhere for peace of mind.

Length of Use: 2+ years

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

At least they have someone to pick the phone up at any time

They treat people very very bad

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Dec 25, 2020

Great customer service. Do your research.

By Tyra D., Lanai City, HI, Verified Reviewer

CarShield has some amazing customer service providers and I am thankful for all their help.

I am in a rare situation where CarShield did not work for me because I live on a tiny island with only one certified mechanic who decided to not accept CarShield.

Please do your research! I lost out on hundreds of dollars because of this. I know for 100% that CarShield is reliable for most consumers. I just happen to be a rare case where it didn’t work out.

Length of Use: 6–12 months

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Customer service

Quick and easy to sign up

Phone app

My mechanic decided not to help

I couldn’t get a refund

Lost time

Posted on Oct 8, 2020

"Car Shield" they are not!

By C.C. D., Stiockbridge, GA, Verified Reviewer

I had a leak from the crankshaft (Powertrain) and the claim was denied because the leak was not a drip. They will lie without hesitation. They are not a "Car Shield", they "Shield the Company" from paying claims.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

The Diamond package, supposed to be the best

Claims department

No communication with the customer

Hard to make contact

Company Response from CarShield, LLC

Oct 8, 2020

Hi C.C. Can you please provide your contract number so we can look into this?

Helpful Review? 6 People Have Voted

Posted on Sep 29, 2020

Lies, deceits, disrespectful, and contract regrets (still waiting)

By James F., Houston, TX, Verified Reviewer

CarShield was my choice of signing for my extended warranty company from the believable TV commercials until you need to use it. There are untold fees, lots of runarounds, lack of communication from CarShield adjusters. My car has been in the shop for over 4 weeks waiting for approval from CarShield adjusters. They will call you as if you're calling them for answers. I had one adjuster call me with a very bad attitude as if I did him wrong by wanting my vehicle repaired. He cursed at me with an upsetting voice tone. He told me not to call anymore about my car and its issues, they will tell me when he finds out "what the hell is wrong with my car!" I am trying to calm his voice down because a 7-year-old student can hear him and his angry words. I am telling him kids can hear him because the phone was on speaker while I continue class. He had me on a conference call with the auto shop while aggressively speaking to me and not telling me it's a conference call. The service writer heard him cursing and disrespecting me and disconnected himself from the call. The adjuster hung up on me after telling me not to call CarShield records.

I waited a day, hoping he would be calm with a better attitude and able to converse with me. I spoke to a different person who made me feel a little better and she apologized for my experience. Not her fault. I was told my car was approved by CarShield on Thursday to be told it was not by the ASE approved company on Friday, 9/25/2020. I am yet to get a communication from my warranty company. I feel disrespected, hurt, lied to, totally embarrassed in front of children and the third-party service writer. Basically, I hurt and got friends and family to sign up with CarShield out of faith and thought it was a great buy from the salesman. Yes, I feel used and angry. Very mad. I hope to hear from some adjuster soon. I need my car.

Length of Use: 6–12 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Sale pitches are awesome (be aware and careful)

Lack of communication and keeping the contract holders updated

The extra fees, runarounds, communication, not on the same page, making contract holders feel like liars

Being told a lie and without a car for a month

The sale lies they are to use to sound amazing to get a new contract

Using believable vocabulary and sentences to gain your trust

Company Response from CarShield, LLC

Sep 29, 2020

James, We'd like to look further into this. Please provide your contract number so we can access your account and listen to the call. This would be highly unusual for any of the adjusters to speak to our customers like this and we would like to verify this. We are sorry if this did happen. Looking over your claim notes, the repair facility needs your authorization to do a tear down to determine the cause of failure. Please note, we would pay for this only if it is an approved claim. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We're happy to help however we can.

Helpful Review? 3 People Have Voted

Posted on Sep 14, 2020

Worst warranty company I have ever had

By Sara G., Florida, Verified Reviewer

CarShield is the worst company ever. I have been with this for 6 months, costs me $115 monthly. My car needed an engine, they gave me the runaround for 2 weeks, telling me all types of lies. It’s always a different story with them. They do not answer emails from the car shop. You can’t talk with a manager or supervisor. I advise you if you are looking for a warranty, do not get CarShield, this company is garbage!

Length of Use: 6–12 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

Customer service is garbage

They are the worst warranty company out here

They all tell lies

Waste of my money

Company Response from CarShield, LLC

Sep 15, 2020

Hi Sara. There does appear to be quiet a bit of back and forth between you, the repair facility, and American Auto Shield. My best guess is a lack of communication as to why this went on for so long. A tear-down of the vehicle was needed in order to find the cause of failure and it appears the repair facility may not have told you a deposit was needed prior to them starting that. That held us up quite a bit. Your claim is still pending as I see you have decided to take your vehicle to a different repair shop. Please have the new repair facility contact us when they get a chance and we will be more than happy to work with them and get your car fixed.

Helpful Review? 2 People Have Voted

Posted on Aug 31, 2020

They canceled me when I got only 8 payments to pay

By Virgilio C., Waldwick, NJ, Verified Reviewer

In this time of pandemic, after paying 18 monthly payments and being late for 1 month, they immediately canceled my 2 accounts. When I tried reinstating them after 8 days when they canceled my 2 accounts, they said they can’t do anything and reinstate me because I was 1 month late in my payments. They said I have to start all over again and reapply. After I paid 18 months and I only have 8 more payments left, they said it’s their policy not to reinstate my 2 accounts, for which I paid already a total of $5400. They are ruthless and I know why they canceled me, because they can make more money if I reinstate the 2 insurances that I have. I haven’t even used the insurances on both vans, not once, for the last 18 months they were automatically deducted from my credit card so I was never late on my payments until this hardship from this pandemic. They are heartless and I think this might as well get canceled because if ever when it’s time I need to use the insurance, they will probably say it’s not covered. Beware of companies like this who have no empathy for their customers and they will easily deny coverage, just as easy canceling them.

Length of Use: 1–2 years

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

No sympathy for people who are in hardship and when late on month payment, they immediately cancel you

Company Response from CarShield, LLC

Sep 1, 2020

Hi Virgil,

We are happy to help out as best we can and we understand the hardships many people are going through during this pandemic. Your account was canceled because you requested that we cancel it. Since it was processed as a cancellation we cannot reinstate the account.

Posted on Aug 25, 2020

CarShield people are thieves

By Bobette L., Hollywood, FL, Verified Reviewer

Do not do business with these thieves! They do not like covering repairs and if they decide to do so, it takes forever. It is the hardest thing to cancel a policy with these people. They are scam artists.

Length of Use: 6–12 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

They do not cover repairs

They are hard to get on the phone unless you say you are making a payment

Customer service is rude

Company Response from CarShield, LLC

Sep 1, 2020

Hi Bobette,

Sorry you feel this way. We have millions of customers who have saved over $1 billion on repairs! Most of our customers are quite happy with our service and we're sorry we did not meet your expectations. I see that the repairs you needed were not listed for coverage as outlined on your contract which is why we could not help. We are sorry about the longer than normal claims process. The company that handles the claims has seen an influx of claims being processed due to the pandemic and are working hard to get everyone processed as quickly as they can.

Helpful Review? 3 People Have Voted

Posted on Aug 24, 2020

Useless

By Felix C., Adirondack, NY, Verified Reviewer

This company is useless. They take your money and never pay out a claim. They just jerk you and the dealer around. Had three claims in; one barely was paid with a fight, and the other two zilch, even though the parts were covered in my contract. I recommended this company to 10 friends and I looked like an idiot every time I submitted a claim, my friends stated seriously. The parts covered aren't covered if another uncovered part caused the damage, so they state. You're better off just paying the repairs with a credit card and paying slowly, it's the same payments but more peace of mind because at least you know your car is being repaired for sure and there are no double payments. This contract is getting canceled.

Length of Use: 1–2 years

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Company Response from CarShield, LLC

Sep 1, 2020

Hi Felix,

Sorry we couldn't help you out enough on your repairs. We have helped millions of customers save over $1 billion on repairs and sorry we did not meet your expectations.

Helpful Review? 3 People Have Voted

Posted on Aug 23, 2020

Still waiting on reimbursement

By Victor B., Miami Gardens, FL, Verified Reviewer

Took the car in for a simple thermometer swap and end up waiting over a week. I had to end paying out of pocket for a car rental and work on the car. I only hope that I might get some type of reimbursement. Bad experience?

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Company Response from CarShield, LLC

Sep 1, 2020

Victor,

If I have the correct account up, I am not showing a claim was submitted so we did not get the opportunity to help with this repair. If you could please provide your contract number I can confirm that I am looking at the correct account.

Helpful Review? 3 People Have Voted

Posted on Aug 14, 2020

Not happy

By Vic H., Charleston, SC, Verified Reviewer

Have had a CarShield agreement for 9 months. First time I go to use it the dealership can't get through to CarShield for authorization for hours on end. Then when an additional issue is found they denied the claim since my vehicle wasn't towed into the shop. I thought being proactive and taking it in before the issue was serious was the proper thing to do. I'm trying to reach customer service to discuss the issue but was told wait times were in excess of an hour to speak with someone.

My dealership said CarShield was the worst of the extended warranty companies about getting approvals for service. Wish I had known that in October when I signed up for the service.

Length of Use: 6–12 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Simple to sign up

Claims approval

Customer service

Phone system

Company Response from CarShield, LLC

Aug 14, 2020

Hi Vic,

We are sorry to hear about the hold times, however, those are with the company that handles claims, not us at CarShield. Either way, it looks like your claim is being approved for $2538. Again, we apologize about hold times reaching claims but assure you, you're in good hands. We have paid out over $1.3 million for the month of July on covered repairs to customers just like you!

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Jul 30, 2020

Not worth the time or money!

By Ca R., Houston, TX, Verified Reviewer

First claim with CarShield. CarShield wouldn’t answer the phone. Left several messages and never received a call back. This is a money pit, I am not going to continue with this place and will inform everyone I know not to deal with this place. They are not responding to customers and only collect money as a revenue source. I think I will file a class action in response to their insidious business practice. I will not be doing business with these people again...I have learned a lesson with this company.

Length of Use: 3–6 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

Customer service

Lack of contact with their customer

Lack of feedback

Company Response from CarShield, LLC

Aug 3, 2020

Hello,

We're sorry you're having trouble reaching us. We are open Mon- Fri 7am-8pm CST and Sat 8am-3pm CST. Typically, we do not have long wait times. If you're trying to reach the administrator of your account, they are a different company. A storm took our their phone lines for a week and they are working extremely hard to get caught up.

Helpful Review? 2 People Have Voted
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