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If you're buying a new car, you might be offered an extended warranty plan that kicks in after the factory warranty expires. Or, if you're purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, an extended warranty may be your smartest financial move to help offset the cost of repairs that you know will be necessary sooner or later.
Are they worth the money? Absolutely! We all know the frustration of having something major go wrong right when the manufacturer's coverage expires - or, worse, just a few days after driving that "as-is" car off the used car lot! However, buying your extended warranty directly from the dealer is often not the best option: they charge high mark-ups and might not offer the most comprehensive coverage or the widest network of mechanics to choose from. Fortunately, there are several reputable auto warranty companies in Canada that provide excellent coverage at competitive prices.
Saturday, October 1st
Ensurall is a family-owned and operated Canadian business that has been protecting car owners from exorbitant repair costs for the better part of five decades. All policies are fully insured by Unica Insurance, a subsidiary of La Capitale General Insurance.
3 plans to choose from
When considering a car warranty plan from Ensurall, these are the three plans you can select:
Get a free quote by phone or email
To find out what you'll pay for your auto warranty, click the "free quote" button. (One glitchy thing we discovered: the links to the page that just said "quote" were broken, but the ones that said "free quote" worked fine. Keep that in mind if you get a 404 error; just look for the "free quote" option.) You'll be asked to provide the year/make/model of the car, the current odometer reading, the price you paid and whether it was from a dealer or a private sale, and to indicate any special features like 4WD or a diesel engine. From there, you'll have to wait until an Ensurall representative reaches out by phone or email to give you a detailed price quote. That's not as convenient as some of the car warranty companies who give you a price right away and let you buy your plan online, but it's not that uncommon either.
Best options for cars under 6 years old
If your vehicle is 6 years old or newer, you'll be eligible for higher coverage. For example, there is no per-claim maximum (other than the retail value of your car at the time of the claim). That's a huge perk compared with warranties that cap your claim at $3000. You also get more comprehensive component coverage on a newer car, to help protect those fun gadgets like Bluetooth connectivity and GPS navigation systems.
Can use any mechanic
And, no matter how old or new your car is, you can use your Ensurall auto warranty at any mechanic you like. You'll also get trip interruption benefits (if you break down far from home) and a car rental allowance if your repair is going to take a while. These features are included with every plan this provider offers.
Great reputation, few complaints
For a company that has been around as long as Ensurall, we were surprised to see how few complaints they have. In the three years leading up to this review, there were only 5 negative reviews registered with the Better Business Bureau - which is a big part of why the BBB gives this company both an "A+" rating as well as accreditation. While we found a few customer reviews elsewhere that expressed dissatisfaction with their Ensurall car warranties, company reps were quick to respond - with a patient explanation of why something wasn't covered.
Not available in every province
The only downside of getting a car warranty through Ensurall...is that you might not be eligible! If you live in British Columbia, Saskatchewan or Alberta, you'll have to choose a different provider (but fortunately, one of Ensurall's highly-ranked competitors is ONLY available in those provinces!).
Trustworthy option for car warranty plans
Ensurall is steady, sure and dependable - just like you hope your car will be, but since it's bound to break down at some point, you need an extended warranty from a trustworthy provider. Their plans offer fantastic coverage, and customers have very good things to say about the experience of making a claim and getting it paid promptly. For most Canadians, the auto warranty plans sold by Ensurall are the best option and earn the company our highest recommendation.
Obvi is committed to bringing value to Canadian vehicle owners with comprehensive, cost-effective car warranty plans. Backed by A+ rated insurance underwriters, Obvi can save you time and money with their two coverage options.
2 mileage-based plans
There are two car warranty plans offered by Obvi: the Elite and the Premium. The names sound similar, but the way they work is different. The Elite plan is for vehicles with under 120,000 km and it covers the engine, transmission, high tech, steering, electrical, heating and cooling, and more - and Obvi says that as long as it's not specifically excluded, it's covered! The Premium warranty is for vehicles with 120,000 km to 200,000 km on the odometer, and it has a list of what is covered.
Some vehicles may require inspection first
Will your car need an inspection to get a warranty through Obvi? That depends. If you still have some coverage remaining from the original manufacturer's warranty (usually 3 year/60,000 km or 4 year/80,000 km), you can get approved without it. Otherwise, you'll have to get an inspection before Obvi will offer you a warranty plan. Fortunately, this company can arrange for that inspection with a mobile mechanic visit right at your home or workplace.
Easy to get an instant quote via email
What will you pay for an auto warranty with Obvi? Because that varies depending on the make, model and year of your vehicle, as well as its age and the distance it's been driven, the easiest way to find out is to click on the "Instant Quote" button. You'll be asked to indicate if your car still has any remaining manufacturer warranty, the make/model/year and current odometer range, whether it was purchased new or used and on what date. You'll also be asked how long you'd like your warranty coverage to last (you can select "unsure" too), approximately how many km you drive in a year, and when you'd like your coverage to start. Finally, enter your email address so that Obvi can send you the quote for your car warranty plan.
Extremely affordable for comprehensive coverage
We received our quote in less than a minute. For our particular vehicle, we were given payment options ranging from 3-36 monthly payments (for terms of 24 or 36 months, we would have to accept a "premium financing contract" ). Our quote was for an Elite plan on a vehicle with quite a bit of time remaining on the manufacturer's coverage, so the Obvi plan would kick in when that expired. We were stunned by how affordable our warranty coverage would be: on the low end, we were quoted $405 for a 2-year comprehensive plan with no additional km added, and on the high end we could extend our km by 80,000 and get 4 years of coverage for just $979.
$100 deductible per claim
Reading through the sample contract, we spotted a detail we didn't see as we browsed the Obvi site: there's a $100 deductible for each repair claim you make. With such an affordable warranty, that's not a deal-breaker - but there are no-deductible auto warranty plans with other Canadian companies.
Great reputation so far
How about reputation? Obvi is doing fantastic so far: only 4 years in business and they already have an "A+" and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, with zero complaints registered there. Well done, Obvi! Beyond that, however, it's hard to find much client feedback - positive or negative. There are plenty of thumbs-up reviews on Obvi's Instagram account (interspersed with some really fun car photos!), and we didn't find any rants about Obvi no matter how hard we looked. No news is good news, we guess?
Very limited service area
We really like Obvi for car warranty plans in Canada, but their service area is much more limited than most: it only covers vehicles in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. That prevents a LOT of Canadians from getting their coverage with this provider.
Lots of potential, highly recommended
We hope to see Obvi expand to more provinces and territories in the future, which could boost them right to the top of our rankings. They take a lot of the guesswork and hassle out of the auto warranty process, and if you're fortunate enough to live within their covered areas, we definitely recommend getting a quote from Obvi.
GuardTree is the only Canadian auto warranty plan provider that specifically focuses on a monthly subscription model - and that uses a portion of your premiums to offset your car's C02 emissions. The company prioritizes making car warranties easy, accessible, affordable, and environmentally responsible.
Easy-to-use online quote platform
Click on the green "Shop" button to get a quote for your auto warranty plan. You'll enter your vehicle year, make and model, as well as the odometer reading and the amounts you'd prefer for your deductible and claim limit. You can get plans with deductibles of either $250 or $500 per repair, and a claim limit of either $2500 or $5000 per repair. There's no option with an unlimited claim amount or no deductible, unfortunately. You may also be asked to provide your VIN; when we entered a 2013 Honda Civic, the GuardTree site said that restrictions apply to some trim levels and the VIN is used to confirm the vehicle's eligibility for coverage.
Transparent pricing with monthly premiums
The pricing on car warranty coverage with GuardTree couldn't be more straightforward: as you enter the information described, you'll see your monthly premium updates at the bottom of the page. There's no waiting for a quote or having to read through a lengthy contract first. We love that! On the Civic we used as our example, we were told that our subscription would last for a maximum of 80 months. Our premiums ranged from $49.95 to $79.95 per month, and subscriptions can be canceled at any time. That's a much more affordable option for many Canadians, compared with having to pay a big amount upfront (or even having to finance the warranty coverage).
What's covered under GuardTree's car warranties? The list is too long to put here, but we invite you to look at the information clearly provided on their website. In fact, the list of what's not covered is much shorter; it includes items like exhaust system components, emission systems, and anything related to maintenance or wear-and-tear (like shock absorbers and tires). We love that customers don't have to sort through and try to figure out what coverage they need: the only decisions are "How much do I want to pay as a deductible?" and "What's the maximum claim payment I want?" (and the answers to those questions may be related to a third question, "How much can I afford in monthly premiums?" )
Can be used to cover rideshare/food delivery cars
We were also impressed to see that GuardTree addresses cars that are used for ridesharing or food delivery. You'll be covered under their Light Commercial Use policy and pay either the standard deductible or 20% of the claim amount, whichever is bigger - just disclose the car's usage when you make the claim.
Too new to say much more
GuardTree is still a little too new to earn our top ranking: as of the time of this review, they had only been in business for a little over a year, which is the only reason their Better Business Bureau rating was an "A-" instead of a perfect "A+" There were no customer complaints or reviews filed with the BBB either. They also were only available in Ontario but have plans to expand as rapidly as the market (and licensing/regulations) allow. Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company backs all of GuardTree's car warranties, and that company is rated "A-" by A.M. Best.
Looking forward to future growth for GuardTree
With time, we think GuardTree is going to make a big name for itself as a top car warranty option in Canada. Monthly premiums are a terrific alternative for a lot of customers, and GuardTree's coverage is affordable, comprehensive, and easy to understand. We expect that as we see positive feedback coming in from happy customers, as well as GuardTree's anticipated expansion into more provinces and territories, the company will rank even higher in our list of auto warranty plans for Canadians.
Although AutoPair has only been around for a few years, the company has quickly made a good name for itself in the car warranty industry in Canada. The BBB gives this provider both an "A+" grade and accreditation, and we found quite a few customers who offered a 5-star rating for AutoPair as well.
3 available warranty plans
AutoPair prides itself on offering the same level of coverage you'd be offered at a dealership, but at a fraction of the price. Here are the three car warranty plans you can choose from:
No deductibles on any plan
Wondering if something is covered? AutoPair makes it extremely clear to see what's included with the details on their website. You'll see that their coverage is very competitive for the money you'll pay for a car warranty, and we love the fact that none of their plans have a deductible. The only surcharge you might have is if you have a car in what they call the "exotic class" , like a Porsche or Rolls-Royce.
Easy to use any repair shop
Also, unlike some of their competitors, AutoPair allows you to use the mechanic of your choice: no network required. Any authorized claims will be paid to a debit card issued by AutoPair, and you use that card to pay for the approved repair cost. So easy!
Not much customer feedback yet
With so many great features, why does AutoPair not rank higher among car warranty plans in Canada? Part of the reason is because they're so new to the industry: two years isn't a long time to establish a solid track record for handling claims fairly and providing great protection. We're encouraged by AutoPair's terrific standing with the BBB and many positive customer reviews - but some of the earlier reviews looked like they may have been fake. (They were left by people who hadn't reviewed anything else, or the only other services they evaluated included the company who did the AutoPair website!)
30-day waiting period for new warranty plans
Another reason is the 30-day waiting period before you can file a claim on an AutoPair warranty plan. There's a good reason for it: the company doesn't require you to certify the condition of your car before buying coverage, and so this waiting period allows the company to be reasonably sure you're not getting a plan just to get a repair on a component that's already broken! However, we all know that there's no guarantee that something won't malfunction when you've only had your AutoPair plan for two weeks, as luck might have it. For some customers, that waiting period might be too risky.
Room for growth
We think AutoPair has a lot of potential to be one of the top names in the Canadian car warranty marketplace. Their plans offer many attractive features and are priced competitively. For now, however, AutoPair earns a wait-and-see ranking below some of the more established providers of auto warranties.
CarShield operates in both Canada and the US and has covered more than a million vehicles since 2005. There's no mechanic network you're required to use, which makes this service a little more flexible than some car warranty options you'll find.
2 car warranty plans
In Canada, CarShield advertises two warranty plans: the New Car Diamond and the Gold. The first plan gives you coverage similar to what you get with the manufacturer's warranty on a brand-new vehicle, while the second covers fewer components (such as the engine, transmission, alternator, starter, and power windows). You can view sample contracts for each plan on the CarShield site, in English and Spanish! We strongly recommend that you read through the contract and be very clear on what's covered and what's not.
Can't get an instant quote online
But, to get a quote specific to your vehicle, you should click on the green button. You'll be asked for your car's details, like the year/make/model and its current mileage, along with your contact information. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait for a CarShield representative to call you if you want to find out what your plan will cost.
No details on money-back guarantee
All of CarShield's plans include towing coverage and reimbursement of up to $200 for a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. That's a nice perk compared with some car warranty plans offered by other providers. They also advertise a money-back guarantee on their policies, but we couldn't find any details on the CarShield site that elaborated on that benefit.
Very disappointing reputation
CarShield's reputation might give you pause. While their Canadian branch has a relatively decent "B+" rating from the Better Business Bureau (listed under the name of Canadian Repair Shield LLC), their parent company in the US has a rock-bottom "F" with more than 1100 complaints closed in the year leading up to this review. That's not a good sign! Almost every single review described CarShield's refusal to pay on warranty claims for items that should have been covered, seeming to look for loopholes to not have to assume responsibility for the repairs. Many people used the word "scam" to sum up their experience with CarShield auto warranties. We're not sure what CarShield means when they say they have a "96% customer review rating" , because it definitely can't mean that 96% of their customers would use them again! So much for a money-back guarantee.
Not reliable for paying claims on auto warranty plans
CarShield starts off looking like a reasonable choice for a car warranty in Canada, but the deeper you look, the more you'll likely want to go with a different provider. You could pay a lot of money over the months and years, thinking you're covered if your car breaks down, only to find that CarShield won't approve your claim. You'll get more reliable coverage with a higher-ranked auto warranty service in our review.
Global Warranty is based in Ontario and has been in business for more than three decades. The company has provided car warranty coverage to over two million customers nationwide and is a proud sponsor of Matt Pritiko Racing.
Many different auto warranty plans available
There are five main areas of warranty coverage available through Global. These include RV plans, Global Asset Production (or the difference between what you owe and what you're paid if your vehicle is totaled), Tire-Rim-and-More, Ultimate Test Drive (90 days of bumper-to-bumper coverage on a newly-purchased car), and the Ultimate Star Series. Our review covers just the options included in the Star Series, since it's what most Canadians are looking for when shopping for a car warranty. We invite you to visit Global Warranty's site if you need one of the other types of coverage that they offer.
5 levels of coverage
Within the Ultimate Star Series, here are the plans you'll choose from:
No quotes or pricing available online
What do these car warranties cost? Great question. Global Warranty doesn't quote prices at all on their site - they don't even tell you how to purchase a plan! There's no "get a quote" or "buy now" button, leaving prospective customers to contact them through their toll-free number or via email. (And, even then, Global says that they'd be happy to "answer your questions and concerns" , with no wording about actually selling you an auto warranty!) That's definitely not competitive with rival services who tell you upfront what you'll pay and let you buy your coverage directly through their websites.
Poor reputation, even among network repair shops
Our biggest concern stems from Global Warranty's customer reviews. Despite having an "A+" and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, the company has multiple reviews that say that customers' mechanics refuse to accept claims through Global anymore. One review said that even shops in the provider's preferred network don't want to work with Global for repairs! Time and again, we found descriptions of people who were caught off guard by a needed part being excluded from coverage (despite a description at the time of purchase that seemed to include it), vehicles sitting untouched for a month or longer while Global haggled with the mechanic and the customer, and so on.
Choose a higher-ranked car warranty service
Car warranties are supposed to spare you time and money, not cause you extra hassle and grief. Unfortunately, customer experience would indicate that getting coverage through Global Warranty is going to give you a headache. We recommend that you get your auto warranty through one of the higher-ranked Canadian providers in our review.
What's included in your extended warranty plan? That depends on the provider and the tier of service you select. Much like car insurance, these plans can cover just the major systems like the powertrain, or comprehensive bumper-to-bumper protection for everything but normal wear and tear. (In other words, they'll fix your in-dash electronics if they go out but they won't pay for your new brakes or tires.)
As you compare the different Canadian companies offering car warranty plans, how can you tell which one should get your business? Here are several factors to help you make your decision:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best choices for car warranty plans in Canada. We hope this information helps you choose the right plan for your vehicle, giving you the peace of mind that comes from knowing you're covered when something breaks!
Cars are expensive investments, whether you like to purchase new or pre-owned. In protecting that investment and to avoid future repair expenses on your car, you may want to consider purchasing an auto warranty.
Most new and some used cars are covered by some sort of warranty when purchased. For example, new cars are usually covered by a manufacturer's warranty. These warranties vary greatly and are limited in duration. They may cover a variety of repairs until either a time limit or mileage limit such as three years or 36,000 miles. Once you reach that time or mileage limit, the warranty will either totally expire or much of what it covers will be void.
Some manufacturers also offer various program warranties on specific used or pre-owned cars, usually called "certified used" or something similar, that extend the original manufacturer's warranty or parts of the warranty.
If you plan on keeping the car past the life of the manufacturer's warranty, you may want to consider purchasing an extended warranty. Extended warranties are insurance policies against expensive, unforeseen repairs. In essence, extended warranties are actually service contracts. They cover expenses incurred that your warranty doesn't cover.
Unlike manufacturer's warranties, extended warranties are purchased separately from your car. They can be purchased either through the original manufacturer or through a third-party, independent warranty company. In some cases, you'll receive offers to purchase extended warranties in the mail or over the phone from the manufacturer just as the original manufacturer's warrantee is expiring.
Extended warranties are all different. They each differ on what repairs are covered, how much is covered, duration of the coverage and cost of the warranty. Before purchasing any extended warranty, determine what is still covered on the warranty you possess, determine how long past the life of the warranty you'll keep the car, what you want covered and for how long.
When researching the details of the warranty you want to purchase, look for information on the policy's deductible, whether the policy is transferable if you sell the car and whether repairs can be done anywhere or only with specific shops. Also, look for specifics on what is covered and what is not. For instance, does the warranty cover breakdown of parts as well as wear and tear? A warranty that only covers breakdown requires the part to break before the warranty will pay to replace it. A wear and tear policy will cover parts that need to be replaced because they are too worn to work efficiently.
Purchasing an extended warranty can be a smart investment. Don't forget to research the warranty specification and the companies offering them online before making the purchase.
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