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What is bumper-to-bumper coverage?

For decades, car buyers have had salespeople sell them bumper-to-bumper extended warranties without much explanation. Around the 1980s bumper-to-bumper coverage became the standard for manufacturer’s (OEM) warranties, which is the warranty that comes included with the sale of the car, yet what’s actually covered under a bumper-to-bumper warranty continues to be confusing and sometimes misleading. When deciding if an extended warranty is right for your vehicle, it’s important to know exactly what is meant by “bumper-to-bumper”. Let’s take a look at what you should know about bumper-to-bumper coverage, including ways to get similar or even better protection through aftermarket coverage.

What is a bumper-to-bumper warranty?

There are two main types of car warranties: a powertrain warranty and a bumper-to-bumper warranty. A powertrain warranty generally covers repairs for mechanical breakdowns on the engine, the transmission, the driveshaft, differentials and axles. It’s basic protection that covers the car parts that make your car “go”. A bumper-to-bumper warranty covers everything the powertrain warranty covers in addition to all of the other major parts and systems of the car, including the suspension, fuel delivery systems, A/C, electrical systems, etc. Now, this is where the confusion begins because it doesn’t necessarily cover everything. In an odd twist of fate, a bumper-to-bumper warranty doesn’t actually cover your bumpers!  This is why, to best avoid the pain of having to pay out-of-pocket for any unexpected maintenance/repair bills, car warranty shoppers should always know what’s covered and what isn’t.

What does a bumper-to-bumper warranty cover?

A bumper-to-bumper warranty will cover your car for mechanical breakdown repairs and replacements on thousands of components.

Examples of parts/repairs typically included with bumper-to-bumper coverage:

✔ Air conditioning

✔ Braking system

✔ Electrical system

✔ Electronics

✔ Engine cooling

✔ Fuel injection

✔ Powertrain (engine, transmission, driveshaft, differentials and axles)

✔ Seals and gaskets

✔ Steering

✔ Suspension

While the term “bumper-to-bumper” is widely considered full (or comprehensive) coverage, you’re not necessarily covered for everything. This is something to keep in mind for both OEM warranties and most extended car warranties: within the term of the bumper-to-bumper warranty, you may still have to pay out of pocket for certain repairs.

Examples of parts/repairs typically NOT included with bumper-to-bumper coverage:

✘ Accident or collision damage

✘ Brake lights

✘ Brake pads

✘ Body panels

✘ Interior trims

✘ Lost key and fobs

✘ Paint

✘ Regular maintenance

✘ Tires and wheels

✘ Windshield and wiper blades

How long does manufacturer’s (OEM) bumper-to-bumper coverage last?

OEM bumper-to-bumper warranties usually last a shorter period of time than an OEM powertrain warranties (some manufacturer’s powertrain warranties may even last up to 10 years). 

In general, the standard bumper-to-bumper warranty length on the vast majority of new cars is three years or around 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Today some automakers have started prolonging that period to five years as a way to increase car sales. 

Here are some recent new bumper-bumper warranty term lengths on a few of the most popular car manufacturers:

Manufacturer Bumper-to-bumper warranty
BMW 4 years/50,000 miles
Chevrolet 3 years/36,000 miles
Ford 3 years/36,000 miles
Honda 3 years/36,000 miles
Hyundai 5 years/60,000 miles
Kia 5 years/60,000 miles
Toyota 3 years/36,000 miles

Can I buy an aftermarket bumper-to-bumper warranty when my manufacturer’s warranty runs out?

Yes. In fact, after your bumper-to-bumper warranty ends, you’ll be left to pay expensive repair bills unless you look into an aftermarket warranty. 

Remember, you don’t have to get extended coverage through the dealership. You can get it through an independent company (third parties). The good news is that independent companies offer different options for you to choose from, more flexible terms and more affordable prices. You can even add coverage to parts not normally covered through a bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Is it better to buy a dealership bumper-to-bumper warranty or an aftermarket bumper-to-bumper warranty?

There are different options available when it comes to buying a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty. And you’ll be able to purchase one through a dealership or an independent company. 

You have to take your time weighing your alternatives. Dealership warranties might seem like a good immediate choice because you know them and worked with them when you purchased your car, but oftentimes their extended car warranties are very expensive due to huge markups (or interest rates if they get included on your loan), and they lock you into a contract that you’ll find hard to get out of if you change your mind.

Independent companies can offer greater convenience and flexibility with their aftermarket coverage. At, all of our coverage is available 100% online, there are no big mark-ups or hidden fees that you’ll see with dealerships, and you aren’t stuck into any long-term contracts.

Is buying a bumper-to-bumper warranty worth it?

Most car manufacturers include a bumper-to-bumper warranty with every new car. But what happens after those 36,000 miles? What are the benefits of getting one on your own?  Buying an extended bumper-to-bumper car warranty is a great investment if your intention is to keep your car for a long time. For the right price and with the right terms, you’re getting security and peace of mind that your car is covered on major repairs. Should anything go wrong with any of the major components, you wouldn’t be stuck paying a repair bill that could cost thousands of dollars.

What is Comprehensive Vehicle Repair Protection Coverage? offers comprehensive coverage that’s the same as bumper-to-bumper warranties. It’s called Vehicle Repair Protection. Unlike most bumper-to-bumper extended warranties, Vehicle Repair Protection is a low-cost monthly subscription. This means that there are no long-term contracts and you simply pay a set cost month-to-month. The Essentials, Good and Great plans put you in control. You get to choose the number of components covered, annual claim limits and extras.

Why you should consider’s Vehicle Repair Protection for a new kind of bumper-to-bumper coverage

While there are plenty of independent extended warranty providers, not many can offer the benefits offers.

On a monthly subscription that anyone can afford you get coverage that finally makes the extended car warranty experience simple and transparent:

  • 100% online and easy sign up in less than 5 minutes
  • You choose any repair shop, works with them directly
  • No hidden fees or expensive down payments
  • Backed by an industry best 90-day money back guarantee
  • Cancel anytime with no penalty

Get a custom quote online instantly and see exactly what is covered so you can buy the best extended car warranty available anywhere for your car.

Find the best comprehensive coverage for your car

Why choose’s Vehicle Repair Protection?

Get a custom quote instantly. 100% online. No pushy salespeople or robocalls.