Don't fall for warranty traps - read our guide on Route 66 Extended Car Warranty
Nicholas Hinrichsen - Published: January 15, 2021
Overview of the Route 66 Car Warranty (VSC Plan)
Our goal is to help you build financial strength by making the right financial choices when it comes to your car. We wrote in-depth articles on a variety of VSC plans (Vehicle Service Contracts, and also known as aftermarket warranties) so you can compare the different carriers, lower your monthly payments, decide whether a VSC contract is right for you, and get the best plan at the lowest rate possible. If you’re looking for ways to manage your Route 66 VSC, you might be interested in one of these quick links:
- Manage your VSC plan
- Get a Quote for Coverage
- Make a Claim
- Cancel your Route 66 VSC Policy
- Get in Contact
Manage your VSC Plan
Managing your extended auto warranty plan isn’t always easy! Sometimes all you’re left with is the phone number and contact details for your aftermarket warranty provider. To reach Route 66 you can call 800.808.0828.
This VSC provider doesn't have an online portal unfortunately. You'll need to call in or email a representative to get answers
Get a Quote for Coverage
Not every provider is able to give a quote directly to its members (known as direct providers). Many times you’ll need to purchase an aftermarket warranty at the time of sale, and through a dealership. There are several reasons why a warranty company will only sell through a dealer: The car is in a known condition, there is no adverse selection (e.g. the dealership is selling a warranty before an issue has arisen), and the dealership has repeated experience with the warranty company so that pricing can reflect the risks of “the vehicles that a dealer sells”. So if a dealer tends to sell vehicles that need additional repairs, the warranty company can adjust prices accordingly to the dealership as a broader group.
Make a Claim
The process of making a claim is pretty straightforward with Route 66. You can find details of how to submit a claim here -
The process is like most VSC providers where:
- First contact the claims department (normally via email, phone call, or through an app)
- The repair facility will then communicate with Route 66 with an initial estimate before repairs are made
- A claims adjuster will then submit/give approval for the authorized repairs in scope
Cancelling your Route 66 Insurance Policy
You can cancel your Route 66 insurance policy anytime after you’ve purchased. You’re entitled to a full refund within the first  days, and afterwards entitled to a prorated refund. In order to cancel the contract just ensure to have your policy number, current vehicle odometer, and other plan details ready.
You’ll need to contact Route 66 directly through one of the contact methods listed below to complete your cancellation.
Get in Touch with Route 66
If you want to just get in touch with Route 66 there’s the formal channels:
- Phone: 800.808.0828
- Address: P.O. Box 1075 Mountain Home, AR 72654-1075
- LinkedIn Page: linkedin
These are the social links listed below:
Background on Route 66 Warranties & VSC’s
Route 66 warranty and VSC company has a storied history:
- It was founded in the year 1987
- Its founder is Rob Finley
- Company headquarters are located in Sharon, Pennsylvania
- Currently employes around: approximately 20
- Has a current estimated revenue of: 3 Million
What plans are available from Route 66?
Route 66 has a variety of plans available for coverage for your car. You can find a complete list of coverage options by going here:
In general VSC coverages generally fall into several categories (but are all relabeled something else):
- Exclusionary Coverage Plans: These plans are generally the highest coverage plans available for used cars and they’re labeled exclusionary plans because they generally provide coverage for everything “except” what’s listed in the plan. So rather than listing what components ARE covered, the plans list what IS NOT covered (or excluded). These plans are most similar to the bumper to bumper coverage that normally comes with the vehicle. Reading the fine print is often easier for these plans, but they also tend to be more expensive.
- Inclusionary Coverage Plans: These plans work oppositely from the exclusionary coverage plans. These plans only cover what is explicitly mentioned in the plan. So if the plan covers “Pistons and Crankshaft” but not “Crankshaft Shell Bearing” you may end up paying for lots of components that need replacement but weren’t explicitly mentioned. Often these plans exclude electrical components, gaskets and seals, turbochargers, and other high expense items.
- Powertrain Coverage Plans: These plans can be either inclusionary or exclusionary, but these plans cover only the drivetrain of the car. This is generally limited to the Engine, Transmission, Differential and drive axles. This more limited coverage is generally less expensive, but obviously excludes a large portion of the vehicle.
How to contact Route 66 for customer service or claims
To contact Route 66 for customer service, there’s several means to reach them:
You can find various means to contact Route 66 Get in Contact :
In general there may be several departments you mind need to reach:
- For all inquiries try the following:
- Phone: 800.808.0828
- Claims Questions:
- Phone: 800-808-0828
Route 66 warranty and VSC plan reviews and ratings
Route 66 has mixed reviews if you look online. While its often considered a better alternative to other VSC providers, there are items in its review history worth examining.
While overall reviews are generally 2-3 our of 5 stars, this company seems to be all about "reading the fine print" of the policies and being patient with the claims process. Some customers were satisfied ultimately, but it seems like a lot of homework and patience are required. We heard of multiple customers having claims denied only after realizing the coverage they bought. Other customers complained about the excessive wait times in getting a claim approved while their vehicle sat idle in the repair shop.
You can find some more complete review, and find other details on accreditation through looking at these resources:
Picking the right plan from Route 66 Warranty
Most aftermarket VSC, and protection plan companies have multiple coverage plans. We’ll cover only the most popular options here. Route 66 has three major plans for covering your auto repairs:
Easy street is an exclusionary plan. Route 66 themselves say "Because we cover so many components, it is not possible for us to list everything that falls under our coverage".
The number of exclusions does actually appear very minor in comparison to most aftermarket plans and whats listed is simply: oil, brake shoes, belts, hoses, tires, tune-up items, filters, a/c coolants, exhaust and emission parts, sound reproduction, lighting, cosmetic and body parts, glass and paint.
And while this list is short, it does include some pretty major parts (exhaust and emission parts for example). Its very normal for "wear and tear" items to be excluded, but given the reviews its probably worth considering what is labeled a "sound reproduction" or "cosmetic" part given claims could easily be denied.
The main street plan is the "Goldilocks" plan in Route 66 lineup. Its an inclusionary plan and for a complete listing of everything included, its worth reading the complete contract. While base level plans normally include powertrain items (engine, transmission, drive axles, ad cooling) this plan also adds some electric, air conditioning, and steering and braking systems. It should be noted, the coverage is not exhaustive though. As one good example while most systems are covered in Front Suspension, things like Swaybar links and bushings would be excluded.
The First Street plan is really analagous to a inclusionary plan for drivetrain only. It covers major components of the engine, transmission, and drive-axles. It should be noted however, that as an inclusionary plan it doesn't include basic components like seals and gaskets. So if your engine does have a major failure, you'd still be looking at a hefty repair bill given the number of seals and gaskets required (although a massively reduced bill compared to if you didn't have coverage).
Choosing the right plan obviously depends on your level of comfort with contracts and coverage, but we have a few general pieces of advice for extended warranty buyers.
Getting a quote from Route 66 Warranty
To get a free quote started, you’ll need your vehicle’s VIN and exact mileage. Then you can:
Call to get a quote: 800.808.0828
Competitors and Alternatives to Route 66 Warranty
Route 66 isn't the only extended service contract company. In fact there are many large national players. A few of the largest (which Route 66 is a member of) are listed below:
- Route 66
- Warranty Solutions
- Warranty Group
Who should get an Route 66 VSC or warranty plan
In order to determine whether a VSC from Route 66 is right for you, you’ll need to answer several questions first:
- What is the expected repair costs of the vehicle you are purchasing and how does that compare to the warranty cost?
- Could you handle the cost of a large repair without undue financial stress?
- Can you find an alternative service contract or warranty for cheaper?
- How much is convenience worth to you?
On average, Route 66 warranties are making money. So on average the Route 66 customers spend more money buying a service contract than what the warranty pays out in repairs after factoring in for the deductible, denied claims, and un-cancelled contracts. For a normal dealer these plans make about $500-1000.
But, these figures are AVERAGES and so often there’s examples where the Route 66 Warranty is underpriced relative to the expected repair costs. In order to find some of the expected repair costs for a given make model, RepairPal is one of the best resources to find these costs, as well as Edmunds.
Question 2: Could you handle the cost of a large repair without undue financial stress?
Since warranties are often money-makers on average it's generally a good idea NOT to get them. That said, often these warranties can be a good means for financial discipline and protecting against extreme downside that might ruin your car experience and cause undue financial stress. Let’s take a money-making warranty case to make a point below.
Suppose you’re about to buy a 2010 Mercedes SL63 where the engine fails 1 percent of the time at a cost of $20,000. So, the average repair costs is $200 (.01 x $20,000). As a company, Route 66 can make money on the warranty by charging $500. And on average, this warranty is not a good financial decision since the repairs costs are only $200 expected vs. $500 cost.
However, if you ARE the 1 customer who has a $20,000 engine failure, you would be ecstatic to pay the $500. Not to mention, a $20,000 bill would cause other financial stress, and you may not even have the money to pay for this expensive repair. So now you’re left having to sell a broken vehicle, find new transport, and your perception of the Mercedes SL63 will be forever ruined.
So if the “bad luck” of expensive repairs could bankrupt you, cause undue stress, or ruin the vehicle experience than an Extended car warranty could be a safe means to buy peace of mind and avoid “car induced bankruptcy”.
Question 3: Can you find an alternative extended service contract or warranty for cheaper than the Endurance Warranty?
Up until now, we’ve focused on whether to buy “the Route 66 warranty” or not to buy. The reality is there’s a third alternative - buy an extended warranty/service contract through another third party. Before buying the warranty from Route 66, you can also compare warranty options through a variety of different warranty companies mentioned earlier.
Make sure to be comparing plans with similar plans, deductibles, and mileage limits to get comparable costs. Additionally, ensure you vehicle doesn't already have some existing factory warranty coverage. For many car companies, the manufacturer's warranty is often still valid until 36,000, 50,000, or 100,000 mile intervals for the new car.
Question 4: How much is convenience worth to you?
Another benefit of Route 66 warranty - you don’t need to think too hard when your car requires unscheduled repairs. Instead of price shopping repairs, getting cost estimates, and renting a car while yours is in for repair - you can just drop off your car at your favorite ASE certified repair shop and get a rental car through Route 66. Additionally, if your vehicle fails on the side of the road - an extended warranty often covers roadside assistance, towing expenses and other emergency roadside needs.
So while it might be possible to find cheaper alternatives, save money on repairs longterm, the Route 66 warranty just helps reduce the need for you to think too hard about repairs and maintenance.
When does Route 66 deny or make claims difficult
Like any company that specializes in losses (insurance companies, warranty providers, bond services) - Route 66 needs to ensure its not simply paying out in all cases. This can be extremely frustrating as a consumer but generally a warranty company falls into several categories when it comes to claims:
- The company makes money by making it “difficult” to file claims and get reimbursement.
- The fine print in the contracts makes it extremely difficult for the consumer to understand what’s covered and what’s not - often revealing hidden costs only at time of repair
- The company makes its best full faith effort to make claims easy, painless and transparent before and during a claims process.
Some customers had particularly bad things to say about Route 66: One example of such a bad review says the following: "Stay away, stay away. If you have this warranty go back to the credit union and get your money back. Total waste of money. Truck would not shift out of four wheel drive. Toyota dealership said the actuator from the transfer case was malfunctioning. When I called Route 66, they told me the actuator was not covered, just the transfer case. What? The dealership told me the actuator is part of the transfer case. Warranty says transfer case including gears, main shaft, drive chain, thrust washer, and bearings. Was told by Route 66 including meant only those parts listed after transfer case. I was surprised a company this big does not know what including means."
This has to be balanced against the good things customers have said like: There are SOME good reviews, although farther and fewer between them: "I purchased a warranty from this company twice. With my last two vehicles. The first one the replaced my alternator on my Elantra, replaced belts, gave me a rental. No complaints. The second one replaced my transmission on my Pathfinder, replaced a broken window switch that was keeping my window from going up and down in my driver door. They paid for the rental. I had no complaints. I worked for a credit union that offered the extended warranty. People would come in and complain because they were a few miles out of warranty and their services wouldn't be covered. So they felt ripped off. But the warranty states the limitations. I see a lot of negative experiences in these comments. I'm sure they are valid. I just didn't have bad ones" undefined
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